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Goodbye to the “Terriers” Show


 

My choice as the best new show of the season, Terriers, has been canceled. This isn’t exactly a surprise, but when the ratings went up a little bit for the finale, I was hoping the network might use that as an excuse to bring it back for another season. No such luck, though; the improvement wasn’t enough. It’s sad, but the show will at least make a good single-season DVD boxed set, and I suggest buying it and watching it all the way through.

This is the poisonous icing on the cake of a disappointing television season; one of the few shows that actually seemed to know what it was doing — as I said in an earlier post, other new shows have potential, but this show was actually living up to it — flopped. While other shows that were almost nothing but potential (like The Walking Dead, a show that constantly alternates good moments with cringe-worthy ones) became big hits. It’s not a season where achievement and solid professionalism are rewarded, let’s say.

The mildly ironic thing about the failure of Terriers is that when it was picked up, it was announced as part of an FX network plan to do more accessible, commercial shows. And it certainly was an accessible show, in my opinion; that’s one of the reasons I liked it. But it just didn’t take off, proving once again that you can’t predict anything: a show that was conceived as a commercial, mainstream alternative to edgier programming became a cult flop, embraced by conoisseurs and avoided by the mainstream TV audience it was supposed to appeal to. FX and the producers can be proud of having made such a good show, but I doubt they thought they were making a niche product. There’s no telling how these things will go down.


 
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Goodbye to the “Terriers” Show

  1. I think you may have already said this somewhere, but I still feel the show's title was it's biggest problem. "Terriers". Sounds like an animated Disney dog movie.

    • My feeling is that marketing matters more than the title. "The Sopranos" sounds like it's about female opera singers, but it was marketed in a way that left no doubt what the show was about and that it was cool. FX's marketing department took the title "Terriers" literally and actually featured dogs in the promotional posters — that was probably a much worse problem than the title itself.

  2. I hate to be "that guy", but I just can't blame the show's failure entirely on the marketing, as everyone else everywhere else seems to be doing. 1.6 million people watched the pilot, and that's bad on many, many levels; but only 822,000 people came back the next week. I've already seen a dozen people wail different variations of, "If only people were to watch the show, I know they'd immediately love it, just as I did!" but it's hard to say that's true when you lose half your audience in one week.

    • Oh, I agree with that — no show's failure is entirely to be blamed on marketing. But it can make a difference around the edges, and better marketing might theoretically have helped it get to a level of viewership that would have justified a second season. The best campaign in the world wouldn't have made it into a hit.

  3. No surprise it was cancelled, but a shame, indeed. I didn't consider it my favourite new show, but I did really enjoy it, and will be sad to not get to see a second season.

    I'm really surprised FX thought Terriers would be any kind of example of a broadly appealing show. Obviously these sorts of things are subjective, but I can't imagine what their market research told them that would have given them this idea. Just based on the type of characters and their situations and the stories they were going to tell, Terriers was never going to be as easy a program to watch as Burn Notice, Leverage, Psych, White Collar, Covert Affairs, and the like. I thought this show practically screamed "niche programming." I actually took a pass on it, due to its unappealing name and lousy promotion, but after reading an increasing number of positive reviews of it, I finally decided to give it a try. Glad I did, too. Hopefully FX learns a thing or two, and Donal Logue finds another awesome role really soon.

  4. I love this show. So sad it was cancelled.

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