“Stargate” began life as a feature film starring Kurt Russell and James Spader, which was released in October of 1994, to pretty good but not stellar reviews.
The Egyptian/alien twist and the gate?s propensity to unleash new exciting worlds ad infinitum, gave some producers the idea to turn it to a tv show ? just think of all those thrilling alien vs human battles to be had.
Wright and Glassner got a two-season commitment from network Showtime, and in February 1996, they filmed the pilot of ?SG-1? on a Vancouver soundstage.
Richard Dean Anderson (“MacGyver”) replaced Kurt Russell as Col. Jack O’Neill, with Amanda Tapping and Christopher Judge joining the Stargate team.
The first season went well, but not without a hitch. The writing was on the shaky side, and Showtime actually wanted the show to have full-frontal nudity. Richard Dean Anderson?s dry humour was a hit with viewers though, and the show?s ratings shot up.
By season 5, Showtime decided to ax the show despite its good performance, claiming to need fresh material and new shows. Luckily, Stargate- SG 1 was found a new home at the Sci-Fi channel which proved to be an even better fit with its audience base.
In 2004, a spin-off was launched, called ?Atlantis?. To save on costs, two-thirds of “SG-1’s” $2.2 million-per-episode budget was covered by MGM, with the remainder picked up by Sci Fi network. “Atlantis” and “SG-1” also share soundstages and production crew.
In spite of this, “Stargate Atlantis” was a roaring success garnering
2.9 million viewers. The producers of SG-1 prepared themselves for the mothership?s demise with Anderson leaving the show in season 9.
But again, the Stargate fans kept coming, and the show is still alive and kicking, and according to the execs, still making money. SG-1?s 200th episode aired on the Sci Fi Channel yesterday, on the 18th of August.