Terriers was one of the best-received of this season’s new cable shows, but FX has shut it down after its initial 13-episode run. Despite positive reviews, the show just couldn’t hold an audience – after its premiere caught 1.6 million viewers, Terriers struggled to break half a million for the rest of the season. Last week’s finale topped out at around 800,000 and FX president John Landgraf announced in a press conference this morning that it would be the end of the series.
Terriers focused on a pair of private detectives outside of San Diego; Hank Dolworth (Donal Logue of Grounded for Life and ER) is an ex-cop who teams up with former criminal Britt Pollack (Michael Raymond-James, True Blood) to solve crimes and make ends meet. The show was executive produced by Shawn Ryan, whose previous work includes The Shield, The Unit and Lie to Me.
The ill-fated series isn’t the first to get the axe from FX, but it is one of the lowest-rated. At the press conference, Landgraf spoke on other shows canceled by Fox with higher ratings, including Damages and The Riches (subequently, Damages has been picked up by DirecTV). The premiere started strong, but still fell well short of other FX pilots. He sighted branding issues and an over-saturated market for crime dramas on cable.
A situation such as this is reminiscent of Lone Star’s cancellation earlier this year. With critical acclaim but abysmal ratings, Fox killed the network show after only two episodes. Fans will appreciate that FX at least allowed Terriers a full season run before putting it to pasture, but that’s small comfort for viewers who have watched Fox executives cancel promising shows in their infancy year after year. It’s as if they expect every show to get a Lost-level following immediately and keep it up indefinitely. The cutthroat environment of American television is becoming incredibly frustrating for anyone who doesn’t want to watch another ten seasons of American Idol or Dancing With The Stars.
Shawn Ryan’s next project is The Chicago Code, (formerly titled Ride Along) a standard police procedural set in the titular city with a focus on corruption. It premieres in February. The previews look promising – Fox may be going for 24-esque action – but if Landgraf was worried about over-saturation with Terriers, imagine the kind of ratings yet another cop show will have to bring in to survive.
Source: Hollywood Reporter