I have criticized SyFy time and again for the treatment of its shows. And once more, one of the more creative non-reality t.v. shows on its network has been given the boot. I’m sure they’ll cite poor ratings and then talk about how important it is to watch the show live (thanks to an archaic system system that does not apply to science fiction fans, who are more technologically savvy and don’t watch t.v. live – you know, because we have better things to do).
I woke up this morning that the wonderfully quirky and funny Eureka has been given the axe and this will be the final season. The rumors had begun surfacing last week, but it seems they’ve been confirmed. And why?
I’ll tell you why. I’m sure SyFy will deny this, but it has to do with something I’ve previously said: science fiction fans are not like your typical viewing audience. And therefore, they should not be treated as such.
Sure, wrestling does well on the SyFy network (which is only fiction, not science fiction), as does reality. But those shows don’t appeal to a hardcore sci-fi viewer. The people who watch such shows will tune in live. I’m not going to go so far as to say they don’t have lives, but ahem… I digress.
Hardcore science fiction fans who watch shows like Eureka use technology to watch their t.v. Because they are always on the go and have a ton of other entertainment options. They rarely watch live. They use DVR’s, on demand and online streaming.
And these numbers, as SyFy’s Craig Engler has pointed out time and again on Twitter, just aren’t as important as live numbers.
So again, we, the fans suffer because the system is archaic and no one, not even a network that’s supposedly forward-thinking, is doing a thing to change that.
Meanwhile, though, a shift in attitude is beginning that will put an end to such nonsense. Science fiction shows like The Booth at the End, The Guild, The LXD and others are finding audiences by appearing exclusively online. And such shows will become more and more popular with fans like me. Because we like using technology for our viewing. And because we’re fed up with network antics when it comes to shows we love. More and more of our viewing audience are actually cancelling cable subscriptions and going exclusively to the internet for our television viewing.
So why did Eureka get cancelled? Because SyFy has a policy of making folks wait for 30 days before they begin streaming online and because they refuse to treat science fiction fans differently (and without any respect). They blame this on everyone but themselves when confronted about it, but whoever is at fault for these decisions is killing quality science fiction on network t.v.
But that’s okay. Let them continue to shoot themselves in the foot. We, the science fiction fans, will always have the internet, long after the SyFy Network has reduced itself to wrestling and reality and ashes.