Here’s the letter I wrote to the FX network in support of the TV show, Terriers:
I don’t usually write emails to television networks in praise of shows I love. It’s a failing of mine. I should write in support of shows I love more often. It’s a show on your network that’s motivated me to rise above my passive role as audience and engage in this act of fandom. That show is TERRIERS. It’s an exceptional bit of television.
Indulge me for a moment while I tell you some things that you know already:
TERRIERS is reportedly performing below expectations, which is nothing less than a damn shame. It’s a sterling example of FX at its best, from its cunning and witty scripts to its striking performances. Oh, those performances! These actors could hold me by the chin and make me watch them chew their breakfast for 44 minutes and I’d be rapt. But, of course, they don’t—they charm and entrance us, instead, luring us in with comedy and rapport and then shaking our hearts, vibrating us at just the frequency they want. It’s just good.
You know all that, obviously. What you don’t know—can’t know, I guess, ’cause it’s the future—is whether you can grow the audience. Here’s where I make my plea.
Do what it takes to try again with this show. You could take a shot with a show next season that might be great, or you could take another bold swing with something that hums and sings already. Try new marketing. Rename the damn thing, if that’s what it takes. (Has anyone ever had the gall to try something like that?) You’re FX. You’re bold enough to try what other networks won’t. Be bold here by giving this show a continuing chance to build an audience through word-of-mouth, through DVDs, and through Internet vectors. Be bold here by showing people this show is good and beloved with a confident renewal. Be bold here.
Let me tell you something true. I didn’t come to SONS OF ANARCHY until its second season, and I came to it because I was able to dip into the show via Hulu. It didn’t catch my attention until I heard how big and operatic its storytelling was, until I read online that the show was not just good but getting better with time. Seeing that it was getting a second season made me stop and take notice. “That must be a good show, if it got itself a second season.” I cannot be the only viewer who thinks this way.
Give TERRIERS a second season and people will take notice of that. It’s a play that sends a stronger signal than any other word from any other mouth. It’s a play stronger than the launch of a new series. It’s bold. That’s what I expect from FX: the bold move.
Thank you for your time. And thank you for TERRIERS.
It’s true that I should write more letters in support of good television. I’ll admit, I should’ve written letters like this one for several other shows, over the years. So it goes.