There is an Associated Press article that popped up yesterday, and is making its way around the media and the internet today, discussing the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA franchise and ratings.
The writer points out that the BSG film, and the prequel pilot film CAPRICA, have been produced despite lowered Nielsen ratings over the life of the series. Meanwhile, BSG actor Jamie Bamber and writer/producer Michael Angeli chime in about BSG fans, our viewing habits...and, no surprise for we fans, the meaninglessness of premiere night Nielsen ratings to BSG viewership.
Jamie Bamber...has a much better way to gauge ratings. Turns out, as the ratings plummet, the show's popularity continues to skyrocket as it reaches the end of its five-year run early in 2009.
"When the numbers were high I would get stopped in the street maybe once a week," Bamber said. "Now that the viewing figures are lower on the TV, everywhere I go someone will come up to me and say what a huge fan they are. That just tells me that people watch the show in a more modern way and that it has reached its sort of critical mass."
...Co-executive producer Michael Angeli thinks the [ratings] are irrelevant, however. He believes most "Galactica" fans have atypical viewing habits and take advantage of new technology to watch the show whenever they want.
"I think we were one of the first ones," Angeli said. "TiVo had just sort of taken off. This was four or five seasons ago, and because we were on Friday nights most people, most fans don't watch it (on first run). They TiVo it and watch it a zillion times."
Angeli comments a bit more on CAPRICA:
While the [BSG] movie is a lock to air, the fate of "Caprica" remains to be decided. The pilot has been shot and screened, and there's a trailer up on YouTube. Angeli is helping with early scripts in case the series is picked up and said the show is an almost complete departure from "Galactica."
"In fact, I don't think we ever go into space," he said.
...Like "Galactica," which took on war, terrorism, torture, religion and questions of morality, the storyline in "Caprica" will have many things to say about our society.
"It's really about big business, the machinations and the subterfuge that go on inside of it when you have something that is groundbreaking and could change the nature of life and the future," Angeli said. "In this case, they're developing artificial intelligence."
While other networks continue to make baby steps in regards to putting new TV shows online the same day as broadcast, there is no denying that (American) BSG fans got something pretty special this year with the same-day online broadcasts of new 4.0 episodes on Friday mornings. Let's hope they continue that trend for season 4.5...
ETA: The Media Loper posits further on this topic, declaring that BSG has a higher "Fan Quality" than most TV shows (or franchises), which allows NBCU to greenlight more stuff for us. So say we all.