“Odyssey 5” Adrift

Showtime has given the axe to its second-highest rated TV show according to Sci-Fi Wire. No reason is given. The producers are shopping around for a new home. Based on the cold reception “Firefly” got, I don’t think they’re going to be too lucky.

I never saw an episode, anyone know if this one’s worth resurrecting?

16 replies on ““Odyssey 5” Adrift”

  1. davatar2 says:

    Yes!
    I was glued to the tv for all the 1st season episodes. There is actually a good deal of actual science fiction involved with an xfiles-like-twist, but the overall story arc is just awesome as well. The production quality is also of the highest caliber. If I had to pick, behind Farscape this is the show I’d most like to see on television next season… although I’d rather not :(

  2. whackmol says:

    Bad days for good Sci-Fi programming
    A common thread with the cancellation of Firefly, Farscape, Odyssey 5 and the inability of JMS to sell a new series to the Skiffy chanel is… story arcs. We (the fans) love them, but they make it hard for a show to catch on with an audience large enough to make the network suits happy. It looks like the best we can hope for is mini-series/events to tell more involved stories (ie: Children of Dune, Taken), anthology series of wildly varying quaility (Outer Limits, Twilight Zone), or slapdash franchise series that can be shown in any episode order without making the audience have to think or remember anything week-to-week.

    • Daemonik says:

      Re: Bad days for good Sci-Fi programming

      A common thread with the cancellation of Firefly, Farscape, Odyssey 5 and the inability of JMS to sell a new series to the Skiffy chanel is… story arcs. We (the fans) love them, but they make it hard for a show to catch on with an audience large enough to make the network suits happy.

      In some ways that might be true, but there are still plenty of shows that sieze an audience even with an arc. Oz, The Sopranos and Six Feet Under come to mind.

      I’ve been giving this problem some thought and I think I’ve devised a way to screw the networks and support the shows that really deserve support.

      How about a website that purchases various programs, much like a tv network and offers streaming mpeg-4 videos at resolutions suitable for preview, modem and broadband viewing, with advertising mixed in to support it. Consider the attraction to, say, Coke, being able to buy ad space with a global reach and actual numbers of viewings rather than the Neilson guestimates and the audience being unable to change the channel during your commercial.

      Since many will be outraged at being required to sit through an ad, offer ‘sponsorship’ packages and access to ad free versions. Perhaps $5 a month for a single show, $10-20 for the ‘network’ lineup.

      Here’s the fun kicker though, immediately after a new episode is posted, start selling the ep on DVD, allow season package pre-orders at a discount over the individual ep cost and add an additional discount to ‘sponsors’.

      Perhaps even leave the ad supported episodes up for 1 month, while ‘sponsors’ have unlimited access to the archives. Thus viewers can have a little time to start getting involved in a series without fear of loosing track of the story.

      Considering that SonicBlue and TiVo are adding broadband support to their equipment, make a side deal with them for subscriber access.

      Am I crazy? Or could this be the future of ‘television’. Think of it, no more worries that some crack monkey tv executive will kill off your favorite program because a very flawed ratings system said it wasn’t being watched!

      Now point me to some venture capital and let’s get this started. :)

      • TechnoGirl says:

        Re: Bad days for good Sci-Fi programming
        That’s really a fascinating idea!
        Unfortunately, doesn’t it cost something like 10-20 million a year to produce a series?

        How can that amount of capital be revovered by an estimated audience of several tens of thousands ?

        • Daemonik says:

          Re: Bad days for good Sci-Fi programming

          That’s really a fascinating idea!
          Unfortunately, doesn’t it cost something like 10-20 million a year to produce a series?

          How can that amount of capital be revovered by an estimated audience of several tens of thousands ?

          Firefly averaged 4million viewers per episode. At $1 per viewer, plus dvd sales, t-shirts or other promotional material, add in sponsorships and ad revenue, I think it might be workable.

          Sure, it’ll take someone with money and patience to wait for the idea to build to critical mass, but given time I think it will.

          Also consider that rather than a show being broadcast only in the US, this would give it global exposure and the chance of a much broader fan base.

          • Daemonik says:

            Re: Bad days for good Sci-Fi programming

            Firefly averaged 4million viewers per episode. At $1 per viewer, plus dvd sales, t-shirts or other promotional material, add in sponsorships and ad revenue, I think it might be workable.

            I’m also considering the number of people who pay for cable tv just for the sci-fi channel (I know I did) only to find out that sci-fi to them means Knight Rider re-runs, crappy psychics and the analysis of latent lesbian dreams.

            Real sci-fi fans would flock to something like this, something where they’re actually counted and where a show lives or dies because they supported it, not because some redneck with an IQ lower than dirt but with a Nielson box didn’t ‘get’ it.

          • TechnoGirl says:

            Re: Bad days for good Sci-Fi programming
            <BLOCKQUOTE TYPE="cite">
            Firefly averaged 4million viewers per episode. At $1 per viewer, plus dvd sales, t-shirts or other promotional material, add in sponsorships and ad revenue, I think it might be workable.
            </BLOCKQUOTE>

            That’s 4 million people viewing for *free* – the question is exactly how to generate the…say 10 million dollars from *net* viewers…to view a single series.

            Throw around the numbers…..how much would someone actually be willing to pay to see a single good scifi series?? People are incredibly cheap! Let’s say you could get them to poney up 20 bucks a year…then you would **still** need ***half a million*** (!) web viewers willing to pony up $20 bucks to see 15 episodes of a single scifi series.

            Now ask yourself…how many web sites — anywhere–…have half a million registered viewers who paid $20 bucks for the privilage of seeing whatever is on the site???

            That would be…ummm…..none :(

            I don’t think there’s even a single pron site that can claim such a figure…and pron sells to a far wider audience then some scifi series.

            My gut feeling is that bthe viewer subscription model is unrealistic…but if you can come up with abetter idea or better figures I would be highly interested in hearing it.

            • Daemonik says:

              Re: Bad days for good Sci-Fi programming

              My gut feeling is that bthe viewer subscription model is unrealistic…but if you can come up with abetter idea or better figures I would be highly interested in hearing it.

              This was why I suggested having a free but ad supported version of each show. I’m not saying that ads would cover all the costs at first, but as people get used to the idea and it gains ground, ad revenue will bring in money.

              Ads would be inserted into the free movie much like broadcast tv, with the exception that retailers could be promised global coverage for their ad dollar, a highly targeted audience, and that their ad would be seen since you can program the stream to not allow fast forwarding through them.

              If the video were chunked into seperate parts and queued through the streaming server via a playlist, it would even be possible to rotate adds based on per-view ratios.

              There’s also the possability of corporate sponsorships, such as the BMW Films.

              • TechnoGirl says:

                Re: Bad days for good Sci-Fi programming
                <BLOCKQUOTE TYPE="cite">
                This was why I suggested having a free but ad supported version of each show. I’m not saying that ads would cover all the costs at first, but as people get used to the idea and it gains ground, ad revenue will bring in money.
                </BLOCKQUOTE>

                We’re really not communicating at a very basic level are we? A year of a good series costs (VERY conservatively) about 10 million to produce.

                Have you ever tried to sell 10 million dollars of ad space?
                Who would you market it to? Who would but it? How many web sites that you know of have even 100,000 viewers?
                Why should anyone spend big bucks advertising on *your* paltry 100,000 voewer site when the can grab several milions – or tens of millions on TV?

                If you can’t adaquately answer all the above questions then you really haven’t thought it through.

                It’s not a great (or even good) idea unless you can come up with some plan to make it actually work…until you do then it’s just an uninformed opinion.

      • pythor says:

        Great minds…
        This is almost exactly the sam eidea I posted in my Slashdot Journal . You can go there if you’d like, but my idea rants a little more about network control. And I think Tivo etc. are the perfect vehicle to do it. With some form of agregate content tracking, Tivo can get a much more accurate picture of what TV viewers are actually watching. And with a voting system included, you can give them the bonus information about how well liked the show is.

        • Daemonik says:

          Re: Great minds…

          This is almost exactly the sam eidea I posted in my Slashdot Journal . You can go there if you’d like, but my idea rants a little more about network control. And I think Tivo etc. are the perfect vehicle to do it. With some form of agregate content tracking, Tivo can get a much more accurate picture of what TV viewers are actually watching. And with a voting system included, you can give them the bonus information about how well liked the show is.

          I also like the thought that the producer and the audience can actively speak to each other and build a relationship that can lead a show to new directions. Most sci-fi shows are word of mouth cult followings anyway, which is something that the traditional broadcasting medium can’t really take advantage of.

      • UncleJam says:

        Re: Bad days for good Sci-Fi programming

        In some ways that might be true, but there are still plenty of shows that sieze an audience even with an arc. Oz, The Sopranos and Six Feet Under come to mind.

        Not to mention all of the people who have been watching soap operas for years or even decades and can keep track of dozens of characters and an equal amount of crazy plotlines.

    • GusherJizmac says:

      Re: Bad days for good Sci-Fi programming
      There is a way to make a compelling show with a story arc. Just look at The Practice, Boston Public, the Sopranos, last few seasons of DS9. Each episode (outside of 2 or 3 parters) was self-contained, but interweaves elements of the overall arc. Additionally, a couple minutes of “Last Time On….” helps catch you up wtih anything you need to know for this episode.

      I think that the public is coming around to story arcs (look at 24), and serialized shows, but it has to be done to not exclude the casual viewer.

  3. aguy says:

    No…it was terrible…
    O5 was terribly boring. I love SciFi, so I watched it, but it was easy to drift from the show and go see what was new on /.

    • UncleJam says:

      Re: No…it was terrible…

      O5 was terribly boring. I love SciFi, so I watched it, but it was easy to drift from the show and go see what was new on /.

      I agree that the first few eps were verrrry dull. I had to keep pinching myself to stay awake for Jeremiah.

      That said, however, I did find that as the season progressed, it got better. By the time we got the “cliffhanger” at the end of the last aired episode, I was hooked. I’m sad to see this one go, as I thought it had good potential, even if it also had a fair number of eye-rollers.

  4. Trekkie says:

    That’s Disappointing.
    This show was extremely interesting, and it gave me the creeps at the same time. Very interesting writing, and my all time favorite quote was in it. A ‘synthetic’ that was a ‘bottom dweller’ who surfed sci-fi / comic book sites, right before he got wasted said ‘well, as a rock and roll scientest once said, whereever you go, there you are’

    For those that don’t remember, Peter Weller once played a rock-n-roll scientist named Buckaroo Banzi

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