Eureka's Creators Don't Sweat Sponsorship DemandsNow that the first half of Eureka's third season has come to a close, it's time to look back at the sponsorship deal that put the show firmly on everyone's radar... for maybe the wrong reasons. Degree For Men may not only save us from unseemly sweat stains, but also from an artificial second sun going supernova. How did the SciFi Channel show's creators feel about having to sell out so publicly?Over on the show's writers blog, Eureka unscripted, Eric Wallace - the co-writer of "Here Come The Suns," the episode where Degree saved the day and the town, alongside executive producer Jaime Paglia - described the experience:
It all began way back in October 2007 when the Sci Fi Channel announced to the Eureka staff that 1) we would have an official commercial sponsor this season, one that was kicking in a lot of dough and would therefore 2) require tons of product placement throughout Season Three. We were also told that 3) ONE EPISODE in Season Three would have to incorporate a storyline in which the actual product HAD to save Eureka somehow, or at the very least, be INDISPENSABLE to Carter’s Act 5 solve. Oooooookay… That product turned out to be Degree Absolute Protection For Men (deodorant) and “Here Comes the Suns” (originally entitled “Little Miss Sunshine”) would become that episode. And how did the staff feel about writing an episode of Eureka under so many pre-existing conditions? Well, on the one hand… Degree money meant a higher budget, which would hopefully translate into a better-looking show. On the other hand, there was the danger that this much product integration could throw our story off balance. Needless to say, great care was taken along the way during this one. Never before has any episode of our show been so scrutinized on all levels. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t just a bit nerve racking. But, man… it was also fun as heck, too.
Fun, perhaps, but also more research-intensive than Wallace had expected. Basic research, mind you:
Along the way we got tons of Network notes about the “Degree”-ness of things. The funniest one involved the ending. Originally Carter and Zane used a spray-on Degree deodorant to protect themselves from the heat in Act 5. However, it was then pointed out that Degree is a roll on. So the spray quickly got changed to a roll-on-esque fireproof goo.
It's that ability to roll with the punches that keeps the Eureka staff upright in the midst of production uncertainty. Revealed elsewhere on the blog is that fact that they don't know when the second half of the season will appear:
Honestly, we don’t know yet… and we’re as anxious to find out as you. Trust us, as soon as we can confirm airdates for those final thirteen episodes, we’ll let you know HERE FIRST.
(And, obviously, as soon as they confirm, we'll tell you.) [Eureka Unscripted]