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Say Goodbye to Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

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April 10th, 2009

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What a week for Garret Dillahunt!  Two season finales that are almost certainly series finales.  First,  on Life in his role of Roman Nevikov  and tonight on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles where he's played the role of Cromartie and John Henry.  I wish it was as easy to pull stats for television as baseball because if it were I could find out easily whether any actors have ever starred in two series finales in one week before.

I don't really know or care whether some sites have legitimate "Terminator cancellation confirmation" (or for that matter, legitimate copies of finale scripts)  or whether they were scams.  We'll find out on the script tonight.  As for the show being canceled, sources are not required, the show will absolutely not be renewed.  That hasn't really been in doubt since October.   

TV is actually a business that is run by the numbers!  Sure, we're biased because we're TVbytheNumbers, but like it or not, the ratings do matter.   I get it, some people don't like that.  But that's like not liking that the sun rises in the east instead of the west.  There's just not much to be done about it.

TSCC's fate was sealed even before it moved to Fridays, and if anyone thought Friday was really going to help its prospects for next year, I don't understand why.  But hey, it enabled FOX to air all the episodes, and the fans ought to be happy about that.

I believe FOX really did want to give Fridays a try to see what happened.   But what happened wasn't good - it hasn't been good for Dollhouse either.  Let me explain.  Sure, the expectations are LESS on Fridays.    Those shows didn't need to perform as well as House and Hell's Kitchen, Fringe or Bones.   There is no doubt about that.  But  unfortunately, for fans of TSCC and Dollhouse, CBS has set the bar for Friday night expectations for new airings of scripted dramas.  Currently that bar is set (in its last new episode) at a 2.6 rating with adults 18-49 for Ghost Whisperer and a 1.9 rating for Flashpoint.

FOX may have been very OK with TSCC pulling even  75% of what Ghost Whisperer does.  Unfortunately it's been pulling 50%-60%.   While expectations were lower, they were not that much lower.

Dollhouse faces similar challenges.  It's currently doing about 78% of what Flashpoint does, but since Flashpoint only performs at ~73% of Ghost Whisperer, the expectations for Dollhouse versus Flashpoint were probably that it do at least 85%-90% as well.   And  unfortunately it's doing a little less than 80%.

Sure, it's possible Dollhouse could turn things around in its last four episodes, but that's not very likely.  And again, while FOX's expectations for scripted shows are indeed lower on Friday, there can be no doubt that both shows are underperforming FOX's hopes.

If DVD sales are high for Dollhouse, anything is possible.  If the Terminator movie winds up being a blockbuster that leads to massive sales of season one and season two DVD sets of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,  could it be resurrected?  Sure.   But I don't know how that is going to shake out.  What I am certain of, however, is that when FOX announces its lineups for the 2009-2010 on May 18 none of that, nor online viewing is going to matter.  Neither show will be announced as being on the 2009-2010 lineup.

Nope, I don't have any inside skinny, haven't seen an official press release and don't really care whether the sets have been torn down or left up.  I just care about what makes sense based on the numbers, and in the case of TSCC, the numbers aren't remotely good enough to even be considered a bubble show.  There's a much better case for bubble-dom for Dollhouse, but relative to even Flashpoint, not a very good case for it, really.

I'm looking forward to tonight's finale of TSCC.  I hope it's great.  The good news is that some day, Summer Glau will be back.  Just not on that show.

 
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