The first season of Stargate Universe consists of 20 episodes. Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper wrote the three-parter series opener named "Air", which was originally planned to be a two-parter. The first two parts of "Air" premiered on Syfy on October 2, 2009, with regularly weekly airing beginning on October 9, 2009. "Fire" was originally going to be the title for episode four, but the story and script was too big to be able to fit into one episode, so the producers changed it to become a two-parter called "Darkness" and "Light", therefore pushing all future episodes forward one slot. "Justice" was the mid-season finale. The back half of the first season aired on Friday April 2, 2010 on Space and Syfy.
British channel Sky1 acquired the exclusive UK rights to Stargate Universe and began airing the series from October 6, 2009. The series currently airs on Space in Canada. In Australia Stargate Universe commenced airing on free-to-air-TV on Network TEN from 20:30 on Monday 14 December 2009, broadcasting the first two episodes: "Air" and "Air" as a movie-length premiere. However, Network TEN dropped the series after just three weeks. All available episodes were however fast-tracked from the US and broadcast on the Sci Fi Channel on Foxtel screening in Australia only 'days' after the US.