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An Open Letter to FX: Please Keep Terriers Around

Dear FX,

This fall television network has been pretty lousy at the broadcast networks. Massively hyped series have fizzled and viewers seem largely turned off by the prospects for new offerings, with several series already cancelled. It's likely that the axe will fall on a bunch more before winter comes.

Which is why your new series, Terriers, is such a breath of fresh air amid a what's largely a creatively stagnant landscape this fall.

For some reason, viewers haven't flocked to this remarkable series.

Perhaps it was the odd choice of title (it's not about dogs or dog breeders, despite the scrappiness of our protagonists) or the advertising campaign that played up images of snarling, biting, and scrappy dogs rather than focus on the beachy private investigator angle or series leads Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James. Or perhaps this would have performed better in the summer rather than competing against a crush of new series, all premiering at the same time and jockeying for viewers' attention.

Regardless of the ratings (they, like the canines alluded to in the title, are small but fiercely loyal), Terriers is a series worth sticking with, a hysterical and heartbreaking series that's quirky and original and broadens the brand of FX.

Creators Shawn Ryan and Ted Griffin have winningly fused together the crime-based procedural with serialized, character-based arcs, fleshing out the world of Ocean Beach in include a cast of colorful characters that only get more, well, colorful over the next four episodes, which I gleefully watched recently.

Over the course of its first five installments, Terriers developed into a deeply nuanced series that explored the bond between brothers, between lovers, and between people, a taut emotional cat's cradle that examined the consequences of action.

These next four episodes, beginning with tonight's "Ring-a-Ding-Ding," find Hank and Britt grapple with a number of changes to their lives as the wedding between Hank's ex-wife Gretchen (Kimberly Quinn) and Jason (Loren Dean) fast approaches, the condition of Hank's sister Steph (Karina Logue) worsens considerably, and secrets between Katie (Laura Allen) and Britt threaten to derail their entire relationship. (I'll say that all four episodes were outstanding, and I adored the guys' unusual client in "Pimp Daddy," who nearly stole the show, and the tension of "Agua Caliente.")

Along the way, supporting characters like new mother Maggie (Jamie Denbo)--the guys' putative boss as well as attorney--and Hank's ex-partner Mark Gustafson (Rockmond Dunbar) get fleshed out further, as the series itself grows up a bit. It still hasn't lost its focus on odd couple Hank and Britt, but there's a remarkable sadness that's crept into its bones as well, making this far more than a one-trick pup.

Terriers may not be an out of the gate smash hit like Sons of Anarchy, your top-rated series, but it's also a critical favorite that adds a bit of screwball fun to the lineup. Positioned differently, it could be a quiet hit for the network as well as sit separately from the acid-tongued humor of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League, the sweeping Shakespearean Sons of Anarchy, and the Western trappings of Justified.

Besides, those ratings aren't quite accurate now that Dish Network subscribers can't even watch Terriers, much less FX at all. So reports that ratings have plunged for this winning series aren't all that accurate, considering it's not available in as many homes as a few weeks earlier. Let's just keep that in mind when taking a look at the fate of this series.

But with so many doctor/lawyer/cop tropes on display yet again this season, Terriers has been a refreshing alternate to regurgitated and rewarmed genres that we've seen time and time again. And while PIs aren't exactly novel nowadays, the way in which they're handled here--they're too small to fail--makes for compelling and intelligent programming, something that's severely lacking on the broadcasters right now.

So why not do Terriers fans a solid and not put this dog to sleep just yet?

Terriers airs Wednesday evenings at 10 pm ET/PT on FX.


Anonymous said…
Couldn't have said it better myself. Literally. Thanks for saying it for me/us.
Jason said…
In the end, Terriers and The Walking Dead will have been the two finest additions to television this season.
Sue said…
I had 3 episodes sitting on my DVR that I ended up watching back-to-back-to-back all in one sitting. That hasn't happened in a long time. With Damages (boo that S3 won't be available for me) Justified and now Terriers, FX has become my new fave cable channel for programming right behind USA Network.
gmr2048 said…
Dear FX,

Please add me to the list of people who think this show deserves a chance (and perhaps a better advertising campaign).

People should also keep an eye on Twitter, via @ShawnRyanTV, @DonalLogue, @MRaymondJames, and @FXNetworks because the middle two are out on a Terriers bus tour around the country. FX hasn't bothered to do a very good job at making a central information point on this, so you'll have to try your luck getting info on Twitter.
rockauteur said…
Where's your channel surfing today?
Also, if you do hit a tour stop, for the love of television please share blog posts, tweets, and photos. Even for someone actively searching for it, this tour is sort of invisible.
Pam said…
I've enjoyed this show from the first episode. I've got my fingers crossed it stays around. I miss "Damages", but this is a great series to get into.
Kat said…
I have a friend who is trying to switch from Dish to another provider because they no longer have FX and she loves Terriers.

It is a great show with a loyal following. I love it.

So please FX, keep Terriers!
Jackie said…
Terriers keeps getting better every episode. It is the only new Fall show I've kept watching past 3 episodes. I hope FX is able to renew for a second season.
wdavi said…
Fox has a history of cancelling shows just out of the gate! I wish they give this one a chance!
Anonymous said…
Keep it!
clio-the-muse said…
This really is a fantastic, quirky little show and Jace's comments are dead-on right. I had no idea that Dish customers are unable to get FX but that's reason enough for me never to switch to Dish Network. This show gets deeper and deeper the longer you watch and the addition of Steph is sad/funny/awesome just like real family. I love this show.
JohnEZ said…
Jace hit it right on the nose. This series is what people are looking for it's NOT the same old same old. The characters are amazing and feel very real. I also think the show needs a better advertising campaign as the common comment from people I rave to about the show is "Where and when is that on? I remember hearing something about it..."
Antproof said…
I'm in the Amen Chorus on this one. Terriers and Boardwalk Empire comprise my universe of "appointment TV."
Anonymous said…
Amazing episode last night. This is by and away the best new show this year. The only new shows I still watch are this and Boardwalk Empire (which I feel is really beginning to drag the last couple episodes.)

The story-telling here is top notch and the acting isn't far behind. At a time when most new shows are based on a "hook" of some sort of fantasy or concept to take the viewer out of their own reality - Terriers removes the frills and communicates directly to the audience with genuine emotions we can all relate to. A sunnier Homicide: Life on the Streets if you will.

Love the show.
mary m. said…
Please keep Terriers going. It is such a great show...the story lines and characters are fun, quirky and down to earth. There is a small restaurant in the Northeast that the patrons gather weekly around the big screen T.V. in the bar area to watch each week. We love it!!! It is a no talking time if you can imagine that....Great show... mary m.
Megan said…
This show is one of the few quality new shows and I absolutely love it.
heffae said…
it's always nice to encounter a show with smart, naturalistic writing, a not too stylized look and some very endearing characters.

(i really hope this doesn't go the way of every other show i gravitate to... )

go Terriers!
Delesene said…
I'm a big fan of this show...about five minutes in, I messaged a friend and told her, "You HAVE to watch this."

I think they should be marketing this show completely differently: as in, if you like, "Breaking Bad", "Mad Men", "Damages", "Veronica Mars" or "The Shield", you should be giving this show a shot.

Donal Logue is really amazing in this: so willing to be scruffy and pathetic. But what's really amazing is that there are *consequences* in this show--they don't emerge unscathed from their errors, and all the characters struggle mightily with daily living, and the small disasters (and the large ones) that can ruin lives. In "Ring-a-ding-ding", they let the terminal MoTW character be defined by revenge, both irrational and futile, instead the stereotypical forgiveness and acceptance that we'd see on a less daring show.

There's really some remarkable shows being produced on television nowadays...however, none of them seem to be on the broadcast networks.
Tonya Ricucci said…
love Terriers! the characters are great and the stories are entertaining and surprising. So much more interesting than just about anything else on right now.
Lois Anderson said…
Very well said. Terriers is the best new show on TV, hands down. The writing is amazing, and the acting is outstanding. I have never made an effort to tune in to a TV show before in the past, but I make sure I am home to watch Terriers every week. I love it. Seinfeld didn't start off on top, so please give this show a little time to develop.
Terrier Fan from MA said…
Totally love this show!! Exceptional acting,writing etc. There's a lot going on. Every episode is worth watching again to pick up things you might have over looked the first time.

Donal is awesome-but I fear Michael Raymond-James is being over looked and under valued. He was awesome in True Blood. That's what drew me to Terriers. I knew a bigger role for him would be highly entertaining TV.
Anonymous said…
omg i can't tell you how much i love this show
Diane said…
I've created an online petition in the attempt to SAVE TERRIERS!!! PLEASE SIGN IT & PASS IT ALONG TO OTHERS!!!

Anonymous said…
Just wanted to voice my support for this show. It's some of the best writing on TV right now, and the performances are great.
Ted said…
This is an awesome show! Please do keep it on the air!
Changshafu said…
I love this show. Thank you so much for this letter.

"Colorful characters" usually means that Gilmore Girl David Kelly kind of forced "aren't we whimsical" b.s. Not here. Any show that was going for The Shield's blend of humor and bleakness - was a pale imitation for me.

Terriers was love in the first 30 seconds. It was love because it's great. The look of it; the humor; the sadness. D.L is an incredible actor. But that Michael Raymond James:wow. Fabulous delivery and fabulous face. He is one of the most adorable gorgeous men on TV ever. Now that Jon Hamm is gone, MRJ has the field to himself.

FX- don't be schmucks. How big a female audience do you have? RENEW TERRIERS!
Anonymous said…
Here! Here! I applaud this letter without reservation.
annagreenesays said…
YES, this show is the best thing on television right now! It's the only show, along with It's Always Sunny, that I can't miss-- it's strict appointment television.

Every episode has just been building and building, and finally, friends of mine are starting to catch on. Keep it around, FX!
Love Terriers and now my wife and son both watch. Please, FX, give Terriers a chance at season 2.
Jeff B said…
LOVE this show and so don't want it to get canceled. Does anyone know how to send an email to FX to show our support? I can't seem to find anything.
Anonymous said…
F/X - please, please, please renew this show! Give it a decent marketing campaign and watch the ratings soar!
pJ said…

TERRIERS is this seasons best new show!

Fine acting, by a game ensemble, and stories with a great big heart written by writers who actually to give viewers credit for having the brains to follow along.


Pauline said…
Dear F/X, please renew "Terriers". The writing/character development is so very very good. It's intelligent, awfully funny, and has such a good heart. The way it shows damaged but good people who love their family and friends is really unusual. Did I mention that the writing is surely the best of this season, but not just this season? Please give this fine show the chance to develop the following it deserves!
Wendy said…
On behalf of my husband and I-
What the heck is WRONG with T.V. these days??!! Not everyone has a desire for Reality T.V. TERRIERS and JUSTIFIED are thee only shows we have been watching...TERRIERS is entertaining, funny, quirky and Donal and Michael are a FANTASTIC team! You know its a great show when your mad at the "scenes for next week" pops up, because you dont WANT to wait! THAT is what people want! LOL I even groove to the music when credits roll! LOVE IT! PLEEZE PLEZE keep TERRIERS around.....

sincerely Wendy & Aaron, Arkansas
Thumba L said…
Please please please keep this show on. It is such a good show. Funny and heartbreaking all at the same time. We just love it!!
Unknown said…
Terriers is a smart and funny show; it is definitely one of my favorites this season and was quite disappointed to hear that it was being considered for cancellation. Please do us all a favor and give it another season!!
Joy said…
"Terriers" was a bright spot in our week. Please give the show another season. We live in San Diego and love seeing some of our favorite spots in OB.

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