'Galactica' Ratings Edge Ahead of 'Enterprise'By Michelle
January 20, 2005 - 7:29 PM
The two-hour premiere of the Sci-Fi Channel's Battlestar Galactica brought in excellent ratings and marginally beat Star Trek: Enterprise last Friday night. The numbers are particularly notable because Sci-Fi, a cable network, does not reach as many viewers as UPN.
Sci Fi Wire reports that the January 14th broadcast of the first episode of the new Battlestar Galactica series, created by former Star Trek producer Ronald D. Moore, was the highest-rated January show in Sci-Fi's history. It ranked first for the time period in all key cable demographics and earned a 2.6 rating, representing 3.1 million viewers. Final ratings for Enterprise's "Daedalus" indicate that it was watched by 3.03 million viewers. Starting this week, Battlestar Galactica will air Friday nights at 10 p.m., following Stargate SG-1 at 8 and Stargate Atlantis at 9.
Moore talked to The Chicago Tribune about the new series, stating that many aspects of the show developed from ideas he couldn't do on Star Trek. "My sort of feeling by the end of my tenure was that that particular take on sci fi had kind of run its course," he said. "Everything had to be reinvented – how we present characters, how the sets look, how it's shot. I really wanted to step away from Star Trek, which, in a way, is a testament to how successful it has been. It has become what we expect to see on a space opera."
While writing the series, he said, he wanted to avoid the "space opera" mode of Star Trek as well as the cyberpunk of The Matrix and to make the idea of a ship out in space fresh and intersting. "The Cylons destroy the entire human race and only a handful of people survive. It's a scary premise, but within the first couple hours [on the original show], they go off to the casino planet," he noted. "It became popcorn stuff, which I think is at odds with the premise of the show itself." For the reimagined series, Moore wanted to explore what would really happen if a human civilization was destroyed, "which after 9/11, is not such a farfetched idea. It's drawing on those emotions, those reactions in our country after that event, the issues we're dealing with – the war on terror, the war in Iraq, civil liberties and freedoms versus security."
Because the series is expensive to produce, Moore was not certain that it would be renewed for a second season. Original series star Richard Hatch, who championed the cause of a Galactica revival for many years, will be appearing in tomorrow night's episode, and Moore said he was open to creating roles for other actors from the first Battlestar Galactica. As for fan protests about the way the new series differs from the old, said Moore, ""It's already underway and we're really not going back and re-doing [the new conception]."