If you've followed this blog, you know I'm a big fan of the series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles". So it pained me, although it didn't surprise me, when I found out that it was not renewed by Fox yesterday. Good shows get cancelled all the time, it's the symptom of being a TV viewer, but this was in my top 3 of all time, along with "Deadwood" (another brilliant show that was let go before its time) and "The Shield" (which actually enjoyed a long run). It took the "Terminator" franchise in a somewhat radical new direction, mixing its reputation for action-packed sci-fi with an intelligence and philosophy that had been downplayed to this point.
I believe that's one of the major reasons why the show wasn't able to gain a wide audience, despite the fact that as a franchise with a trilogy of successful movies behind it, it certainly should have. I think a lot of the Terminator fans were turned off by the show's lack of action scenes, while some people who might have really gotten into the show, were turned off by the "Terminator" name.
There is the predictable uproar from hardcore fans of the show, as there always is with anything sci-fi, that Fox didn't give it a chance, that Fox can go to hell, "fuck Fox", etc. The bottom line is that Fox Network is a business, as any television network is, and has to make their decisions based on whether the show makes money for them. Terminator was fantastic, but it just wasn't making money for them. And they gave the show 31 episodes, which is more than it would have probably gotten anywhere else. So if you have time, rather than shake your fist and saying "fuck Fox", you should send an email and thank them for their support of the show.
(On a side note, I do kind of understand the anger, as another show, "Dollhouse", which is also sci-fi and has plummeting ratings, got picked up for 13 more episodes. It was widely rumored that Fox was choosing between Dollhouse and SCC. As SCC was clearly the superior show from a creative standpoint, and its ratings were beginning to stabilze by the time of its cancellation, while Dollhouse's ratings were continuing to reach the cellar, along with the fact that the new Terminator movie, "Salvation" could have only brought new people to the show, it's a headscratcher why Fox chose to renew Dollhouse. I believe it's only because Dollhouse is a Fox-produced show, whereas SCC isn't, meaning that Fox could make money off DVD sales, ITunes, etc. Dollhouse is as good as gone anyway, it just doesn't know it yet.)
I will probably have more to say about this show in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime, here is one of my favorite scenes from the series, in the season finale of Season 1. I love this scene because they had a limited budget (as it was a television show) so they couldn't do huge action sequences like in the movies, but they were so creative with this scene, it was brilliantly done. Johnny Cash's voice adds a great touch as well.