Hasta la vista Sarah Connor: Fox terminates another quality SF series

Sarah Connor[Feel free to insert your own expletive, I did and believe me it wasn’t Frak!]. If those who claim to be in the know are to be believed, it’s now official and Fox has once again axed a quality science fiction series: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will not be returning for a third series.

Ok, for now let it be Frak!

Deep down we knew this was coming. Decisions like this are made well in advance if for no other reason than allocating funds, and so it’s not surprising that rumour and speculation about the show’s termination have been rife for months. Although nothing was going to be said officially, looking back over the months of rumour, it’s clear the show was never going to make it to a third season.

So, it’s Firefly all over again, and just like that other superlative series, The Sarah Connor Chronicles is in almost all respects a quality TV show. From the opening episode the writing was outstanding and, more importantly, was achieving new heights as the series evolved; the story arc across two seasons was engaging and well able to provide shocks and surprises, and it was taking us into new and unexplored territory; the production values were as good as anything else we’ve seen on TV, and considerably better than most; and with one notable exception, the performances were superb. If I had to find fault it would be with the plot line and character of Jesse Flores (played by Stephanie Jacobsen) which seemed peculiarly directionless.

What’s most infuriating about this decision by Fox is that the show was not in fact rating badly, you just need to consider global figures and overlook the one figure that actually interests the business. Which is of course the ratings that directly relate to advertising, that is the ratings for the actual TV time slot in which the show was scheduled. The fact that Fox gave the show a Friday night time slot as good as guaranteed its eventual termination as the majority of the show’s target demographic has better things to do than watch TV on a Friday night and are in possession of the know-how to record / download the show and bypass those pesky adverts.

Unfortunately there’s a price to be paid for not watching the bloody adverts as Fox likes to remind us.

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