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July 28 2005

Firefly: Serenity Part I Earned a 'Solid' 1.3 Rating On Sci-Fi.

Yay! I'm a fan of all three primetime shows but Firefly will always surpass them in my heart so I'm thrilled to see it did so well. Stargate SG-1's ratings held steady while the other two shows ratings fell off from the prior week. I'm wondering if Firefly airing before Stargate had anything to do with it's ratings staying the same?! Wonder why BSG's ratings fell so much?

Well, I'm-a watching, even though I of course have the DVD's and was grumbling about the fact that the action often appeared to take place off camera with the version they showed. ( I can never keep that stuff straight, but I know what I didn't see, LOL)

Update: Two coworkers watched last week. One didn't "get" it, but the other went out and bought the DVD's and "can't believe that such a good show got cancelled!" and "can't wait for the movie!"

Yay. Finally. Too bad her last name isn't Nielsen.
M'cookies, I was annoyed about it not being shown in widescreen like it was filmed and aired on Fox. It did cut out quite a bit of a lot we should've been seeing. Glad to hear you had a couple of co-workers tune in. Try to encourage the one who "didn't get it" to at least watch a few more episodes, at least finish up and watch the whole pilot.

I also have the dvds but have to show my support and watch on regular tv too!
I know, m'cookies. The brass at Fox didn't 'get' it either. Really their loss.

Kinda' disappointed the BSG ratings fell. What happened? The American cable service offered in Japan is about 2-3 weeks delayed from the broadcast dates in the US. In fact, season two will start this Friday. Did season two have a bad start?

[ edited by Madhatter on 2005-07-28 01:57 ]
The first two episodes of Battlestar were terrific, so I have no idea why the ratings fell off.
Rememeber it does repeat several times that day and through the weekend. I have seen on another site say it's numbers actually rose, so who knows.

But the entire night looked like it was down. It's premiere ratings for the second season were the highest of the whole series to date. I would expect them to rise agin. The whole night.
Thanks, rabid. Think I better get off this thread before I'm spoiled on BSG. Once again, thanks :)
A tiny correction: the show never aired in widescreen on FOX, and was meant to be aired fullscreen. It was shot so that it could be aired fullscreen without things looking chopped off, but also put on DVD in widescreen, b/c Joss and Tim wanted it to look that way.
dottkin:

Firefly was aired widescreen on FOX. In fact, in Joss' commentary for Serenity, he talks about how he basically forced FOX to show it widescreen with the first scene he filmed. That scene was the one with Mal and Simon on the catwalk across from each other, on opposite sides of the screen. If viewed in fullscreen instead of wide, neither Simon nor Mal would have been seen, and you would be looking at an empty catwalk. It's a widescreen show...not fullscreen.

I'm curious to see if Scifi shows it fullscreen again Friday night. I hope not, or else people might not know exactly what's going on, especially in that scene.
Good point FalenAnjil about Sci-fi airing the episodes twice on Friday. That makes it a lot more flexible for people who watch the shows if they miss it the first hour and would explain why BSG numbers may have fell for the first hour aired. The shows great and the episode was great so I don't see how it could be anything else.

Dottkin, I distinctly remember the show being shown in widescreen on Fox and it does looked chopped off the way Sc-fi is currently showing it. There were several scenes that you could barely see the two characters in it because of how it was shown. One scene in particular was Mal and Wash on the bridge/pilot area where they were so far away from each other you could only see part of each person's face. The scene where Jayne is complaining about them not getting paid and says the "Let's do the math..." part, you can't even see him most of the time he's talking. A lot of what made that scene so funny was his facial expressions and hand gestures as he was doing it. I do hope Sci-fi shows it in it's proper format this week because it is taking away from the greatness and epic feel of the show imo.

[ edited by Firefly Flanatic on 2005-07-28 03:35 ]
Firefly was aired widescreen on FOX. In fact, in Joss' commentary for Serenity, he talks about how he basically forced FOX to show it widescreen with the first scene he filmed.

No, go listen to that again. He shot the scene in question as a widescreen shot to make it clear the show was meant to be widescreen. But the show nonetheless was broadcast fullscreen and not widescreen.
But the show nonetheless was broadcast fullscreen and not widescreen.


I went back and checked my old videotapes, and Firefly was shown widescreen during it's initial run. That just makes it all the more confusing that Scifi would choose to show them fullscreen, but whatever. I'm just worried that people might be confused when they're watching an empty catwalk if they're seeing the show for the first time.
I thought "Serenity", which aired last on FOX, was broadcast in widescreen. But the rest of the series was broadcast in full screen. Which, I think, is why half of you are remembering it airing in widescreen and half are remembering it airing in full screen.
I thought "Serenity", which aired last on FOX, was broadcast in widescreen. But the rest of the series was broadcast in full screen. Which, I think, is why half of you are remembering it airing in widescreen and half are remembering it airing in full screen.

Ah, that may be.
Yah, WindTheFrog. I checked my other old tapes...Serenity is the only one shown widescreen. The rest are full. Stupid inconsistent FOX.
If I remember rightly The Train Job, Bushwhacked and Serenity where shown Letterboxed (Widescreen) and the rest where show Fullframe (Fullscreen) because Joss wanted to show the series Letterboxed and after the low ratings FOX thought that showing it Fullframe would attract more viewers, go figure.

One of the many reasons why Firefly is so cool on DVD is that that you can watch it in 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen, just like a movie.
At least we all know that we aren't crazy! I knew that the scenes I described originally aired that way! But at least the rest of the episodes won't look odd to any newcomers but why couldn't sci-fi at least show the pilot the way it aired?
Zoic_fan, I was posting as you were and just wanted to comment on your comment. Well, that would make even more sense to me why I remember specific scenes in widescreen.
Does anyone know what the ratings were for Firefly when it aired on FOX? Because I think it would be interesting to compare the ratings from when it first aired on FOX to it's ratings on the Sci-Fi channel.
eek, other people are right. I know most of the episodes were aired fullscreen and the pilot "Serenity" was probably aired in wide, though my memory is really shaky on the last.
Just gotten to this - bl, I amended your link title a bit to focus on the story's substance.
Okay, here's a review I found that shows that we all might be correct in what we remember:

DVDFile

Every episode in this DVD box set is presented in the 16:9 (1.78:1) widescreen ratio as the show aired on Fox's digital broadcast channel (the standard analog channel was inconsistent when it came to whether episodes would air in widescreen)."



I have Directv which is a digital signal and is why I seem to remember them all being in widescreen.

Thanks SNT - that's much better!!
I know this isn't a popular opinion in Hollywood, but my take on why BSG ratings are down... *lack* of "piracy". You see, the entire first season was widely distributed on bittorrent, before the show even started airing, which in my opinion only increased the visibility and appetite for BSG. This time around there isn't any pre-broadcast torrents available, thus limiting the buzz...

Here's a thoughtful article on the subject.

[ edited by JeremyN on 2005-07-29 00:42 ]
You see, the entire first season was widely distributed on bittorrent, before the show even started airing


Before the show started airing in the USA yes. Remember we in the UK got it first which was the reason it got on bittorent. There's an extremely good argument for all US dramas to be shown in dear old Blighty before the Americans get to see it.
Does not explain why it's premiere got the highest ratings of the entire series to date. Or why every show was down last friday. I think we will have to wait and see how a few more eps do before we can say it is losing or limited in it's steam or buzz.

This week is Richard Hatch's first appearence of the new season, so it should be intresting.

I tried to read your article, but the link does not work.

[ edited by FalenAnjl on 2005-07-28 10:54 ]
Well, it is still full-on summer outside in many (but not all) places. A lot of people who want to watch on Friday nights won't get to simply because other things are going on. I won't be watching tomorrow night, but certainly will on nights when I am home. I was so happy with SciFi I kept my tv on all last Friday night. And liked it.

I made a new convert! She watched last Friday and has already ordered the DVDs!!!! The oh-so-slow marketing campaign just might be working. The other one I convinced to watch it is so-so at this point, but one of the two I tried to convert is already completely hooked.
I finally got my work colleague (who is very big into his sci-fi) to watch his Firefly DVDs, when I came back from holiday the first thing he said to me about was "You didn't tell me it was a comedy!". A marketing ploy missed by Fox and Universal methinks.
If you have a HDTV then you probably saw Firefly in widescreen on Fox's HD signal. If you have a analog tv then you probably saw it in full screen. In constract everyone saw Angel in wide-screen no matter what their tv was.

If a person is used to watching a show in full-screen then they won't care that they're missing part of the picture. At least I'm that way. Its once I've seen the whole picture that I notice things are being chopped off.(its hard to watch Alias re=runs on TV now.)


"but why couldn't sci-fi at least show the pilot the way it aired?"

When a old tv show is put on DVD and scenes are missing, they say that they weren't given the original videos. Maybe Sci-Fi wasn't given the wide screen videos.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-07-28 14:27 ]
I didn't watch, but got a few friends new to the Whedonverse to tune in (or whatever the right term is for cablecasting)...both liked it but both said the sound quality was not good...here is a direct quote: "I watched Firefly and found it intriguing, but there was something about the soundtrack that I found the dialogue hard to follow. hopefully it will get better in later episodes..."

Anybody else feel the same way?

At least she liked it!
The sound levels on Sci-Fi were well screwed, by all accounts.
Jeez, I hope they get that fixed soon...they're doing everything else right...it'd be a horrible pity if they lose audience over technichal matters.
Yeah I heard some audio glitch in the background whenever someone talked.
Fixed the URL in my earlier message regarding BSG and "piracy."

[ edited by JeremyN on 2005-07-29 00:45 ]

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