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tv news

A creator's chronicle of his TV show being terminated

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Thursday, June 4, 2009

When Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles failed to find a home in Fox's 2009-2010 season the show's fans cried out in anguish. But even as media reporters and fan organizers wrote their disappointment on blogs and in magazine columns there was one side of this story that didn't have a voice. When a show is cancelled it's just bad news for its viewers, but to those that are working on the program it means you're unemployed and out of work. Who tells the story of those people?

Josh Friedman was the guy at the top of the creative tentpole on The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the writer of the pilot episode and showrunner of the series. During the time that Terminator was "on the bubble" and no one knew if it would be renewed or not Friedman had a front-row seat witnessing how the uncertainty of show business affected real people and their families. In Friedman's most recent blog posting he finally writes about the horror show of watching something that he poured his blood, sweat and tears into for three years get abruptly unplugged and how the reality of that decision unfolded around him.

Have you ever stopped and wondered what does happen when a series gets cancelled? How do the people working on the show know when to make the leap from the end of one TV show to the next so they can keep paying their mortgages and bills without an interruption in their cash flow? What kind of toll does it take on the wives, husbands and children back home when daddy/mommy is gone for 70 hours a week and suddenly they're back home? Friedman's post-mortem analysis of the death of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is fascinating to read because it asks those kinds of uncomfortable questions. Regardless if you were a fan of T:TSCC or not, if you've ever had a favorite TV show that's fallen on the chopping block Friedman's essay paints a picture of life on the other side of the phosphorescent screen and how the lives of real human beings are turned up by the cold, impersonal world of the bottom line.

Read Josh Friedman's latest post "Boy in the Bubble" on his blog.

-Josh Friedman's blog, brought to attention by Jarrod Sarafin @ Mania.com.
Jakester
Location:
Posts: 5753
Posted: 11 years 26 weeks ago

That was sad and funny at the same time. I feel for the guy. I think he had a great product in T:TSCC, but I guess not enough other people are smart enough to get the show.

That's right. I said it. If you didn't like Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles you are a retard. What's more, I can feel confident saying this because every single individual who disliked the show is illiterate and has no idea what I've just written.

If, by some bizarre twist of fate, you are some moronic individual who can read on a kindergarten level and disliked the show, well, you and me, we're fucking done, professionally.

Richard Gozinya, Harold Snatch and Wilbur Jizz. Together we are the law firm Gozinya, Snatch and Jizz.
mckracken
Location:
Posts: 965
Posted: 11 years 26 weeks ago

I dont think its that, Jake, its that the Friday night timeslot is the proverbial "kiss of death" for ANY show on FOX.. want an example? Lets return to this conversation next May when Dollhouse is placed "on the bubble" ok?

Quite frankly, people left their houses after work on a friday night and decided to head into the malls, the movie theaters or leave town or get some business finished that was left unfinished during their workweek.. and TV shows (even great shows) are caught in the crossfire because theres no audience for them.

and yes, I didnt use the word GENRE once in that sentance either. Genre or mainstream, it makes no difference. Friday night timeslot is the kiss of death for A LOT OF SHOWS.. not just genre shows.

adding insult to injury, the networks are banking more and more on Game Shows like American Idol, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, Dont forget the lyrics and reality shows like Dancing With the Stars, Survivor, and The Bachelor and less on regular programming like LOST and Terminator.. why? THEY'RE CHEAPER TO PRODUCE, they have one set, one host and unpaid normal people that are vying for a chance to appear on TV.. get that... UNPAID... yes nobody got paid for their appearance on the game shows except for the prize winner...except for the host of the show.

Daltons chin dimple
Location:
Posts: 12800
Posted: 11 years 26 weeks ago

You know, there is an upside to this kind of thing. Employment law here in the EU would pretty much preclude a TV company from being able to treat employees the way they are treated in California. And let's be honest, the US has given out some truly phenomenal shows lately that just wouldn't get made in Europe.

Without the ability to pull the plug (with it's bad side effects on the staff) then TV show making would be even lower risk and nothing but low cost, low resource reality shows would ever get made.

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"
DarkPassenger
Location:
Posts: 20
Posted: 11 years 25 weeks ago

Get a grip! Jakester.
It's just a show.?

Were you protesting ? at fox, wearing a T-800 mask.

The show was doomed from the start with the premise
of said show.
As far as being retarded for anybody that didn't ;cling; to a fantasy/ sci show.... like sarah chronicles
I am not a "retarded inbred whitebread"
middle age white boy. Like yourself.

Waiting within the shadows in your room
Daltons chin dimple
Location:
Posts: 12800
Posted: 11 years 24 weeks ago

It also sucks that networks are allowed to show this much complete contempt to viewers (ie. customers/consumers) and get away with it. I am not talking about the Sarah Connor Chronicles particularly, just this whole rapid, mid-story cancellation thing US networks pull.

It's like reading a book in bed, being a couple of chapters from the end. You put it down and go to sleep, wake up in the morning and some bastard has ripped out the last two chapters and burnt them. It's like, "Hey, I was reading that, you idiot hole!".

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"