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SCI FI's Eureka: A Tale of Chaos

Shout out to Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune (also IO9) for her tweet on this one. 

Last week, on their blog "Eureka Unscripted," writers for the SCI FI Channel dramedy talked openly about network demands imposed on the creative staff.

In a candid post dated September 24 and titled "By The Skin of Our Teeth," an unknown author described the chaos triggered by network insistence on last-minute rewrites.

A week before shooting, we were in great shape.  Then the Network told us that while our script was good, it wasn’t appropriate for a season finale.  It was thrown out…..the entire writing staff convened and re-broke 308 from the ground up in one, marathon late-night session. 

Finally, just two days before shooting was scheduled to begin, the situation truly became unhinged:

The Powers That Be pulled the plug AGAIN on the script. Major elementswere deemed inappropriate for a season finale.  There was an especially large disagreement about the final fate of Eva Thorne – what should happen, and how it should be handled….

The staff was reconvened AGAIN:

…the more important story conference call in Eureka history (so far!). On the line was this: we were to shoot in two days. Could we have an entirely new script in time? Yes, but after a second, page-one rewrite… it would probably be very weak, and this was our season finale. And if we couldn’t have a script in time, should we delay or “push” the production schedule… a move that would, literally, cost anywhere from $175,000 to half-a-million dollars? Well, for better or for worse… the decision was made to have us all rewrite 308 YET AGAIN at the eleventh hour. But there was no way such an important episode—our mid season finale—could get done AND be in awesome shape in just 48 hours.

So what did we end up doing?

We wrote the script as we went along.

NO. That is not a typo.

The result, said the writers, is "a looser Eureka episode than you might usually be expecting."

Unfortunately, the permalink doesn’t seem to work.  Scroll down and, if you don’t see the post, keep hitting the "previous" button at the bottom of page until you come across material dated September 24.