SyFy have cancelled Stargate Universe, the third live-action series in their successful Stargate franchise.
Spinning off from the original 1994 Stargate movie, the first series, Stargate SG-1, ran for ten seasons and 214 episodes between 1997 and 2007. A second series, Stargate Atlantis, ran for five seasons and 100 episodes between 2004 and 2009. Stargate Universe's success, in comparison, was limited: two seasons and 40 episodes.
The show launched in 2009 with a blaze of publicity, some of it driven by the unexpected casting of Scottish character actor Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) as Dr. Nicholas Rush as well as an apparent change in direction for the Stargate franchise, taking it in a more 'gritty' direction, possibly inspired by SyFy's other space opera franchise, Battlestar Galactica. Compared to the under-performing Galactica and its spin-off, Caprica, Stargate Universe started strongly, with 2.3 million viewers tuning in to the first episode. However, Season 2 opened with less than half that, at 1.1 million viewers, and two episodes dropped below the 1 million viewer mark. Whilst this was still healthier than Caprica just before it was cancelled, Stargate Universe's budget appears to have been significantly higher than the other show, meaning it was not cost-effective to keep the show on the air.
This means that after Stargate Universe's final episode airs in Spring 2011, for the first time since 1997, there will not be a Stargate TV series on the air. SyFy had plans for a Stargate Atlantis TV and DVD movie to be produced in the near future, but this had been shelved indefinitely. Beyond that, there appears to be no concrete plans for the future of the franchise at this time. Because of this, and given that several already hours have passed since SyFy have announced the news, we will no doubt be shortly hearing that a reboot/remake of the original Stargate movie is on the cards.