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October 9, 2015

Fox saves Sarah...Connor, that is

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 18th 2008 3:32PM
Sarah CLet's hear it for Fox TV! No, you don't need to check my meds. I'm seriously giving a shout-out to Fox for their latest move. Despite so-so ratings, Fox has renewed Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles for the remainder of the 2008-9 season. This says that Fox understands that shows -- especially the sci-fi genre -- need time to develop and grow an audience.

The greatest sci-fi success of all time, Star Trek, struggled for three years on NBC in the 1960s where the network was very frustrated with the show because it wasn't a ratings smash. Imagine, if you will, how much NBC might have made if they had stuck with ST and mined the cult success that exploded into a cultural phenomenon?

Now, I'm not saying that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is going to follow suit -- or that it's even the best Terminator spin-off. What I'm applauding is the network showing faith in a show and sticking with it. Right now, for instance, I bet there are voices up at the Black Rock (CBS) who are wondering if giving Moonlight a second season at Friday night at nine o'clock might have been a wiser move -- a fan move for sure -- than greenlighting the American version of an Israeli show, The Ex-List, which, by the way, is sliding in the ratings worse than Moonlight ever did!

CBS thinks that giving Jericho a second season proved that backing shows with cult followings is a mistake. That's the real reason Moonlight didn't get a second season. It's probably going to be the reason we'll never see another Swingtown episode on CBS. At some point, CBS needs to rethink their formula. More procedurals, like The Mentalist which they're crowing about, doesn't make for a very diverse schedule

Which is why I'm giving props to Fox for Sarah C. Chronicles! But just so you don't think I'm just a cheerleader, there are reportedly other good reasons for the network making this move. Joss Whedon's new show Dollhouse isn't ready for midseason. Fox's plan of a Dollhouse/24 Monday night has been put on hold because the former isn't ready to go.

The Hollywood Reporter also writes that Fox is anticipating all their shows to rise in the ratings once American Idol returns in 2009. The ratings across the board on Fox tend to shoot up when AI is dominating their schedule. Terminator could wind up with a much stronger second half of the season than the first.

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Kudos indeed...maybe if Fox had given Firefly as much of a chance as they have TSCC, we might all be watching season seven of that show. My empathy goes with TSCC, and Joss' Dollhouse, and if the reason for the dealy is to make better episodes, then that's fine, but if it's just Fox having their head up their collective backsides like they did with Firefly and Drive, then maybe Joss should take Dollhouse to another network or cable.

November 13 2008 at 11:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well this is really great news!! Last week, when Baseball was on tv instead of Terminator, I feared for the worst. (I'm french Canadian, I don't follow baseball much.. so you'll have to forgive me for that!) Anyway!!! Terminator is a really good show, sometimes some shows almost feel like movies to me! I don't know much about ratings, and how good a rating must usually be to keep a show alive, but, like some said, its good that People at fox recognise that this show has potential.

Oh... and Cameron.... Ca-me-ron... wow! Bye!

October 21 2008 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kudos to Fox for realizing that the viewers actually matter. I don't even watch TSCC but am sick of how CBS has their collective heads up their butts about what viewers want. If I see another crime series come out I am going to scream. It's almost as bad as the recent influx of rehashes on old game shows. (BTW, yes I am one of those nutjob Moonlight fans that is still bitter) Grats to TSCC fans, I hope your show finds a long life on Fox!

October 20 2008 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree that networks are just too quick to cancel shows. It takes a while to hook in viewers particularly when many people DVR shows for later viewing or catch them via the Internet. In that way, I don't believe the ratings data is the best indicator of a show's success. I'm still missing Moonlight on Friday night. Sigh.

October 20 2008 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Imagine, if you will, how much NBC might have made if they had stuck with ST and mined the cult success that exploded into a cultural phenomenon."

I don't think it would have mattered if NBC had given ST a couple of more seasons. It was not until it got out into the syndication market and was exposed to a much broader audience that it took off.

October 19 2008 at 8:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is fantastic news. Thank you FOX! Finally, a sign of intelligence...

October 19 2008 at 2:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

great news, TSCC starts season 2 in the UK on Virgin 1 on Oct 23rd, this may have something to do with the decision to continue it. In any case I am very happy and wish them well, Mondays would not be the same without Sarah and Cameron

October 19 2008 at 2:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tv junkie

kudos to Fox and Kevin Reilly, the man responsible for giving then low-rated The Office a chance, and ordering 30 Rock and Friday Night Lights before he was unceremoniously fired from NBC and now heading Fox. it's nice to see the network giving low-rated shows a chance, now they should consider putting the show after AI or House in January, if Dollhouse is on schedule that is.

October 18 2008 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tv junkie's comment

Ditto to the Kevin Reilly kudos! That guy really knows what he is doing. Before NBC, he helped make FX more than just a place for X-Files reruns, as well. He is a true old school programmer, and would that we had three more like him!

October 18 2008 at 10:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Travis McKnight

I agree. CBS has a very UNDIVERSE schedule which is why HOW I MEET YOUR MOTHER is the only thing I watch on it. To much CSIish shows! Blah....It's all about the money though.


October 18 2008 at 6:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, some linkage on the Dollhouse rumor would be nice.

I'm glad to see Sarah Connor renewed. Maybe this will give me the chance to actually get caught up on it.

October 18 2008 at 6:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Fred's comment

the first season is on DVD. the entire 2nd season is on hulu.com. Just in case you didnt know.

October 18 2008 at 6:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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