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FX's 'Terriers' doesn't have too much bite


"Terriers," FX's new drama about a couple of seedy San Diego private eyes, premiered to disappointing  ratings despite mostly positive reviews.

The show, which stars Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James and was executive produced by Ted Griffin ("Ocean's Eleven") and Shawn Ryan ("The Shield"), drew only 1.6 million viewers, making it the least-watched premiere of a new show for FX in recent history.

The low numbers are something of a surprise considering the strong promotional push FX put behind it and the success of FX's other dramas, including "Sons of Anarchy" and "Rescue Me," although the latter has seen its numbers fade over the last few years.

In "Terriers," Logue, whose credits include the TV show "Grounded for Life" and the cult indie film "The Tao of Steve," plays Hank, an ex-cop who becomes a reluctant private eye with his best friend Britt. The show is something of an homage to classic private eye shows of the past like "The Rockford Files." Hank and Britt are down on their luck and far from glamorous. They may come out on top on occasion, but they'll look ugly doing it.

One challenge for the show may have been its title. "Terriers" is meant to imply that the duo is scrappy, but the title and the posters for the show may have confused viewers as to what "Terriers" was about.

FX will try to boost awareness for the show by rerunning the premiere next Tuesday after the second episode of its motorcycle gang hit "Sons of Anarchy," which on Tuesday averaged 4.13 million viewers.

Separately, the CW premiered its new drama "Hellcats" on Wednesday night and it drew 3 million viewers. The show improved on its lead-in, "America's Next Top Model," although its numbers were lower than what the CW's remake of "Melrose Place" did in its premiere a year ago. Of course, "Melrose Place" was an established brand with a huge marketing effort behind it.

-- Joe Flint 

Photo: Michael Raymond-James, left, as Britt Pollack and Donal Logue as Hank Dolworth in "Terriers." Credit: FX.

Comments () | Archives (30)

I never would have watched this show, based on title and promos. It was the recommendation of a few trusted tv critics that made me give it a try. So glad I did, too. Good show with appealing leads!

It's a very good show.

Even with all the promos there was nothing that told you why should watch this show...
I still don't know why I should...
Other than for Donal Logue....

Great Show I caught it on rerun this week and was blown away! Very "Breaking Bad" writing and producing. I am sooo sick of the over blown Cinema Verit'e (shaky camera) and telegraphing the who dunit cookie cutter PI/Cop shows. A really refreshing script and a cool dynamic performance from Logue. I found myself pausing the playback and going "Wow!"

I don't watch much TV so I never caught the previews, but I was looking around on Itunes Store and found this show and the pilot was free so I downloaded and watched it, just ended about 10 mins ago. The picture of it was misleading and I was thinking this was another stupid show about dogs. To my surprise it has a very compelling plot, tons of action, and great actors and actresses. Definitely a new series that I'm going to watch.

Good show. Not only does Donal steal it, but his partner adds to the theft.
And Teddy G and the Shawn - meister couldn't have been better to create this and pull it off exactly the way it turned out.

Believe me guys...as much as I love doing my own indie features;
I'll be spec-ing a teleplay on this show pretty soon.
Just for the sheer hell of it.

Have no idea what this critic was expecting at all.
Or what intelligence level it is on.
It's B-movie making at its finest.

Write on, right on.

I just watched the first episode and I really enjoyed it.
I will continue to watch.

Loved the show! It is so refreshing to find something to watch besides reality tv and on a channel I have never watched before! Michael Raymond James from True Blood was great as was the whole cast...can't wait for more!

I love this show, but I get how people could have been confused. Not so much by the title, but by the marketing around the show AND the title in combination.

It did look like it had something to do with actual terriers.

That said, I hope it stays on for a while. I'm picky, and this is one I'd like to see more of.

I thought this show was funny, look forward to more!

I was able to watch a reshowing of the Pilot last night, and I really enjoyed it. Thanks FX.

Logue is very believable.
I look forward to tonight's episode.

As a huge fan of The Shield, I expect this to be a very entertaining series.

me and my boyfriend just watched terriers on demand, and its a great show! great banter, not terribley predictable, kept our interest until the end. the two stars are charming and you want them to win. great show hope it improves!

Melrose Place was an established brand that never should have gone to the CW - it would totally kick some butt had it been redone on FX - hence the facebook group "The official campaign to bring Melrose Place (2009) to FX".

I can understand why the name "Terriers" might be deceptive, along with the initial promos, but Winston (bulldog) was prominent in some of them, so there's truth in advertising....hehe. I have a feeling he'll be pivotal in future episodes (haven't seen E3 yet)

Fx has become the new HBO as far as I'm concerned. I have not yet been disappointed :)

Andrea :)

I thoroughly enjoyed the raw feel of the show. It doesn't have the unrealistic glitz and glamour so many American cop and csi type shows have. Real people acting as the under dogs ( hence terriers?) somehow coming out on top. All done with a bit of twisted humor. In the current economic climate it's the kind of show you can feel good watching. I love it. Finally not the predictable formula of casting a bunch of model wanna-bees in the roles of cops ,detectives,lawyers,scientists.etc wearing wardrobes that cost more than any of their supposed salaries!
Worth watching

I agree that the promotions for the show lead me to believe that this was a drama about 2 guys running some sore of dog-recovery business. Being a HUGE "Shield" and "SoA" fan, I decided to give it a shot. WOW. I was highly impressed. I liked James-Raymond in "True Blood" and was glad to see him back in action. The two of them have some good chemistry and the whole show has a good feel about it. I can't wait until next week to get to watch it again. I have been recommending it to all my friends, and you should, too.

I love the noir elements in this show, remade in sunny and corrupt San Diego. I hope it doesn't get cancelled before the end of the season!

Dont let this show get cancelled!
Its great!

I agree that the promos and title say nothing about the show. It is my favorite new show this fall, and I watched it based on reading reviews for the new fall shows. The promo dept. really fell on their face on this one. Rather than fancy graphics and a dog, they should have used more show clips that really gave a feel for the program.

Love this show, just watched last nights episode (DVR) one of the best yet. My favorite of all the new shows this season!!

This is a really good show. Solid acting, writing, and plot. Not over the top or trying too hard to be unique or outrageous. Just good honest entertainment with enough subtext to provide some depth.

I hope it doesn't get cancelled. I think it can do a few solid seasons. The terrible promotion was a major handicap. Hopefully, the network has come to realize that and cuts it a break.

I don't know if the suits read this or not, but here goes.
What are you- ABC? NBC? CBS? They are evil swine who cancel shows in midseason. Rupert notwithstanding, you're not like them, are you?
The rising tide floats all boats; let the good numbers for your most popular shows support those shows which are high quality, but have lower ratings.
My many years of working in and teaching broadcasting have taught me that NECKTIES ARE A LEADING CAUSE OF STUPIDITY. Take off your neckties and think.
and mainly, do this: POSITION AND PROMOTE!
This is a terrific show. It was originally scheduled to run following Sons of Anarchy. Put it back there. Re-run it on weekends. Promote it during your most watched shows.

I hope this helps.

This show gets better every week. I haven't missed an episode yet. I now have my husband watching.("not just another cops and robbers show") He watches another channel when "Terrier"s" on, now he records the other show and watches "Terrier's". The time slot, not great promo's and the name may be the reason this show hasn't taken off yet.
Keep it on the air and bring in more promos and make the talk show circuit!

I absolutely love this show, and never miss it. It has a different vibe and scruffy charm. Above all, it's got clever plots and really good acting.
FX, keep this show!

"Terriers" is the best comedy/drama combination on television right now, and the show with the worst title and marketing. FX should fire the people who incorrectly launched this amazingly well-acted and written program. I almost didn't tune-in because of the inane "dog and dead shark" commercials which you must know have NOTHING to do with the show.

I did tune-in because I admired Michael Raymond James in "True Blood" and Donal Logue in the recent TV series called "Life." The synergy of the two in "Terriers" is perfect.

The show is smart in a way that refuses to be smug, and funny in a way that is sometimes heartbreaking all at once. Everyone I've turned-on to "Terriers" LOVES the show and often watches the episodes more than once to catch all the clever dialogue.

I strongly urge FX to give "Terriers" a second season with better marketing. And don't change a thing about the show. It's terrific.

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