The timing can’t go unnoticed. On the day that IFC announced it would be airing more late, lamented one-season series like “The Ben Stiller Show,” to go with “Freaks and Geeks” in its lineup, we got close to the final word that FX’s “Terriers” will also be a one-season wonder.
The season finale “Terriers” on Wednesday drew 784,000 total viewers, its highest total in 11 weeks but perhaps not enough to save the series. Possibly setting the stage for a cancellation announcement, FX noted that “Terriers” had its best lead-in of the season thanks to the final halfhour of the movie “Tropic Thunder,” which pulled 1.1 million viewers.
“Terriers” has received high critical praise — and in this writer’s eyes, delivered a pitch-perfect season finale — but is considered to vulnerable the axe after averaging under a million viewers during its run, dipping as low as 540,000 viewers with a 0.2 rating among adults 18-49 on Nov. 10.
Starring Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James, “Terriers” premiered to an audience of 1.6 million on Sept. 8 but shed nearly 50% of it the following week, the last date that it topped 800,000 viewers.
Shawn Ryan exec produces the series with creator Ted Griffin, who directed and co-wrote the finale with brother Nicholas.
Nearly four years ago, I wrote that “if ratings woes compel NBC to cancel “Friday Night Lights” before its sophomore season, it could become the most critically beloved freshman series punted by the Peacock — or any broadcast network — since “Freaks and Geeks” in 2000 and “Boomtown” a few years later.” As it turned out, “FNL” survived, for four more seasons, in fact. So folks can dream.
But now, it’s my feeling that “Terriers” is poised to go down the other, sadder path. A few years from now, some cable network will pick up its reruns, and people will wonder how such great characters couldn’t find a bigger audience.