Monday, March 9, 2009

The Whedonverse: You Win Some, You Lose Some

Nathan Fillion's new show Castle is getting some pretty good reviews. It's not just the overall show that's catching the positive critical attention, but Fillion himself. This should be no surprise to any Whedonverse fan who has already had the Mal/Caleb/Captain Hammer experience.

Also getting attention is another Firefly veteran, Summer Glau. Her character Cameron from Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles is receiving praise, funnily enough, not for her entertaining acting skills or the amazing writing that comes with it, but because she's hot. Cameron has made the TV's Hottest Female Non-Human List.

This seems to be as good a place as any to start my rant:

Why is no one watching Terminator? Why is a show with great acting and engaging storytelling going to be cancelled? These two questions seem to be cosmically intertwined by one thing: The time slot from hell.

Back in September, the show had a viewership of 6.3 million and now that it's moved to Friday "...ratings took a 27% drop from their lowest Monday night figures." There's been speculation as to why Terminator was even picked up for a 2nd season in the first place and Fox has gone on record saying the sci-fi match-up with Dollhouse would be perfect for Friday nights. If this was really true, how do you explain Fringe with its cushy, elitist Tuesday night time slot? Pairing Terminator, Dollhouse and Fringe would have made perfect sense if you're pushing the sci-fi angle. That's why it seems hard to believe that any of this was for the good of Terminator, rather it seems to be the last concern on Fox's mind. With all this "talk" the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is the show getting the least amount of attention while having the most to lose.

I get the stinking suspicion that Terminator is the victim of Fox trying to help Dollhouse, but it seems so unfair to risk the cancellation of a good show in order to assure the renewal of another. I understand the gimmick behind placing a show with a character from a previous Whedon show with another character from a previous Whedon show, but Terminator already had a fragile viewership and now, sadly, it's at the point of no return, literally.
They'll be some flak for this post, but Dollhouse has so many fighting for its future that it seems "Team Glau" needs someone in the Whedonverse rallying in their corner.

End rant.



B.E. Earl said...

Totally agree.

I'm loving just about everything about Terminator: TSCC. Everything except the timeslot. Then again I generally DVR everything during the week and catch up on the weekends anyway, so timeslots rarely affect me.

I know how they affect ratings though. And this one sucks!

Michelle said...

Yeah, cancellation seems inevitable now which is such a shame.

Wenxian said...

It will indeed be a sad day if/when Fox decides to axe the show. Here's hoping that Fox looks at other numbers (i.e. Hulu viewings, FOD numbers, etc) and develop some sense of foresight.