The news of Syfy canceling Eureka was a shock to everyone – especially to those who create the hit series. After briefly announcing that Syfy had ordered six episodes for Eureka season 6, plans at the network quickly changed and the series was unceremoniously given the axe.
We spoke with Eureka executive producer Bruce Miller a week before the cancelation was announced, and he showed no signs of the series being in trouble. In fact, Miller went as far as to highlight the fact that “we have a bigger audience now than we did in our first season.” This sentiment was certainly championed by co-executive producer Amy Berg following this week’s ratings - and the unfortunate news of the series being canceled.
Said Amy Berg (via Twitter): “Ratings in for last night's show. They are excellent, and continue to rise with each new episode. The definition of bittersweet, I guess.”
Upon the announcement of Eureka being canceled, Berg revealed exactly why Syfy decided to cancel their long-time staple (that continues to grow in popularity), and it all has to do with profit margins.
"We are the network's golden child in every way, except profit margins. Fact is, Eureka is an expensive show to make. And we could not maintain the quality of our show with the cuts it would take to make us profitable for Syfy's new parent company."
While it can be said that many previous series – Caprica, Stargate Universe, for example - have fallen because of the Comcast-NBCUniversal merger, this is the first time that the reasoning was directly revealed to public. That being said, Berg continues by saying that the executives at Syfy didn’t exactly roll over to their parent company’s wishes.
"Our creative execs at Syfy fought hard to keep us. Trust me, they LOVE us. We just couldn't make the numbers work."
Considering that Syfy is the most forward-thinking network on television (honestly), it’s a bit disheartening to hear that profit margins are coming into play for a series that continues to grow in popularity with every episode. It’s not as if the series wasn’t profitable, it just wasn’t profitable enough.
At a point, this discussion about profit margins becomes humorous. NBC has been digging themselves in hole for years with an ever-changing line-up of television series. With almost every new series they picked up last year being canceled, one might point out that making a profit – even if it’s small – is still better than not making a profit and continuously churning out expensive television pilots which are by and large canceled in their freshman year.
Eureka is, sadly, canceled, and the producers must figure out how they’d like to end the series. In the same conversation we had with Miller, he discussed the talks that have been occurring about how they’d like to end the series, when it came to that point. Unfortunately, that point came quicker than Miller ever thought.
Here’s what Miller had to say about how to end Eureka:
"Our show has been on for seven years - give or take. You want to start thinking about, 'Ok, if we wanted to end it, how would we end it.' You have some jokey answers to that, and some more... what would be a satisfying ending, but not something everybody predicts."
"The expression we always use: you want it to feel just absolutely inevitable, yet unpredictable."
Even though Eureka is currently filming their fifth and final season (set to premiere in 2012), there is enough time for them to create an appropriate ending for the series. While some storylines may be moved around and shortened, fans need not worry about a ridiculous ending to their favorite series.
Unless, of course, a ridiculous ending is exactly what the producers are aiming for. If that’s the case, I have no doubt that it’ll be sublime.
Eureka airs Mondays @8pm on Syfy.
Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio