Tue
Aug 9 2011 3:01pm
Syfy Channel Backhands Eureka Fans... and Its Audience at Large

It’s likely that fans are beginning to wonder: does the Syfy Channel even like science fiction anymore?

It’s a fair enough question to ask, and one that Eureka fans have probably made up their minds on already. The story goes thusly: the Syfy Channel had made a statement assuring fans that Eureka (currently in its fourth season and filming its fifth) would get an additional season. This sixth season would be shorter — six episodes long — with the understanding that the Syfy Channel might change their mind and expand the story somehow.

They changed their mind, all right. They cancelled the sixth season altogether.

Now the writing team of Eureka is stuck trying to end a show that they had been promised an extra half season to wrap up, with only a few weeks of shooting left to them. That spells quality right there. The writing team of Eureka has always been pretty solid, but my heart goes out to them.

And this after cancelling the vocally supported Stargate: Universe. Who are they planning on incensing next? Why don’t they reboot Battlestar Galactica again? It’s been long enough, right? Or they could replace all original programming with rodeo coverage! SFF fans love that stuff!

Frankly, it’s the latest in a long downhill run for Syfy (which became painfully obvious with their rebranding in 2009). As they said in the statement about this abrupt executive decision, “After painstaking consideration, we have had to make the difficult business decision to not order a Season 6 of Eureka.” Now, no one is so naïve as to assume that television network decisions are not entirely business-minded, but it seems clear that the Syfy Channel has been out of touch with their fanbase for a long while. Their heyday has come and gone.

The Stargate franchise wore out and died gasping. The attempt to make a more gritty version of the show (SG:U) infuriated some fans and entraced others, but not enough to keep it going for more than two seasons. Warehouse 13 is a lukewarm X-Files rehash that has high ratings, but is frankly pretty dull. Then there’s the Being Human reboot, which I’ve already expressed my disappointment with at length. And Alphas... does anyone actually care about Alphas? With the stellar Misfits now on Hulu, I can’t think of a reason to pay attention to another poorly conceived people-with-superpowers yarn. Eureka was never the most serious-minded SF, but it was fun, quirky, and had a lot of heart. It managed to survive what others did not, but apparently didn’t warrant loyalty enough to demand a decent send off.

The network made a similar mistake with Farscape in 2003, but the writing team stood their ground and refused to end the show at the last second. The words “To Be Continued...” in the final episode prompted an uprising that led to the fans bringing financial backers to the then-SciFi Channel to force them into ending it with a proper miniseries. Eureka fans might have to take a page out of their book if they want to see their story get the treatment it deserves.

Used to be, evenings at my house were full up with what the SciFi Channel had to offer. These days, since wrestling and intentionally awful horror films are not really my thing, looking elsewhere appears to be the only option.


Emily Asher-Perrin used to watch so many shows on the SciFi Channel. So. Many. Shows. You can bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.

79 comments
Michael Poteet
1. MikePoteet
Such behavior (cancelling promised seasons) is no surprise to those of us who remember when The Sci-Fi Channel (back when that name kind of meant something) abruptly pulled the plug on Farscape before its fifth year.
Svenn Diagram
2. Svenn Diagram
Why, yes I do like Alphas. And Warehouse 13. Never did like Eureka or SG:U, though.
Noneo Yourbusiness
3. Longtimefan
I agree that it does seem that the Sci-Fi channel has lost its way. It was a great idea for a channel but I think some of the difficulty comes from the fact that Science Fiction and Fantasy programing can only go so far on economical sets and costume design and eventually money has to be spent on special effects and creating the otherworldly atmosphere (as well as the good writing).

Those budgets are determined by advertising revenues and that becomes a vicious circle of looking for money and not paying attention to the show quality which loses viewership which loses money and on and on.

Oh for the golden years of the Sci-Fi channel (which still had some clunky programing flaws)

Maybe it will rebound. As with all things futuristic there is always tomorrow!
Matthew B
4. MatthewB
SyFy never liked Sci-Fi. They have been overtly distancing themselves from it since before they changed their name (contracted syfylis?) (Can you really blame them though? Even the publishing business would rather talk about Speculative Fiction and Genre Fiction than about Sci-Fi.)

SyFy likes money. Money comes from cheap bullshit "reality" shows and from Wrasslin. A business that caters to a small but consistent audience and makes a modest profit has no place in a world governed by megacorporation media conglomerates.
john mullen
5. johntheirishmongol
Eureka is probably the best show on SyFy, because it has the best characters. Warehouse 13 is just ok, though I do watch it. Tried watching Alphas but it was just too dull. SG:U was awful.
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6. Mary B.
It's pretty sad when other stations have more SciFi shows than SyFy. I like Eureka and Warehouse 13, but it's hard to let yourself get into a show when you know that more often then not, when it starts getting good it's going to be canceled. Very disappointed, indeed.
Michael Walsh
7. MichaelWalsh
Oh boy! Now there's room for shows like Wrestling With Ghosts !
Joseph Kingsmill
8. JFKingsmill16
Funny, my wife and I just watched the first disc of the first season of Eureka last week. We thought it was safe to watch because it was in its 4th/5th season. We won’t be watching anymore.

After what SyFail did with Farscape and then with SG:U and now with Eureka, how can anyone give any of their time to this channel? SyFail is more interested in shoving cheap reality programming down viewers throats than producing intelligent thought provoking entertainment.

I still watch Warehouse 13 even though it is a silly Friday the 13th the television series knock off. I enjoyed the way the characters were written in the first season and I keep watching it, hoping that they will go back to those interesting, multilevel characters. After WH13 is done I will forever be done with this channel.

I guess I should be grateful to the syfy network… I am so behind on my reading that now I will finally be able to start catching up again.

Bleep you SyFy, Craig Engler and anyone who watches Ghost Hunters honestly expecting to see real ghosts.
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9. cranscape
I don't mind shows ending, but at least give them a heads up so they can make a proper ending. They had them thinking they would get six more episodes. Since filming is done for this last season there isn't going to be the option for penning an ending. Shows can't go on forever, but you'd think for a longer running show like this the network would be able to plan for such a thing and see it through. This same thing happened to Farscape. Telling them they were renewed for two seasons, building a story for that time period, and then pulling it before the start of the final season. Bleh.
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10. mikers123
I don't think re boots of everything and having PRO WRESTLING on SyFy channel was what Sci FI luminaries like the late Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury and other genre masters had in mind when they endorsed the station in the beginning.
Now that we have our own "communicators" (cell phones) and the U.S. Space Program is closed until further notice, we can't dream anymore? Are Sci Fi and Fantasy just a dead genre and should we just build a special archive for all the "Law and Order" episodes out there instead
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11. Berthok
There are so many tv shows that end like this... My first experience with the perpetual cliffhanger was with The Pretender (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115320/). I believe tv show producers should be held accountable to end tv shows that they've begun.
Lance Weber
12. LanceWeber
We only DVR a small handful of "whole family watches" shows and Eureka was one of them, we're all sad to see the news.

In line with the inept management of the situation, notice that the @SyFy twitter account has gone silent today? Way to connect with the fanbase and be on top of the situation!
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13. kittent
crap!

Maybe Eureka could move to another station...I love it. I don't get the SYFY network' reasoning behind this stupid move.
marian moore
14. mariesdaughter
I tried watching “Warehouse 13”, but it has close to the same premise as the old "Friday the 13th" TV and I didn't care for that one either.

“Eureka” annoyed me; “Farscape” was too ridiculous. Being Human is not as gritty as the original. (What is it with American remakes that everyone has to be so nice? The same is true about the American version of "Top Gear")

I actually watch “Alphas”, but I won't cry if it is cancelled.

It's a pity. I was at the Worldcon where the SciFi channel was premiered. I remember when they had a talk show/news show where they actually talked about science fiction and interviewed writers. They lost their soul ages ago.
Joseph Kingsmill
15. JFKingsmill16
@ LanceWeber - The @SyFy twitter account was getting hit pretty bad back when they cancelled Caprica and SG:U. They ended up blocking thousands who were hash tagging the account and trying to trip up their new shows.

I can only imagine that they are in meetings all day trying to come up with a spin and a way to handle it better than they have done in the past.
James Whitehead
16. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
When I heard that there was going to be a cable channel devoted exclusively to science fiction I was thrilled. I envisioned reruns of all the old 50s & 60s tv shows; maybe Saturday morning monster movie marathons (Creature Double Feature, anyone?)

Unfortunately, the reality never matched up to my expectations - of course, to be fair, when does that ever happen? ;-)

However, I found Eureka quirky & fun although I didn't set my vcr/dvr by it. I never got into the Stargates after the original as I never found them as fun as the original. I loved Farscape and even enjoyed BSG for a time; although I did start rooting for the Cylons just to shut everybody up.

Sadly, however, the channel now has 'pro' wressling & ghost hunters ad nauseum; which are both cheaper to produce. The only thing we can do, as science fiction fans, is vote with our $$$ and not watch the channel anymore. Seems to be the only way to get anyone's attention these days.

Kato

PS - I also agree with the comments that it is rather pathetic that the best science fiction shows on tv today, and over the last 10 years or so, haven't been created/developed by the SciFi channel.
Ian Tregillis
17. ITregillis
I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who still mourns the abrupt death of Farscape. That one still stings, years later.

JFKingsmill16 @ 8:
I still watch Warehouse 13 I enjoyed the way the characters were
written in the first season and I keep watching it, hoping that they
will go back to those interesting, multilevel characters.

Amen to that. The best thing about the first season of that show was the character interactions. I loved it for that alone. And so, of course, they promptly scaled back on the great Pete/Myka interactions.

MariesDaughter@14:
I remember when they had a talk show/news show where they actually
talked about science fiction and interviewed writers. They lost their
soul ages ago.

I fondly remember those days. I still have a soft spot for FTL Newsfeed, too.
Michael Walsh
18. MichaelWalsh
Hey Berthok: Canceling a serial TV show before all is settled is old hat: Coronet Blue comes to mind. Boy, was I annoyed ...
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19. Robin A Burrows
Warehouse 13 got better when they started imitating Eureka a little more. The crossover episodes were especially interesting. The new cast member this season also helped balance the flat-ish main characters. I'm surprised it lasted past its first mediocre season.

Syfy didn't help their problems when they alienated their online viewers by deciding to wait until after this season ends to host episodes online on Syfy.com and Hulu.com. I don't know anyone who watches tv live these days. Everyone wants to watch shows on their own schedule.
Alain Fournier
20. afournier
The channel is run by a bunch of amateurs. Other channels have coproduction deals to spread the cost of ambitious production but these guys don’t seem to have heard of this. That would be one easy way to increase your original programming and lessen the risk.
They rather spend money on the utter garbage that is their Saturday bug/monster/shark movie of the week. It is pretty sad that the best SF or Fantasy on TV is outside of this channel.

A news/ variety program like G4’s Attack of The Show would be pretty cheap to produce an fill an hour a day but I suppose that actually would be embracing what your audience wants and that can’t happen on Syphilis .

The times I do flip through the channel I always see some ad for wrestling which I fail to see the appeal of or relation to SF. It is pretty sad that the best SF or Fantasy on TV is outside of this channel.
Emily Asher-Perrin
21. EmilyAP
For all those commenting on Farscape - oh, I am right there with you. I'm still not over that one. Not by a long shot. If I had my way, that show would still be on.
Joseph Kingsmill
22. JFKingsmill16
17. ITregillis

It is very hard to Pete and Myka's characters seriously since the first season. They are both suppossed to be Secret Service Agents. Which means they represent the very best of law enforcement. Now their characters act as if they are in a scooby doo episode. My wife made the comment to me last night that all she sees Myka doing is making stupid ""I'm clueless" faces and Pete acting like the class clown.

These things wouldn't be as annoying if the show started that way.
Joseph Kingsmill
23. JFKingsmill16
@EmilyAP - I think it is time for my own personal Farscape re-watch.
Alain Fournier
24. afournier
This might be heresy by I never did care for Farscape. Not to dearil this thread but where should start if I want to give it another chance?
James Whitehead
25. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@24.afournier, NetFlix is the best place that I know. You can stream all the episodes.

That's what I've been doing.

Kato
Joseph Kingsmill
26. JFKingsmill16
@afournier - I would start with episodes 1 "premier" and 7 "PK Tech Girl". I would then start watching the show from ep 10 "They've Got a Secret" on.

The problem you will have though is that on of Farscapes strengths is the fact that they did an incredable job of developing and growing the characters over the course of the series. You can see the go from disliking and distrusting each other to developing honest believable friendships.
Joe Vondracek
27. joev
It's interesting that both here and on other sites that are commenting about Eureka's fate, no one mentions Haven, which I find entertaining... I'm disappointed by this news about Eureka, although I haven't enjoyed the show as much since Stark left. He was such a great foil to Carter.

It took awhile, but most people are finally realizing that when Sci-Fi rebranded themselves to SyFy, what that stands for is Screw You, Frelling Yahoos.
Paul McCall
28. PaulMcCall
When SYFY (pronounced SIFFY) failed to pick up Doctor WHO (for whatever reason, be it their idiocy or BBC America wanting it exclusively) I cancelled our cable TV and started buying the few cable shows we wanted to continue watching on iTunes using the AppleTV unit. Now there will be one less show to which we can subscribe. No big whoop, more time to read real science fiction literature! And we've saved a lot of money!
EUREKA should not fall over themselves trying to wind up according to SYFY's schedule. Left dangling they may return for TV movies or another, more intelligent network (who picked up TORCHWOOD?), might offer to finance another season. Failing that there are novels or comics to keep it alive in some form. SYFY should not be catered to when they so obviously care nothing about the audience.
Emily Asher-Perrin
29. EmilyAP
@JFKingsmill16 - I rewatch that show probably every two years or so. I just can't go too long without seeing it. :)

@afournier - Here's the thing about Farscape: each season just sort of get exponentially better than that last. So in the first season lots of people turned it off because they were still finding their footing and working out the universe-building, which is sad because it got so good.

If you're interested in picking up where everything gets moving, I highly recommend starting with season 1 episode 19, "Nerve," which leads into the season finale (although "PK Tech Girl" and "They've Got A Secret" have important plot points for the season finale, and "A Human Reaction" becomes important later on). There are lots of fun episodes in season 1 that you might like and character building that happens in between, but the complex, tight plotting that ended up driving the show starts at the close of season 1.
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30. JTAustin
Not surprised at the news at all, but definitely disappointed. SG-1 was at least in their tenth year when they cancelled it, though it still provided some entertainment. Atlantis seemed to struggle a good bit, but like SG-1 was an often entertaining science fiction show. I started actually liking SG-U to the back half of season one and the first half of seasons two, but honestly haven't finished the episodes aired after cancellation. Everyone's commented pretty well on Farscape already.

I never really got into Caprica, but after the way SyFy treated that show and then SG-U, I was hesitant about even trying to get into another one of their shows. Still, Eureka (which I've watched since early on) was fun, and sadly enough probably the closest to 'hard science fiction' they had left. I've enjoyed the show, and it'd be nice if they would've at least stuck with their initial order of six wrap-up episodes.

Warehouse 13 is sometimes entertaining. I'm still giving Alphas a chance, but I gave up on Being Human about half way through the season and I may do the same with Alphas. But like others have said, I won't shed any tears if either are cancelled. The mythology Haven's building does still have my attention, but I see it on the chopping block before either W13 or Alphas, which is disappointing.

Either way, with their recent cancellations and their focus on 'reality' TV anymore, I think their days of counting me as a viewer are running out.
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31. ZCam
In addition to all the above, Alphas is a ripoff of Shadow Unit.
S Cooper
32. SPC
Eureka and Haven are just about the only shows I DVR anymore. I have a feeling there's something beyond just advertising budgets behind this cancellation. Maybe the actors want out? It's such an ensemble show it would be very hard to go on without some of the characters. It's something like their second most popular show . . . hard to imagine them canceling it without some kind of compelling reason. I'm very sad about this.
Nick Ickowicz
33. Nolder
I was done with SyFy when they didn't "buy" another season of SGU
it's been pretty obvious how they treat successful shows and loyal fans for awhile now (they didn't cancel it guys, just like they didn't cancel SGU, they just didn't "buy" another season. It's not their fault really!)

I thought shows like Ghost Hunters and Wrestling was supposed to be a neccessary evil so we could pay for our quality SciFi? So much for that...
Tara Mitchell
34. Jaxicat
It would be nice if someone would make a new science fiction channel. I don't watch very much tv anymore but I might if there was better stuff to watch. As for Syfy they should just get it over with, change their name to Spiffy and play reruns of Golden Girls and Threes Company.
Ryan Sweeney
35. sweeneyowns
this is ridiculous. there was a time when i had scifi on every single night. every week there was something to look forward to. i hated the when they went to syfy, we are science fiction fans and damn proud of it, even if the network is not. i only continued to watch for sgu which was ok and now that that is gone i can watch eureka and sanctuary when they get to netflix or hulu. i have not watched the channel in years. the last time i went to it it was all paid programing. SCI FI we miss you. RIP
TW Grace
36. TWGrace
I've always thought Eureka should have eneded after season 3.

They had brought it around to a nice stopping point, with multiple story lines tied up. Then they brought it back with the alternate timeline stuff, and the crossovers, I never could get back into it.
Ian Tregillis
37. ITregillis
JFKingsmill@22: Yep. I'm disappointed that they didn't see fit to keep the great dynamic between Pete & Myka at the center of the show. That's why I enjoyed the first season in spite of the silly premise. Now it's just lots of mugging.

@26: Yes! The growth and depth of the interpersonal relationships was one of the wonderful things about Farscape. It really was a show about family. Loved watching the evolution of the Crichton/D'Argo interaction.

EmilyAP@29: It was around "Nerve" that I first caught Farscape, in fact, and I was hooked but good. In addition to the tight plotting and the character stuff, I also loved the show because it respected the viewers' intelligence. It never held our hands, but instead trusted us to keep up.
Alain Fournier
38. afournier
Thanks everyone for the advice in regards to Farscape.
@25 Being in Bermuda Netflix is not an option. I just checked Amazon I see the complete series for about $53 and the Peacekeepers war for $10. I'll give them a shot.

I'll watch it the old fashion way.
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39. Harry Connolly
On Twitter, EUREKA producer Amy Berg has said that the show had a lot of support from SyFy, but that it was just too expensive for the corporate level above them.
S Barlow
40. Lizzibabe
No. Syfy doesn't like its fans. Back when they rebranded from SciFi to SyFy, a SyFy higher-up was caught on camera implying that SF fans are idiotic mouth-breathers. His entire attitude smacked of "Oh, we're just trying to get away from *those* people, if you know what I mean." I quit watching the channel long long ao.
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41. Lennie
Everytime I see SciFi's rebranded name, SyFy (sometimes referred to as SyFail), it always makes me think of Syphilis, the STD. I think the management's actions with this network is behaving exactly like that of an STD -- the early symptoms of SyFy's failure are innocuous, and by the time you notice there's a problem it's already eaten your brain.
Craig Piercy
42. cpiercy
On the other hand, there's lots of great sci-fi coming out in the traditional book (and not so traditional e-book) form. Lot's from our host Tor and some others.

I vote that we just turn off the TV and read :-)
Ashe Armstrong
43. AsheSaoirse
I've been marathoning Farscape on netflix lately. God I miss that show. I never did check out Eureka but it looked plenty interesting. Agreed with all the sentiments about Syfy having lost what it was.
john mullen
44. johntheirishmongol
I suspect cost had a lot to do with it. There were too many characters that had big story lines, that I can see why it got cost prohibitive. I don't necessarily blame SyFy for that...However, I do blame them for silly shows like Ghost Hunter and the other reality shows.
Aeria Lynn
45. aeria_lynn
FYI, Eureka got one additional episode to wrap up season five and provide an ending to the show.
Robbie Paixao
46. kenorob1
It is sad to see SyFy be so stupid. I wonder if USA would pick up the show? I just may have to ask them. I enjoy so few shows but I loved Eureka. It was the only reason I ever watched the channel. It needs a loving home!
marian moore
47. mariesdaughter
The USA network and SyFy are under the same management team. I doubt that they would pick Eureka up, but good luck!
h k
48. haridatti
ditto on how dumb of a move it is to prematurely cancel eureka. it is one of those few sci-fi shows the genuinely and easily has cross-market appeal... i mean, seriously, my mother likes it.

you would think this would be just the kind of show that executives at syfy / nbcuniversal would see value in. in a world where shows have second lives on dvd, hulu and netflix ques everywhere... you would think media executives would recognize the ongoing value of a loyal fanbase. i just can't imagine that the cost of fully completing the story arc, wouldn't be rewared by first-run and second run viewership.

scifi/syfy always had programming challenges... but i feel like with the nbcuniversal ownership they just made their overall suckiness more "slick". i look farther afield for my sci-fi fix these days... started watching misfits on channel 4 online way before it was put up on hulu. of course, now that it's on hulu they block u.s. viewing. sigh.
Anthony Pero
49. anthonypero
"I don't know anyone who watches tv live these days. Everyone wants to
watch shows on their own schedule."

This quote right here is exactly why shows like Eureka get cancelled. SyFy makes a pittance from online viewing. The only reason SyFy makes anything from online viewing is because their parent company is one of the owners of Hulu. SyFy's money comes from cable subscriptions and TV Advertisers. This is how they afford to pay for shows. SyFy gets nothing from DVD sales. SyFy gets nothing from iTunes and Amazon downloads. The production company gets that money, in addition to what SyFy pays them for the rights to air the show. It goes without saying that SyFy gets nothing for pirated content either.

"Wrassling" is immune to this sort of thing. Most reality programming as well. People who watch that stuff actually watch it on SyFy's network, most of the time as it airs. This is how SyFy makes money and can afford to pay for shows. Comcast and Time Warner will stop putting SyFy on 1st tier packages if they can't put viewers in front of TVs consistently, in real time.

And please don't give me Nielson crap. That doesn't matter for cable. With Digital set top boxes, the cable company knows exactly what you watch when. They don't make their decisions based on Neilsons, but on their own internal data, for which all subscribers are participating.

Is it any surprise that SyFy doesn't want to subsidize a product that doesn't make them any money?
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50. nin_shark
I used to check in w/ Scifi multiple times a day throughout my child/teen hood (couldn't trust our local tv guide to be accurate) and would always find something weird/awesome. Then all the programing turned into guys swindling money from people to tell them about ghosts and wrestling -- and that was before the name change.

Can't help but agree w/#42 cpiercy. Seems to me SyFy is the new FOX/History Channel/TLC...
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51. Suidae
This is why I've taken to refering to this network as the 'Mansquito Channel'.

I urge you all to do the same.
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53. c tl
I loved Sci-fi (stupid name change being ignored). What is with television these days? The only crap on is reality tv and again it is crap. You get a show on you like an get into watching only to have it cancelled and yet the shows that are real crap they keep around. Plus they drop it in a way that doesn’t allow for a well planned, laid out, and written up end to the show. The sci-fi channel should just change its name to piss poor b-rated movies, reality tv, and I don’t even know what since they drop all the good tv shows. Used to be the one thing you could say about the channel was that they knew how to do a television show right. Although they did keep flash the crap Gordon and dropped Dresden files. Which already showed they weren’t flying on all cylinders. Just one more reason to keep on channel surfing. If they make their money from people watching commercials, how does taking away good programming accomplish that goal when no one is watching the channel anymore.
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54. Katamari
I think most people (I may be overgeneralizing) agree that Eureka is better than Warehouse 13, but my question is, how long will Warehouse 13 live past Eureka? At this point, it seems that 1 in 4 Eureka or Warehouse episodes involve characters from the partner show showing up and being involved. So once the one dies off, will the other even be able to survive for long?
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55. Mooseunc
I haven't watched them for years. Loved the old shows they used to air, and the newer stuff that was SciFi, but it devolved and I would watch Friday night shows only, and those I started watching 'On Demand'. Then I found Hulu and ditched cable TV.

If they don't make much money from hulu, then they are making even less by pulling stupid crap (thanks to the real parent company Comcrap) of airing the shows after the season ends, or on a 30 day delay, ala Burn Notice (another great show getting screwed). Fans loose intrest and don't watch, or watch in a format where the company sees no revenue.

I'm guessing we are intering into the dark ages of programing until these companies find out how to make money online. Customers are enjoying 'watch what you want, when you want, and with less commercials' from online or 'On demand/DVR' sources. Traditional cable TV is the opposite.
Scott Wade
56. Lyinar
At least Eureka will have all the great shows that Siffy murdered before it to keep it company in the TV-show Afterlife.


The management of Siffy has been stupid for quite some time. They got rid of MST3K just three seasons after bringing it back from the dead. They screwed over Farscape. The Dresden Files should have been better and could have gone on longer. They managed to rally for a while when they got the rights to Stargate and not only produced half of the main show's eventual seasons, but created two spinoffs, at least one of which was good (sorry, have only seen a couple of episodes of Universe, and didn't like it all that much). They managed to get the rights to air Doctor Who in the US. They brought about the remake of Battlestar Galactica, which was apparently good from what I've heard. They created original series like Eureka. Hell, they made a Dune miniseries that was vastly better than Lynch's insane movie, and managed to stun the world with the fact that the Sci-Fi Original Picture sequel to the Dungeons and Dragons movie was actually DECENT!

And now, they screwed up horribly somehow and completely lost the rights to Doctor Who, killed all three Stargate series, brought BSG to its utterly WTF ending and made and then cancelled a prequel, and now they're killing Eureka, to my knowledge the last show they still had from the days when Sci-Fi Fridays were an awesome thing.

I am now no longer remotely remorseful that I stopped watching the channel, and now the only source of regret for my lack of cable TV is not being able to see Mythbusters right when the episodes air.
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57. Smithcraft
Wasn't it obvious that they were going down hill when they started showing wrestling instead of science fiction related content? How many years ago was that?

SC
Anthony Pero
58. anthonypero
Once again, SyFy is a business. They exist to make money, not TV Shows. The only reason they would do what they have done is because the profit margin is higher and the risk is substantially lower for the "crap" they have begun to air. I agree with the previous poster who stated we are about to enter a "Dark Age" for television. That this is coming on the heels of what is arguably the greatest age in TV history just makes it worse.

Bottom line: SyFy isn't NBC. They have to make money NOW, or they get their budgets slashed. Which is what has happened.
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59. Vamp
I used to watch SciFi all the time. I don't even bother to go on Syfy anymore. I might scan the line up but I know it's worthless. Nothing is science fiction anymore.

I rather either go to paid tv channels or read a good book. At least on fearnet you have your choice of horror or scifi.

Gone are the days of good science fiction. I looked forward to Friday and Saturday watching grade B movies or just good ole fashion science fiction movies.

Now a days I do Starz, Showtime beyond, or BBC, shoot even Encore has a scifi spot.

Syfy is gone and the sooner the producer of the channel find that out the better. Who in their right mind put wrestling on that channel, I can say one thing it sure is fantasy.... and definitely not of this world!!! How much reality tv can one person watch. Are people life that boring they have to watch other people be stupid and actually pay for it.
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60. ShannonFiction
I don't know what p*sses me off more about network or cable TV... The fact that network executives killed all the really good shows before they could develop an effective fan base, or that they bring the good shows to an end before the storylines have got in a fairly decent amount of material underneath their wings for syndication.

Oh well, here is to the fan fiction fans and the stories that they write and post to the Internet and the continuation novels that they're able to get license for the show series.

Here's to the fans.

May you all keep up the great work where possible.
Michael Poteet
61. MikePoteet
Great to see all the Farscape love. Maybe Tor.com could do a Farscape rewatch (if there hasn't been one done already), along the lines of the ongoing Trek rewatches? Keith wrote some really good Farscape novels, after all, and he's already here, so I'm sure in his spare time....!

If you ask me, "the sci-fi channel" on TV today goes by the name of BBC America :-)
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62. David J Rust
But I think this trend goes back a long while...

"LEXX", "Invisible Man", "the Chronicle", "Mystery Science Theater 3000".

I keep coming away from reading article about the SF channel's executives imagining them as nothing more than timid, little rabbits who are strictly making decisions based upon revenue and not a joint look at both revenue, quality, and customer loyalty. Trust me: losing sight of that last one has killed much better companies than SyFy.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
63. tnh
Anthony Pero, do you know this about their finances, or are you speculating?

Obviously, a business has to make money; but we've all seen TV networks pull dumb moves that can't have enhanced their profitability.
Steve Hussey
64. deihbhussey
This definitely sucks. Many of the sci fi show's are definitely guilty pleasures for me, but I thought Eureka was a cut above shows like Warehouse.

That said, IMO, so is Alphas. It's not just another regurgitated superhero show. They actually added a number of cool twists to the superhero powers without using cgi. They are also very tastefully done and the show is wonderfully shot. The super strong guy gets his power from his body pumping a high amount of adrenalin, however, the off shoot is he's only strong for a couple of minutes and then he can die if he doesn't calm down. The super sence girl can see/hear/smell things so acutely that when she's focusing down to a microscobic level she can't hear or see anything going on around her so you could walk right up and shoot her in the head. Basically, each power comes with a negative and I love how they show it.

The pilot is a bit rough but overall the writing has also been really good and some great acting by David Strathairn really pulls the show together.

I've read some people saying negative things but I think that's nuts and I hope Alphas doesn't go the way of Eureka (though I guess I would be somewhat happy if it goes 5 seasons).
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65. DLC
Whenever I turn on my television, it lists whatever show is showing and the time it shows. The key word here is that it shows Paid Programing. Most of the shows that are paid programing, the executives of SyFy do not have to pay for, it is paid to them for airing the shows. In other words, no outlay of money, but plenty of income. Shows a profit, they keep their jobs. Sci-fi programing is "RISK", they have to layout money, and then take a chance on a return income.
Someone said that Sci-Fi fans are "idiotic mouth breathers"? In the world of finance, profit is god. If you are not making a profit, you are not the top dog (dog spelled backwards is god). Most Sci-Fi and Fantasy fans tend to be idealistic, believing in a better world or that good will overcome evil or incredible worlds beyond, and big business does not deal well with idealists.
Backers of the original Sci-Fi channel were not interested in Sci-Fi, but in making a profit. Sci-fi and fantasy are big money, but only in the big theater, where it is pay per view. Most of the money making movies are either Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror or Super Heroes, all of which were within the purview of Sci-Fi Channel. I am afraid the only way SyFy channel will ever become popular again or have good programing is if they were to be a direct pay-per-view channel and show a tangible profit. Then maybe they would be willing to put out some money to make money. Maybe?????
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67. emeraldcite
It's strange that Syfy has gotten away from good programming.

HBO is getting great mileage from Game of Thrones. AMC has Walking Dead. There's good material out there to be had (Locke & Key, perhaps? Pick up Firefly?).

Shows like Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Tales from the Dark Side were great from a writing standpoint and did things on a low, low budget.

I'd rather see a smartly written film with few effects than the crap they put together like the Sharktopus versus Octoshark junk.

It's strange: B movies were fun because the directors were usually trying to make a good film. Syfy is actually trying to make B movies, but they miss the mark by trying to be B movies instead of trying to be good movies that get some kind of cult status. Usually, being a little innovative and clever goes a long way... too bad.
Becky Hantsbarger
68. BeckyIA
I'm so glad to see the Farscape love too. I miss that show! And why is it that Syfy (I really DISLIKE typing that!) can turn out relatively decent (or even, dare I say it? brilliant) series, but the made for SyFy movies are the absolute worst? I can never decide if they're supposed to comedies or tear-jerkers for the bad acting.

Pulling the plug on Eureka is just another example of far SyFy has fallen. And I don't want to go down with them.
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69. Beesting
I have to admit, I was very disappointed to hear that Eureka is being cancelled. I really enjoy the series. In fact, it is the best Syfy series besides Haven. It is a fun show and it is nice and refreshing that it doesn't involve people being graphically murdered then watching them be dissected. The question that came to my mind is why Syfy first of all put Eureka on a Monday night. The line up should have been Eureka, Warehouse 13, and Haven on a Friday night instead of wresling. There is nothing good on TV Friday or Saturday nights for that matter. AND I'm a little confused as to how wresling belongs on a Syfy channel. Yes...I know it is all about money, but I think the fans should have a say. And I agree with the comments above, Alphas is horrible.
Anthony Pero
70. anthonypero
tnh@63

I know that reality TV costs a lot less to make than a scripted show like Eureka. That puts the risk to reward factor much higher. A network can only take so many risks. There is no risk in most reality fare. It is profitable. When it's not, its' really, really, really easy to replace. So the formula tends to be have fewer scripted shows, expose yourself to less risk, make a baseline of profitability for your network. As Syfy increases their reality or really, really budget programming (like ghost hunters), they may be losing overall viewership, but they are massively lowering their risk as well. For a marginal network like SyFy, I'm sure their parent company finds that an acceptable tradeoff.

EDIT: To more properly answer your actual question, I am speculating on SyFy's actual financial situation. I have no knowledge other than what is generally available on the internet regarding NBCUniversal's and the industry as a whole's lower profits the last 4 years or so.
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71. Therese S.
I'm old school, relatively speaking, and I have been wondering for quite some time why my movie club newsletter seems to have no lack of SciFi-ish movies, but very few of them make it to the SciFi channel, oops, I mean "SyFy".

If the channel cannot put on SciFi, then it has no business pretending to be a science fiction genre channel.

As for cancellations, I would like ALL the channels properly end their series, not drop them abruptly. It's very annoying otherwise.
If they don't make money on DVD sales, then that's their fault for bad negotiations over rights.
Anthony Pero
72. anthonypero
SyFy can hardly be said to have abruptly pulled the plug on Eureka. It's final episode will not air for almost 11 months after the announcement was made. Eureka's unique production schedule means they were almost done filming the final 13 episodes already, however, which is why SyF ordered an extra episode, to allow the writers to wrap up some things without having to reshoot a bunch of episodes.
clifford gibson
73. cpgibson007
I agree change the name of network from syfy or sci fi channel to wrestling ghost hunters international. Indeed since sci fiction shows are cancelled.
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74. TonyFromTheBronx
The Sci Fi Channel.... Hahaha yeah right... Are they kidding? Who the
hell do they think they're fooling. Between the joke that is wrestling
being pushed as "Sci Fi" and the morbidly gross garbage of endlessly
paraded horror that shows a bunch of twenty something snot nosed yuppie kid actors "pretending to torture" each other grew up with the original Star Trek Television show of the 1960's and am old enough to have been fortunate to see it first run (no reruns).

So perhaps I hold directors producers writers to a higher standard than those that DARE to pass themselves off as "professionals" today.



And while we are at it, what the hell is going on with the cancellation
of "Eureka"? Have they completely lost their minds? Is the management of The Sci Fi Channel that incompetent that they feel it is wise to cancel every show that turns out to be a hit simply to sell more ad space to market fake wrestlers sweating like pigs pretending to throw each other around?



Apparently they do, since they seem to have not only sold, but marketed away their credibility with the legitimate Sci Fi community. As far as I am concerned, they are nothing more now than a half assed cut rate mediocre laughable has been tv channel that I now frankly find less interesting than the "Weather Channel"



I will find my Sci Fi elsewhere from now on. I by the way am a big fan
of the tv show "The Walking Dead" (which airs in North America on
Sunday nights on AMC Network). Now that says allot coming from me since I do not usually get in to Zombie flicks (much less a tv show about Zombies) that much. But surprisingly enough to me I found myself liking it. I found the characters multi dimensional.



Not just the same old predictable characters who's actions and dialog
you can see coming a mile away. So my hat's off to them and any other
channel that is willing to pick up the slack. Thank you HULU and SHAME ON YOU Sci Fi Network.
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75. TonyFromTheBronx
Well apparently this new feed edits what you can post for you. A portion
of what I posted mysteriously disappeared after I posted it. Sad to say
my commentary now seems nonsensical. Well here was the portion that did
not make it. And if it doesn't show up this time I know that censorship
is running rampant on this feed.

Here is a portion of the
missing text, perhaps it will make sense now:

"The Sci Fi
Channel.... Hahaha yeah right... Are they kidding? Who the

hell do they think they're fooling. Between the joke that is wrestling

being pushed as "Sci Fi" and the morbidly gross garbage of endlessly

paraded horror that shows a bunch of twenty something snot nosed yuppie
kid actors "pretending to torture" each other.

I unfortunately
just tuned in to see one guy being forced to amputate a
finger of some college aged looking woman under threat of impending
death (they had him at gunpoint).

I am left to wonder, why do I
even bother to watch what has turned out to be total crap. I am and have
been an avid sci fi fan for a long time. I grew up with the original
Star Trek Television show of the 1960's and am old enough to have been
fortunate to see it first run (no reruns). So perhaps I hold directors
producers writers to a higher standard than
those that DARE to pass themselves off as "professionals" today."
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77. dead thing 66
i dont kno guys? personaly i think syfy sux now! PLEAZE! hollywood treasure, wrestlin, and who can resist ghost humpers......... JEESHE! Think i'd rather jump in a pool full of double edged razor blades........ NAKED! rather than sit through that shanola. I miss the old days when you could count on sumthing worthy to watch a couple times a week. RIP scifi. You are truly missed.
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78. HLN
It figures. A show I finally like and consider real SciFy and not horror and they cancel it. The characters are so engaging, much like the original Star Trek was. You begin to believe that they are your buddies and become so familiar and likeable. It had the perfect mix of humor, personalities, psychology and science. Loved it!
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79. BestshowsinceTNG
Honestly this is so annoying. Eureka is easily the one the best shows I have seen since Star Trek: TNG and DS9. Amazing writing and acting. I have not cared about any characters in a show in the longest time untill Eureka. It is a travesty to hear how this show was canceled. I will be following the makers and most of the actors from this show as long as they are around in the industry. I also tried watching warehouse 13 after I heard about it watching Eureka and im sorry but I couldn't watch more than 5 or 6 episodes before I couldn't handle watching the 2 main characters anymore. Felt like a soulless rip off of Eureka to me.
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80. Sheila C.
...and now they're cancelling Warehouse 13. This is their final season.

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