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When Syfy calls Warehouse 13 and Alphas "hit shows", it's just Press Release talking.
While WH13 starts its 4th season on Syfy, Alphas ratings barely insured it's renewal last year; Syfy will reprise more or less last year formula, i.e. WH13 followed by Alphas (Eureka having finished its 5 season run). This formula was quite successful last year, but i regret that Eureka's and WH13 fans didn't watch Alphas for a majority of them. These two shows had a solid fan base but didn't like Alphas for various reasons.
One could say that WH13 fans like the lighter tone and the shipping of their show while Alphas is more dark, more serialised and has no real shipping; i don't see why WH13 fans would change their mind this season (even if i invite them to watch Alphas whenever i can); more, it seems that Eureka's fan are bitter after the cancellation of their beloved show (whereas it has had 5 seasons) and are done with Syfy, so they say at least.
Alphas creator's Zak Penn, disagreed with me last year, and tweeted me that he wanted Alphas to stand out for his own merits, and not depend on other shows, which is perfectly understandable. Unfortunately, i'm more pragmatic and know that retention numbers (the portion of WH13 fans who will watch Alphas after watching WH13) are important. And now, Eureka's showrunner Bruce Miller has replaced Ira Steven Behr at the head of Alphas, while Zak Penn is now only a consultant on the show, whereas he was executive producer last year, go figure.
Alphas has no big name attached to it, no breaking out character, which means that it's hard to create the buzz around it, all the more that the Comic Con panel was not interesting, to say the least (it doesn't mean i'm not trying to advertise the show and Summer's presence, though). David Strathairn's nomination for an Emmy Award in an HBO mini-serie today won't change anything (the official Emmy's site doesn't even mention Alphas inStrathairn's filmography ).
Ref post 286: I have to agree with your assessment and certainly not because I have any special insights. I think you lay out your case quite well. My hope, as I am sure it is yours, is that Alphas will grow in popularity. I think Summer's presence is a real help and it makes me think that she is seen by the show runners as a draw for fans of her previous work who will, if they are not already watching Alphas, come to appreciate the story that she tells. In a way though, this series reminds me a bit of The Unit. It was a good series, not great, and for me, it is primarily a showcase for a type of performance that I had not seen from Summer before.
With an artist of Summer's calibre, I do not think she can be measured on the basis of one season or one episode. She is the sort of artist who has a growing canon of work that is quite remarkable and that will continue to influence many other artists whether they are aware of it or not.
To me, her appeal is a study in contrasts. On the one hand, she is a very effective and gifted actress who tells the story beautifully; on the other, she has a certain quality that would have been called in the past star quality similar to a Betty Davis or a Catherine Hepburne. She is charismatic which is to say that she exercises a compelling charm and attraction that draws us, her fans, to devotedly follow her work. That is why numerous people have made comments to the effect that they would watch her in anything, even reading a phone book. If you are going through Hell, keep going.
I think Summer's presence is a real help and it makes me think that she is seen by the show runners as a draw for fans of her previous work who will, if they are not already watching Alphas, come to appreciate the story that she tells.
Summer's character on Alphas was an "Alphas of the week" and i notice she's the only one who is coming back in the second season (i'm not talking about characters such as Stanton Parrish or Dr Rosen's daughter, who were introduced at the end of the first season in order to provide the main villains in the second season)
It is very common that a serie has a "Villain of the week" (or, depending on genre, "monster of the week" or "freak of the week"), like in the X-Files or in Smallville or even in The Cape, for example; these guests are scheduled for one episode only but very often, the door is left open for a return of this character. At the end of the season, the showrunners take a look at which guest has been popular among the audience and bring him back in a later season on the show. Think about Eugene Tooms in The X-Files or Spike in Buffy : the Vampire Slayer for example.
Things are a little different for Summer Glau, since her character was obviously meant to return in the second season; the ratings bump registered by Summer's episode simply reinforced the good opinion the showrunners had on Summer Glau. I notice that Skylar Adams is coming back for three episodes (and not only one) and that two of them are the last two episodes of the season, which give us hope that she will play a major role in the overarching plot of the season. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Youtube
They have a bunch of other polls (folow the link above) , including : Which [recent] SF TV show should not have been cancelled? [2008-2012] TSCC is in second position behind Stargate Universe. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Youtube
I will report the rating numbers of Alphas and Warehouse 13 as well, like i did last year, because it gives useful comparisons and Syfy paired the two shows (and advertised them accordingly) in their "Powerful Monday" schedule.
WH13 pulled a 0.8 in 18-49 demo ratings and 2.1 millions viewers Alphas pulled a 0.6 in 18-49 demo ratings and 1.7 millions viewers
Here's what tvbythenumbers says :
While the press release notes comparisons to last season's season finales, here are the comparisons vs. last season's premieres:
Alphas was down ~32% in total viewers vs. its series premiere last year (1.7 million vs. 2.5 million) and down around 40% from its series premiere in adults 18-49 (0.6 vs 0.9).
Warehouse 13 was down 9% in total viewers (2.1 million vs. 2.3 million) and pretty much steady with adults 18-49 vs. last season's premiere.
And now Syfy's press release :
SYFY’S Warehouse 13 GRABS 2.1 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS IN SEASON FOUR RETURN
Alphas FINDS 1.7 MILLION VIEWERS IN SOPHOMORE DEBUT
BOTH SERIES UP DOUBLE-DIGITS IN ADULTS 18-49 AND ADULTS 25-54 VERSUS LAST SEASON’S FINALES
NEW YORK – July 24, 2012 – Syfy’s potent one-two punch of hit series Warehouse 13 and Alphas returned to the Powerful Mondays programming block on Monday, July 23, racking up impressive ratings in their respective season premieres.
From 9-10PM (ET/PT), Warehouse 13 averaged 2.1 million total viewers, 1.1 million Adults 25-54 – up 17% compared to the season three finale -- and nearly 1.0 million (967K) Adults 18-49, jumping 23% versus last year’s cliffhanger, during its season four debut.
Following from 10-11PM (ET/PT), the season two return of Alphas found 1.7 million total viewers along with 826K Adults 25-54 and 725K Adults 18-49. The Season 2 return of Alphas was up double digits compared to its season 1 finale across all key demos -- +24% in Adults 18-49, +25% in Adults 25-54 and +50% in total viewers.
I notice that WH13 is steady from one year to another which is the proof the show has a solid fanbase; while the starting numbers of Alphas are not high. Of course those numbers are up against last year season finale but if they go down, as they should, i wonder if they will be enough to insure a third season.
Allow me to repeat a comparison i made in this forum : WH13 can be compared to Chuck, a lighthearted show with a clearly identified shipping and a solid fanbase, while Alphas can be compared to TSCC, a sometimes brilliant, darker show. My two-cent is that TSCC had more engaging characters than Alphas, but that's only me.
With such steady numbers, as i'm sure the next episodes will confirm this heavy trend, it's likely that Syfy will announce the renewal of WH13 for a fifth season in the following months.
As for Alphas, we will have to wait the numbers for episode two; will Alphas register a gain of a loss in viewers? Last year heavy trend was a steady loss in viewers and 18-49 adult demo during the 11 episodes run, with the notable exception of Summer Glau's episode. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Youtube
One of the big challenges in the second season of Alphas is to find a way to reduce standalone episodes in favor of a more connected mythology; Garret Dillahunt's (Cromartie) episode for example was one of the weakest of the first season.
It seems that they have one big villain this season, Stanton Parrish. Here's what Azita Ghanizada, who plays Rachel, told TV Line :
The show this season kind of has a one-minded agenda. The Alphas are after Stanton Parrish and it becomes really personal to Dr. Rosen – in a way that becomes all-consuming at times, even a bit scary. The rest of the team is kind of struggling to keep up, so there are these little break-off things that happen, especially in the middle of the season, as we introduce the big guest stars who are coming back to lead us to this explosion that’s happening towards the end.
I will say that in Episode 9 there is emotional explosion that completely changes what happens for the Alphas; it’s really shocking, and devastating. It kind of just blows your mind a bit, because you’re like, “What the f—k?
Summer Glau will first appear in episode 6, then in the final two episodes, which leads me to think that she has a pivotal role. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Youtube
Message edited by chrisdvanne - Tuesday, 31 Jul 2012, 12:23
Date: Wednesday, 01 Aug 2012, 03:50 | Message # 293
Stanton Parrish is pure evil. His dealings with Rosen's daughter are chilling to say the least. I really like how this series is developing.
In the second episode, Parrish tells Rosen's daughter to be careful when she says she wants to continue seeing Hicks. He is smiling when he says it but his eyes are lifeless and I took it as a veiled threat. I believe he was telling her that she would get hurt, and probably by him. Another aspect that is quite chilling is Nina who has become a loose cannon. She finds out Hicks has been seeing Rosen's daughter and she goes ballistic.
It also appears that Rosen and Parrish are polar opposites. I realize that not everyone here has seen this show yet and so I don't want to give anything away but I believe that we are going on a roller coaster ride this season. I think that the cast has been restrained in what they have said so far. If you are going through Hell, keep going.
Date: Wednesday, 01 Aug 2012, 23:51 | Message # 294
Ratings for the second episode of Warehouse 13 and Alphas, which aired last Monday (previous ratings between brackets) :
WH13 pulled a 0.6 in 18-49 demo ratings (vs 0.8) and 1.665 millions viewers (vs 2.1) Alphas pulled a 0.5 in 18-49 demo ratings (vs 0.6) and 1.351 millions viewers (vs 1.7) Source : tvbythenumbers.
Both shows were down, maybe because of the Olympics Games.
Everybody says that Alphas has good actors, good writings and good plots; but if this season should have more scope, it is also more dark whereas tv watchers wants to be entertained (think Chuck or Warehouse 13). Not every show can have BSG actors and plots.
Syfy did a good job promoting the show this season but tv watchers are still not there. I hope the numbers will go up when the Olympics are over. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Youtube
Message edited by chrisdvanne - Thursday, 02 Aug 2012, 00:12
Date: Thursday, 02 Aug 2012, 15:00 | Message # 295
I started to what Alphas this season in anticipation of Summer's episodes. I'm not sure yet. It hasn't won me over. I watched Warehouse 13 from it's beginning, but I lost interest last year. I think both shows need a little more sexual tension between main characters with subplots. Alphas may be going in that direction.
Date: Thursday, 02 Aug 2012, 15:26 | Message # 296
I think both shows need a little more sexual tension between main characters with subplots. Alphas may be going in that direction.
That's what i said in post #291, Alphas misses an engaging shipping, like in Chuck or Bones or Castle. Alphas showrunner hinted there will be another shipping this season, involving Hicks, but i'm not sure tv watchers will wait to see the evolution of that relationship like TSCC fans waited to see the interactions between Cameron and John.
Writers seem to prefer to make the show they'd like instead of the show people would like to see. Joss Friedman said it repeatedly and i can understand it from a creative point of view; for him, the results were the early cancellation of TSCC and two high profile filmed pilots not picked up as serie by FOX, aka "Locke&Key" and "The Asset". You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Youtube
Message edited by chrisdvanne - Thursday, 02 Aug 2012, 22:45
Date: Thursday, 02 Aug 2012, 19:32 | Message # 297
I think both shows need a little more sexual tension between main characters with subplots. Alphas may be going in that direction.
That's what i said in post #291, Alphas misses an engaging shipping, like in Chuck or Bones or Castle. Alphas showrunner hinted there will be another shipping this season, involving Hicks, but i'm not sure tv watchers will wait to see the evolution of that relationship like TSCC fans waited to see the intercations between Cameron and John.
Writers seem to prefer to make the show they'd like instead of the show people would like to see. Joss Friedman said it repeatedly and i can understand it from a creative point of view; for him, the results were the early cancellation of TSCC and two high profile filmed pilots not picked up as serie by FOX, aka "Locke&Key" and "The Asset".
I like a slow building romance provided the ship actually gets there without too many dead ends, road blocks and other hurdles writers throw in, nor stuff like Bones that make it obvious where its going but just keep dragging it on and on with their cutesy interplay before taking the next step. Castle on the other hand did fairly well by bringing the Casket ship to its consummation at the end of the fourth act/season. If TSCC was allowed to continue, and preferably w/o interference from FOX executives, then we would have seen Jameron get its consummation in the third season or at the very least its affirmation in the third with its consummation in the fourth season. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
A new character (Kat) was introduced. She has some really interesting scenes and she is a complete surprise in how effective she is. She is an amazing contradiction. I can't help but make comparisons to the contradiction that River represented: amazing grace and frail build versus an ability to be an absolute killer who can dominate any opponent. Interestingly enough, she also has issues with her memory, as did River but not in the same way - no less interesting though. I think she is a brilliantly conceived character.
All of the characters, except Hicks, have some really interesting development. Nina is not in this episode. We also learn a lot more about Stanford Parrish. There are flashbacks. I don't know how these things work but I think that Parrish is every bit as interesting and compelling as Dr.Rosen. You could build a series around this guy - well, maybe not but it wouldn't surprise me if there are more future episodes where we find out more about him. As an evil character, he is complex, subtle, immensely threatening, and a completely believable threat. In last night's episode he manipulates Rosen, as we find out in the final scene. I can't say how because I don't want to spoil it for others but this is one of the better episodes I have seen.
All of this bodes well for Summer. She is going to have some strong story threads to work into and I think that this series is a worthy vehicle for her incredible talent. If you are going through Hell, keep going.