Syfy Cancels ‘The Wil Wheaton Project’

Published 6 months ago by

Syfy Cancels Wil Wheaton Show Syfy Cancels The Wil Wheaton Project

Celebrated nerd and actor Wil Wheaton (Stand By Me, Star Trek: The Next Generation) has transformed his passion for all things geek into a successful career as a writer and performer. He hosts the gaming series TableTop on the Geek & Sundry network and regularly performs with musical comedy act Paul and Storm and Mythbusters‘ Adam Savage at w00tstock.

Wheaton has continued acting as well, having had a recurring role on the Syfy series Eureka and frequently guest-starring on The Big Bang Theory. This summer, Wheaton began hosting his own spin on clip shows like The Soup and Tosh.0 for Syfy, where every week he’d humorously dissect the latest happenings in geek culture.

But after only 18 weeks on the air, Syfy has canceled The Wil Wheaton Project. Wheaton announced the news in his usual candid manner on his blog, stating Syfy’s reasoning for not renewing the show boiled down to the series not having “enough viewers to justify more episodes.”

However, Wheaton believes it wasn’t simply poor viewing numbers that killed his show, but Syfy’s lack of promotion and understanding of the show’s target audience, writing:

“I didn’t say anything about the total lack of promotion off the network, or point out that our ratings were on par with The Soup, or that ratings are always lower in summer than the fall. I didn’t bother saying any of that, because I know the [Syfy Network Executive] knows that. I was reasonably confident that he made those arguments with New York when he was trying to get the show renewed. I presume he fought hard for us, but ultimately couldn’t sway executives in New York who never seemed — in my opinion — to really understand what kind of show we were doing, who I was and why I was hosting it, and how to engage with and promote to the audience who would like it.”

Wheaton went on to say the network executive he personally worked with was a “good guy in an industry full of bad guys” and that he believed this guy was “trying really hard to put the sci-fi back into Syfy.”

Though saddened he won’t get to continue working with his writers and producers or make anymore silly segments, Wheaton says he’s grateful “to the people at Syfy who believed in us and gave us a chance to succeed. I’m grateful for the creative support we got, and I’m grateful that I got to spend my summer working with wonderful, talented, funny people.

the wil wheaton project Syfy Cancels The Wil Wheaton Project

When The Wil Wheaton Project first premiered, our own Jason Tabrys commented that it was devoid of “laugh out loud moments, bite, and depthy commentary on nerd-culture,” leaving it with plenty of room for improvement. And the series did continue to grow over its 12-episode run, gaining a following mostly thanks to Wheaton’s own efforts promoting the series through social media, where he already has an impressive reach.

Alas, web popularity doesn’t mean a whole lot for cable executives. For a network like Syfy that needs to earn revenue from ad sales, a show needs to earn high enough ratings to warrant the expense of producing it. And while The Wil Wheaton Project was likely not an expensive series, Syfy clearly believes they can put something more profitable in its time slot.

Are you disappointed Syfy has chosen to cancel The Wil Wheaton Project so soon? Do you think Wheaton will consider resurrecting the show or something similar as a web series? Let us hear what you think in the comments below!

The Wil Wheaton Project aired in 2014 on Syfy.

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  1. I’m in the “Unfortunate, but won’t miss it” camp. It was cool in concept, but I really hate that awkward nerd/wannabe cool frat boy humor that was reminiscent of G4′s Attack of the Show. A lot of it just makes me cringe.

    • Attack of the show was fun. This show however made Wheaton look like a annoying self entitled unfunny D-bag.

      • Kind of my feelings about the show too. Funny, snarky a-hole has a narrow success range that McHale and Tosh can pull off and Wheaton just couldn’t. I like Wil in most of the other stuff I’ve seen him in which is why I gave this a chance but he seemed really forced and unnatural. Sad to see this happen to the guy but I think he’ll recover well and hopefully find another successful project.

        • He shouldnt take it too personal though. Syfy cancels 90% of there shows after season 1. Ghost hunters and face off is that exception.

          • they should seriously think about canceling face off . it’s become boring as hell

  2. Unfortunately it will be replaced by another reality TV show that will have little to do with science fiction or fantasy which SyFy should be involved in.

  3. No offense to Will, but I dont blame them for cancelling. I watched part of one episode and then never watched it again.

  4. Thank goodness that show sucked!!!!!!! They take off Stargate but put crap like his show on the air.

  5. I like Wil, I have an autographed picture in my office, so I’m a fan. I watched a couple of episodes, but just couldn’t get into it.

    The last thing nerd culture needs is someone else making snarky jokes about the things we love. Someone that geeky should have known better. Hopefully he’ll get a chance to do something more positive in the future.

  6. While I do like Wil the actor, he was not acting on this show, he was just being himself. About the middle of the season he started throwing out cuss words like “s***” and “god damn” all the time. This was not appropriate IMHO for a 9pm time slot on Syfy. That works OK for the AXS and IFC networks, but not on Syfy. For this reason I’m not surprised the network dropped it.

    • Wow, really?

      And yet here in the UK, we have a 9pm watershed where strong language can be used (because traditionally, children should be in bed by that time anyway) and we have F-bombs, the C-word and all sorts casually dropped on shows from 9pm onwards.

      “God damn” is a curse word? Why? I can imagine people would say “but it’s offensive to God”, despite God damning people and committing genocide in the Bible all the time, which is offensive to humans.

      • Dazz,

        Seen you do this to others here. You got a comment about the Wil Wheaton Project, fine. You want to make a comment trying to make me look stupid or ignorant, you’re wasting your time, my time, and the readers time.

        • You seem either a bit sensitive or too defensive. I have re read the posters reply to your post above a couple times just to make sure I didn’t miss something. I could find nothing in the post that was a personal attack on you nor meant to made you look ignorant. I understand exactly what he was saying there. Being that he is from the Uk it amazes him how sensitive and prudish Usa is about cursing on Tv. His post was certainly not an indictment on you

  7. Liked the show nothing else like it

    • The first few episodes were really bad, and I cringed watching them, so I didn’t look for the show after that. However, I caught the last few and they were starting to get pretty funny. I will miss it.

      SyFy is such a disappointment in all the ways stated in the comments and then some.

      I really have nothing else to add except wanted to add my voice to the fans’ that will miss Wil.

  8. I liked Will Wheaton on The Big Bang but this show kind of sucked. He’s lucky it stayed on the air for 18 episodes. I wouldn’t have picked up the pilot. I tried watching it twice and then decided that life is too short to waste on this show. That’s harsh, but true.

    I don’t understand what his idea of a “nerd” is or why they would enjoy his show.

    On the other hand, I love @midnight on Comedy Central. That show must have nerd appeal.

    • “I don’t understand what his idea of a “nerd” is or why they would enjoy his show.”

      That’s how I feel about The Big Bang Theory and most horror movies of the last decade. It’s all crap and not entertaining in the least but somehow manages to appeal to those who want to stand out as individuals by liking something that large swathes of others similar to them decide to watch. They’ll never be real nerds, they’ll never be that intelligent and they’ll never be true horror connoisseurs so they like faux nerd comedy and faux horror and somehow manage to make it all popular rather than seeing it rightfully killed off for being terrible.

      The Big Bang Theory should appeal to people like me who like science, comic books and have an intelligence higher than others we grew up with in high school and college but it seems to be that it’s only enjoyed as a show by those who strive to be someone like what the show represents, purely because nerd culture has taken over and become popular and the bandwagoneers wanna jump in and be part of it.

      • “The Big Bang Theory should appeal to people like me who like science, comic books and have an intelligence higher than others we grew up with in high school and college”

        In other words it should appeal to me? Funny enough, it does. It is a caricature of the world I inhabit. Which I suppose you can either take as homage or insult. Personally I laugh cause I’ve been in those situations or could easily envision myself there.

        Granted as such shows are wont to be it was funnier in the beginning than in more recent seasons but it is still reasonably amusing if you like standard sitcom fare.

      • Getting a little conceded aren’t we?

        • I think you’ll find it’s spelled “conceited” and these are all valid points. There’s just one problem, when a network targets a specific demographic they are effectively alienating anyone who doesn’t fit that particualr description. Big Bang Theory has all the classic Sitcom tropes to ensure mass appeal and mass appeal is what keeps the lights on and the office plants watered over at WB.

  9. Goofball shows, B-movies, and wrestling don’t belong on SyFy to begin with. When they changed the name of the channel, they sure as hell took the Sci-Fi out of SyFy. I despise that channel nowadays. In the days of BSG and even SG-U, I was there. Now, it’s more scripted “reality” and other garbage.

    • I assume once everyone buys WWE Network for $9.99 per month for literally millions of hours of content available at the touch of a button, wrestling will be taken off network TV and all the lonely people watching Battlestar Galactica and making lists of continuity issues to send to whoever cares will give a wheezy harumph of celebration before going back to their endless low budget SyFy Original movies that feature bad writing, bad acting and bad CGI because hey, at least Sand Sharks is science fiction, right?

      I never understood why WWE put shows on SyFy either but the nerd outrage about it got old within the first few months of WWECW airing and yet, just like with their fave franchises (Star Trek, etc), the outrage just goes on and on and on with no end in sight, despite it being completely pointless, unnecessary and unwanted because it’s been worn into the ground.

      • Why shouldn’t goofball shows or B-movies be on Sci-fi long as they have Sci-fi (and by extension I’ll even extend it to fantasy and way out there certain horror) bent. Just because it isn’t serious drama or necessarily BSG level quality doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place.

        Personally I’ve never understood why people get so bent out of shape over what is shown on Syfy. Yeah I agree that wrestling and faux reality programming like Ghost Hunter don’t really belong there but I just don’t watch them (well ok I watch wrestling but I don’t think Syfy is the proper outlet for it). In my opinion if they are showing a program I want to watch – then I’ll watch it, if they aren’t – then I watch something else somewhere else.

  10. The fact is, SyFy executives are so stunted when it comes to understanding their target market, that they would actually cancel Doctor Who, if it was their show. Any time there is anything ‘new’ on SyFy, it inevitably gets canned. Between them and Fox, I don’t know who is the worst…

  11. No one will miss it.

  12. SyFy is still on the air? Last thing I ever watched on that channel was… Well, I recorded sharknado 2 and still haven’t watched it. Does that count?

  13. SyFy has a hair trigger when it comes to their programs. It better be a hit or it gets yanked. Far better programs than Will Wheaton’s have been canceled. I don’t think anyone will miss this drivel in a few weeks time.

  14. Wheaton is a tool.


  15. Syfy sucks & so does Wil Wheaton. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  16. Yep, not at all surprised. I dropped it after 2 eps – it was terrible.

  17. Just proof that this guy has not even a modicum of mass appeal…not even on the SyFy channel. Just another reason why SyFy sucks big time. I’ve seen Wheaton at conventions. I’ve always thought he was a bit of a prick. Meh.

  18. This show grew on me but I had a hard time relating to some of the subject matter. I get they were trying to cast a wide net with all things considered to be “nerd culture” but horror movie are not for me. Even if its a tongue in cheek horror movie that is bad for the sake of bad. Anyways, I felt every show had a huge chunk of bad SyFy horror movie stuff and not enough actual nerd culture stuff. Maybe I misunderstood the premise of the show entirely. Of course I understand not everyone likes exactly the same things I like but there is my opinion.
    I’m sure if given the chance the show could have found it’s audience and grew much bigger but we are talking about SyFy here. They cancel shows even when they are popular like Warehouse 13 and Stargate Universe or Eureka. I’m still catching up on Wil’s Table Top youtube show and I hope he finds another home for this show soon.

  19. Hey I know, let’s cancel Wil Wheatons show which was at least moderately entertaining and put out more garbage C movies (worse than B) that nobody cares about! Oh yeah, and put out more “reality” shows that have people searching for “ghosts”……….man Syfy is gonna be dead soon, maybe Ghost hunters will be able to pick up their spirits aura or some crap.

  20. SyFy has gone downhill in recent years and I was reluctant to watch anything on it. I did, however, make an exception for this show and saw it improve weekly. It was pretty much the only reason I watched SyFy, so I won’t even bother now. Nothing wrong with snarking a bit and poking fun of you and your target audience.

  21. I’ve had a petition up to renew The Wil Wheaton Project since it first went on the bubble at Sy-Fy – now that it is cancelled your support is even more critical. Let the SyFy execs know your true feelings about the show and why it should be on the air.

  22. I had no idea this program existed until I read this article.
    I must say, the notion that it was poorly advertised might be well founded. :P

  23. Maybe they can put on one of those storage auction shows, like every other channel. Doesn’t suit those channels, won’t suit this one, so perfect.

  24. The Wil Wheaton Project started as 1/3 interesting commentary, 1/3 funny, snarky comments, and 1/3 Attack of the Show type nonsense. Then, from there, it just got more and more like Attack of the Show.

    Seriously, when it comes to techy and sci-fi stuff with a geeky twist, a little but of high quality wit with some good laughs goes a long way. We don’t need Attack of the Show type stuff. I don’t even know why it is part of the equation. That’s just embarrassing, sewer-level stuff.

    I honestly expected better from Wil. I guess that I was wrong to.

  25. I absolutely LOVED the Wil Wheaton Project. I am a 100% disabled female veteran pushing sixty. There’s not a lot that can give me a true guffaw in life. But this show did. Wil, thank you for making me belly laugh on a weekly basis. Your Skeletor was nothing short of non-stop hilarious. I wish you could be on TV sharing this gift daily. I was crushed when I came online to find out when the season would start up again… only to hear that the funniest show on Earth was cancelled. Sending so many hugs and wishes for your future success.

  26. Loved the show, sorry to see it go, thought it provided a nice commentary on the crap that is called syfy.

  27. Wow! Syfy finally pitched ol’ Wesley out the Airlock! Who’da thunk it? Poor misunderstood ArTeest. This show was not that good. Wheaton is not all that entertaining. Loving the sound of one’s own voice doesn’t substitute for any kind of talent. He can’t act, he can’t sing, and he’s NOT FUNNY. Thanks for playing.

  28. The show needed better writers. The concept was OK but the writing was horrible, jokes seemed forced and not funny, the fake backround laugh just made them worse.

  29. Really a shame it was cancelled. Found him to be very funny. The show was definetly coming into its own. Enjoyed it.