Is It Too Late to Save 'Terriers'?

Categories: 1-Featured,Cable TV

Written By

November 12th, 2010

Rubicon was canceled for low ratings.  Bill called out Variety for headlining a blog post AMC Cancels Rubicon After Low Ratings instead of just "AMC Cancels Rubicon."

Bill thought that implied there was something special about it being canceled for low ratings.  There is nothing special about the cancellation, and it didn’t hit me that Variety was implying otherwise.  But it was definitely a Google-friendly headline. 

Also, that was just a blog post headline from the “On The Air” blog. The headline on Variety’s site (and presumably the magazine) reads:  AMC Cancels Rubicon After One Season (not sure whether Bill thinks that implies there is something special about being canceled after one season.)

What the $%#! does any of that that have to do with Terriers?   Nothing and everything.  I suppose I'm just trying to distract myself from the inevitable, which almost certainly includes Bill quibbling with any media outlet with stature  that correctly reports that  Terriers was canceled due to low ratings despite mostly favorable reviews by critics.

I hope I’m wrong, but of course it’s too late to save Terriers!  I mean c’mon, if AMC cancels a show with a 0.2 adults 18-49 rating, there’s no chance FX won’t cancel a show with similar ratings.

But there is a chance for FX to learn something here.  Change the name of the show for the last two episodes!

I know the network speak for responding to that would be something like,  "We can’t do that.  It would be too confusing to viewers and it’s too late to change it in TV Guide and other print TV listings."

Why not do it anyway?

Too confusing for viewers?  You mean the 538,000 average viewers and the ~263,000 who were age 18-49 who watched Wednesday night?

How big of a risk can confusing so few people really be?  The rest are already confused or don't care.   Hardly anybody, at least in the advertiser coveted adults 18-49 demo, reads the physical TV Guide these days.  The Sunday paper is  black and white, plus color, but is well past being read all over anymore.

The online and DVR program guides can be updated very quickly.  Might the name change screw up a few DVRs?  No doubt.  But once you've suffered through a few 0.2 adults 18-49 ratings, how bad can a little outrage on the Internet be?

In fairness to FX,  I totally get the notion of managing appearances and not wanting to look desperate.  But if FX only changed the name for the last two episodes (or even just the finale), it could pass it off as a novel approach to trying to learn from the experience.   I also get that there is expense involved with even just changing the name graphic in the show and the promos, as well as promo voice overs.  It's easy to say "but how much can that cost?"  Even if it's not very much, I'm not sure I'd spend it that way if it were my money.

I know there's no chance FX will try it, but I wish they would just to see what would happen.

Call it The Walking PIs (it doesn’t matter that they drive) or Dead Show Walking, or True PI.    Whether Huh? or Smells Like Dog $#*! really isn't the point.  It doesn't matter much how they change the name as long as they change it.

I'd like to see them rename it Renewed.   If nothing else we’d get the headline of  "Renewed Canceled."  Then Variety’s On The Air Blog could go with "Renewed Canceled After Critical Acclaim But Low Ratings"  if for no other reason (besides being factually correct) than to exasperate Bill.

As long as I'm already dreaming, even better: name it "Canceled" for the finale and then renew it.

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