I have already griped about the dismal failure that was the first episode of Flash Gordon, but I have to wonder if the idea of a true space opera-style show is dead. SF movies have big budgets, generate huge revenues, and have massive staying power, so I have to wonder why TV shows cannot seem to get the same push. As we all know, it is the strength of the mighty advertising dollar, but the question is 'Why don't advertisers see the potential for revenue in a good SF TV show that they do in an SF movie?'
Battlestar Galactica (love it or hate it) has shown us that a high concept space opera can work on the small screen. Its viewership is high, it has a massive following at home and abroad, and it has garnered critical praise from all corners. Why is it, then, that the advertisers treat it as though it were a blind beggar with leprosy and a bad case of halitosis? The answer is that for some reason they don't believe that SF fans have any real disposable income. This seems odd when you look at how much most SF fans spend on their hobbies.
At any rate, it seems that the rumored Honor Harrington TV series may never come to fruition, and that we will be stuck in a rut of mediocre SF for a while with the close of BSG coming up. Luckily, there are a number of pseudo-real shows that are really good (Heroes, The Dresden Files, Eureka), and these may fill up the time while we wait for someone to bring the next great space opera to the small screen. I just pray that the prospective Star Wars TV shows are not as bad as I fear.