Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles creator Josh Friedman has opened up on the demise of his show and the difficulty in making sci-fi sticky on network television.
Speaking on Twitter, Friedman said he holds no ill-will against Fox for cancelling the post-apocalyptic series in 2009, suggesting that the show was a difficult get from the jump:
SF/fantasy isn’t easy on network. World building, mythology, still a tough sell. Truth be told, TSCC wasnt the most commercial show.
A lot of TSCC fans like to tweet me their anger at Fox 4 canceling show. I’ve always said–they made a perfectly reasonable biz decision.
I hold no anger towards Fox for canceling TSCC. Ratings weren’t good. They gave it a chance–promoted it heavily. People didn’t watch.
I love the passion of the fans. Many of u miss show. So do I. But anger at Fox is misplaced. They’ve tried many genre shows that didn’t fly.
Terminator fans didn’t want to watch a drama, and drama fans didn’t want to watch a Terminator show. Difficult show to market, explain.
Friedman went on to offer some thoughts on how multi-layered genre shows like T:TSCC might better succeed on network, highlighting ABC’s LOST, which started out which a clean cut premise before gradually dragging fans down the rabbit hole, as a prime example:
I think network shows work best when the concept is clean and clear. And if its complicated conceptually it needs to be simple in execution.
TSCC was a complicated world writ in a complicated way. That’s not a good recipe for most folk.
I think LOST is a great example of what I’m saying…LOST has a very strong central idea: castaways in an island. The mythology and structure become complicated thereafter…
…but scenes themselves are very clean and clear. You never leave a LOST scene not getting what they intend u to get.
How many times did Sawyer & Hurley use humor 2 explain confusing concepts? A shitload.
@DamonLindelof holds your hand, lovingly, but firmly.
Friedman also believes that cult favorite Battlestar Galactica wouldn’t have lasted on network:
BSG wouldn’t have survived on network, either. For many of the same general TSCC problems.
What do you think? Was T:TSCC doomed to fail (ratings-wise) on network?