Stargate SG-1 Creators New Space Epic Is Already Breaking Records

The Ark, the new Syfy series from the creators of Stargate SG-1, is the most-watched debut on the network.

By Sean Thiessen | Updated

As fans have learned from movies like Interstellar and Adam Driver’s upcoming 65, a lot can go wrong when trying to colonize a new planet. Syfy is running that lesson back with its latest hit, The Ark. The series debuted on February 1 and, as reported by The Wrap, has already become the network’s biggest premiere since Resident Alien dropped in 2021.

You can watch the first, full episode of The Ark below …

Nielsen ratings clocked The Ark premiere at around 1 million viewers, putting it among the premieres of two of Syfy’s biggest running shows, Chucky and Resident Alien. No other Syfy premiere has reached such a height in two years.

The Ark chronicles a fight for survival among the remaining crew members of the interplanetary colonization vessel Ark 1 after the ship is severely damaged during its voyage. The series comes from Stargate writer and producer Dean Delvin and Stargate SG-1 showrunner Jonathan Glassner. The Ark stars Christie Burke, Richard Fleeshman, Reece Ritchie, Stacey Read, and Ryan Adams.

Though The Ark is putting up atmospheric viewership numbers for Syfy, reviews for the show have barely left the ground. Two episodes into its first season, The Ark is sitting at a 40 percent average from critics on the review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes. More dismal is the audience score of 23 percent, accompanied by an IMDb user rating of 3.9/10.

The show’s hot start may flame out fast if the series fails to change course. The second episode of The Ark showed a marked improvement in audience ratings on IMDb, from 5.6 to 6.3. That trend will have to continue if the series hopes to pull out of its critical nosedive.

While the fate of The Ark remains to be seen, Syfy is going ahead with other popular originals. Chucky was recently renewed for a third season, and Reginald the Vampire for its second. Alan Tudyk and company are currently in production on the third season of Resident Alien.

The cast of The Ark

The Ark co-creator Dean Delvin also has his hands full navigating the revival of Stargate. Delvin’s involvement in the franchise dates back to its beginnings in the mid-90s. As ever-changing reports about a reboot movie and a new Stargate series come through, fans of the popular science fiction franchise wait patiently on the hook for a revival.

Stargate SG-1 aired on Syfy, but the franchise’s next series looks to be headed to Amazon Prime. Whether the next Stargate adventure will ever air alongside The Ark on Syfy is still, much like the series itself, a mystery.

The Syfy original series is a puzzling thing. Shows like Stargate SG-1, Battlestar Galactica, and The Expanse have become television classics, while many others have been quickly canceled and mercifully forgotten. Which fate lies in store for The Ark will likely be determined in the coming weeks.

For now, the cast and crew of The Ark can revel in the accomplishment of the show’s ratings milestone. As network television faces extinction in the streaming era, the successful premiere of The Ark becomes a fitting metaphor, fighting overwhelming odds and carrying survivors of a dying species toward a hopeful future.