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"Buffy: Vampires are creeps. Giles: Yes, that's why one slays them."
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April 25 2007

Ausiello says Drive cancelled. Ausiello says Fox just cancelled Drive and that House reruns will take over the time slot. Also mentions a possibility of running the two unaired eps in May. And there's confirmation of the show's cancellation over at Variety.

[ edited by zeitgeist -*cough* end link title with period *cough*- on 2007-04-25 21:29 ]

Media Week reports the same. Also, it's basically true. I would be surprised if the remaining two actually air.
Well, poop.

I was digging on Drive, but I can't say I'm surprised by this depressing news.

When, oh when, will Nathan Fillion find the successful series he deserves??
Well... gosh darn it, Fox. I watched all four episodes, despite being a bit underwhelmed. It definitely had potential.

edit: typo

[ edited by jkalderash on 2007-04-25 21:32 ]
Ughing ugh ugh.
Thank you, FOX, for affirming exactly why I refuse to watch any of your new shows until they've survived to at least mid-season.
Which just encourages them to kill them off more quickly, unfortunately.
Well. That was fast, even for Fox. :/
Perhaps they jinxed it running ads saying "the new hit series" when the ratings didn't say it was a hit yet.
Dang. I mean, I knew it was coming, but was hoping I was wrong.
Shocking FOX is axing a show so quickly? *gasp*

I adored this show and I really thought it had a lot of potential. Really bummed they are canceling the show, of course not shocking. I mean, sure the ratings weren't amazing but still.
Which just encourages them to kill them off more quickly, unfortunately.

Sadly, actually watching them didn't seem to help all that much either.
I hate Fox so.very.much.
After only 3 episodes???

Poor Nathan and Tim. But they (and the rest of the cast and crew) are talented people and I'm sure they will land on their feet and go on to do other great projects.
Sadly, actually watching them didn't seem to help all that much either.

Helps as much as not watching hurts, so, what are ya gonna do? Help or hurt. I mean either way, Fox will revel in your tears, but... ;)
I hate today.
Sad but not surprising. I feel sorry for the cast and crew who are now out of a job. That sucks.
So there's only 2 more eps? In other words, unless Tim Minear tells us, we'll never know what the race was about, or who wins?

Pardon me while I indulge in some unpostable profanity.

[ edited by Telltale on 2007-04-25 21:58 ]
Not surprised either, but I'm still extremely pissed off.
Can they please at least give us a box-set with the 13 episodes and oodles of behind the scene stuff and interviews? I mean it may not be a full season but it is something.
f-ing crap! I wish they would shop it to another network.

This sucks.
Nathan's already got another gig. He's in London now doing.. something. I've no idea what.

LmR, there aren't 13 episodes. They only shot 6.

[ edited by gossi on 2007-04-25 21:56 ]
Gossi, oh really? I had thought I read somewhere that they had filmed 13. I'll take the six still though in a box-set still. I know. I know, wishful thinking.
Nathan's already got another gig. He's in London now doing.. something. I've no idea what.

Yes, the "super-secret" thing he's "never done before" which will "blow your mind", finally. He says on his MySpace that it "gets done tomorrow, to be shown I don't know when".
This sucks. I was really liking this show. Is this London thing a movie, perhaps?
I just hope it gets the DVD treatment that Wonderfalls and Firefly did. Maybe make it an Inside / Drive double feature set.

If we're lucky, they'll at least release the remaining episodes on iTunes.
It's hard to get that many characters off the ground at once. Hopefully, Tim and Nathan will move on to bigger and better.
Maybe Nathan's doing Doctor Who? Or Torchwood. God, I'd die of shear happiness if that were true.

[ edited by ElectricSpaceGirl on 2007-04-25 22:02 ]
Helps as much as not watching hurts, so, what are ya gonna do? Help or hurt.

I appreciate the sentiment, but with only so much time and energy to spare in a week, I personally prefer to not offer my optimistic hand to FOX to smack for the Nth time.

What I'd really love to see come out of this is for folks to steer clear of FOX. Let the network inevitably smother itself in reality shows. Meanwhile, the true creative people with real innovations look for people who will support them. Seriously, three episodes, was it? FOX must've had their finger hovering over the axe button from the moment they greenlit the thing.

Who I feel for most is Tim Minear. What is this, #4? How many time is he going to let FOX kick him in the arse?
ChosenOne, I thought of that too. I wish the CW could get it! But they have no money for such an expensive show.
too bad, not surprising...
But on the plus side, since I work for a Fox affiliate, today I got lucky enough to get a handful of swag including a roadmap, driver's licenses for all the entrants, and cool Drive air fresheners. My station has a habit of just dumping anything from cancelled shows, so I jumped in before it hit the circular file.
Dang, this ends my crappy day...well...crappily (did I just invent a new word? LOL).
Yeah, iTunes is where it's at I think. They should (in my opinion) do a DVD as it'll sell.

Jet Wolf - he's a millionaire from doing these shows. I don't think he's crying into his sleep.
Are you serious? After only 4 episodes?

Is this what television culture has become? Deliver 10-share ratings your first month or get out? Disgusting.

Poor Tim, Nathan, and Amy. Especially Tim, again.
Quote of Bix: Yes, the "super-secret" thing he's "never done before" which will "blow your mind"

Nathan's never made a sequel to Serenity before. That'd be mind-blowing.
Maybe Nathan's doing Doctor Who? Or Torchwood. God, I'd die of shear happiness if that were true.

That would be almost the coolest thing ever. Just imagine the slash fiction it would spawn!

[ edited by Xithor on 2007-04-25 22:12 ]
Hrmph. I know the ratings were crap (and frankly, the show so far could have been better), but it had serious potential. I don't see the point in canceling it before AT LEAST showing the six episodes they have in the can.

Oh Shite. I'm at work so I can't even indulge in George Carlin's famous eight obscenities, or however many. I can invent some too, when I get home. What does Fox want, WHAT IS IT LOOKING FOR IN A SERIES!?

To Tim, Nathan and the cast, you have my deep condolences. This show started off with a bang, was more original that anything I've seen since I caught all of Wonderfalls on cable a short time ago, and was just flat-out exciting to watch. Tim, I hope one day the television studio scene will change, so that the stories you want to tell will not be thrown out a window the moment it appears that the KA-CHING! of a cash register is not sounding with enough rapidity for studio execs.

This sucks worse than a huge sucking thing. I wish there were something more constructive I could do than sit here and gnash my teeth into vampiric-like points of hatred.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2007-04-25 22:14 ]
Nathan's never made a sequel to Serenity before. That'd be mind-blowing.

I don't think they can make a sequel to Serenity in like a day.

Meanwhile, pardon the gallows humor, but maybe since there's a "Chosen Collection" for Buffy, we can get a "The Cancelled Collection" box set of FOX-shafted Tim Minear shows.
Hm, it doesnt really surprise me after the ratings, but still I wish they would have given it a few more weeks.

Again sitting at the other end of the world without one of these Nielsen boxes sucks big deal. *sighs*
I dont want to sound patronizing, but do you american realize how your TV series start to look like to outsiders? It is, in a way, somewhat hilarious to follow the life and death of those little buggers... or rather something between hilarious and appalling, in fact.

I remember, when I was in high school, I learned some stuff about the agricultural techniques of various country; if I remember well, because of space, France is used to an intensive agriculture (trying to grow as many stuff as possible on a small piece of land, using methods to improve the per acre productivity) whereas, still because of available space, US used extensive agriculture (using wide fields, not really caring about the productivity of each acre since there was many acres to compensate).

Somehow, I have come to believe that the famers of then have become the TV producers of now. :P (not that the french TV series are better, but they are never canceled after only a few episodes...).
*Ring* *ring*

Mr. Minear? Yes, this is Fox. We'd like to get together with you and have a meeting about the next show of yours that we will abruptly cancel...
...I can't believe I fell for it.

Shame on you, Fox. Shame. Go to the special hell.

(bix, I'd buy "The Cancelled Collection"...but only if it was independently produced and made Fox no money! Grr!)
I like gallows humor. It sure beats crying.

FOX: "The Cancelled Collection: Tim Minear". And there could be others for other people.

Hey FOX, would THAT make you some money?
If only American TV WERE going for low-productivity series/farming, M. Le Comité. Sadly, Fox is axing Drive because it didn't produce enough quickly enough.

And, yes, we know we it looks both hilarious and appalling.
Damn Fox!! Why is it so hard to have creative, fun shows on the air? Are we all doomed to watch American Idol and Dancing with the Stars?!?! Damn.
Jet Wolf - he's a millionaire from doing these shows. I don't think he's crying into his sleep.

Well if the pay's the thing, I'll stop feeling bad for Tim too.

Though I'll hazard a guess that, crying in sleep or no, he'd probably actually like to take one of his stories beyond the first four or five pages. If nothing else, classical conditioning should kick in here in a second and let him know that FOX is more likely than not not the place to do this. We can but hope.
Jumping bollocks. Sorry for all the cast, creative types etc. but not exactly shocked. I haven't even watched these yet, now i'm debating whether to bother just in case I fall in love with it (like I did with 'The Inside').

I guess in fairness, they (apparently) promoted the hell out of it and still no-one watched. More of a chance would be nice but that's fairly easy to say when you're not spending $2 million plus every week. Hate to blaspheme but maybe it just wasn't that good ? Even the best can have a dud now and again (and the response even on here hasn't exactly been crazily enthusiastic).

BTW, if they won't release 'The Inside' on DVD (which had 13 episodes and a sort of 'resolution') I don't see them doing 'Drive' any justice.

(Nathan on 'Doctor Who' would be most w00t-worthy though)

I don't think they can make a sequel to Serenity in like a day.

That's just quitter talk ;).

How does FOX expect viewers to care about their shows, when they don't care about them?

I feel like something should be done...a letter needs to be sent...FOX is out of control. I didn't even watch "Drive" and this seems crazy. I think that maybe if FOX knew that people don't watch new shows on FOX because they get cancelled in 2 episodes, then maybe they would rethink their strategies.
No Drive cannot be canceled, they can't do this to us again, I refuse to bow down to the dumbing down of television- with reality TV, people being weird and idiotic, if I want to see that I'd go to the zoo.

Fans of Drive, lets not loose the race.
Four episodes in two weeks and they've canned the whole damn thing?!

Ok, so who are we writing to to complain about this?
Not that I expect it will do any good, but I really want to let it out on someone in charge.
This sucks. Race is already lost :(.
dumbing down of television Not a very long trip.
that's fairly easy to say when you're not spending $2 million plus every week

And therein lies the rub, doesn't it, Saje? Considering how much money they have to spend per episode producing Drive, I suppose we all knew they weren't going to stick it out long with anything but stellar ratings. Which naive little me says is no excuse...if you've bothered to put all this money into it ALREADY, at least stick it out and give it a chance to make you some bucks back?

Clearly I have not the mind of a TV exec. And I think I'm grateful for that. Although I might sleep better...
Is anyone actually upset about this? I mean, in the words of GOB from Arrested Development(another cancelled Foxie), come on!
UGH!!! I hate when they do this.
When will they wise up! Tim, Nathan and all the Whedon-connected folks have such a loyal fan base and all they have to do is actually air the stuff. (insert bad Book of Daniel flashback)
I was getting totally sucked in to the stories in Drive.
You would think after the amazing afterlife of Buffy, Angel and Firefly they would learn that they need to run these things despite low initial ratings and then the $$$ will follow later.
Can someone please create some sort of corporation that produces these shows? We could all buy shares! With all the money funneled into merchandise, comics, conventions, etc. I bet the Whedon Nation could raise some substantial financial backing for our favorite creative types. Heck, we could use that old barn for a studio!
Okay, so I can dream, can't I?
(bangs head on desk, repeatedly)
Official confirmation (Mods might want to rework the post):
Ah, FOX and the "if it doesn't take off in the first three to five episodes" limit. I think there's a viable economic strategy in pitching ideas to FOX for shows that have no more than six episodes of content in them.

It seems as if they really want to be in the miniseries business.
Suprise suprise. We really need to get a Fox boycott going on. If only I didn't watch House and Bones.
Buy some postcards, buy some stamps, and mail them to the addresses

Preston Beckman - Executive Vice President of Scheduling - 10201 West Pico Blvd - Building 100, Room
4480 - Los Angeles, CA 90035

Peter Liguori - President of Entertainment FOX Broadcasting - 10201 West Pico Blvd. - Building 100,
Room 4450 - Los Angeles CA 90035

Marcy Ross - Senior Vice President of Current Programming FOX Broadcasting - 10201 West Pico Blvd -
Building 100, Room 4150 - Los Angeles, CA 90035

Mr. Gary Newman or Ms. Dana Walden - Twentieth Century Fox Television - 10201 West Pico Blvd -
Building 88, Room 259 - Los Angeles, CA 90035
FOX Broadcasting Co. (main mail address) - P.O. Box 900 - Beverly Hills, CA 90213

Suzanna Makkos - Manager of Current Programming - 10201 West Pico Blvd - Building 100, Room 4150 -
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Preston Beckman - Executive Vice President of Scheduling - 10201 West Pico Blvd - Building 100, Room
4480 - Los Angeles, CA 90035

Craig Erwich - Executive Vice President of Programming- 10201 West Pico Blvd - Building 100, Room
4511 - Los Angeles, CA 90035
Yeah, I'd be good with writing a letter. Not an angry I'm gonna get ya letter but just explaining how much I adored this show and just because I don't have a frakin' Nielson box doesn't mean I'm not watching.
Meanwhile, pardon the gallows humor, but maybe since there's a "Chosen Collection" for Buffy, we can get a "The Cancelled Collection" box set of FOX-shafted Tim Minear shows. almost made me pee my pants with that!
I fell for it too! and I fell bad. episode four really got me there.

and this is after two weeks? I guess airing the first three episodes of a brand new ongoing (ahem) weekly serial over two days probably wasn't such a great idea. probably confused a lot of people, even.

I would say that Fox has a poor policy of throwing a lot of shit at the wall to see if it'll stick, and wiping it straight off the floor if it doesn't - but on the other hand if they didn't do that then maybe we wouldn't see so much of Tim Minear!
I honestly wasn't expecting it that quick. I thought they'd at least let us get to the six episode break, then swing the crebbil. There was some great mystery and suspense that I just really wanted to see resolved.

I LOVE the idea of "Tim Minear's Cancelled Collection" DVDs. Put Drive and the Inside together in a set, I'll be sure to get them. They'll be right at home on my shelf between Firefly and Wonderfalls. (Would Angel count, too?)

What I shamefully crappy thing.

[ edited by CaptainB on 2007-04-25 22:56 ]
feigenbaum7, thanks for all the address'. I'll be busting out my postcards and stamps and doing some letter writing. *cracks knuckles* Much appreciated.
How about, say, Drive: Season 1.5 from Dark Horse?
How about, say, Drive: Season 1.5 from Dark Horse?

NOW we're talking!
If, they show the final two episodes, and everyone gets people to tune in...Im just saying it cant hurt to try.
I think that with Fox, it always hurts.
Right here,*points* right in the heart.

stupid Fox.
gossi, it isn't all about the money. This is going to sound harsh, but I'm feeling harsh. So here goes.

Tim is wealthy enough to never have work again. He does this because he loves bringing new stories to the screen.

As the boss, he feels very responsible for the people working for him, who are now out of work. I think he shaved about two years of his life off working on this show, not just for himself, but for the people who were depending on the show's success for their livelihood.

Please don't presume to think he's that callous about this. He'll always say, "don't worry about me, I'm a millionaire," which is his way. This doesn't mean he isn't hurting for the other people who threw down and worked very hard for this show.

Because you profess to be someone in the know, and to a small degree you are, I am worried that someone reading might think Tim is as callous as you're presenting it. He just isn't.
If, they show the final two episodes, and everyone gets people to tune in...Im just saying it cant hurt to try.

While I (big surprise) am skeptical of such a thing mattering, if you really want to try something along these lines, try finding a local bar or some such whose operators also are fans and see if they'd be willing to make a sort of unofficial "Drive Night" for the last 2, if they air. Enough such Drive parties for the last two might spark some PR.

But, having said that, I'm skeptical anyway. The show has already gotten decent press coverage (not to mention FOX's own ad campaign, which was constant and actually pretty well done).

It makes no sense for me to proclaim skepticism, then nonetheless toss out an idea, and then say I'm skeptical even of that idea, but...


ETA: I guess what I'm saying is that even if I personally am skeptical, if you're going to try something, at least make it big and audacious, and not half-assed. Heh.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-04-25 23:17 ]
They won't do that during sweeps, feigenbaum7. Those start next week.
They won't do that during sweeps, feigenbaum7. Those start next week.

I was assuming it was in relation to TV Guide saying that "the final two unaired Drive eps may get burned off on consecutive Fridays in May".
Thanks for saying that, Allyson. I know Tim is an artist like any other artist who wants to tell his stories and have them succeed, not only for himself, but for those working for him. The money is besides the point.
Allyson, I acknowledge that, and was also kinda joking. It's hard to convey something in short messages on a weblog. Ultimately, yes, Tim earns a lot of money for these things, and rightly so -- but that comes with a lot of responsibility. I'm not for a second suggesting he doesn't know that (although, yes, it read like I was).
bix, I don't think any viewership on a Friday at 8 would be enough to matter. I could be wrong.
I feel bummed for all involved. I guess you can never tell who the T.V. gods will favor. This show had everything you would think it would need to succeed. It was mainstream enough not to alienate the masses. It had cars, hot chicks, and supspense. And Nathan. Could there have been a better formula for success?

Yet this gets cancelled after 4 episodes and a show about a quippy blonde teenager who stakes vampires lasts for 7 seasons. I guess you never can tell.

[ edited by kerfuffle on 2007-04-25 23:20 ]
bix, I don't think any viewership on a Friday at 8 would be enough to matter. I could be wrong.

Um, which perhaps is why I kept saying I was skeptical. It wasn't my idea, after all. I'm just saying if someone wants to try something, don't be small and entirely unnoticed about it -- go all out.

(Also partly why I went back in and added, likely while you were commenting, the extra bit I tacked onto the end.)
You have got to be frakking kidding me. Guess they needed room for Who Wants to Marry a Mutant Bumblebee Pussycat Doll Millionaire 4.

*love to Tim and Nathan*

[ edited by Samantha on 2007-11-06 18:43 ]
I wonder how many people chose not to watch because they didn't want to get invested in something FOX was going to cancel? I have no confidence in FOX. I wait a season before I watch one of their shows. Sorry.
I don't think any viewership on a Friday at 8 would be enough to matter. I could be wrong.

8 o'clock Friday night viewers couldn't save Firefly, alas. :(
I don't think the general TV audience has a list of cancelled-by-FOX shows in their heads.

Meanwhile, just to double-back to an earlier bit: I think what I'm arguing is that in reality there isn't much to be done if you're goal is to get FOX to uncancel the show. But if you're goal is to support what's left -- and therefore by extension Tim -- then don't just tell people to watch the last two episodes. Make an event of it.

(Sort of like I tend to feel that Browncoats shouldn't spend their energy doing things because they think it will get them a sequel, but instead simply because they want other people to have the experience of what we did get.)

So, if you're really angsty over this, and just feel like you need to DO something, then have a little event if they air the last two. Call it (gallows humor alert) a Drive Bye.

Do it in appreciation, come what may in any other regard.
A Drive Bye would be great, I just want people to watch it and realize what they were missing out on.
I posted this on the Drive forum, and I'll post it again...

FOX is creating its own problems. The more they persist in cancelling shows so early, the more that people hesitate about becoming involved in a new show. If the ratings aren't awesome during the first 30 minutes of the premiere, one can actually begin to hear the sound of the cancellation axe being sharpened.

I realize that advertising dollars and ratings are crucial, but this early execution style will continue to undermine the network. Brilliant, creative people like Tim will turn to other means to tell their stories. In these days of emerging technology, where networks will become less and less relevant (not to mention commercials), FOX is doing a grand job of discouraging highly creative from working with them.

Brilliant, inventive and unique creative folk will not want to pour acre feet of energy and time into a project that will not be allowed to stay on long enough to get some traction (and there are plenty of examples of initially low ratings shows which grew and became hits, given the time). No, creative folks will seek out the newer avenues of delivering entertainment outside the traditional network structures. Producers and writers will be more independent and self determining... and FOX will be a landscape of mostly reality TV shlock.

Damn. I really thought Drive would make it. Was really cool to have a show to get genuinely excited about seeing. Yeah, very cool... while it lasted.

Edited to add: Excellent post Bix, and "Drive Bye"... poignantly apropos name.

[ edited by 11thHour on 2007-04-25 23:58 ]
Bugger. Bugger! This was a good show as well.

The signs were there all along, huge delays, Fox deciding to put the show on hiatus after 6 episodes no matter how well it launched.

Tim, please, please stay away from Fox in the future, Firefly, Wonderfalls, The Inside, and now Drive, they obviously get some kind of twisted pleasure from cancelling your shows before they get a chance.

So what on Earth was that story last week about how it was too early to worry about ratings rabitting on about?

FOX, you f***ers are so pathetically predictable! I mean c'mon, do you guys really expect genre fans to care about a damn thing you do anymore? Do your really expect any of us to take you seriously?

11thHour, very well said.

ETA: And would it really kill anyone to just let the thing burn itself out for two whole episodes more? What the f**k, FOX?!? Two episodes to go and you couldn't just f***ing suck it up and let the last two air?

Dear God you people suck balls! Never again, I tell you. No. More. FOX.

[ edited by Haunt on 2007-04-26 00:07 ]
I find myself remembering the Joss interview from the other day. He was discussing something else but I think he really hit the mark on the sentiment shared by all of the Drive, Minear, and Fillion fans today.

That’s the problem when you throw your heart into those things; it just stays there.
- Joss

Poor Timmah/Tim's crew.

I would love the rest of the episodes to show up on iTunes at least, because I really want to know what happens next.

The show is well made, the actors that I initially didn't like are all growing on me, and I want to know what happens next!

At least now I don't have to choose between "Drive" and a new episode of "How I Met Your Mother" to view next week. And I watch a lot of TV as it is, so I need to cut down (having a show I like cancelled isn't the preferred way to do this of course). But I'm still bummed out.

For now, those 4 hours of television are being saved on my TiVo until the unaired 'sodes show up on iTunes.
Anyone else having visions of Tim and Joss getting really sloshed tonight with some sort of dialogue like:
Tim: "You were right, they're bastards."
Joss: "Naw, you had to TRY..."
Tim: "Nono! You were RIGHT, man!"
Joss: "Ok, I was right."

Or it's just me. And I should stop thinking that everyone else drowns their sorrows in beer. (;

I HATE FOX. What are they doing to me?? I was getting really excited about this show.
It's a shame some shows can't be made solely for dvd. I would have loved a 22 ep boxset of this!

Frak! Dickweeds! And Other Words That Sound Obscene But Aren't!
Sadly, I knew this was coming, and not just because I can forsee the future like the mother of Hero-ic brothers can. It didn't look good when Fox announced before the run begins that it's splitting the season in two. Aside from that, it was going to be in trouble against "Deal Or No Deal" and "Dancing With the Stars". Maybe they should have made it a summer series, but no one even thinks of such a risk except on HBO or something.
Well, no matter what Fox does, Nathan Fillion will be a star. "Waitress!" will see to that! At least I have the fake licenses and the Drive Promo Emergency Kit to remember it by.

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2007-04-26 00:24 ]

Fox gave it a better chance than Firefly or Wonderfalls by actually airing it in order and advertising it. Still I don't know what kind of ratings they expect with an April premiere with three episodes in two nights. Seems to me shows such as this gain an audience through word of month, which you kind of kill by airing the episodes so close together.

Still, I fall for it every time.

[ edited by jenekb on 2007-04-26 00:24 ]

Why on earth would anyone tune in to a new show on F#x when their reputation precedes them. I'm pissed and I haven't even seen Drive (don't get F%x, which I'm thinking is actually a good karma gift to me). I will be writing angry emails over this. Drive's PREMATURE cancellation is just the icing on the cake (the cake whose purpose is to destroy television). We will be lucky to ever get quality, creative shows when this is how they are managed. Maybe I'm off my nut, but I would like to believe that while dramas etc might not attract the attention that reality crapshows do right off the bat - if they are given a chance and allowed to develop they will garner the audience they deserve. It's really a choice between nuturing something (think puppies or babies or something cute)and allowing that something to grow and survive on its own (read: be profitable), or giving it four seconds to 'grow' and then becoming impatient and crushing its guts out. I'm really so disappointed....
And to those who say that Drive was slightly lackluster I still maintain that given a chance to find its rhythm Drive had the potential to develop into something special.
What the frak.....this is just evil. I certainly won't be investing in any more of Fox's new shows. :(
There is absolutely no FRACKING way anyone can predict how long a show will last, or how popular a show can become after only 2-3 eps!!!!!!!!! If it wasn't for "24", I would drop this whole damn network. Grrrr........arrrgh......

first black donnellys, now drive.

I'm not even remotely surprised by this, but I do feel sorry for all the people associated with the show.

I guess the only race they won was to be one of the quickest cancellations on the network that seems to pride itself in quick cancellations.
Damn it. I've been taping Drive and enjoying it, even though car culture 'n' speed aren't really my cuppa. All the credit for enticing me to give it a shot anyway goes to TM and his crew. While I'll say I've never been deluded into thinking that FOX would give any new cool-and-sorta-different series a real chance, it's still depressing to be confirmed correct with such infuriating regularity. If there's no seeing the full season now, I hope we'll eventually get story resolution in some form or another -- it's just wrong that we didn't get even one NF/AA-in-real-time scene. Damn it again!

Regardless of TM's fortuitous financial state, I can understand how he must be feeling terrible right now. So many talanted people whose names we don't know (unless you read all the credits, of course) have just had their legs cut out from under them. It isn't his fault; he and they are all at the mercy of a cruel, soul-crushing machine run by business types who worship numbers and money to the exclusion of all else. I wish Drive's cast and crew good, dependable projects very soon, and can't wait for the day when FOX's brutal broadcasting assault against intelligence and the underground creative community in H'wood gets its just comeuppance.
Can't say I'm surprised, unfortunately. Drive seemed to be very much like The Amazing Race, which is immensely popular on CBS.

Maybe Tim retained the rights to shop out Drive to another network. Or, you never know, maybe another studio will come along and greenlight a Drive MOVIE.

Would love to know what Nathan's working on in London. It'd be so nice if it was Firefly/Serenity related.
Mmf. I just watched Monday's show today and was all looking forward to seeing conclusions. :/

I... wasn't nearly as into it as I was Firefly from the get-go, unfortunately, though I really do like serial story lines and so it was more interesting to me because of that. (I think I like serial story lines because to me it's more like reading a book.)

I was unfortunately expecting this (as the ratings were low and (sarcasm) Fox has to keep up its reputation (/sarcasm)), although not nearly this soon.
Now poor Amy Acker will never be rescued! And we'll never find out who's behind the race. Which, like with Lost, was the main thing that interested me. (Did we ever find out what's up with the island on Lost? I stopped watching a while ago...)

Pity. I feel bad for Nathan, because he's just so good and he can't seem to find a niche. Not a good week for Joss cast getting things cancelled...
So many talanted people whose names we don't know (unless you read all the credits, of course) have just had their legs cut out from under them.

This, very true. Hopefully Tim's back next year with another show.
Aww, nuts. I just hope that everybody over Drive is able to find work so soon after making a commitment to the show.

It shouldn't surprise me that Fox is so trigger-happy, you'd think that they would understand shows, especially serials, require more than four episodes to build up. I guess, like Firefly, they had already made up their minds from the word go, which makes me wonder why they'd even waste the money in the first place. These execs, they twist and turn like twisty turny things.

[ edited by Small Frye on 2007-04-26 01:05 ]
Damn, over 100 comments already and I only just heard about this. That'll teach me to not check Whedonesque all day.

11thHour, great post. I said almost exactly the same thing in an earlier Drive related thread. Fox cannot expect people to get invested in new shows and characters when they have a proven track record of never allowing shows to develop or give any chance for word to spread. They are making it so no new series, no matter how great an idea, has any possibility of success because nobody will risk watching it in the first place.

I'm really gutted because I was really starting to enjoy Drive. The fourth episode was very good indeed and it (not to mention the show overall) deserved a hell of a lot better ratings than it got. When uber-boring, paint by numbers, seen it all before series like Law and Order and the various CSI shows continue to get massive numbers each week it's a crime that fresh concepts like Drive, with actual interesting characters and storylines, can't survive.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Had this show gone to ABC or NBC it would have been a lot more likely to survive because a lot more people would have given it a fair chance, trusting that the network was going to give it a fair chance too.
Gah! Ever since this show got announced in the first place, my husband's been making fun of me, saying that it would get cancelled before the first episode even aired. I really should have listened to him and not gotten attached to it already. I guess I'll blame Fox instead of him, though, since I don't have to live with the Fox execs (thank God!)

I was so enjoying getting to see Nathan every week again. Stupid Fox!
When NBC started Heroes they repeated the original episode several times in order to make sure that new viewers had a chance to discover the new show, and Sci-fi channel has done the same thing with Dresden and other new shows. It seems unreasonable to suddenly air three new episodes on two consecutive nights and then cancel the show because not enough people happened to tune in and get into it. But I'm not surprised, Fox evidently got better ratings when rerunning House, and that doesn't cost them any money at all.
At least Nathan got plenty of praise, even from the reviewers that weren't impressed with the show.
my husband's been making fun of me, saying that it would get cancelled before the first episode even aired

Tim himself made much the same joke at Backup Bash.

ETA: Now that I think of it, I might have stolen my earlier "The Cancelled Collection" joke from Tim's appearance at Backup Bash. Anyone who was there remember?

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-04-26 01:15 ]
So, ever since I heard about a new Tim Minear show airing on Fox, I've been wondering why he was doing it, considering his past experiences. Does Fox have a thing where they're really good at greenlighting ambitious new projects? Like, moreso than other networks, do they make it easier to start production on a new show? Maybe the reason Fox keeps canceling good shows is because they develop a lot of good shows? (And then are utterly merciless with the canceling knife, yes, but I'm more confused about the first point.)

Basically I don't understand why this keeps happening over and over when everyone involved should have learned better by now. I know very little about the behind-the-scenes of it all - can anyone shine a light on it? I mean, Tim doesn't have a show-developing contract with Fox or something, does he?
About 11th hour's comment about why "Drive" was in trouble even before it began...
you could say the same thing about "Day Break", ABC's 13-part series designed to keep us interested until "Lost" came back after its six-week start. For those who can't see the episodes online, where is the DVD set for that show?
It's things like this that make ideas like turning off the TV for a week sound great...and a month sound better (not next month, of course, but you know...).
not so much surprised as disappointed yet AGAIN in FOx
Yup, they did give it a good time slot and they did actually advertise it but the audience didn't show and it may even have drawn down 24's numbers.

I liked Drive and set the PVR to record all new episodes... but I was in the minority and Fox crunched the numbers to Tim's and our detriment.

Although, if I didn't know Tim's track record, I would have turned off the television when the space shuttle was reflected in the car windows from only a couple hundred feet away. What were you thinking Tim? That's like having someone sitting in an office in Los Angeles and having the Golden Gate Bridge reflected in the window.
ETA: Now that I think of it, I might have stolen my earlier "The Cancelled Collection" joke from Tim's appearance at Backup Bash. Anyone who was there remember?

Can't say that I memorized everything Tim said, but I don't remember that line, B!x.
Well... If I said I'd not seen that coming, I'd be a liar. :/
Well crud. I really, really, REALLY liked the car Alex Tully drove.

Oh, and that Nathan Fillion guy was pretty cool, too.
I am sad that they cancelled this show so soon, but got to say I am not surprised. Frankly, it wasn't Tim or Nathan's best work. **ducks**. I am sad to see it end so quickly and not let it gain its footing or its audience.

Hope may spring eternal, but she's taking longer to get back up after each tumble. I'm starting to empathize with Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. Fox execs, Lucy Van Pelt - hmmmm.
Pardon my hyperbole, but I have no words to say except that Fox is evil. I have strongly suspected that their modus operandi is to identify creative souls with the ability to make positive impact on the collective consciousness, hire them and then destroy all that they create - thereby neutralizing what otherwise might have uplifted humanity.

"Drive uplifts humanity?" you ask? Well, consider the potential of Drive, in context with The Inside, Wonderfalls, Firefly...

Poor Tim, sold his soul to the beast. Poor we fans, taken in again. Grr! Aargh!
Granted, "Drive" wasn't the best thing I'd ever seen, but jeez.

No wonder Joss is reluctant to attempt a return to TV.
Excellent point 11th Hour (my heart certainly agrees with you), but the reality of this seems like: what does FOX care about quality programming from creative, talented people when the ratings (and big money) are in "reality" TV?

Unfortunately, not much at all by the looks of things. I hate it when a passionate and intelligent potential audience gets jerked around by this old bait-and-switch. Big ups to Tim Minear and the producers, the crew and the actors: you all deserve better than this - never let down (I hope to hell that Tim isn't locked into a lengthy contract with FOX and can - if he so chooses - look elsewhere for better partners with which to deal)!
For F**KS SAKE! They didn't even give it a chance. They are OFF the list. No more Fox shows for me. I'll wait to watch Bones when I get it from the library - next year. They are so out of control.
Awh bugger.
I was starting to get into the show. Very few shows get me hooked right off the bat...well, unless they've got Joss Whedon in charge. Tim is close...But Joss seems to constistently get hooked by the second act break of the pilot if not before. But, it takes some time to build an audience, even ones willing to give a show the benefit of every doubt.

I understand Fox's point, from a marketing perspective. And, if all they're worried about is the cash, then, does sorta make sense. But, somewhere behind those doors, in the offices where you can actually see daylight through a window and there's furniture that wasn't manufactured before you were even born, somewhere in there, you'd think that there were people who were interested in making great television shows because they loved the medium and believed it was an amazing way to tell wonderful stories that had the power to genuinely affected people's lives. And, maybe, somewhere there are. Maybe it's that the bean counters who hold the purse strings are just too powerful. Maybe it's that the powers that be really do love television, but not enough to put their jobs on the line for something that might not be a major hit. I don't really know how media corporations really work. But, I gotta believe that there's at least a few people in there who are in it for more than the money. And, until those people become more powerful, I guess we fans, especially those of use without Nielson boxes, just have to keep doing all that we can to gorilla market the shows we fall in love with. And hope that at least some of the time we don't get burned.
I remember back in the day, Fox had this show called X-Files that they dumped on Friday night. It really didn't do too well at first but slowly built an audience and then ended up becoming one of Fox's biggest successes. It's really too bad that these days networks don't want to wait for a show to build any audience but to become an instant sucess.

Maybe Nathan's doing Doctor Who? Or Torchwood. God, I'd die of shear happiness if that were true.

Well, since Doctor Who and Torchwood executive producer Russell Davies is a big Joss Whedon fan, I wouldn't be surprised if it that did happen. That would be incredibly cool.
Of Fox's notable injustices, this was the closest to justified. I agree that a show needs more than four episodes to make its case, but I wasn't nearly as intrigued by Drive as I was by the first four episodes of, say, Firefly, Wonderfalls, or Arrested Development.
Can't say I wasn't expecting this.

Fox has done this so many times that I've become disaffected by the canceling of shows I actually like. *shrugs*

[ edited by flightofserenity on 2007-04-26 03:42 ]
I watched the first episode last night. I went to bed happy in the knowledge that there was a brand new show I was loving (yea...ok first ep was a bit clunky in parts) then I wake up to find (shock horror) Fox had canceled it!

You all have called them much worse things than I can think of ( I could think of some pretty bad words) neverthless, I'll say I won't trust them or watch them again...but if Tim or Joss use them, I probably will.

I just think they are a bunch of moronic dicks with no taste or sense between the lot of them.

Ok...I found I did have something to say after all.
Well, fark. FARK! Fox FARKED ME AGAIN!

I can't believe I fell for it. I had sworn them off long ago, and haven't followed anything on that network in... forever. Then just last week, I saw something about watching Drive on their website. So I went. Watched the pilot. Watched the next two eps. All in one sitting. Because I could. Just the way I like to absorb my shows. And I decided I liked it.

I'm actually numb to the pain at this point.

Why did I get involved? New. Fresh. Nathan.

And I fell for it... again.

Never again. I had sworn off following anything on the air, and now that goes for whatever they make available online.

Hell. I work all the farkin' time. Keeping up with exactly one show and half a personal life is hard as hell. My one show, BSG, is off 'til January, so what do I do? Slip into Drive.

The FOX bastards have lost me FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!
I can't fault Fox as far as promotion goes, but Jesus. They only gave Drive 8 days. I'm no fancy pants industry mucky-muck, but um, 8 days just seems ridiculous.

Poor Nathan. Poor Tim. Poor Drive. They deserved much better. *Snif*
And I should stop thinking that everyone else drowns their sorrows in beer. (;

Well, there's always chardonnay or Maker's Mark or Wild Turkey.

I wish I could abandon FOX, but I'm addicted to Bones.
I was hoping it would go further before it got canceled so we could organize some sort of "Browncoats for Drive" rush where we say, "release it on DVD and we'll make it as popular as Firefly was", but it doesn't sound like that'd be amazingly feasible. :P I didn't want to believe it would happen this soon.
I wish I could abandon FOX, but I'm addicted to Bones.

Same here, Bones and House. And those two shows have often had Verse alumni as guest stars (or even stars). So I'm reluctant to abandon a show that gives open support to such talented actors (not to mention the fact that the stories are awesome).

I watch about three shows on network TV, and Drive was number four. I'll stay with my favorites out of loyalty, but I've about had it with the networks, period. There's no point in watching new series anymore, no matter what station they're on.
What a shame. What this tells me is that if you're looking to produce a show with FOX and they offer you a budget of more than, say half a million, you should just get up and leave, because otherwise you're too big a liability.
Well, just to torture myself, I went to the Fox site to watch episode 4 online. Just as I suspected, the action picked up, the drama intensified, and interesting turns and plot twists took place.

I suppose I'll check out the final two eps if I ever hear about them or whatever.

I'm completely done with any new show unless it's been on the air for its full first season. Period.
Sucker punched, AGAIN.

This must be a land speed record cancellation.

Way to go leaving everybody wondering who actually runs the race, who wins the race and who dies.

My husband is TIZZED.

Thanks Fox for showing us the true Circle Of The Black Thorn. You know, the Fox executives. BUTTHEADS.

*the ultimate insult*
I just iTuned the eps and was getting into it (don't have a TV- watch on my 30 inch computer monitor). Boo to Fox!
To tell the truth, I was having trouble getting into Drive. The first episode was good, the second episode was really good, the third episode was okay, the fourth I did not like.

Still, only two weeks and four episodes? Motherfuckers. It had real potential, and I was looking forward to seeing what would happen...

Writing letters and stuff like that isn't going to help, and I say this not to dampen the dreams of others, but historically, it doesn't work. It didn't work for Firefly, which had three times the amount of episodes and more critical buzz. Yes, we got Serenity, but the fact that the fans snapped up the DVDs and therefore we got the flick is a misconception, and Joss has stated as such before. Our buying the stuff definitely helped maintain its production and budget, but Mary Parent greenlit the flick just by watching tapes of Firefly and loving it so much.

Then again, I watch American Idol, so I'm not really helping, am I?

A question, somewhat unrelated but I want to know exactly what goes on in the mind of a FOX exec (*shudder*):

The Loop is returning after a year without any new episodes...can someone please explain that to me? Is it because it's inexpensive or something?
I'm reminded of an awesome quote from a Shows that Shouldn't have been Cancelled List:

"Perhaps the FOX comedy division is run by a masochist who loves these types of shows, and he knows that because they challenge the audience that they’ll be on the trash heap after one season and he’ll get to feel the hot hot burning sorrow that comes with cancellation."

Switch comedy out for drama.
*sigh* does Fox fuckin' do it? I do they keep doing shows that, when I watch from the beginning and really enjoy, are cancelled within the first season or so? It's a bloody circle, it's what it is! Fox started out with all kinds of crap, got better, and has gone back to showing nothing but crap (excluding Bones and House)!

And I don't think Nathan's mystery thing is doing an episode of either Dr. Who or Torchwood, much as that would be all kinds of friggin' cool. Both series are filmed in around Cardiff, Wales...though location shoots do happen in London for times when they need recognizable London landmarks;)

this stinks, but at least we get those.
I won't believe anything FOX says until it happens.
Well it's not entirely unexpected, but I was sort of hoping it wouldn't happen so soon.

To quote Xander: "I'm just gonna go home, lie down and listen to country music. The music of pain."
I hate to say that I'm not surprised -- but I'm not surprised. Mid-season shows are particularly vulnerable to quick cancellation -- The Black Donnellys and Andy Barker were two heavily promoted network shows that spring immediately to mind, both also cancelled, and given the low ratings as well as high production values of "Drive" (i.e. high costs), I knew the show was on thin ice. So I'm not shocked by FOX's decision. I can't even blame them for it.

But I am sorry the show's going away; I liked the few eps I saw, and while I wasn't committed entirely to the idea, I was curious to see where they were gonna go with it. Poor Tim, Nathan, Amy, et al.
I'm bummed. I just set my Tivo up for a season pass for "Drive". Now I have to cancel it.

And tell me, what's the point of watching the remaining 2 eppies later (assuming the Fox bastards actually air them) if the show is cancelled anyway? We won't find the answers to anything in them.

I love you Nathan and Tim. Sorry things didn't work out.

And dear old Fox - you can forget me watching anymore of your shows unless they make it through a season. Why should I invest my time in your shows when you won't?

P.S. This is childish and stupid, but it will make me feel a little bit better: Hey Fox - You suck!!!

[ edited by Simon on 2007-04-26 07:13 ]
Damn I wish I lived in the US so I could not watch Fox ever again.
Just watch Cannonball Run and pretend that Amy Acker is in Burt Reynolds' ambulance. All the plot points from Drive come together, more or less, if you're not too picky.

Fox is clearly a network for producers to avoid. Why don't US producers get foreign networks involved instead? Produce the shows for Canada or something, and sell them on DVD in the US.
Did someone forget to turn off a strong tag, or is everyone just being bold on purpose?

Well, let's see.

ETA: Hrm, I can't seem to make it go back.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-04-26 06:53 ]
why exactly did I bother to care about this show?
My twin UnpluggedCrazy and I agree again. IMO, not all the eps were equally great, but the show certainly could have gotten strong given time to develop. Some of the scenes in the scripts you can download from (I wonder if he put them there b/c he knew about the cancellation?) would have made the eps much stronger, IMO, giving more background on the minor characters so that I could have gotten lots more interested about the competition aspect. As it was, I really enjoyed watching Nathan go from frantic upset husband to cold-blooded badass and back each week (I swear I would watch that guy paint a fence on pay-per-view, he's such a good actor), but the other characters, meh. This was NOT Firefly, which IMO was so strong in every possible way -- all the characters were fully rounded, all the actors were compelling to watch, the effects rocked, the stories unique and powerful, the scripts were amazing poetry and drama and comedy all rolled into one. I cared completely about the relationships of those 9 people and what happened to them and their little space boat. *sighs*

Please don't kill me, folks, but I can see why Fox cancelled Drive -- it was good but NOT the best show I have ever seen, and the ratings were always below the level of a House repeat that aired in the same time slot, and this was after a really, really strong campaign of promos for the show, plus making it available on iTunes and MySpace. They may be bastards at Fox, but they also have to run a network at a profit, not a loss. And they don't care about letters -- they want viewers, not mail. :-(
Words fail me.

Well, actually, I can think of quite a few, variously starting with F, B and A.
Er, flowers, bandaids and apples? ;-)
It's hard to get that many characters off the ground at once.

Lost, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica. The three shows I follow (other than the unfortunately-short-lived Drive) all are large ensemble casts.
April - "The FOX bastards have lost me FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!"

And the countdown to the next cancelled Fox show begins.

April's comment and all the others with a similar theme above just go to prove what I and others have already said. That Fox are creating their own problem in getting new dramas off the ground, especially ones with any sort of real continuity.

Cancelling Drive just a week into it's run is ridiculous. The idea to air three episodes over two nights made for very unrealistic hopes that any viewer would be able to find a spare three hours for an unproven new series over two nights. Who has the time for that and especially when there is already the expectation that the show won't survive anyway. This leads to low ratings for the first three episodes and in turn gives even more people the feeling that the show won't last much longer. More people decide to walk away from the series and don't watch episode four and you have the recipe for a cancellation.

Fox simply have to show the willingness to give a new series a chance. Give some kind of guarantee that they will at least air half a season before deciding to bring down the axe. This policy may initially lead to one or two unpopular shows lasting longer than they should but at least then they would know whether a show was truly bad or that it was just a case of people having no faith in the network.
Yes, billz, I'm also at the same rueful but not *shaking fists* phase of mood. Cancelling Drive sucks, but it does ultimately make some kind of sense, if you look at the situation with clear eyes.

Why don't US producers get foreign networks involved instead? Produce the shows for Canada or something, and sell them on DVD in the US.

Actually, this is something I've pondered. Why is American TV, which is by nature viciously competitive and driven by a profit-model, so artistically successful? While other countries have TV networks that are apparently... kinder (I've heard both Canada and France mentioned in this thread) and yet, there are not many great Canadian or French TV shows. Yes, I might be culturally limited -- I certainly know very little about television from those countries -- but you have to admit: American TV is pretty freakin' awesome.

Maybe the fact that TV is done without a safety net has something to do with it. There are no guarantees of safety, so you have to literally go out there and give everything right off the bat. Plus, a profit-driven model means that you, presumably, have more money. I doubt Drive could be accomplished on a Canadian or French network budget. So you got money, you got major pressure, and you've got creative foment. One thing I rarely see mentioned when people bemoan cancelled shows is that when one show dies, another one gets its chance. When Andy Barker was cancelled, I was pleased b/c it meant that 30 Rock was coming back. I remember lots of Dark Angel fans were p.o.'ed at Firefly for taking their timeslot. There are not that many hours in primetime on the four major networks, and there is always more material than there is space for it. A show is not cancelled or renewed in a vacuum, after all. If The Black Donnellys had succeeded, then Studio 60 would be 100% cancelled, but as it is, it's only 90% cancelled b/c Donnellys and that reality replacement, about the "real" wedding crashers, bombed.

In a weird way, I see American TV as vital as the Darwinian struggle in nature. Animals eat other animals -- they fight for resources -- they fight for mating rights and territory: all in the name of survival. If you watch nature shows, you have to realize, it ain't pretty and it ain't gentle. But it makes for some amazing diversity and vitality in the array of life, because only the strong and fit survive, and I think that if major networks were to adopt a kinder, gentler approach to their shows, it would make for more bland TV, overall. I seriously do. I think that FOX is far too trigger-happy than it should be, far too happy to cull rather than nurture, but I also know that network TV in its current mode somehow works.

Well, there's my soapbox musings of the day. Take with grain of salt b/c it's entirely likely they're the musings of an amateur TV fan.
HBO does joint partnerships with the BBC on a regular basis. Sky One funds Battlestar Galactica (and maybe Stargate - not sure). So foreign countries are in your tv and eating your food.
Well at least this frees Nathan up for something new. I'd love to see him on an ep of "Thank God You're Here!"
dottikin, that's an interesting opinion but I can't help feel you're committing what's known as the 'naturalistic fallacy' which is about mixing up what is the case (in nature) with what ought to be the case (in human affairs). And it's utterly impossible to know what sorts of amazing creatures we might have had with some less harsh selection mechanism (another potential explanation for US TV's relative artistic success - assuming that's actually true - is the 'throw enough shit' principle i.e. there are so many shows pitched, piloted etc. that some are bound to hit).

Maybe this board is skewed but a lot of folk on here seem to think quite highly of UK TV (fair enough, foreign markets tend to get our best stuff, we have our fair share of reality crap, cheap soaps etc.) which operates on exactly that sort of gentler, more open to shows building audiences principle (largely due to a state sanctioned 'tax' - the TV licence - on every TV owning household in the country).

Of course, without the huge revenues (and corresponding risks and instant accountability) that come from advertising, I doubt the BBC could finance the 22-24 episode runs per year that the US is used to (let alone the amazing effects that are becoming par for the course).

Personally, I think US network TV needs to start thinking about shorter seasons, more like cable, which involve less of a financial commitment and possibly striking harder deals with their advertisers so that they're 'tied in' for longer periods (maybe some kind of discount if they commit for the first 6 episodes, come what may, so that early ratings don't exert the same pressure to cancel). It'd mean longer waits between 'seasons' for the viewer BUT more variety since there'd be more different shows on the box. That said, I know bugger all about the US TV market so those suggestions could be worse than stupid ;).

(and obviously in a free market, as soon as one player starts offering 'first 3' episode commitments or none at all then advertisers will flock to them, thus upsetting the whole damn applecart. Stupid freedom ;)
Dang. Now we'll never know how Illyria masterminded her "husband" Alex's descent into evil to win the race for her and her evil partners.

Well, that was my stupid theory anyway.

[ edited by daevid on 2007-04-26 11:40 ]
Saje - "Personally, I think US network TV needs to start thinking about shorter seasons, more like cable, which involve less of a financial commitment and possibly striking harder deals with their advertisers so that they're 'tied in' for longer periods (maybe some kind of discount if they commit for the first 6 episodes, come what may, so that early ratings don't exert the same pressure to cancel). It'd mean longer waits between 'seasons' for the viewer BUT more variety since there'd be more different shows on the box."

Pretty much my thoughts exactly. Surely it would lead to a greater chance of getting a new show some level of decent ratings if the viewing audience knew that they were at least going to get a set amount of episodes. The show writers could also use this "episode number guarantee" to create a mini-arc that would ensure some closure, even if the ratings still don't lead to a full season.

As for shorter seasons, whilst I do think some series require the traditional number of episodes per year (24 would be a nightmare to fit into 13 episodes ;)) it could be made practice to limit first seasons to a shorter number of episodes, where possible, then see how the ratings stood at the end of the initial year. I'm certain there are many ways that the system could be improved to lessen the amount of series that end up axed before their time.

EDIT: To add words that will make sentences... make sense...

[ edited by Broken Soul on 2007-04-26 12:20 ]
I'm happy to say that I will now return to watching fuck-all on Fox. Sorry Bones fans, I just don't care for it. Or House or 24, which I'm sure will come across as blasphemous to fans, but it's all a matter of taste. I think Drive had a lot of potential, but it's getting harder and harder to get a real quality series on *any* U.S. broadcast network.
There is exactly one network show that is IMO in the same league with the cable networks and that is Criminal Minds. I'd think that really creative producers like Tim Minear would by now be shopping their wares exclusively to the cable networks, since broadcast has been all but taken over by reality shows, which range from mind numbingly boring to irritating and embarassing to "just shoot me for being part of the human race" humiliating.
Cynical much? Nah, not me.
I can't read all these comments, but I get the drift and I'm with you. I bet I'm not the first to say "I told you so"--you can check my comment to one of the first Drive postings. I do like Bones--I can't believe it's still on the air--but that's the only Fox show I watch, or was, until Drive, and now--well. I despise American Idolatry. House--if I need a Hugh Laurie fix, I'll find it elsewhere, thanks.
Even people with a much more casual approach to tv viewing than we see here, people who don't follow the folks behind the programs, waiting for new shows from their favorite creative types, notice that most stuff gets cancelled really fast.

They may recognize an actor or two they like, but they are understanably reluctant to get involved in any kind of continuing story, unless they are sure it's going to be around for more than 2 weeks. So, it keeps getting harder and harder to get an audience for a new show.

When you combine this with the kind of weird thing where people want to like something they are sure is popular, there's a gigantic resistance to anything that seems new...and/or a commitment.

One possibility, in addition to the short season idea, would be to begin a program with episodes that stand alone, so that they don't require a commitment, or much of one, and have individual satisfactions for a casual viewer-then gradually sneak in more character development and longer story arcs, as the series gains viewers?
I can't for the life of me figure out a reason (other than possible in-fighting between factions at Fox,) but this happens so regularly with them one begins to wonder if it isn't somehow deliberate. Only two weeks into a show, you'd think that, by any rational standards, ratings would have to be pretty much zero to get it canned, not just "less than spectacular" or whatever.
I admit it. I've gotten into American Idol from time to time, and I think Hugh Laurie as House is genius. You know, I actually never gave Bones a shot because it was a procedural (done that) and I was sure it would be cancelled. I'll never bother with Idol again, and will go out of my way to avoid absolutely anything on Fox ever again. I'd make an exception for a Whedon show, but would he go there again? With the assurance of premature death, doubt it. They cancelled Drive in eight friggin' days. Eight eps in four days... They had around six million viewers according to info I saw. Not bad for a show premiering in April with 4 friggin' episodes. They clearly don't count viewers who watch online (you didn't see any ads in the premiere and only one that repeated two or three times during ep 3 I think) so I can't see why they'd care about those viewers.

Hands washed. Done forever.
That could work toast (though I think it's very hard to write a completely stand-alone pilot since the whole point is to lay the groundwork for the series which means leaving hanging plot threads almost by necessity. 'Serenity Pts 1 & 2' - despite needing 90 minutes to do it - is a mini-marvel in that respect). It's actually pretty similar to what 'Bones' did, which started as a very episodic procedural and gradually introduced more arcy episodes with Brennan's father and her past and more character stuff as the writers found out what worked best regarding the team chemistry.

Another approach is to have an episodic A story and arcy B and C threads (NCIS among others does this). The advantage being that irregular viewers (apart from needing to eat more prunes ;) aren't left behind and can enjoy the single episode but fans are given subtle foreshadowing and character development (not to mention a fair bit of 'in' humour in NCIS' case) that'll pay off later.

Luckily boycotting Fox isn't an option for me since i'd miss 'House' terribly (and 'Bones' too though not on anything like the same level). 'House' is a case in point though since it didn't do too well in the ratings when it started out but was inexplicably given a chance (though it was a hit with critics from the beginning). See, it's the inconsistency that's as frustrating as any other aspect of this.
But... but... 1972 Doge Challenger.... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo!

First we get the worst season of 24 ever, now they cancel a show after a grand total of 2 weeks.
Saje: Oh, I agree the BBC model works too, but I wouldn't necessarily say it's a better model. Because you get networks nurturing shows, yes, but you also get: shorter seasons, no guaranteed automatic assumption of renewals and much fewer shows debuting because they don't have the money for more content and longer seasons. Don't forget that the reality TV craze emigrated from across the pond, where the cheaper form of content flowered first.

And there is a American equivalent to that model, as Shey points out: niche cable channels, like HBO and Showtime, and FX, Sci Fi, USA, etc. These smaller channels debut a smaller round of shows each TV season, nurture shows and are relatively content with minor ratings. I mean, BSG would've been cancelled a long time ago on a "real" network with its ratings. And cable channels are *also* overrun with reality TV, probably even moreso than broadcast channels, b/c these networks don't have money to burn, and reality is cheaper.

Also: it's harder to get a show on HBO or FX because those networks literally don't have the resources to premiere 10 new TV shows every season. They have to carefully pick and choose a few pilots they really like, carefully advertise them, and stick with 'em for at least a whole season b/c it's their entire development slate. I think FX debuted ONE show this season, The Riches; HBO hasn't to my mind debuted anything new since.. Rome? Entourage? (and they've already cancelled Rome.) Showtime is on a streak now, though, with Weeds, Dexter and The Tudors. USA found success with Psych. Sci Fi had The Dresden Files... but you see the trend, right? Each niche channel only programs one night of the week, maybe two, and not for an entire TV season either.

At ABC, or NBC or FOX, it's an entirely different game. They're programming two/three hours every night of the week except Saturdays, of original programming. That's a whole different order of magnitude.

I guess I'm just saying that there is also value in the broadcast model. You can say it's terrible how they do business, but they have way more money and way more open slots. They literally don't have the ability to nurture every single show they put on the air. Every season, each of the big four premiere 8-10 new shows, and at mid-season, usually 2-5 more replacements. That's an enormous amount of creative effort, and the sink or swim attitude might be the better solution b/c how can you nurture each show with such volume? Because while I love me some niche cable programming (Dexter, Psych, Entourage), I also love me a lot of broadcast TV: Veronica Mars, The Office, 30 Rock, Heroes, House. So something is working there.

I think I take issue with the complaints about broadcast programming because I see this logic as flawed: they cancelled a show I like, therefore the entire mode must be wrong. *shrugs*

--ETA: the case with House isn't arbitrary. I remember when it debuted: the ratings were better than Drive's, mid-7 to high-8 millions, and it wasn't a mid-season replacement. Mid-season replacements are... more vulnerable than shows that debut in September, because these are shows that didn't get picked up during pilot season (i.e. slightly secondhand goods) and get less careful handling than even normal shows. If you pay attention, networks usually hold off on cancelling shows from their original slate, like Firefly, even when under-performing, b/c they don't want to admit defeat right away. There's a boobie prize for the first show cancelled of the season, and networks have more patience for new shows because if they cancel 'em, they then have a huge honking hole in their schedule for the rest of the season. Which they will have to plug with a mid-season replacement -- AKA a show they didn't have much faith in when they were considering pilots in the beginning of the year. It does make a kind of logic. Cancelling Drive won't make a huge hole in their schedule -- after all, the season is almost over -- and if old reruns have demonstrably gotten better ratings than new episodes, why waste the money?

[ edited by dottikin on 2007-04-26 13:43 ]
Yeah, Saje, that is kind of what I meant. The early episodes can seem to stand alone, but be seeded with the elements of longer arcs and character stuff (and that hookish in-humour), to be explored as time goes on. And then we have the donation of low rate advertising time to the prune industry..who knows what might happen?
dottikin- I don't think it's so much a question of flawed logic as a matter of the end you are looking for. "Sink or swim" may be a fine business model in some respects, and produce some great shows too, but I think what a lot of folks are talking about is how to keep valuble and potentially valuable creative work from being ditched, tanked, cutoff, if it doesn't have to be.

[ edited by toast on 2007-04-26 13:48 ]
I'm actually more upset at Tim Minear for trusting F*x (again!)than at F*x for doing what they do best.

He's trusted them 3 times.
Firefly (through Joss)

Fool me once, Shame on you.
Fool me twice, Shame on me.
So where does that leave Tim at "Fool me three times?"
Under contract?
Yep, doesn't he have one of those multi-year development deals that mean Fox get first refusal on all his stuff ? Which also, happily, means he gets paid to sit on his jacksie and create cool stuff ;).

I think I take issue with the complaints about broadcast programming because I see this logic as flawed: they cancelled a show I like, therefore the entire mode must be wrong. *shrugs*

Oh, agreed, that doesn't necessarily follow dottikin but the fact that it doesn't necessarily follow also doesn't mean it's untrue ;).

Re: the BBC, i'm not sure it's true to say they debut fewer shows, the BBC also shows (largely) original programmes seven nights a week (there's no 'rerun night' or whatever Saturday is for US networks) and throughout the day, though shows aren't really 'launched' in the same way over here (obviously the US doesn't get everything that's shown over here either which may explain the perceived disparity). In fact, given that, as you say, BBC 'seasons' are often only 6-8 episodes it follows that more different shows appear (and, therefore, must've debuted at some point ;).

And though the rest is accurate i'd even say that can sometimes be an advantage - it's fairly rare for a UK series to end on a cliff-hanger for instance just because the creators know there's no guarantee of renewal and with short runs you tend to get (for better or worse) a totally undiluted vision since the same one, two or three writers will often tend to write the entire series. Another advantage of short runs being that almost all UK shows are filmed in their entirety before being broadcast, which means there's very little point in early cancellation, which, in turn, means that a late 'season' upswing in the ratings could bring a show back from non-renewal. There's also basically no such thing as a hiatus over here (though shows are still pre-empted for sporting events etc.).

So i'd say the reason more shows aren't nurtured in the US is more to do with a 'cancel culture' resulting from intense pressure rather than being a function of there being more programming. Note though, i'm not saying the US system is completely worthless, it produces some amazing shows and in quantities that'd be unimaginable over here (and if you really love a show it's hard to say you wouldn't rather there were 144 episodes than e.g. 50 - a long run for a non-soap over here).

(interestingly - and it may even be relevant too ;) - many shows are also given a chance on UK commercial channels which are dependent on advertising)
mavourneen you forgot The Inside - he trusted them four times.
Sigh. I am conflicted because I really didn't like the show. I thought that Nathan's character was well portrayed, however, ALL of the characters were stereotypes and bad ones at that. The CGI was horribly done as well as the diluted plot. It was supposed to evoke a Big Brother/Smokey and the Bandit feel, none of which were adaquately done. In fact, I watched all four episodes and disliked them... the only saving grace being that Nathan Fillion was in it. However, I felt that he is being SEVERELY typecasted in this, as the white southern male who is trying to achieve reluctant-hero status but failing. Everything in it was cliche.

And yet... I HATE Fox. With a passion that consumes every cell in my body and yearns to burst out into flames with the anger of a thousand suns. Honestly, they cannot cancel a show in 4 episodes. If they even consitered this possibility, then they should have paid more attention to the viewer reaction in their projections, and seen that it would never have gotten off the ground. Made it into a movie or... I dont know. NOT MADE IT PERIOD.

I don't know if Tim was caving to peer pressure, or felt like he needed to push something out quickly, but this didn't feel like his normal work. The Inside had a much better concept, (though TERRIBLE actress) and Wonderfalls was genius. However, maybe Tim just isn't cut out for coming up with concepts... I know it's harsh but look at what he has done with OTHER people's work: Wonderfalls, Angel, Firefly, Lois and Clark... and his own work: the Inside, and Drive have all had distinct feelings of their predicessors. The Inside: Law and Order, Drive: Smoky and the Bandit.

I hope that he can find something soon, because I really love his work. I hope that he finds inspiration, and that he can conquer his writer's block. I also hope that I am wrong in my analysis.

And FOX, you can shove it.
I remember back in the day, Fox had this show called X-Files that they dumped on Friday night. It really didn't do too well at first but slowly built an audience and then ended up becoming one of Fox's biggest successes. It's really too bad that these days networks don't want to wait for a show to build any audience but to become an instant sucess.

This is the exact thought I have every time I see another show get cancelled after only a few episodes. If The X-Files debuted today it would be off the air within a month, and that's just sad.
The Loop coming back is easy, comedies are so much cheaper, with no special effects and being shorter.
Ya the X-Files is the best example of a show- that if aired today- would have been cancelled after a few episodes.

But on the other hand then when Fox gets something thats hugely successful - such as the X-Files or the Simpsons- they hang onto it and squeeze every drop out of it until it is an unrecognizable husk of its former self, when other newer shows deserve the limelight.

Wolfram and Hart? HA! They are goody-two-shoes compared to FOX!
Tim Minear + Fox = Prematurely cancelled...

Nathan, we're rooting for ya. Here's hoping you can make it onto a quality show on some station OTHER than Fox!
Actually, the networks largely *do* want standalone shows, but with that edict, we would have had *zero* episodes of "Drive." Fox actually does pretty well with heavily-arced shows -- "24" is still a hit (though it's taken a dive ratings-wise this season) and they're bringing back "Prison Break." Two of the new hits of the season, "Heroes" and "Ugly Betty," are heavily arced. Other networks are occasionally trigger-happy also -- I think ABC canceled the heavily-promoted "Emily's Reasons Why Not" after *one* episode and CBS canceled "3 Lbs." earlier this season after two episodes. I didn't see either one (sounds like not many other people did). However, it's just jaw-dropping that Fox does this to Tim Minear time after time after time after time -- even though it seems to be different executives running the company almost every time around. I really hope he gets to go forward onto a cable network that may or may not renew after a first season, but at least runs all the episodes it makes.
If I recall correctly, it wasn't exactly Tim's concept. So now maybe Tim will be free to move forward to something that is his very own.
Geez. Do the FOX executives have any other hobbies besides hiring Nathan Fillion and then axing his series before all the episodes even air? This stinks.
The CNN link that just vanished (more 'Drive Cancelled' news) said "the remaining nine" episodes which is enough to make a nice little box set. On the other hand, it also says only two episodes aired, so I'm not sure that they know what they're talking about.
Question: They only made six episodes right? It wasn't a full 13 episode first season order, was it? Because that would be nice for the DVDs.

Anyway, I'm bummed out, but not too surprised. I have to admit, it wasn't very good. It could have improved, but it certainly wasn't guaranteed quality. I was very apprehensive about its future, which was sad because I was hugely excited for the show before it came out.
Nathan confirmed it to SFX in an interview previewed here:

That seems to be the magic number, I just didnt know if anyone else (besides CNN) had heard differently.
... least they aired them in the right order this time.

Why they spend millions on advertising and production to kill a show before they even show all the episodes they paid for I'll never understand.
On a differnet note, check out its a new "experiement", a scifi/fantasy series produced directly for the internet (starting next month), first 4 "webisodes" are free, then they hope you'll pay for episodes up to highdef via their site - to the whole world not just US. The experiment: Can you make money without a network behind you? If people want to pay this may see the start of many new series, if nobody wants to pay ... well.

But if it works, perhaps that is what Tim should try next.
I think everyone is kind of missing the bigger marketing picture. I loved Drive, but in reality, exactly which sponsors could it attract? I noticed that Ford and Chevy truck commercials were *heavily* aired. That particular demographic will NOT be watching Drive, so the advertising dollars are wasted and sponsors move on to more lucrative investment in shows that DO attract their target market. Why spend the money on a prime network on a series that isn't really their demographic? Say Ford and Chevy pledges an initial 2-3 million on the premier in advertsing and their Neilson ratings shows their target market is watching another station/program. That funding gets yanked. And the reason House does so well on Fox? Count the number of cholesterol statin commericals and the number of manufacturers spamming us with their Doom and Gloom commericals. THAT target market IS watching House AND, that target market is seeing characters going through nasty medical problems, which in turn pumps up their target market.(in short, House attracts a goodly amount of people that, in all likelyhood, need the statin drugs. can you say "Ka-ching"? I think you can.)In order for a show to be successful, they need sponsors. If a particular show doesn't deliver their demographic, then sponsors pull their ads, ergo, no money support. Even if the debut is wildly popular, the networks MUST sell advertising to continue to air episodes.
Since Bones is a formula show, it cuts a wide swath through the demographics. Hence, more advertisers willing to pop their cash for the commerical spots.
And thank you for reading my very first post here on Whedonesque.
Very, very sad to see the show go.

Drive has been foxed. =(

Wow, I was expecting like some guys filming a low budget show in a garage but this is the real deal! Cool stuff. Will definately pay if I find the first 4 interesting. Oh and next time mention that Amanda Tapping stars it in, much more likely to get some people to go look :P

This would also be a good format for more Firefly (however unlikely that may be now)
ETA: Now that I think of it, I might have stolen my earlier "The Cancelled Collection" joke from Tim's appearance at Backup Bash. Anyone who was there remember?

Actually, I think when he announced the new show someone yelled out "How long until it gets canceled!?" To which he replied that it already had been picked up, canceled, and picked up again. It's funnier when he says it :)

Here: About 2:45 to 3:10.

This sucks hard core.

I was just getting into the show too. Now there are going to be so many unanswered questions. Again.

Oh, and I want Tully's car. Seriously.
oh well, fox almost had my family back as viewers, but they're back on lockdown - i set our remotes to skip over it when channel surfing.

but you have to admit: American TV is pretty freakin' awesome.

i can't admit any such thing. i'm 46 years old, have been watching tv since around the age of 3 and i can count on 1.5 hands the american tv shows that i've watched that didn't strike me as pure dreck. that's not a very good record in nearly half a century. you have 300 million or so people, that's the only reason why you produce so much tv and of course with that much product you're going to get a higher amount of successful shows - and success rarely denotes quality. compared to, say, canada with it's aprox 29 million people and teeny handful of tv networks.

come to think of it, the only current tv shows that i like are canadian: "corner gas" & "robson arms". the last american tv show i watched regularly was angel. i didn't even watch firefly until it was on dvd, because fox confused the whole thing.

[ edited by t r a c y on 2007-05-02 01:35 ]

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