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Age, Reality TV Pushed 'Eureka' To Cancellation

Showrunner Jaime Paglia shares his thoughts on the end of the Syfy series

The impending end of "Eureka" is not something many fans are looking forward to, but at least the show will have a chance to finish its storied run the way it wants to.

Jaime Paglia, "Eureka's" showrunner and co-creator, said he hoped that his show could continue on, even with viewership slipping a little bit, but the writing was on the wall when Syfy first decided to renew for a shortened season, and then cancel even before that could happen.

"If you look at our budget and say, 'OK, we're doing fine with our numbers and ...,' you're making money, but you're not necessarily making as much as if you were to say, 'OK, instead of making a full season or even six episodes of 'Eureka,' we could go and make six new reality shows and order a couple more pilots of potential new shows,'" Paglia recently told Assignment X.

That situation worsened after the merger between NBC Universal -- Syfy's parent company -- and Comcast, which forced corporate to take a much different look at the financials, and the programming being supported by it.

"You're looking at, 'OK, this is a show that is definitely going toward its end, whether it's this year or next year,'" Paglia said. "You don't want to stick around too long. So I think ultimately it's a budget issue, and again, I think we were mostly just grateful that they did make the decision and give us enough time to put together a final episode that did have the opportunity to wrap things up and say good-bye to the fans."

At one time, "Eureka" was Syfy's highest-rated show, and was one of the programs -- along with the Stargate series and, soon after, "Battlestar Galactica" -- that helped put Syfy on the cable map for its original programming. It also created a push to more "grounded" series, the kind that take place in the present, and involve very little, if any, space travel.

Those grounded series would become some of the network's most popular, including current top-rated series "Warehouse 13," "Alphas" and "Haven," although Syfy is looking to return to its space roots (sort of) with the new series "Defiance" from "Farscape's" Rockne S. O'Bannon.

Paglia's comments mirror that of executive producer Amy Berg, who told fans via Twitter soon after the cancellation that "Eureka" was Syfy'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 [Comcast].

"Our creative execs at Syfy fought hard to keep us. Trust me, they love us. We just couldn't make the numbers work."

"Eureka" will end its run on July 16. "Warehouse 13" and "Alphas" will then take over beginning July 23 to start their respective new seasons.

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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