For some of you that might be old news but I found this article really interesting. Especially as I now have seen some of the eps of the new
show and know what Benedict has been ranting about back then. Setting his mysogony and jealousy aside for a moment, he actually has a point IMHO.( Dreamwatch article by Dirk Benedict )
I hate to be the Devil's advocat but his take on the business (the remakes and esp. his take on the suits) is unfortunately spot on. The suits always think they know their audiences best. That they are right in the case of BSG might be the one shot in the dark, but their policies pretty much run according to what he explained in the latter half of his article. Great shows have been cancelled thanks to such insight
of the suits (S:AAB, Farscape, Serenity, Lone Gunmen) and other franchises that ran successful in the 70's and 80's have been turned into successful but hardly recognizable re-makes for a wider audience but with one point missing: they are not family compatible anymore, i.e. they have been vamped up literally with sex and violence. BSG is just one of many examples here (others which could be mentioned here are Dukes of Hazard, 3 Angels for Charlie).
Sometimes I think the suits can only think with their dicks so to speak. Their target audience are the 18-42 year old male demographic. That this has actually shifted and changed over the last 10 years, they steadfastly ignore. Their minds are still in Baywatch mode.
Suits cancelled many shows that in their opinion did not meet their expectations demographic wise, a good example are Space: Above And Beyond and Farscape (okay so they are my pet peeves but humour me for a moment here).
Ten years ago, the suits of 20th Century Fox cancelled a military scifi show they thought did not bring it on (apart from the shitty cancelling for sports related events as well as moving them from one obscure airing date to another) they did everything so that show would sink as the main fanbase of the show were not only their usual 18-42 year old male demographic but surprisingly also a huge female fanbase starting from 12 to 60. Female fanbase? For a sci-fi show? Even a military one? UNHEARD OF. So the female fans were ignored and as most fans of their desired target group were military personnel stationed outside of the US, they had - in their opinion - a valid reason to cancel the show just after one season (I have to admit I have to be grateful they actually gave us a whole season and not cancelled it after a mere 13 episodes like other shows on Fox). The suits' attempts to sex up the show were fortunately ignored by the show's creators, but it meant its ultimate cancellation.
So S:AAB might not have been the greatest show on this Earth, but some of the ideas, ideals and also the message it transported, had a appeal to a lot of ppl and would have had even more impact if it hadn't been screwed around so much. Fans of the show could not find the series when it was on, as it was postponed more than once or twice or even thrice. Story arcs had been ignored or quite frankly shot down by TPTB as they all wanted an episodic rather than story arc show. There are a lot of reasons why S:AAB never got off the ground and sparkled up there among the stars, but one of the reasons (which Benedict also mentions) was the money-grabbing, know it all suits. The show didn't make enough money and the cast which was young and hot, didn't want to be young and hot. They tried their best to NOT be Melrose Space
The second show, Farscape, grew a huge fanbase in the desired demographic and also in the undesired one, and fortunately the SciFi Channel got a little more perseverance and cancelled the show after 4 seasons. Their suits, too, did everything to put their own ideas of Sci-Fi into the scripts of the show and fortunately the creators also took the extra mile to not let it happen, and despite or because of it the show was a success. Then the cancellation and one of the main reasons why the channel didn't want to renew the show was marketability and also money. Because of its story arc, new fans could not be acquired so easily without showing them the first few seasons and instead of continually doing re-runs in an orderly fashion, the suits wanted to air reality shows no one really gave a shit about. Additionally, as the fanbase was scattered all over the world and merchandising would have been difficult with different, local distributors, they couldn't or wouldn't cash in on the merchandise. So the show had to go - fast, and despite the fact that more fans were pouring in (and not because of any great advertising campaign on SciFi or other network/cable channels by SciFi either) they axed the show.
So you see, Benedict actually has a point. It is all about money and marketability in order to get more money. And if you think Hollywood is about entertainment, then please warp your mind out of the 70's and 80's and welcome to the money-grabbing double 0's.
Ask yourself this: Would BSG really be this successful if there weren't so many nudity scenes? Strip off all the blatant sexual scenes (not the sexual tension) and ask yourself: Is this worth watching? Is this even Sci-Fi? Are these interesting and mind-boggling subjects tackled by the writers? Am I being entertained? Do I cry, laugh and shout all in one ep? If you can answer in the positive, well then all hail to you and the suits, if you answer in the negative ... well then, let's be frelled (and not frakked thank you) together, because entertaining, intelligent sci-fi (or any other genre for that matter) won't be hitting our TV screens anytime soon - if ever again.