Here are the reasons why this move was incredibly short-sighted.
Premature. SG:U was only halfway through its second season; the writers had the show plotted out through five seasons. Yes, the first half of season 1 was pretty slow and focused mostly on the crew just trying to stay alive while not killing each other, but since episode 11 it’s been picking up. To cancel the show a mere 20 episodes later is pretty myopic.
Wagging the dog. SG:U got moved from a Friday night slot where it was performing fairly well to a Tuesday evening slot where its ratings fell. How Syfy can cancel a show after 10 episodes in a new time slot where it wasn’t performing as well is beyond me. What about moving the show back to its original time slot? What about waiting a teensy bit longer to see if the viewers figure out how to mesh the new schedule with their own? There were quite a few alternate avenues to take to fix the Tuesday night failure, unless of course that wasn’t their intention to start with when they originally made the schedule change.
History. Is Syfy even aware of how successful the Stargate franchise has been? It’s lasted three series (10 seasons, 5 seasons, and 2 seasons, respectively…with some overlap), three movies (with two more under construction), and well over a decade in total. Canceling its third inception barely 30 episodes in just seems stupid. The writers are all veterans; at this point it’s pretty safe to assume they know what they’re doing.
Peer pressure. It’s disgusting how many former SG:1 and SG:A fans took up arms against SG:U and campaigned to ruin it from the get-go. These aren’t, and should never be, construed as fans of the Stargate franchise. They sought the cancelation of this show either purely out of spite or to see a return of SG:A in its place, and while they accomplished their first goal that’s where their success ended. Congratulations Syfy, you’re about as useful as these blowhards.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. It’s become evident ever since Sci-Fi changed its name to Syfy that it was undertaking the strategic decision to alienate its intended audience in favor of attracting a less nerdy demographic. As a consequence, they lost their geeky audience, and never picked up replacements. So now they air 20 different flavors of “Ghost Hunters” (arguably some of the worst science I’ve ever seen outside of homeopathy) and the WWF. In light of how fast they’re sinking, I suppose it’s no surprise that they made this sort of a boneheaded decision regarding one of the only shows remaining that can appeal to a broad audience, geeks and non alike.
I have a suggestion for you, Syfy: