Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spread the Word

So I'm reading Google+, and Will Wheaton posts about the end of Eureka. Now, I haven't watched SciFi, excuse me - SyFy, in quite some time. Mainly because it all started to seem like random low-budget crap, and eventually, reality television started to make an appearance. Eureka seemed to have broken that particular mold, but the announcement that it was being cancelled was the first I'd ever heard of it, so I wouldn't actually know.

Something tells me that even though Eureka was SyFy's highest-rated show, it simply wasn't pulling in enough viewership to attract decent advertisers. If the commercial breaks had pitches for alarm pendants, acne creams and shady out-of-state lawyers looking to sue over unpronounceable diseases resulting from sketchy medications, it wasn't drawing in enough people. While I'm not as tied into the science-fiction scene as I used to be back in the day, it's not like I've dropped off the face of the Earth, or anything like that. So why didn't I hear about the show while it was still a going concern? Especially one that everyone thought was so amazing? So I find myself wondering to what degree the community of viewers who were passionate about the show were passionate about evangelizing it to other people. Don't get me wrong, Will Wheaton's a pretty great guy, from everything I've heard. But, I've never actually met him in the flesh. Surely someone a bit closer to my everyday life had seen the show?

Yes, yes, I know that the network is supposed to be doing the promotional work, but, as the saying goes, "if you want something done right..." Corporate executives are in the game for the money. And that money comes from advertising dollars. And advertising dollars come from companies being willing to pay to piggyback their message on the back of a television program. If you're watching a television show, and the commercials that come on are for things that have no resonance for you or for anyone you know, there could be a problem. The audience is too small and/or too broke for advertisers to want to pony up enough money to reach that audience for the show to cover its production costs and the desired profit margins. Well these days (like most days), the only science fiction fan with any money is Paul Allen, so if you want a show to last, you've got to get it a bigger audience. So next time, shout it out loud, people! Okay, so it's cool to be into something before everyone else is into it. But if it doesn't last long enough to catch on, there won't be a something left to be into. And "I was into it before it died a whimpering death" just doesn't have the same cachet.

No comments: