We may only be halfway through the current seasons of both shows, but SyFy has already ordered a second season of Stargate Universe and a third season (or fourth depending on whether you're counting the original webisodes as a season) of the Amanda Tapping-starring Sanctuary. Both of the new 20-episode seasons will commence airing in Autumn next year.
Sanctuary has been getting an average audience of just over two million viewers; Universe has been averaging around 2.6 million viewers. Both are very good figures for SyFy.
The figures for Universe are a vindication for the production team which received a lot of criticism for taking the franchise in a new, grittier, Battlestar Galactica-inspired direction. Fans didn't feel it felt like the show they loved; other critics felt it was still too much like Stargate of old.
"We're dealing with 15 seasons of expectations with a certain fanbase," says executive producer Robert Cooper. "Hopefully, as the show goes on, people will appreciate Universe for being its own thing."
"We have a lot of things planned for the second half of the season," continues Cooper, suggesting that the show plans to have more scenes set on the ship, as opposed to cutting back to drama on Earth, and will introduce a full-bodied alien. "There is a big story point coming up that does introduce an alien race. It's more along the line of a District 9-type alien. Our interaction is handled in a very Universe way; they're not the typical Stargate alien bad guys."