The Sci-Fi Channel series Stargate Atlantis, which added Star Trek Voyager’s Robert Picardo as a series regular this season and features recurring roles for a number of other Trek alumni, will end its run after the current fifth season ends next January. But it isn’t all bad news for the SGA team as they will be back in a direct-to-DVD movie.
Regarding the future of SGA, MultiChannel News reports:
After airing on Sci Fi sometime next year, the untitled Atlantis movie will be sold as a home-video title by producer MGM, Sci Fi told Multichannel News on Wednesday.
MGM this year released two financially successful straight-to-DVD movies made after progenitor series Stargate SG-1 ended a 10-year run of first-run cable episodes on Sci Fi. MGM and the show producers are scheduled to make more in DVDs in future. A movie franchise is also envisioned for Stargate Atlantis.
In a statement, show co-creators Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright stated:
We’re excited to tell ‘Atlantis’ stories on a bigger canvas. The successes of the two original ‘Stargate’ movies, ‘The Ark of Truth’ and ‘Continuum,’ have shown us the opportunities that the movie format offers. We have plans for both ‘SG-1’ and ‘Atlantis’ to remain vital as we expand the franchise.
No cast has been announced for the DVD movie, so it isn’t known if Picardo will be on board as Richard Woolsey. In addition to Picardo, Atlantis has also featured Star Trek Enterprise’s Conner Trinneer and Star Trek Deep Space Nine’s Colm Meaney in recurring roles. Also Paul McGillion, who was an Atlantis regular and now has recurring role, has a small role in JJ Abrams Star Trek.
Although Atlantis had seen its ratings decline over its first four seasons, the current season had seen a turnaround. However the cancellation is no surprise to show producer Joe Mallozzi who wrote on his blog before season five premiered that it was "highly unlikely" the show could last ten seasons, like SG-1 did, noting:
…as a show moves past its fifth season, the odds are stacked against it. Ultimately, it comes down to the numbers – less the ratings and more the bottom line. The longer a show is on the air, the more expensive it is to produce. Throw in the resurgence of the Canadian dollar, once pegged at 63 cents to the U.S. greenback, it now hovers at par, an approximate 37 cent bump which adds a significant hit to the production budget.
SGA airs Fridays at 10PM on the Sci-Fi channel. More info at Sci-Fi.com.