Those contracts are going away, no more of this.
Still generally about the dumbest way to "get ratings." You don't get ratings in one shot, our ADD culture doesn't attach that quickly. How many great shows wouldn't we have because it didn't have ratings on the pilot? Seinfeld? Cheers" The X-Files?
They tried to have SGU stick around as long as it could, even with faltering ratings, just didn't work and it finally got cancelled. I'm probably about to get hammered for this, but I've actually been watching SyFy a bit more lately because of Alphas, Warehouse 13, Haven, etc. and could never get into BSG.. I would love another Stargate type show, but BSG just isn't my fancy, and I don't think it was a lot of people's fancy, because it's never had a "comeback."
No. For a channel called Syfy, they are generally pathetic. They have a high intensity space-action show with a solid cast and great universe and there's a question whether or not they should air it? It would be the only sci-fi action show on television.
There is a question whether they should air it, by the end BSG was scrapping the bottom of the barrel on ratings, yes, while I agree with everyone that the old Nielsen ratings are archaic and need to go, that doesn't stop them from existing, and they do and only getting a 1.8 Million demo for such an expensive show to make.. doesn't pay the bills.
Getting a 1.4 rating on an in-house show such as Alphas though, pays the bills, and keeps those shows going.