In a move that took the cast, crew and fans of the series Eureka by surprise, Syfy announced late Monday that there would be no season 6 for the show. Just four days earlier, Syfy’s pres for programming Mark Stern gave what sounded as a positive message, “Although we do not have a commitment beyond six episodes for the sixth season, we are hopeful that this will not be the end of the franchise.”
Instead, after rumors swirled about the cancellation, the network issued a statement that burst any hopes for a proper wrap up,
“After painstaking consideration, we have had to make the difficult business decision to not order a season six of Eureka. But Eureka is not over yet. There is a new holiday episode this December and 12 stellar episodes set to debut next year, marking its fifth season and six memorable years on Syfy. The 2012 episodes are some of the best we’ve seen, and will bring this great series to a satisfying end. We are very grateful to Bruce Miller and Jaime Paglia, their team of incredible writers, and an amazing cast and crew who have consistently delivered a series we continue to be very proud of. We thank the fans for their support of this show and know they will enjoy its final season in 2012.”
On Twitter, fans and cast reacted with shock and dismay.
Felicia Day (@feliciaday), recently added to the cast as a guest star, tweeted her disappointment to her 1.8M followers, “Um…wow. So I guess @SyFy changed their minds and is UNpicking up Eureka..uh? huh. Now it’s awkward :(” She since removed the message leaving the more positive note, “At any rate, it’s been very fun to be on the show! Hope they can end the story with closure for the fans before the series ends. :)”
Series star Colin Ferguson (Sheriff Carter @colinferg) sent out a single word on the news: “BOOM.”
Fellow cast member Wil Wheaton (@wilw) followed with a simple “:(” to which Colin replied, “…Looking forward to some home brew IPA… sad day.”
Salli Richardson (@sallirichardson), whose directorial debut episode “Omega Girls” just aired, replied to both with, “Very sad and shocking.”
Series writer Amy Berg injected some reality, and a dig at NBCU’s new corporate overloads Comcast, in casting the decision, “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.”
Fan reaction ranged from vowing never to watch Syfy again, to starting a “SaveEureka” site.
Eureka is currently in season “4.5″ with many of the episodes of season 5 already in the can. Just prior to Monday’s announcement, show co-creater Jaime Paglia tweeted that he’d handed in the season finale script. Now it looks like it’s back to rewrites.
Having seen the final script, however, the cast were dispirited about how the show was set to end. Colin Ferguson told E! Online, “We have no time to course correct in a meaningful way. We can add some things in and make it as palatable as we can, but it’s nowhere near the ending we would’ve done.”
Paglia flew up Tuesday morning to Vancouver where the show is filmed to deliver the news to the cast and crew in person, and wrote up a note to fans via the Eureka Writer’s blog,
Heartfelt thanks to all our Eureka fans for the incredible support. You’re the reason we do what we do. It has been a privilege. We hope to be able to give you, the characters, and Eureka a proper send-off. We’re doing all we can to make that happen. But whatever happens, you have a season and a half of fantastic new episodes to come through next year. It only gets better. All my thanks to our amazing cast, crew and creative team for their phenomenal work on these 76 episodes of Eureka. You’re the best.
As a sort of appeasement to fans and Eureka‘s writers, Syfy announced on Wednesday they would extend the fifth season by an additional episode to allow the series to wrap up.
For Ferguson, the last season is an opportunity to show the network and its number crunchers the error of their ways: “Okay, the only way to make a statement is to watch it live. I want our numbers UP. I want to go out on a high. We have 17 more eps to air. I want to go out knowing we were doing our best work. I want a positive ending to a great experience cuz this is OUR journey, not theirs.”