It’s always heartbreaking when a show gets cancelled that you believe has a certain magic to it, a certain spirit, a certain chemistry that could never be reassembled (conjured?) again even with all the budget and time in the world. It’s even more crushing in a way when very few people have been watching it, because you’re able to take “ownership” of it all the more.
Tom Gliatto of The Huffington Post reflects this feeling in writing: “Terriers, which lasted exactly one season on FX, was the best network series to debut this fall, and I and its apparently not large audience will miss and mourn it.”
I actually didn’t feel that way about Terriers. I liked it and thought it had flashes of great potential at times, but I feel the “loss” more for TV Geek Army contributor Mike Proper, who has been covering the show through its first (and last) season.
Alan Sepinwall covers FX’s unusual decision to hold a conference call to discuss the decision to cancel the show, and adds, “I honestly cannot remember anything like this happening before.” Here’s the killer indictment: "You could have doubled the ratings," he told us, "and it still would have been the lowest-rated show we've ever had."
Many felt that the name of the show coupled with a marketing campaign that focused more on a little dog baring its fangs than its two lead actors did much to kill its chances from the outset. TV Squad reports that FX President John Landgraf “took issue with the idea that the show's name or marketing had anything to do with its poor ratings. He said that the billboards featuring the dog (and not the show's stars) were only seen by residents of New York and the west side of Los Angeles.”I disagree with Landgraf as I personally felt sure (and please put quotes around that word if you like) that the offbeat television ads were presaging a show that was going to focus on smalltime detective jobs and quirky comedy. Therefore I was taken aback when the tone of the show trended into fairly dark territory over the first several episodes.
Here’s what Mike Proper had to say about “Hail Mary,” the season/series finale (which was written before the final decision to cancel was made):
If "Hail Mary" turns out to be the very last Terriers episode (and by all accounts, this will be the case), then Ted Griffin and Shawn Ryan and Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James and everyone involved with the show should be exceptionally proud of themselves. They put together what will be remembered in the future as one of the best one-and-done seasons of television in the history of the medium.
Hyperbolic, maybe, but if you actually sat down and watched the whole season, you'd be hard pressed to come up with a reason to disagree with me.
Check out all of our coverage of Terriers, and let us know what your feelings were about the show in the comments.
Also take note that Terriers creator Shawn Ryan is planning to hold a “Twitter wake” on December 15th at 7pm PST/10pm EST and 10pm PST/1am EST.