Ratings for Battlestar Galactica are up 4% over equivalent episodes in the 3.5 season, according to Hollywood Reporter; counting seven day VCR viewers, ratings are up 18%.
Most serial shows decline season over season, and Battlestar Galactica had followed that pattern until this year, so the reversal is significant. The increase is probably due to interest in the build-up to the finale, as the storyline takes on a more cosmic direction.
That interest is going to be suspended when the current run of episodes ends; because of the writer’s strike, the series-ending episodes will not begin airing until February 2009.
That will create an extended period between the first and second halves of the season during which DVDs, graphic novels, games, toys, and other merchandise can be sold, which may end up moving more product than the originally planned straight run through the final season would have done.