I really miss this place

 

image from i.imgur.com

I took this picture on one of the last days of production.

Whenever I watch Eureka this season, and I see an advert on the network formerly known as Sci-Fi for one of their stupid goddamn are-you-serious-with-this-bullshit reality shows, I get angry and then sad. Eureka was and is such a great show, and it deserved better than it got from the network. I guess if we knew then what we know now, we would have put in more ghosts and wrestling.

 

Colin, Jaime, and Neil came over for boardgames and homebrew last weekend. We had so much fun, what was intended to be a few hours of goofing off turned into an entire day and most of the evening. 

 

image from i.imgur.com

Neil Grayston, Colin Ferguson, some nerd, Jaime Paglia

I love the stories and characters on Eureka, and I am really proud of the work I did as Doctor Parrish… but what I miss most about Eureka is getting to see these people (and others who are not pictured) every day.

Afterthought - In comments, Jeff L. makes a point that I agree with:

To a point, I recognize the reality shows as a necessary evil in the current cable marketplace. The much higher margin on shows like that is what enables the channel to put on the more expensive scripted stuff. And you can make the case that a lot of the reality stuff is at least tangentally related to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Genres (wrestling, on the other hand, pure money grab).

Based on the ratings for its scripted shows, if SyFy tried to run on a schedule of mostly original programming, it would probably be off the air in 6 months. So I've chosen to just watch what I like through the miracle of Tivo (and I try to do it within one day for max ratings bump) and I just ignore the ads for the shows I don't like.

Syfy may not be the destination channel it once was, but they still put out some quality programming, and as noted, they are a business so they can't really be blamed for making business decisions, as much as we personally may disagree with the whys and hows of them.

When I talk about how much I miss Eureka, and how much I want to kick certain NBC/Universal executives in the nuts for cancelling it, I readily admit that I'm not coming from a rational place. I am coming from an emotional place, because something that meant a lot to me was taken away.

I get it, it's business, and I'm not going to pretend that it's anything different… but I'm also not going to pretend that, for me, it isn't personal on some irrational level.

58 thoughts on “I really miss this place”

  1. I entirely agree. I loved Eureka and hate this reality TV BS. The Sci-Fi channel used to be one of the few places I could get my TV on without reality BS. I’ll miss the show.

  2. Why is it that every show worth watching now is being cancelled to make way for more pseudo-reality (because, really? Yeah, nothing “real” about any of them) shows? Surely the mass populous is not that empty headed? Surely we with brain cells in working order are not such a rare exception? Right? Please?
    I weep for humanity.

  3. It isn't.
    I love the WWF of my youth, and don't think there's anything inherently wrong with wrestling… it just doesn't belong on that network, especially at the expense of scripted science fiction programming.

  4. I love that picture and miss Eureka. I always got the sense that it had not only a good cast, but a cast of good people. I see a game night going on after it all wrapped, Colin crocheting with Felicia and Neil playing Settlers, and it makes me smile.

  5. Well I guess we should have seen it coming when the channel changed the spelling of their name to Syfy (which looks like it should be pronounced siffy). Eureka is one of my all-time favorite shows, and it deserved so much more.

  6. Loved the show. I really miss good, scripted television. I hope there will be more once the pendulum returns from its current swing towards really-cheap-to-produce “reality” tv. Yep, damn those writers and their insistence on being paid…

  7. Syfy (prounced siffee) has lost their minds. They hardly play Sci-Fi.
    Of course MTV doesn’t play music. Cable is so f-ed up.

  8. I’ve heard Syfy executives say at conventions that the wrestling and reality shows bring in much higher ratings (and ad dollars) than either classic SF shows or original programming.
    So, in their minds, allowing those shows on the network actually allows them to do more original programming than they would be able to otherwise.
    And the reason they changed to Syfy from Sci-Fi is because they could trademark Syfy.
    Both of these decisions seem pretty awful, but if that’s the price to pay to have Eureka, even if for not as long as we would like, hold your nose and pass the remote.

  9. I totally agree about the crap SyFy is putting on in place of Eureka. Ugh. Eureka has been, since day one, one of the best shows Sci-Fi/SyFy has ever aired. I would, in fact, say it’s the best, but I’m sure I’d be outvoted on that one. Every season it has reinvented itself in a way that no other show but Fringe has managed to do so well. It will be greatly missed.
    Also, I am continually jealous of you (insert Sheldon Cooper exclamation of, “Wheaton!!”), first for being on my favorite show as a kid (ST:TNG), and now for being on Eureka and The Big Bang Theory. You seriously get to be friends with the coolest people.
    P.S. I love the TNG crew caricature behind you guys. Awesome.

  10. 100% with you. Cannot STAND the “reality” crap, especially when it edges out well-made, scripted shows. And it’s happening on every channel now.
    It’s looking like the future of scripted television is going to be online.

  11. Don’t you know a cute, red-headed Internet-geeky type chick (who was also on Eureka) who runs her own production company? I realize that Eureka was probably bleeding expensive to produce, but still…
    … one can dream.
    And then bring back Firefly while you’re at it.

  12. It’s just sad that NBC/Universal has no idea what they’re doing. Not only what they’ve done to our beloved SciFi Channel, but in general: How do you manage to mangle an NHL TV deal?!? It’s preposterous.
    And why do I feel so old at age 34? Having to say “When I was your age” when talking about TV to the younger generation. “When I was your age, SyFy was all about Science Fiction.” “When I was your age, MTV showed these things called ‘music videos’ 24 hours a day.” “When I was your age, TV was an ESCAPE from reality, not a SOURCE of it…”

  13. It was a great show, and well it still is a great show while they play out the remaining episodes. It sucks that pseudo-reality shows make just as much money for the networks and are cheaper to produce, but you can’t fault businesses for optimizing for profit any more than you can fault a lion for eating a gazelle. Still sucks, though.

  14. SyFy doesn’t stand for anything. At least SciFi stood for Science Fiction and had a theme which was predominately science fiction if not just generally geeky, nerdy stuff. Scare Tactics is just stupid and needs to die. They’ve been playing Horror movies all morning, so if anything it’s half horror channel now. WWE has no place there of course, but I don’t know to what reality show you are referring.

  15. Because they are cheap. Super cheap. Rent a house for a few weeks, throw some people in it, hire a camera crew and some editors, make a season of a “TV show”, pay the “winner” $100,000. Or just follow some people around and film it and pay them… whatever. What could that possibly cost? Two million dollars? A million? Less?
    Or pay the cast of Friends a million dollars PER EPISODE. Each. Or pay Sheen $2MM per episode. Or whatever.
    I don’t claim to know the first thing about Hollywood but I can easily imagine that a whole season of reality TV costs as much as one, maybe two episodes of a good TV series.

  16. @Daniel Korn: interesting sidebar to your (correct) statement that they wanted a trademarkable brand: there was a SciFi newsfeed website called syfyportal.com that was approached by a group offering to purchase the domain name for a small sum of money (a few thousand dollars). The owner of the domain sold it to them, only to find out later that they misrepresented themselves, and were in fact working for Universal, which owns SyFy. Had they been honest, the selling price would not have been so low, because of the inherent value of the SyFy brand to the network. Representatives of the network lied about their identity to scam an individual. Classy.

  17. Now I really, really want to see science-fiction themed wrestling. “Ooooh! The Jovian Janitor just hit the Venusian Vindicator with an antigrav folding chair!” “Twenty qwatloos on the newcomer!”
    With that said, it’s appalling to have WWF on the SF channel, especially at the expense of great shows like Eureka.

  18. Sadly scripted TV is being swallowed whole by reality TV. Not because people love it, but because it is insanely cheep to produce. Trash is cheep to crank out, and if you can fill the hour at 1/20th the cost, you can lose 3/4 of your audience and still be money ahead.I suspect the web is the future for quality programming. Pay cable will always have incentive to produce good shows because when their viewers leave they lose subscribers and that hurts whole network not a single show. The Web rewards (albeit slowly) quality and encourages more of it…Just ask Felica Day.

  19. “The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular…We spent a lot of time in the ’90s trying to distance the network from science fiction, which is largely why it’s called Sci Fi.”- Tim Brooks, founder of Sci-Fi
    The SyFy channel is so incredibly messed up. Awesome picture, though. You guys look awesome.

  20. Eureka did what so many try to do and fail – it engaged me intellectually, and then – snag…made me actually care what happened to these people. I hate to admit I got sucked in, but Eureka didn’t beat me over the head with the techno-babble, nor did it turn into a soap opera…it does what a good story does…show me human beings at the core of some amazing little town, and gave me relate-able situations, while showing me types people who I can certainly identify in my own weird world. Congrats on the time you spent in that wonderful village.

  21. My boyfriend and I talk about this every week when Eureka pops up on our TiVO. I’m dreading the day that it stops showing up- I wish there were a way fans could do a letter writing campaign to the network to get it back on the air. I’m not sure if they’d listen at all because of the general direction the network is headed in- I’m sorry, but I have 0 desire to watch wrastlin’ or total blackout with Urkel.
    Worse comes to worse, I would *love* follow up shorts on Geek&Sundry—could that ever be a possibility?

  22. My wife and I have been bummed that there isn’t much for shows anywhere other than what they call reality shows now. Other than the bazillion CSI’s that exist.
    I am a fan of the ‘ghost show’ but even it has lost its appeal as of late.
    Will miss Eureka! Hate that Caprica and Stargate are both gone too.
    Not much left out there for a geek to love…….

  23. To a point, I recognize the reality shows as a necessary evil in the current cable marketplace. The much higher margin on shows like that is what enables the channel to put on the more expensive scripted stuff. And you can make the case that a lot of the reality stuff is at least tangentally related to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Genres (wrestling, on the other hand, pure money grab).
    Based on the ratings for its scripted shows, if SyFy tried to run on a schedule of mostly original programming, it would probably be off the air in 6 months. So I’ve chosen to just watch what I like through the miracle of Tivo (and I try to do it within one day for max ratings bump) and I just ignore the ads for the shows I don’t like.
    Syfy may not be the destination channel it once was, but they still put out some quality programming, and as noted, they are a business so they can’t really be blamed for making business decisions, as much as we personally may disagree with the whys and hows of them.

  24. Eureka did what so many other shows fail to do – engage me at a human level. The techno-babble was fun and goofy, but never overshadowed the story at the point where I can identify similar people in my own weird world. I found myself snagged into caring about these individuals – and that to me is a major accomplishment for a serial, because we’re all so burned out on the genre…they triumphed over the formulaic humdrum of so many other shows out there trying to do the same thing and failing miserably. Congrats on the time you spent in this strange and wonderful little village.

  25. That TNG caricature behind you is AMAZING!!!!! How fun it must be to be IN the art and be able to DISPLAY the art. Kudos on your acting choices and your taste in art!
    And PS We loved and will miss very much the wonderful fun that is/was Eureka. Great cast + fun stories = enjoyable [scripted] TV (which there is far too little of).

  26. Eureka is just a small town in the middle of no where. But as small as it is. Emotionally it is bigger. When I watched the last Christmas episode to air, I realized how much of a family Eureka had been to me. I cried on that very episode. Because I felt like I was home, and with family.
    Wrestling has enough Sci-Fi in it to launch a car into a stadium, that’s about it. I don’t see “how” you could do that. That’s like putting “The Sopranos” on PAX TV (or Lifetime).

  27. Hey Wil,
    For what it’s worth, it was through you and this blog and the greatness of Netflix, that I discovered the awesomeness of Eureka. And for that I am forever thankful.

  28. They can’t use the excuse that they only show wrestling/reality shows to bring in money for original scripted shows. Some of their biggest hits ( Eureka, Stargate SG-1) didn’t even START OUT on their channel. They bought them from other networks.
    The money they earn from the ads just goes to fund endless B movies like Sharktopus and other monster movies. Sure, some of these are just played on the channel, but a lot of them are SyFy originals.
    Eureka is one of my favorite shows and I am sad to see it go, but it is just a sign of what the channel is morphing into. Follow their SyFy Original Movies tweets for about 30 minutes and you will see where they focus their resources.
    When I was in high school I spent hours on SciFi watching old movies and when they needed a bump in viewers they played anime to attract younger viewers.

  29. I am completely disappointed in “SyFy.” For most of my youth I only watched that network really late at night to see TOS reruns. The shows on the network were poorly scripted and shot. It seemed like they only picked up one decent character actor and then chose the rest out of a random parking lot in LA. “Oh you want to be an actor? We’ll give you a shot. I’m sure you’ll be AWESOME.” So, in (not so) short, I never watched the network; when I’d give it another shot, I’d usually regret it. Then I found Eureka (on Netflix) and said, “This is on SyFy?” I got caught up on the 2 seasons I missed in about a week and change and have been watching ever since. THIS is good science fiction! Then they cancel it. And the WAY they did it. “Hey guys, we’re gonna pick you up for 2 more seasons!” Then, “Psych! You’re cancelled, wrap it up in one season. Thanks for playing!” So now, when Eureka is over, I won’t be watching SyFy. I hate ‘reality’ TV.

  30. I’m really going to miss Eureka a lot. It’s been one of my favorite shows on TV for it’s entire run. The picture above just proves what you can tell on screen. There’s just amazing chemistry between all the actors and the production staff that you all just turned out a really amazing and fun product.
    P.S. The scene with you and Neil in the GD director’s office going through Holly’s stuff was great. Really disappointed we won’t be able to see those characters build a friendship (Grumpy Old Men style).

  31. Without Eureka, I have no reason to watch this network anymore. Nearly their entire original programming is now reality show rubbish.
    I can watch all the great science fiction shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon or dvd…when I want to, not when some programming person decides I get to watch the same 10 episodes of V or STTNG on a random day of the week.

  32. Wil:
    I’ve been hoping you would post about Eureka, because it allows me to say something that’s been in my head for 2 weeks now. The episode with the firebug – the episode that ends with Parish consoling Fargo over his loss; that’s the best acting I’ve seen you do in years.
    You are the one selling that scene and you did it mostly non-verbally. I mean, the dialogue is obviously important, but your facial expressions and choices gave that scene one hell of a lot of depth and conveyed more about the complexities of the relationship between the two characters than anything else the show has done. Dr. Parish has been mostly (but not entirely) a dick for much of his story and this scene showed us all that there’s a person under all of that.
    Bravo sir, bravo.

  33. My husband and I got rid of (or more accurately, neglected to install) cable when we moved to Portland. Everything we watch, we get through Netflix and Hulu thanks to the Roku box. It took us a couple of weeks to catch up on Eureka, but we were hooked by the second episode. And this is one of the few times when having to wait for the episodes to hit the streaming sites really sucks ass.
    SyFy (ugh, why did they change their logos???) lost all credibility with me with their “original” monster/disaster/alien/science-experiment-gone-wrong movies. But Eureka is different. It’s been years since I’ve seen a show that’s made me want to pick up and move there… assuming a few non-brainiacs are allowed in :).
    Reality TV just feeds on our deep, dark, inner voyeur. I hate that. With Eureka, there’s still the sense of “what are they up to this week?”, but it’s simultaneously funny, dramatic, and mind-expanding. My husband and I had some really good arguments about the multiple time streams and “wait… how did they get Tiny to Mars?” Maybe someone can throw a little Futurama luck at the show and another network will pick it up in the not-too-distant future.

  34. I didnt start watching Eureka until it was in Season 2. I never watched it on Sci-FI. I only watch it on Hulu and Netflix. I havent had access to the Sci-Fi channel in a long time. The first episode I saw of Eureka got me 100 percent hooked. I loved all the characters, cried when Stark left (even though he was an ass) and was happy when the characters were happy. When I read it was being cancelled, it made me really sad. But unfortunalty, this is the way it is with schience fiction on television. Few shows make it as long as Eureka did. Thats a testamnent to how amazing this show was.
    As someone else stated here, reality TV has its place. My only problem is that its quicly become the ONLY place on tv. I only watch 2 channels at home regulary, History and Discovery. And now those are getting flooded with reality shows. I getting tired of crab fishing. I sincerly hope Eureka can find a home on another channel, although I know that will be difficult. I now own as much as I can get of it on dvd, and watch it all the time. It still makes me laugh, and cry. Thanks for being on the show Wil. We will miss all the characters, including Dr. Parrish.

  35. Does anyone know if they plan to release Eureka DVDs? So far, NetFlix (Canada) is not giving us Eureka and I’m not feeling interested in any shenanigans to circumvent the system. I’d happily pay for the disks if someone would offer them…

  36. That ending was indeed very poignant. Parrish’s earlier comment to Fargo (during the argument, during the first stage of the patch) made me double-take. I wanted to smack Parrish across the face for it. To have Parrish come back and comfort Fargo at the end of the episode was very appropriate.
    I second the bravo.

  37. I think I’ve seen a few of these posts where you miss the people you work with on a show and it always seems like it’s a high school graduation. You like these people and you want to spend a lot of time with them but you know your life is going to make that really really hard to do.
    Which led me to a question. Have you ever thought about doing a yearbook kind of thing for a show? Take a camera, perhaps a bunch of video and record as much history as you can and put it all together when the show’s over.
    Does anyone do that kind of thing?

  38. SyFy has a habit of doing this, so I’m not really surprised anymore. I spent all of my outrage on the shitty way they cancelled Farscape. Not very many of their shows seem to make it past 4 seasons.
    I recognize that a lot of these shows are expensive to produce, so I’m not really mad at the networks when they fail to bring in the ad dollars they require to be profitable. I am mad at the consumers who seem to watch terrible stuff more than they watch awesome stuff.. and I wish I could figure out a way to divorce revenue from ad dollars in such a way that fans could directly support their favorite series without it being prohibitively expensive. It’s one of the reasons I always buy the DVDs of series I really like, regardless of whether I want to watch them again or not. I figure it’s the closest I can get to sending my money directly to the show. But I know DVD sales alone are not enough to support a season of a show.

  39. Here’s my beef with Syfy’s shift in programming:
    other than Fox–who’s only given Fringe one more season anyway, what network is producing sci-fi programming on a regular basis? Right now there’s enough tv shows and movies about vampires, witches, and werewolves to choke a rhinoceros. (And don’t get me wrong, I luuuurve me some supernatural-themed shows.) But in terms of true science-fiction shows there’s Fringe, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Futurama, and…?
    I don’t mind their trying to stay alive, I really don’t. I’m just irked that in their attempt to stay alive, they’re becoming as muddled and ubiquitous as Spike and G4.

  40. I would like to say that should the Eureka cast choose to do an indie spinoff of Eureka I think I speak for most fans when I say we would donate to that cause. Eureka is by far one of the very few television shows I love to watch. Television has been so far away from being my chosen time waster but for Eureka, Big Bang Theory, Bones and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I am really going to miss Eureka. I would give my last bit of leisure money to see that indie spinoff happen.

  41. I find that to get my Sci-fi fix, I’m migrating to BBCA of all channels. It’s strange.
    As for “reality shows”, the only difference with them is that the writers couldn’t get hired on a real show. (New FCC rule: Warning the following presentation has been edited beyond any resemblance of the actual events for cheap dramatic effect.)
    If any of the NBC/Universal executives read this (can they read?) If you’re going to take off a show with such an obvious fan base, please replace it with another quality show and not more of your recent trend in crap.

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