Saying goodbye to Eureka

Last year, my friend Amy told me she was moving from writing Leverage to writing Eureka. She asked me if I was interested in playing a scientist who was kind of a jerk. I said "yes" as fast as I could, and ended up playing Doctor Isaac Parrish for seven of the ten episodes in season 4.5. When season 5 was announced, I was invited back for more, and I said "yes" even faster this time, violating several laws of physics that I made up for the occasion.

Late last night, my Twitter exploded with people who were furious at the network formerly known as Sci-Fi for canceling Eureka. I figured that these people were talking about the news from last week, where we thought the show would have a six episode sixth season (that we would film in October), to end its run … but it was unlikely that dozens and then hundreds of people would be spontaneously upset about news that was a week old all in the same few minutes, so I did a little digging on the googles.

It turns out that the network formerly-known as Sci-Fi changed its mind, and took back the six episode sixth season. Eureka will have to wrap up season five and the entire series with the episode that starts filming on Thursday. I know they'll have to do some rewriting, so I'm hopeful that Bob Newhart is available.*

At this point, I know as much as you do, because I found out the same way you did. I'm trying really hard not to be upset with the network for issuing a statement to the press before the cast knew, so we wouldn't have to find out the way we did; as you can imagine, it isn't exactly easy.

Jaime and Bruce (the show's executive producers) called me shortly after the news broke, to thank me for being part of the show, and tell me how sad they were that it was over. I could tell that they were as shell-shocked as I was. I feel comfortable telling the public what I told them: I'm proud of Eureka. I think it's an incredible show, and while I'm sad for them to lose something they've been working on for so long, I'm selfishly sad that I won't get to work with this cast and crew any more. Eureka is a tremendously fun show to make, and from the very first time I set foot on the set, the cast and crew made me feel like I was part of their family. To have that taken away so soon after it began makes me profoundly sad; I can feel the loss in my heart and what would be my soul if I had one and wasn't made of pure beardstuff from the sixth dimension.

At the same time, I'm grateful that I'm sad, because if I wasn't, that would mean I never had any good times working on the show. You know that thing they say about loving what you do means it isn't really work? Well, I've been lucky enough to feel that way on four different shows for the last several years, and Eureka is the one I've been able to call home the longest.

Please join me in thanking Amy Berg, Jaime Paglia, Bruce Miller, Matt Hastings, Todd Sharp, all the Eureka Writers, and especially the cast and crew for letting me visit their town and work for GD, even if it was only for a short time. I've had a wonderful time, bringing a great character to life with actors I love and respect. I've made friendships that will last the rest of my life, and done work that makes me genuinely proud.

Goodbye, Eureka. I have been, and always will be #TeamParrish.

*Kids, ask your parents.

 

152 thoughts on “Saying goodbye to Eureka”

  1. Well,Mr.Wheaton,you can now say you’ve been on a show that shouldn’t have been cancelled.You join a long and industrious list,since all the best shows get cancelled.I’m starting to wonder if networks just cancel shows once they get too good,because it makes the rest of mainstream entertainment look bad or something.
    Did they say why they were cancelling it?And wasn’t Firefly cancelled by The Network Formerly Known AS SciFi?Just tell people you were on a really good how on that network that people loved and it got cancelled and everybody was upset.

  2. I read it yesterday on the web – Eureka has been cancelled. I really feel devastated. It is my favourite show and I love watching it. I really gonna miss Carter, Allison, Henry, Fargo and of course Dr. Isaac Parrish … gonna convince hubby to install S.A.R.A.H.-like AI in our home to make up for the loss …

  3. It’s really getting old seeing tired reality-TV crap (all of it) go on forever and seeing smart, funny, clever, interesting shows go four or five “seasons” or less and disappear.
    FlashForward — gone. V — gone. Caprica — gone. Numbers — gone. The Lone Gunmen — gone. Harsh Realm — gone. Greg The Bunny — gone. Firefly — gone. Raines — gone. Now Eureka — gone. I’m down to Warehouse 13 and Falling Skies now.
    I need TV — and I would love to bask in its glowing warm warming glow — but I’m starting to get the impression that TV doesn’t need me as much as I need it.

  4. So sorry to see Eureka go! But not surprised. Nothing to do with the show, the show is great. It’s the idiots at Scyfy or whatever they changed their name to. That was the first sign that they really didn’t care enough about sci-fi to keep it as their name. Then there’s the way they treated Firefly! Then there’s the inclusion of wrestling and way too much “reality” shows. So there’s really no surprise that a good sci-fi show like Eureka would get the axe, it doesn’t fit into their format* any more. So now they’ll loose another few hundred thousand viewers and when they cancel Warehouse 13 they’ll loose a few hundred thousand more. Then they’ll wonder why nobody is tuning in to Scyfy?
    It’s a real pity that we have to suffer the loss of such an entertaining show just because the ScyFy channel** decides it doesn’t want it any more.
    *ScyFy format: reality, cheap, easy, and brainless
    **Pronounced: a bunch of idiots we could do without!

  5. I’m going to miss watching all the gang on Eureka. It’s one of the few smart, funny and well done shows on TV anymore. I am certainly going to regret not getting the chance to watch Parrish grow with the main characters. He may be a dick, but he’s still relatable, and (I may be reading too much into it) a little insecure under all the brains and bluster.
    This isn’t going to stop me from being angry with Syfy and their parent company about how it all went down though. That was inexcusable.
    Thank you, Wil, (and everyone else who works on the show) for all your hard work and all the joy, laughter and tears you’ve given us. Thanks for the opportunity to join you in that neat little world that made up Eureka.

  6. I just finished watching the HBO Documentary: “No Contract No Cookies” about the Stella D’Oro factory in New York City. A wonderful mom-and pop organization that hit the big time, until the company was sold to a private equity firm. The firm asked for 30% wage cuts and other benefits concessions from the workers who struck for almost a year, sued for bargaining in bad faith and won.
    The company closed the factory.
    So Will’s and Kerri’s posts reminded me a lot of that.

  7. WW
    I’ve never watched Eureka but I’ve watched your enjoyment of being on the show. My only question: does this make you regret having to get a theatrical agent again?
    Keep actively acting… Your writing has a new depth because you have new experiences.

  8. I’ll be happy to use both barrels on this one.
    Wil, you’re fun to watch and Eureka, along with Warehouse 13 brings joy to me and my wife. SCI-FI has hosted many fun and worthy SCI-FI and fantasy shows throughout the years. What happened to the network? Was it taken over by greedy neocon Shrub-ites a few years ago?
    Listen, our group of caring, intelligent, fun-loving people are way more important than the low-lifes that now run this network. They put on shows that cater to the lowest levels of human behavior and abuse all others who want to do something fun and valuable in their lives. I hope they have their livelihoods ruined and they loose their income just like they have done to others but in a more dramatic and heart-wrenching fashion. May the network be broken up ala ZDNet/TechTV so that another, better group can start a new network that cares about its audience, rather than insult them and take them for granted, that will host intelligent, well-written and funny SCI-FI and fantasy shows (and my own guilty pleasure, grade-z paeans to 50′s sci-fi/fantasy movies) and not put on schlock, faux entertainment with people pumped up on drugs or using prestidigitation to fool the audience into believing lies.
    The jerk running the network and his sycophants deserve nothing good but instead should be thrown out of their livelihoods. They only thing lower than them are the neocon rabble hijacking America, which they probably support.
    Long Live Sci-Fi. Let this be the end of SyFy.

  9. Wil,
    It has been fun to watch you and Eureka. SCI-FI has supported many worthwhile, fun to watch, intelligent SCI-FI and fantasy shows throughout the years. What happened to the network? Was it taken over by some greedy neocon jerks?
    For whatever reason, we now have a network that insults its audience, puts worthless crap on the air that caters to the lowest levels of human existence. These people are bad people and should have the network taken from them, removing their livelihood in much the way they put others out of work. They network should then be drawn and quartered, figuratively, along with the head of the network and his sycophants. The only lower people are corporate neocon robber barons (there’s a lot of them around now) and not by much.
    After the network is dismantled, much like ZDNet/TechTV, then another will come along, whether that be traditional or internet (if the corporations haven’t monopolized the that), and once more support quality programming. Frankly, we are worth more than any corporate low-lifes like those at SyFy now. We deserve better, and in the fullness of time, we’ll get it and they’ll get their comeuppance.

  10. This is why I stopped watching Sci-Fi. They KEEP doing this. Instead of putting on shows that’ll get ratings they put on wrestling and ‘Mosquitoes VS Cobra’

  11. I was shocked when I read this morning of Eureka’s cancelling but then I thought about it a little. the second half of S4 really has felt terribly like “we took a break to get some new storyline because we were desperate and came up with this space thingy – ok?” so, meh, maybe better it goes out now rather that suffering a long drawn out death over another season.
    But yeah, not good for the workers and cast to find out this way/

  12. If it weren’t for all the copyrighted material, I’d say lets start a kikstarter page to at least finance a few webisodes to give us fans closure.
    Sadly, I doubt it could happen.
    G!

  13. I recently referred to SyFy as Bye-bye Fy. Now that the Star Trek family of shows are on Netflix, I can leave SyFy to wrestling fans and ghost hunters.
    If and when SyFy gets back to programming quality shows on a par with Battlestar Galactica, I’ll be back.

  14. Sigh…
    I heard, along with you and everyone else in the cast and crew, on Twitter the other night. (That’s total crap! You guys should not have to find out that way.) I’ve sent my condolences and my support to everyone there several times, but I send it here, as well. I’m sad to see Eureka go, but I’ll be with you until the end. And beyond, if such a thing should happen. It’s not over just yet for us viewers, and I’m confident that if anyone can manage some sort of miracle actual finale out of two days of rewrites, the crew at Eureka can do it.
    See you next week, Dr. Parrish!
    Oh, and PS, our house now leaves the Network Formerly Known as Sci-Fi in the dust, too. It was our last holdover. And the reason we stayed at all after the name change.

  15. I just found Eureka this summer. Some friends of mine own the series on DVD and said that I should check it out. I’m glad I did. It’s one of the few shows out there that my 10 year old daughter and I can both enjoy together. We’ve had a great time this summer watching the series. I am so disapointed that it hasn’t been picked up for another season. I will join all the online forums and petitions to save the show, but I would like to say thank you to everyone involved with the series. It was fun and we’re really going to miss it.
    Jenn & Lila

  16. I think it is a sign of times driven more by the overwhelming desire to make money than to produce quality entertainment. Granted, they can’t exactly make shows without the green stuff, but these half seasons to me are less about generating a following and more about putting one’s toes in the water ready to whip them right out again should the temperature prove to be too cold. It’s a darned shame because it will see the death of many more great (or potentially great) shows before they start to see a problem with the strategy.

  17. Yes… Well Wil thank you and the rest of the cast of Eureka very much. Just like many other commenters; this show has been one of few Sci-Fi shows that I could enjoy with my non-geeky wife. I only hope that we can find something next year that can replace a show as extraordinary, though I will not try to find it on Siffy, I feel twice burned.
    It has only been the last few years that I have really looked at the production(actor/writer/producer) side of TV and Movies. Previously I had only been a consumer, interested geekily in the how, but not the who did it. The Twitters has made it easier to understand the people behind the characters. I now realize how many people it takes to put the personality on screen.
    I also agree with the other commenters that a TRUE SCI-FI Network would be nice to have. One that would aim to provide the fans with quality Sci-Fi entertainment.
    I look forward to watching my favorite actors portray new characters, and dig into the essence created by my newly favorite writers and producers. I wish all of you, as I did/do the cast and crew of my last favorite SG:U and WH13 a very fruitful future.
    Yours in humble admiration,
    Jeff

  18. Make sure that they don’t just write over an old military program like Fargo did. I wonder if @neilgrayston would be willing to do a voice recording for it. He will need a job soon.

  19. It’s a show about Geeks for Geeks. Many Geeks are ahead of the curve and have cut the cable cords already. If SyFy would release the episodes of their shows in a timely manner on-line, they would probably have a better count of viewers. Instead, those who have cut the cords and want to watch the show may use torrents instead of proper channels. In doing that those views won’t count towards ratings. You are talking about a show catered to people who know the difference between a CPU and a computer case. I have enough patience to wait for Hulu, but my view won’t count till October for an episode long past.
    It’s time for these companies to stop holding everyone back from the progress that’s coming anyway. They’re now killing one great show after another because they refuse to lead the charge into on-line media. I believe the viewers are there and willing to watch commercials. They just refuse to pay cable companies to do it.

  20. I’m so sad and mad to hear this news. I’m sorry but thankful to all of the cast and crew for such a terrific show. Doesn’t SyFy(*patooie* *patooie*) know most of it’s viewiership watch it for its shows. NOT for wrestling (which I still can’t figure why that’s even ON that network). #syfysucks #damnthenetworksaveeureka.

  21. I am unhappy that Eureka is being Cancelled.
    Eureka was the only show I can watch on the Network formerly known for Sci-Fi but now well known for Wrastlin,Bad Movies,Reality Shows, and lots of shows that are now cancelled.
    Bye Bye Sci-Fi Channel.We lost you years ago and now you are truly gone.

  22. I am unhappy that Eureka is being Cancelled.
    Eureka was the only show I can watch on the Network formerly known for Sci-Fi but now well known for Wrastlin,Bad Movies,Reality Shows, and lots of shows that are now cancelled.
    Bye Bye Sci-Fi Channel.We lost you years ago and now you are truly gone.

  23. We just started watching it and are literally, on the 3rd episode of the first season. At least we have a ways to go and can enjoy it for a while, but it sucks to get invested in a show that is actually GOOD and know it’s said and done and once you make it to the last episode, there’s not another season waiting around the corner. I suppose some completely fabricated ghost hunter show will takes it’s place or probably another “reality” show featuring a bunch of brats that are proud to be the race they are yet know absolutely nothing about that races background and culture. I like fiction that claims to be fiction, not fiction that claims to be reality.

  24. So, Comcast is at fault. I’m not surprise and am chagrined by my mention of their TechTV ruination on this forum.
    Can anyone doubt that such big mergers are bad for society, anti-American, anti-Freedom, and especially anti-spreading-the-wealth? Yes, but only if you’re the uber-rich and are in on the take.
    All such mergers should be stopped and should have been for the last 20 some years but the fix is in, which is why they haven’t been stopped. And unless you’re uber-rich, the fix isn’t for you!
    Syfy – you suck. Comcast – you’re evil.

  25. I am shocked, I say, shocked. No, not really. I was highly reluctant to watch Eureka or Warehouse 13 to begin with, even when my family was saying “These are really good!” My response: “Five words: Secret Adventures of Jules Verne. Two more words: The Chronicle. One word: Farscape. Should I go on?” But I caved. And lo and behold, I was right all along.
    And kids, if your parents don’t know, either, go watch “The Librarian.” Then go download “The Best of the Button-Down Mind.”

  26. There are so many things to say; here are just a few:
    Wil, thanks for Parrish. I’m sorry we won’t have a chance to get to know him better. We have enjoyed your post-TNG work, in Leverage and Numb3rs, especially. Good luck in landing on your feet.
    Eureka was one of the few shows that my family and I could instantly agree to watch. I am a child of the 50s (born in the geeky IGY), my wife a child of the 60s, and my son has just turned 20 and graduated from UC Berkeley. We have watched and loved the show since episode one. Such broad appeal across the age ranges is rare, and SyFy makes a mistake to trade it for a handful of beans (for the suits to count).
    Either SyFy is as evil and clueless as Comcast has shown themselves to be, time and again, or they were simply in dire financial straits, in danger of disappearing themselves (which might be a good idea). I remember watching a CSPAN panel discussion taped in Washington a few years ago — I think at a National Association of Broadcasters meeting or something similar. The guy representing Comcast kept talking about “extracting revenue from households.” I know something about corporate culture. If THIS was their representative, I reasoned, and he couldn’t refrain from using such terms in public — seeming rather proud of the company’s plans to increase “extraction,” actually — then the whole place must be crammed full of pirates, sharks, and shysters. I haven’t seen anything in the few years since to make me change my mind. So, if that’s the case, then SyFy is under a LOT of pressure.
    Fans of Eureka ought to have a contest for the best “there never was a eureka” ending. There have been postings here referencing Newhart, and St. Elsewhere, the latter especially apt because Eureka has its own autistic kid who could be dreaming about the whole thing. How about the Bobby Ewing ending: Allison gets out of the shower and goes back into the bedroom to find … Stark still in bed! Or the Wizard of Oz ending, with Carter waking up after being knocked unconscious at a crime scene and recognizing members of the support squad and paramedics attending him: “You were there, and you, and you…” (But who would be Toto? Vince?) Or the Matrix ending (“Red or Blue pill, Fargo?”) Or the holodeck historical recreation ending (loved ya, “Enterprise”). Or the Life on Mars (American) ending? Or the closed-the-timeloop-back-in-on-ourselves-and-disappeared ending? Or the … or the … well, you get the picture. I’m sure the contributors here can come up with at least ten or twenty more. Maybe a grand mashup of ALL such endings as a loving tribute to Eureka and all the SF that came before.
    Finally, the question of what comes next for SyFy? Wait for it … Law & Order: Uranus.

  27. Interesting thoughts. I have been feeling for some time that we could resolve a number of distribution problems by having program producers create an “official,” checksummed package for each episode of their programs, including commercials, in high-resolution format (e.g., .mkv). Then, reserving all other rights, the producers would encourage one and all to download and repost the ORIGINAL file (with commercials and other inserts, no modifications at all) as much and as often as possible, for free. If they must, the rightsholders can unleash the legal dogs on anyone who created or circulated an “unofficial” version (e.g., without commercials or including different commercials), but leave everyone else alone. The sponsors would get innumerable opportunities for their messages to be seen, the programs would be free to “go viral” and find their proper audiences, and perhaps some privacy-preserving way to estimate viewership could be found to help producers know what to charge sponsors, and sponsors to know how many pairs of eyeballs they get for their dollars spent on any particular program.
    The whole strong-arm approach to copyright enforcement is wrongheaded, greedy, and corrosive, imho — ultimately self-defeating. On the other hand, creators need to get paid, especially those who produce niche or small-audience programming. I’d like to see industry people try more sincerely to find ways to fix the problem, instead of ways to rope more people into “captive audiences,” from which ever more revenue is “extracted.”
    I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being expected to pay for some entertainment industry middle manager’s cocaine habit, wife’s spa treatment, daughter’s orthodontia, and son’s college tuition at Party U. Perhaps the scheme described above, or something similar, can eliminate enough of the middle-men so that quality programs of at least Eureka-caliber can be produced on much smaller budgets, allowing a sponsorship-and-free-electronic-distribution business model to work out for everyone involved.

  28. Wil,
    I’m just heartbroken for you and everyone involved with the show. What a lousy way to hear about it!
    I’m just devastated at the news. I wait and wait all year long for new episodes and savor them when they finally arrive. I feel like I’ve been robbed! :^(
    ~Jen Henderson

  29. I have to admit, it seems like a lot of networks out there are doing really crappy things to popular TV shows. You have SEE-FEE who just up and cancels a show without proper notice, and you have ABC who is not only getting rid of their three soap operas, but has the gall to actually promote their new replacement show IN THE SAME TIME SLOT.

  30. I’m confused how they go about canceling great shows like Eureka and put on crap like WWF wrestling. It’s suppose to be a science fiction channel, right? I still miss Dresden Files, which also was canceled abruptly. Maybe the time slot is going to be replaced with WWF in Space.

  31. Eureka has always been an incredible show, and I am glad that we at least get season 5 before it goes off the air for good. You and the entire rest of the cast should be proud of the well rounded and wholesome characters you have developed and made so many of us care about over the years. I’m very glad you joined the show, and I look forward to seeing all your remaining episodes in the year to come. Also, good luck on the wrap up episode! I’m sure I will enjoy it.

  32. meh, syfy stinks. I’ve given up on trying to watch the channel and just wait for episodes of whatever I want to appear online. Sad they’re ignoring such a loyal fanbase as the sci fi community, but there you are.

  33. I enjoyed the whole Parrish/Fargo dynamic so much, thank you Wil. I have blogged and tweeted and raged about this cancellation and Caprica for so long….sigh. I get that the shows may have been a bit expensive to produce and I further get that the channel is in itself a bidness as we say here in Texas..but…come on…Wrestling ? Still…really ?
    The SciFi channel was the reason I got cable in the first place, and sadly now with the exception of a few shows( What’s left of Eureka, Warehouse 13, Haven and Alphas ) it is my last choice as a channel to watch.
    Waving from Houston..

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