You. Over there. Whining like a little bitch because FOX didn’t pick up Virtuality. Quit your whining!
Minor spoilers below.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, I watched Virtuality and I liked it. Mostly. Oh sure, there was that one glaring plot device. I’m supposed to believe these people are smart enough to create stunning virtual reality head gear, but not smart enough to go into the airlock with their space suits already on? C’mon! But otherwise, I liked it fine and would’ve no doubt watched at least a few episodes of it had it been made into a series.
But cut FOX some slack. All this “FOX, you broke my heart again” talk is nonsense.
While I can’t say why FOX feels the way about Virtuality that it does, how it felt about it was pretty clear when originally it was scheduled to air on July 4 between 8p-10pm (the good news is, by bumping it up 8 days, it’s possible that FOX could still change its mind and make Bill happy by running a ‘Til Death marathon on July 4).
July 4, the night when people go out to watch fireworks and celebrate our freedom to whine about networks not picking up TV shows that we don’t pay for.
Why did FOX make the schedule switch to air it eight days earlier? Who knows? The switch was made well in advance of the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. So it’s not like FOX planned to have tribute competition (and it wasn’t like the that competition hit the ball out of the yard ratings-wise either).
But given the numbers for Virtuality it’s hard to predict it would’ve done any worse if they’d left it on July 4. Sure, I got about 18 e-mails (ok, only 2) along the lines of “See how great Dollhouse is! HA! Look at those numbers for Virtuality! Hahahahaha Dollhouse rul3z!”
But it’s really not worth comparing a Friday in late June with a Friday in February, March or April. I’m not saying the numbers for Virtuality didn’t stink, because they indeed were plenty smelly. But who knows if Dollhouse’s numbers would’ve looked any better if it premiered on a Friday in late June with the same level of promotion Virtuality got.
Dollhouse’s renewal is probably one of the reasons why FOX didn’t pick up Virtuality. I’m not sure it’s the main reason, but FOX had to figure “OK, so two science fiction-ish shows that hardly anyone will watch, but one we know we can get dirt cheap. Hmmmm which one do we pick?!”
I think another reason might have been something like, “Hey, doesn’t Ronald D. Moore, creator of Virtuality also have another show (Caprica) that will be airing on SciiiiFiiiiii or whatever its called starting next year? And didn’t the pilot for that show revolve a lot around — wait for it — virtual reality headgear?”
For that reason alone, I don’t think there’s any chance SyFy will pick it up. Do they really want two artificial intelligence / virtual reality themed shows? Is it in SyFy’s interest to have Moore working on one two similarly themed shows that it (NBC Universal ) owns and one show produced by FOX? (edited: commenter “Peter Noble” is correct, both shows are Universal produced).
I’d be happy to see it happen. But I think that would require a miracle.
Dollhouse was renewed, so miracles can happen. And if you’re rooting for that sort of thing to happen with Virtuality, I won’t hold it against you. But if you’re gonna go all “FOX, you broke my heart. Again. I need to know how this show ends. I HATE YOU FOX! I die a little every time I give a show on your network a chance!!!” on us — well, I won’t hold that against you either, but I will mock you.