Edit from Seidman: Bill and I clashed in posting similar reports at the same time, and since mine had more prose and speculation, I'm moving mine to the top of his abstracting!
The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd reports that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles got its back nine order and been picked up for a full season, despite its modest ratings this season. In our most recent Renew or Cancel Index (which doesn't include last Monday's data), we had Terminator: TSCC as Fox's second most likely to be cancelled scripted show -- though the gap between it and number one most likely ‘Til Death was fairly wide (and ‘Til Death may well be Fox's equivalent of According to Jim - lousy when it comes to the ratings, but primed for the syndication market).
Given the ratings so far the announcement is surprising to me. Hibberd offers up some possible reasons, including reported creative struggles with Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. Hibberd says Fox executives like the show and that it's likely they believe because overall viewership for Fox picks up when American Idol returns that the series can improve its ratings in the winter.
One thing I've always believed is that there is some financial enticement to Fox either in the way of cost of episodes, an advertising arrangement or both involving the forthcoming Terminator: Salvation movie scheduled for a May release. It just made sense as a natural promotion opportunity to have TSCC on the air in May. I know some of you will chime in with "but, the movie has nothing to do with the TV show, is made by different people, isn't made by Fox so Fox won't care!" Warner Bros is in on the production of TSCC and Warner Brothers Pictures is the US distributor of the Terminator movie this May. While it's purely speculative on my part and I'm pretty sure we'll never know, I don't think it's nonsensical that Fox could've had additional incentives for the pickup.
Regardless, TSCC fans will rejoice over the full season pick up!
Original post from Bill:
Fox has just given a full-season order to "Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles." Cast and crew were informed of the decision late Friday.
Back nine order was far from certain; show has been struggling in its Monday night time slot. But "Sarah Connor" has developed a fan base and some positive critical attention along the way.
From James Hibberd:
The network recently ordered two scripts of the show, so perhaps the stories came in strong. Midseason sci-fi drama "Dollhouse" might be another factor -- Fox's previously announced winter schedule pairs "Dollhouse" and "24" on Mondays and "American Idol" and "Fringe" on Tuesdays, without "Terminator" listed. So perhaps the network has a new scheduling configuration in mind to support its sci-fi efforts.
One of the most likely reasons for a pickup, however, is simply that Fox executives like this show. They feel it is creatively strong. The network's overall viewership levels jet up after the first of the year powered by "American Idol." They likely believe the series has a chance to improve.