Why Stargate: SG-1 Was Cancelled After Season 10

Stargate SG: 1 lasted 10 seasons, but was unfortunately canceled ahead of season 11 for a mixture of reasons. There's a sense in which Stargate was ahead of its time. One of the first transmedia franchises, it was launched on the big screen with Roland Emmerich's Stargate movie, expanding into a TV series in 1997. The Stargate galaxy grew at a prodigious rate, with two spinoffs launched over the years.

Stargate SG: 1 ran for 10 seasons, and to most viewers it felt like the heart of the franchise. This was an entirely reasonable view, given it was set on Earth and featured the ongoing adventures of the Stargate program's elite team. Unfortunately, as popular as Stargate SG: 1 may have been, TV fashion began to change. Serialized storytelling became the norm rather than the episodic format that had made Stargate SG: 1 such a success, and viewership began to decline. The show attempted a reset after season 8, in part because star Richard Dean Anderson left the main cast to spend more time with his daughter, but it just didn't pan out.


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Viewership continued to decline, and the Stargate SG: 1 was becoming increasingly costly. Ultimately, in August 2007 the Syfy Channel confirmed it was pulling the plug. The cast and crew learned partway through production of Stargate SG: 1 season 10, allowing storylines to be rewritten to help them wrap up, and the story of SG: 1 continued in two direct-to-DVD Stargate movies. Stargate SG: 1 season 11 almost became a reality all the same, however, with Apple open to the possibility of a show that would release on iTunes. Unfortunately, it turned out clauses in the contract with Syfy prohibited this, and the plans were dropped.

Could Stargate SG: 1 Ever Be Revived?

Stargate SG-1

The Stargate franchise struggled to adapt to the changing media landscape. The Stargate Universe spinoff was a solid attempt, but it failed simply because it didn't understand its audience; it was too different to appeal to traditional Stargate fans, while new viewers were unlikely to check in on a franchise they hadn't engaged with since 1997. Stargate Universe ended after two seasons, and the entire franchise has essentially been on hiatus ever since. Stargate SG: 1 stars such as Richard Dean Anderson and Amanda Tapping have been clear they'd love to return, but they haven't yet been afforded the opportunity to do so.

Still, that doesn't necessarily mean Stargate should be considered over. Nostalgia is a key factor in popular culture, and Stargate certainly ticks that box. The rights to the franchise were owned by MGM, recently acquired by Amazon in an $8.5 billion deal. Amazon has initially focused on continuing the story of James Bond, but there will surely be interest in relaunching a dormant franchise like Stargate SG: 1. Viewers have had to make do with shorts like Stargate: Origins over the last few years, but hopefully it won't be long before there's more news of Stargate SG: 1 itself.