My Turn

Fans Fret 'Terriers,' 'SGU'

11/18/2010 2:24 PM

Anxiety exists among fans of Terriers and Stargate: Universe.

I’ve read it, on Alan Sepinwall’s blog about Terriers and on Gateworld.net forums about SGU. I feel it, because TV is an expensive business and shows that aren’t runaway hits are vulnerable, no matter how good they are or how much there quality has improved.

Terriers is a freshman comedy/drama on FX, with impeccable parentage in Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Ted Griffin (Up In The Air). It’s well written, well acted, has its share of shocking moments (to cite Sepinwall) and to me has a very Rockford Files feel. The numbers are poor: the Nov. 3 episode had 667,000 viewers, according to Nielsen numbers provided by Walt Disney Co. Compare that (unfairly but… ) with FX hit Sons of Anarchy, a top-20 cable show that on Nov. 2 had 3.35 million viewers.

SGU is in its second season on Syfy. It’s the latest series in the Stargate franchise on Syfy and was intended to draw a younger audience than Stargate: Atlantis, which it supplanted. It might be, but it’s a smaller audience. My Nielsen chart has its Nov. 2 episode coming in at 967,000 viewers. More than a half million more viewers on average watched the Atlantis fifth season on a live plus same day basis. The show has suffered since moving to Tuesday night this season, as has been pointed out by many fans and by show co-creator Brad Wright.

Syfy pulled the plug on freshman Caprica due to low ratings, despite high quality.  It has greenlit a pilot for another variation on the Battlestar Galactica theme that spawned Caprica. Another critically praised freshman to bite the dust was Rubicon on AMC.

So fans of these two shows — whose most recent episodes, SGU’s “Malice” and “Sins Of The Past” on Terriers, hit series highs for quality, in my view — are watching the news tickers for renewals.

And hoping more people watch the shows.

UPDATE: Sadly for fans, both shows were not renewed. Yesterday, @Syfy’s Craig Engler Tweeted the bad news about SGU. As with Caprica, the network says the final 10 episodes of SGU will be shown in 2011. Terriers is just one and done.

October