Senseless Acts of Apathy

by on Apr.22, 2009, under TV

As is probably evident to those who know me or read here often, I watch a lot of TV. And every year I must content with the fact that not all of the shows that I like end up getting carried forward. Sure, I will grumble and moan about these decisions, but usually I see the logic and take solace in some new material that fills the void. But today I was doing some research to see what changes I should anticipate, and I have to say that I’m not happy with what I’ve read.

As if they haven’t given me enough reasons in the past, Fox seems to have issues the final straw this time around.  Over the years they’ve canned and/or moved around a number of shows that I’ve attempted to enjoy.  But this year they’re about to go too far.  My particular concerns are with two shows that are in danger of cancellation this season that I believe are the only worthwhile sci-fi themed shows on television:  Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse.  In both of these cases, the writing and the action this season – especially in the last couple of months – has been sensational.

With Terminator, I am baffled as this show ties into a movie that will soon be in theaters.  It has obviously been used as a promotion vehicle for the movie, and the success of the movie should lead to increased interest in the show (were it to be continued).  And with that a cascade effect could continue with promotion of future movies from the continuing saga and a possible spin-off show to address elements of this saga away from the Connor family.  But given what I’ve read, none of this will likely come together and the franchise as a whole will likely suffer from it.  The biggest downside for the fans will be the lack of any resolution to the cliffhanger left off from this season finale and how things could possibly resolve to what the movie portrays.

Regarding Dollhouse, granted I am and have long been a fan of all things Joss Whedon.  And as a result I’m sure I’ve given this new show a lot of bias.  But the show has proved to be excellent regardless of this bias and deals with some great moral ambiguities while developing some fastinating characters.  If this show gets canned, I don’t know how Joss would have any desire to write for television ever again (as it is, I’m surprised he resolved to try again after Firefly – which was a magnificent show that was poorly treated).

Based on these possible decisions, I can only come to the conclusion that Fox doesn’t care about good television and doesn’t fully understand the implications of their apathy.  I understand that money is the driving force behind ANY industry, but the primary purpose of television is entertainment.  And to continually kill off entertaining shows in favor of a better bottom line is frankly not good for the bottom line.  Having such a high turnover rate and so frequent schedule adjustments to their programming staves off faithful viewership.  I know that I personally my develop a much stronger bias against this network if these cuts end up being exercised.  While there are several other Fox shows that I follow and enjoy (e.g., House, Bones, 24), if they cancel both of these shows I will likely stop watching any of their programming and encourage others to follow suit.  Maybe if enough people consciously boycott this network for such poor decision-making, there ratings will point out the error in their ways.  Maybe.

We will see what decision they make soon enough.  When they do, I will make it clear where I stand on this matter.  And this stance may lead me to rally behind a cause.  Fox – the ball is currently in your court.  Hopefully you make the right choice.

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