by Jordan Green / Tucson Weekly / May 20, 2011
Last September, FX premiered a show about two private eyes called Terriers. The show had a sunny setting in Ocean Beach, an eclectic township of San Diego. It had two dynamic leads in the perpetually underrated Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James, who played the Cajun-accented bad guy in the first season of True Blood. Terriers was exceptionally well-written and engaging, and the more episodes you watched, the more hooked you became. It also had an absolute masterpiece of an opening credit sequence. Take a look by going to above link for vid.
Four months later, despite a fervent cult following, Terriers was canceled. Most fans blamed the failure on a miserable and confusing dog-centric marketing campaign, though FX President John Landgraf adamantly denies this . (As one AV Club post mentioned, why not just play the theme song in commercials?) Either way, a really terrific show was cut down before it had a chance.
Contrast this with HBO, which last week renewed Treme for a third season just a few episodes into its second. David Simon’s sprawling drama is set in New Orleans in the months and years after Hurricane Katrina, but finding an audience has been difficult. The second season premiere of Treme drew a paltry viewership of 605,000. We’re talking nationwide. That number isn’t entirely accurate, since many HBO viewers may have DVRed the episode (not sure if those numbers are counted), and even more may have downloaded it illegally. Still, that’s not many people. It’s less than the entire population of the Boise metro area. That number is also slightly over half of Treme’s series premiere a year ago. Still, HBO renewed it, and they renewed it because HBO’s programming philosophy prizes quality over ratings. What kind of company does that? Why don’t more companies do that?
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