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December 06 2010

Terriers cancelled by FX. TV by the Numbers report that Terriers is no more.

Tim just can't get a break!

Also, I haven't seen Terriers, planning to catch up on DVD. Does the season finale provide enough closure to serve as a series finale (a la Wonderfalls)?
Yes, it does. It was marvelous. My ears have steam coming out of them.
I knew it was stupid to hope but I just had to. IMO this show is one of the few that had an absolutely perfect first season (Lost, The Wire, Deadwood, Veronica Mars). Easily the best new show since Breaking Bad premiered. Heartbreaking.
Disappointed, it was clearly the best new show of the season. But of course THAT was the problem (if it was lame and insipid then it would probably have been picked up).

Oh and AnotherFireflyFan : yes, the final episode does have a lot of closure to it, but also enough of interest for the future that you'd have thought they would pick it up.

[ edited by embers on 2010-12-06 18:27 ]
Not surprised, cause why would I be?

Still pissed though. And really, really disappointed. The last several episodes were sooooo good, and showed so much potential for the future. Actually, Wyndam_, heartbreaking is the perfect word. This sucks.

Sigh. I kinda hate money, and all the things it puts me through. (the ratings make it hard to blame FX, much as I want to)

ET: remove punctuation

[ edited by guidedby on 2010-12-06 19:17 ]
Definitely too intelligent, real and thoughtful to succeed. What they really needed to succeed was an ex-Navy Seal with a grudge and a smart talking sidekick from Jersey.
Why do TV execs hate me? They cancel all my favourite shows.
Fuckity fuck fuck. I had this completely unreasonable hunch they were going to give it another season. My hunches suck.
What Tin Ear said, both the f bombs and the hope that it would stick around, it was a damn fine show (and the flashback episode Minear wrote was of course a high point in a show with few low points). Haven't yet watched the finale so at least I have that to look forward to. Would recommend this to anyone who likes smart dramas with great dialogue.
It's my dream to one day have all ten shows on a "brilliant but cancelled" list. Getting there.
To my count (and I may be missing some), we've got:

1. Firefly
2. Wonderfalls
3. The Inside
4. Drive
5. Dollhouse (at least had 2 seasons)
6. Terriers

Perhaps Tim's dream will be realized.

And my dream is that maybe someday The Inside and the few eps of Drive will be released on DVD.
I'm so sorry Tim! I freaking loved it. And of course, all your other shows.
Tim's quoted on E! Online:
Meanwhile, fellow executive producer Tim Minear tells us exclusively, "Let me quote [creator] Ted Griffin, possibly the classiest act I've ever worked with: When Ted, Shawn and I were in [FX president] John Landgraf's office on Friday and Landgraf was going through the numbers with us (this was, by the way, the first time in my experience that a network president has gone to the trouble to really put the creative team on the inside of the sad process), at some point Ted stopped John—who was clearly very distressed at having to be 'the bad guy'—to say, 'This experience has been nothing but a win/win for me.' Ted talked about how proud he was of the show, of the cast and the crew and staff, and how we felt we'd made the thing we set out to make. I'm four square with Ted Griffin on this. This was a great experience for me—getting to work with Shawn Ryan again and meeting and working with Ted—not to mention the cast—Donal and Michael in particular are amazing artists—and the relationship with FX was bracing and creatively terrific. No regrets. I've been cancelled more times than a Whitney Houston comeback tour, but this was the most painful and the most painless all at the same time."

Re : Landgraf, more than one person today is pointing out that holding a teleconference this morning specifically to talk about not renewing a show is a fairly unusual thing to do. Whatever else anyone might think, Landgraf is pretty clearly not ducking the decision, or the response. That's pretty class.
Also Shawn Ryan tweeted: "Terriers fans know that all the emails you sent in to FX on behalf of show were read by FX prez John Landgraf and caused sleepless nights."
Thanks b!X. While that's nice to hear, I'm hardly comforted by that fact.
Oh, and not enough chicks surfing in bikinis. The only surfer I remember is the dude who wanted to make sure Dolworth wasn't shooting in his direction.
This is genuinely disappointing and upsetting. This is like Lonestar but worse - I actually had time to get invested in the character and the stuff that was happened to them. Why the hell are decent shows like Terriers being cancelled when shit like House, Bones, CSI (the list is endless) is allowed to continue? People have no clue what decent TV is which makes me so very sad. Even as a Glee fan I would gladly sacrifice it for Terriers.
Damn. Now the theme song is running through my head.
Nicely put, Mr. Minear. Sorry for the news.
Tim, this may be a result of the business you're in, but my dream is that you don't have to keep going through it. I feel like a coach yelling from the sidelines at a gymnastic tournament: "Stick the landing!" Yeah, like they (TPTB) listen to me.
Haven't had chance to see Terriers yet so I have no idea if it's a show I will regret losing or not! Will be watching though, Tim, honest! ;)

I do know that it's quickly becoming obvious to me that intelligent shows that demand thought and attention are an endangered species. I've already lost Caprica this year, will most likely lose Stargate Universe (short of a miracle) and have seen Terriers and Rubicon bite the dust before I've even had chance to get to know them. I'm just grateful that The Walking Dead hides it's quality behind the more in your face bloodfest that the majority of it's audience likely tune in for. I actually read a comment about the show the other day complaining about all the time wasted on the characters talking and demanding more time spent on flesh eating. Sad but true.
It's my dream to one day have all ten shows on a "brilliant but cancelled" list. Getting there.


Tim. :(
Fucknuts. Saw this from the IATSE/San Diego last night but I was in denial.

I thought it was "too small to fail". :(

Except it didn't. That one season is some of the best TV around - which is so not fail. I hope they can shop it elsewhere.

My Big Sorry to all involved: the creators/showrunners, the writers, the actors (who were incredible) and the crew, all of whom made this show so good.

I'll be over here in the corner sulking and whining like a li'l bitch.

Yours,
Disappointed and Petulant in WeHo
This is a sad day.
Terriers was easily one of the best shows ever, will obviously buy the DVD.
TV doesn't get what they have with these shows.
I'll watch anything you work on, Tim. All of it's brilliant.
Said it elsewhere, but it bears repeating:

I have great love for this show and its creators - writers, producers, cast, crew - everyone who made it happen. It's been brilliant storytelling, truly compelling, with characters I adore. The fact that I don't get to see more of Steph (who I pretend is based on me, if I'd gone to MIT instead of Carolina, and were just generally more brilliant) makes me intensely sad.

Also? Dreaming of the day I get my The Inside boxed set. Virgil Webster is a proto-House, and Peter Coyote is awesome. And it's not like I could ever get tired of Adam Baldwin and Katie Finneran.

Am I wrong, or did remarkably few main characters die on this show?
I'm following various TV critics on twitter regarding their conference call with John Landgraf at FX about the Terriers cancellation, and @televisionary just quoted him as saying:

""There's a relatively low correlation between excellence and commercial success."

That raises the question: if that's the case - as stated by someone who decides whether excellent shows live or die - why should TV creators strive for excellence, then? What's their incentive - cancellation?

Oh, I forgot - the paycheck and the "rewards" of making an excellent show while teetering on the edge of a cliff.

Yeah, I sound a little bitter. I don't know why the producers/writers/actors don't sound bitter, but presumably that's humility with some politics thrown in...
QuoterGal: just for context, Landgraf goes on to say that FX always strives for the overlap between the two. :)

Very, very sad to see Terriers go. Time to walk like a ghost among the living and the born-free...


[ edited by WesKnighT on 2011-05-27 02:35 ]
Yeah, I've been following a number of TV-twitters and have read the tweets as well as the conference re-caps that are starting to roll out.

Langraf also said, "We wish there was a perfect intersection between what is good and what is successful."

Perfection is unobtainable, but I wish there was at least more crossover, and this decision further distances that intersection.

People are applauding Landgraf for the classy way he handled the cancellation, and while it certainly was a step above the usual, the laudits are just making me think of The Operative in Serenity saying, "This is a good death. There is no shame in this death."

Maybe having a shiv shoved into your gut smoothly and cleanly while someone talks to you kindly beats being beaten to death with a club without warning, but the result is still a death, perpetuated by folks who had the choice of killing, or waiting to kill, or not killing at all - while an audience was sought & found. I'm glad he was thoughtful and considerate, but he still killed a well-crafted, subtle show.

It's always at least in part put down to "but the audiences want the other stuff, they don't want this kind of subtle excellence" - (Landgraf: "I don't know if subtly is something the American public is buying in droves today.") - but some tastes have to be cultivated. (Although I do think other factors were involved in the low ratings, and not just "what the public wanted." Hard to want what you don't know about and almost every TV watcher I asked had never heard of it.)

FX could be just as much an influence in cultivating this kind of excellence as they are at the mercy of different public preferences and the whims of the marketplace, but in my opinion, they fell down today, no matter how pained they were over the decision.
Based on the title and promos I very much did not want to watch this show. But Tim Minear was attached, and so I did.

It wasn't perfect when it began, but by the time it ended, it pretty much was.

A huge thanks to Mr. Minear and everyone else involved.
Grrr. Aargh.

A very sad day. Mr. Argh and I have really enjoyed this show. A fine drama we recommended to everyone we knew. Clearly, we need to know more people. I can't imagine walking away after seeing the first episode, so I can only conclude that people missed it altogether.
Mo Ryan just listed it earlier today as one her 10 best shows of the season. Mo, as usual, is so right.
I am starting to wonder if my letters to the networks will ever save a show!

(oh wait, Dollhouse at the end of season one)

You have to admit, Tim's mini-seasons are always pretty-damned good!
Possible silver lining for Tim:
All produced episodes were aired. And in the correct order!

Tim's excellent resume HERE

.

[ edited by Hjermsted on 2010-12-06 22:23 ]
I didn't watch "Terriers". I should have. Now I will. It's sad when I do this. I don't know why I didn't watch it from the beginning, but I do know that by the time I recognized it as something I might like Hulu no longer had the first episodes for me to watch. And I don't get FX.

I agree that there is a fine line between excellence and commercially acceptable. So here I am, thinking of excellent things that made it in the world.

First thing that comes to mind is Shakespeare. How did he do that? He made sure to throw in plenty of toilet humor for the masses. And somehow everyone followed his stories despite all the words he made up.

What made Buffy commercially acceptable? The monsters?

So there are some choices-- toilet humor or monsters.
Hjermsted--thanks for Tim's resume link.

I say the variety on that list lines up with anybody this side o' Joss. Ridiculously impressive.

Also, good luck to The Chicago Code. I, for one, will be watching. (the fact that I'm from Chicago? minor bonus :))

[ edited by guidedby on 2010-12-06 22:32 ]
Tim has, over the years, pretty much tied Joss in terms of my devotion. I can't think of another writer who so consistently and frequently delivers outstanding TV. I'm still depressed Miracle Man never went anywhere--it sounded like a Tim show through and through.

Here's hoping The Chicago Code continues to deliver the goods!
This is very disappointing. In my opinion it was the best show on tv this year. I wanted more episodes, but at least it had a good closure (even though I saw it before in a Spike Lee movie).
If people want to see this come out on DVD (no guarantee) they will head over to Amazon and make their voices heard.

Great show. I wish it could have worked out.
Well crap. I have not yet seen the entire show - getting there - but what I have seen was high quality television. And reportedly, it only gets better from here.

It sucks when good shows die, but I have to say: this show didn't hook from just the concept and trailers, for me. Actually watching the thing did work though, and I grew to love it pretty fast, but I have to admit to only getting trough the door because of Tim and Shawn Ryan (The Shield is one of my all-time favorite television shows). Not sure I would've picked up on it otherwise.

Here's hoping there's a good DVD release down the line.

(And, yes, execs, please release The Inside already).
Here's that Amazon link... to request notification on a DVD just so's it's handy...

I bought the season on iTunes, as well.

There isn't much TV I likes, but wot I does, I really does. I really liked Terriers.

Just the one season - like Firefly - is well worth watching, and only just as heartbreaking as watching Firefly (and Wonderfalls and so on...) knowing there is no more. So: a lot.
Thanks for the link, QG. Here's hoping we get a speedy and good release.
So sad. That was supposed to be the little show that could; subtle, intelligent, and with a ton of heart. But at least we got a full season with a good finale. Thanks, Tim and associates.
I heard the news today. Oh boy.

Farewell, Terriers. I still think you were mis-marketed from the gitgo, but that doesn't matter now.
Do FX use the Nielsen ratings(I think thats the right name)? As I remember a interview with the creator of Heroes saying that even though they got cancelled through low ratings on Nielsen they had proof through downloads and other media that they actually had a very large audience. If thats so isn't it time to find a new way of counting viewership? I wasn't a fan of that show after the first series but if there were more viewers than the ratings suggested maybe its not that America isnt interested its just not given a say in the matter.

Wouldn't it be great if TV invested the money they make from brain dead reality TV into intelligent TV. Just dedicate one night to quality writing. Aren't Fridays a death slot? If you aren't making any money on that night anyway put on something with a little more intelligence and quality in its story telling. People will eventually pick up on it even if its just Tivo'd or Hulu'd. You'll probably get some money through the DVD sales.

Anyway dont think I made much sense there basically wouldn't it be nice if TV looked upon intelligent writing and story telling as a skill it has a responsibility to keep alive at all costs.
You are fecking kidding me?!!! It was easily the best new series this season!! Gorram it!
There's an article at Assignment X - www.assignmentx.com - that gives the Nielsen numbers, as well as a lot of discussion with Landgraf on "Terriers" overall.
faneater: They all use Nielsens, I'm sure - it's still the standard - but this is what Terriers series creator Ted Griffin had to say on the subject:

"A Nielsen rating, which is something that I still don't quite get why it's the barometer in this technological age, that that didn't go our way is no reflection on us."

(I mean, I'm sure that could be better English, but he was speaking on the fly and not writing, I'm sure... ; >)

He also had these very classy words about Tim:

"Tim deserves more credit for this show. Every time I read something it's just Shawn's name or mine, Tim should have been on the first end credit.'

As a veteran Tim Minear viewer, I feel safe in saying that Terriers sure did have that unmistakeable Tim Minearity that many of us love... in the doses we can get.
Jeez, I am so bummed...this was a wonderful show. Not very many shows on like this that have such good story lines that you just get lost in them...I am just really sorry to see it go.
Am I the only one who has decided that the title of the show is reference to English law?

[ edited by Kiba on 2010-12-07 03:37 ]
In fact, I think I tweeted some stuff about that definition. I found it interesting given the underlying land-grab conspiracy.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-12-07 05:44 ]
It's my dream to one day have all ten shows on a "brilliant but cancelled" list. Getting there.


I read this, and I laughed really hard. Then I read it again, and now I'm just sad. Terriers was a really good show.
That is a really interesting reference Kiba, thanks for the link. I had always just thought about the dog since I'd been recently baby sitting a Rat Terrier and they are extremely stubborn/determined little pains in the ass.
First time I've ever cried over a canceled show. And no, not just because it was canceled - it was Shawn's assertion that John Landgraf read all of our emails begging for a reprieve and then had to try to sleep knowing what the ratings would force him to do. That's a major commitment for a network president and underlines what everybody was going for with this series.

I love the show, I love the cast, I love the crew I know about through Kelly Wheeler's prod blog, and my respect for John Landgraf and all of FX Networks is sky high. I hope we can maybe have a cup of coffee with some of these people at the Old Town House in Ocean Beach this coming July.
Thanks, cabri. Very appreciated thoughts.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2010-12-07 06:54 ]
I hope we can maybe have a cup of coffee with some of these people at the Old Town House in Ocean Beach this coming July.

There will definitely be a fan meetup. We'll see if we can poke and prod anyone to come once we're closer to the dates.
Terriers was amazing. One of the most fresh and exciting shows I had seen in years that really got me excited. The entire cast was firing on all cylinders for me and I was 100% hooked. Someone before mentioned Veronica Mars as having a golden first season which I whole heartedly agree with comparison wise and it is also the last show I remember where I watched the first season and was giddy to see what happened next. This really does suck but everyone involved on both sides being so classy does help take the sting out. I'm with the rest of you, there are no words for what we've lost due to doomed measures of success and an audience who's become so apathetic it takes celebs dancing to become a sure thing.

"Anyway dont think I made much sense there basically wouldn't it be nice if TV looked upon intelligent writing and story telling as a skill it has a responsibility to keep alive at all costs."

Quoted for truth.
For what it's worth, Landgraf at the start of the teleconference today indeed sounded drained and defeated. (I think Sepinwall tweeted that he sounded like he had put his own dog to sleep overnight.) He was under no obligation either to bring Shawn, Tim, and Ted into a meeting and take them through the decision process, or to talk to reporters this morning.

But he did both, and I suspect, or at least hope, that the teleconference made him feel a bit better about the situation, all things considered. This was not a "well, them's the breaks" conversation. Landgraf thought this decision sucked as much as any of us; you could hear it in his voice and his deliberate willingness to talk it through.

He was under no obligation, but you could tell he sort of personally felt he owed it (if that makes sense) to the show, its creators, and its supporters.

Terriers was something of a rare perfect storm. Everyone gave a shit, and everyone seems to have considered themselves to be incredibly fortunate to have been the people who made it, or the people who put it on the air. Worse things have happened, y'know?

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-12-07 08:07 ]

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-12-07 08:08 ]
I think I'm giving up on TV and going back to books, maybe some films. I get tired of getting excited about a thoughtful, funny deep show only to see it sunk by the bottom line, which in most cases is its appeal to the lowest common denominator and that market share. I salute everyone involved, including John Landgraf, for making an excellent show that I too was asking everyone to watch. And Tim, we will follow you! :) Your list comment was just as funny as this one: "I've been canceled more times than a Whitney Houston comeback tour!" from the E!online article.
@Tim: Not sure if you're reading the comments still, but I was as heartbroken about the cancellation of this show as I've been of any (I watched Firefly after the fact, so it doesn't count). This is the only show I've ever bought while it was still on TV (via Amazon VOD) in hopes that monetary support might keep it on air. (I also wrote an email, of course.)

Also, if you're still reading, are there plans for DVD/Blu-Ray? I'd love me some commentaries.
Boo!
Terriers was one of the only (3) shows I watch anymore. Nearly had me convinced to get Cable TV just to further my support (as it is I watch everything on Hulu)... but fail. An unwise choice, FX. You're losing a golden show. I just hope it will be released on DVD.
Tim posted this lovely homage to Terriers at Facebook about 20 min. ago. Let's get our campaign on earlier this time at dot org and elsewhere if it's needed:

"... the next time you hear about a show called “critically acclaimed but little watched”– or anything with the name Tim Minear attached to it – I urge you to give it a chance for three or four episodes."
Feh.
I watched Terriers Ep. 1 because Tim was associated with it.
I watched all the rest because it was a good show.
FX, you are very, very silly.

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