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'Eureka' Set The Pace For Syfy's Future

Star Colin Ferguson and co-creator Jaime Paglia talk about the cultural impact

Mondays are bittersweet right now for fans of the popular Syfy show "Eureka."

They're getting new episodes, with twists and turns typical of "Eureka." But at the same time, these fans know that with every new episode, they are one step closer to the end of the series.

"Eureka" was the show that helped redefine a lot of the scripted entertainment on Syfy, even before it was "Syfy," and set the tone for the future. Grounded series like "Warehouse 13," "Alphas" and "Sanctuary," took the place of expensive space operas, and was able to better connect with viewers, translating to higher ratings and more attention from mainstream veers, not just genre ones.

How much of an impact did "Eureka" have on science-fiction as a whole? "Eureka" star Colin Ferguson told Airlock Alpha that while he's never explored that aspect of the show on the rest of Hollywood, he is proud that it was a success.

"I don't know if I can speak to how it's affected the genre as a whole, because I don't have a ton of perspective on it," Ferguson told reporters during a recent conference call that included various news outlets, including Airlock Alpha. "We'd get marching orders ... like no space, no aliens, no comedy, and come to find a show that has some comedic beats and we send a ship into space in this, the final season. So how it's affected the genre? Gosh."

"Eureka" showrunner and co-creator Jaime Paglia said Syfy's president of original programming, Mark Stern, put the potential impact of the series into perspective during the initial pitching process.

"In the follow-up meeting, Mark Stern -- who has shepherded us from the very beginning -- said, 'We didn't really know what we were missing on our channel until we heard this concept,' because they weren't doing really kind of grounded, Earth-based sci-fi, especially with a sense of humor," Paglia said. "I mean, I think that we were kind of inadvertently creating something that was sort of all the favorite things that we like in television, that we like to each and write, and kind of maybe putting them into a new blend of elements. The Earth-bound space dramedy hadn't really been done."

"Eureka" premiered in 2006 as a town filled with some of the best minds, creating projects and devices that the world had only really seen in science-fiction. It was considered a risky move for the then Sci-Fi Channel, whose biggest show was "Battlestar Galactica" along with the various Stargate series.

Yet, "Eureka" became an instant hit, and was Syfy's most-watched scripted series until "Warehouse 13" debuted and quickly built an audience. Syfy has had a couple of cross-over episodes between "Warehouse 13" and "Eureka," setting them both in the same universe, even if they are two separate productions.

"I am proud that it has, I think, opened up the possibilities of other shows, and they've had more success on the channel with 'Warehouse' and 'Haven' is now on, and 'Alphas' coming into its second season," Paglia said.

Paglia also mentioned that some of the creative team from "Eureka" is now heading to "Alphas," so while the show might not live on, its legacy will.

"I know that I'm proud of the fact that we succeeded and more proud of the fact that no one really knew what we were doing, in a sense," Ferguson said. "You know, we'd meet up with Jaime and be like, 'This is what we're doing now?' Like, 'Ok, this is what we've got. Ok.'

"And it's been a fun journey to go down."

"Eureka" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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