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'Terriers' creator Ted Griffin hopes FX will give show another shot


"Save Terriers: the FX show, not the dogs."

That headline on Cinemablend.com pretty much says it all. FX's fine new drama wraps up its first season Wednesday, but its prospects for a second cycle are not great.

Despite its terrific cast, led by Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James, and behind-the-scenes pedigree, "Terriers" has been a notable disappointment for FX in terms of ratings, averaging about 500,000 viewers per episode.

Is it the title, which has nothing to do with a buddy show about plucky private investigators? Or the marketing campaign that showcased a mad dog more than the two actors?

"There’s definitely a lot of coulda shoulda woulda as far as how it got launched," said "Ocean's Eleven" scribe Ted Griffin about "Terriers," his first TV series. "And we could kick ourselves over what could have been the poster, what could have been the title -- it could have gone either way. It’s just one of those things. I’ve worked on movies that I thought were really going to succeed and didn’t and vice versa."

The series about two best friends who are trying to do better in life and become unlicensed private investigators could have worked as an episodic amateur-hour crime-solving caper on the strength of the performances alone. But what Griffin, executive producer Shawn Ryan ("The Shield") and Tim Minear ("Dollhouse") have developed is a rich, compelling story that has been unveiled gradually over 13 episodes as Hank (Logue) and Britt (Raymond-James) solve cases in dingy Ocean Beach in San Diego.

"These guys come from a genre of story that I’ve always enjoyed, whether it’s 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' or 'The Sting' or even 'The Professionals,' " Griffin said. "All the movies that influenced 'Ocean’s Eleven' -- that kind of camaraderie has always appealed to me, and I think I was trying to mine that same thing for this show. It started off with that camaraderie and built through there and deepened from that."

Griffin said he came up with the title, figuring it was a fitting description of the personalities of the characters.

"They're scrappy, scruffy, un-intimidating but unrelenting, tenacious, indefatigable," Griffin said. "Once they get a bone, they won't let go. Probably using a dog in the poster would have been better in [the] second season when what we were about was already established. We’ve all, in second-guessing, thought, 'Well, you put an opera diva on the poster of 'The Sopranos,' people might have gotten confused too. But they did a good job of labeling themselves a mafia show. And we could have done a better job of labeling ourselves as a PI show."

Griffin says he expects that FX will make a decision about the show's future next week, after all the final ratings for the season are in.

"I won't hold it against [FX President John Landgraf] if it doesn't go our way, but I hope it does," he said. "I think, in their hearts, FX and John Landgraf would love to renew it. They’re very proud of it and feel strongly about it. I think they’re a little baffled by the numbers. I think they’re also in business and they have to be realistic about it. They can’t just go with their hearts on that. So I’m not buying anything expensive. I’m not taking out mortgages based on future income."

In case Wednesday does mark the end of his first TV show, Griffin wants to express his gratitude to the fans of the show:

"From what I’ve read online, I couldn’t ask for a better response, a more intelligent and loving response," he said. "It’s really gratifying when you work on something and people really get it."

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

Photo: Donal Logue, left, and Michael Raymond-James star in "Terriers." Credit: Patrick McElhenney / FX

Comments () | Archives (61)

the show is terrific and was totally shocked to read that there was actually people that didnt watch the show. im sure when fx renews show for next season everyone will be watching. good luck

My husband and I both love the show.The show was a refreshing change from the same ole same ole that you get on the major channels. We were transfixed every week as the episodes were better each week and pulled you into the lifes of Hank and Brit.

The problem was not enough publicity. We just happened to come across it luckily the first week. Who cares what the name of the show ids bring it back and advertise it and people will watch it. It is so irratating that we get totally involved in a show and the powers that be yank it.

FX has 3 GREAT shows.....Sons of Anarchy, Justified,....and Terriers! Please don't leave the fans hanging....RENEW this show for another season....some advertising and word-of-mouth will make more viewers show up. Terriers has a very talented cast with some really smart writers and directors. This show deserves a 3rd and 4th chance....it is that bloody good! FX show us how cutting edge you can be!

Please! Save the show. It's my favorite series. The TV gods have already canceled my preveious favorite new, first season,series "Rubicon" and "Happy Town". I enjoy Terriers more those shows.
Maybe the name Terriers scares people away. Terriers is kind of close to terrorist. Maybe people think the show is about terrorists.
Hey! Change the name to Pitbulls. People are afraid of Pitbulls so, show our Terriers buds with a pet Pitbull that saves the lives of some children. Give the Pitbull a tatoo of the American flag. People would start fan clubs.

Terrific actors and well written episodes shot in interesting locations. Thank god for a quirky show that's not based in L.A. , New York, San Francisco or Chicago.

FX I can only hope that you read the comments on this and other stories on Terriers. For those who didn't watch it, sorry for your lose. For those of us that did I think we all agree that Terriers was one if not the best show on this season. It was smart and quirky. PLEASE bring it back. Because of Terriers I will watch more of FX.

Terriers is by far the best new show of the season. My whole family loves it. PLEASE pick it up for another year. If you show it, the viewers will come. Let the word of mouth campaign work for a year until next season!!!!!

Terriers one of the best shows this season. My complaint is the time slot....we don't get it here until 11p.m. I have to record it. Never see promotions about Terriers either. I really hope you give this show a better chance! You promote reruns of Two and Half Men and give it a better time slot???? Please save this show!!

I think it's fairly clear that not renewing Terriers would be a crime against humanity.

I wanted to throw my support behind a second season of Terriers. I have found it to be a well written, well acted, riveting and believable show in a sea of unrealistic, redundant and forgettable content. I watched it via iTunes and purchased every one of the episodes.

Of all the TV content I consume I recommend it most highly to friends and family. It just a great show with great characters that regular folks can identify with.

I first heard about this show from a friend. It is a very enjoyable show. The characters are very realistic. The storyline is excellent. I think that as more people hear about the show the number of viewers will grow. I hope you bring it back next season.

FX neds to keep it...when Justified resumes...plug the show hard during the Justified timeslot with commercials and bumpers...tehn do a few weekends of back to back Terriers and follow with a new season....if viewers have not increased after 3 new episodes..then drop it...but give it a chance...it is just now starting to get buzz

I loved this show. I made sure that every Wednesday I was home to watch. I was so excited for the second season to start. But I guess that wont be happening.I wanted to know if it was britts kid and if he goes to prison or if him and Hank bail.

Really? Really? You can't cancel great television--you just can't. Terriers is great television. Please bring it back.

My husband and I love this show - we can't believe it was cancelled! We just found out today - we have been throwing ideas back and forth about the baby and Mexico...you can't be done! give it a try! who knows about FX?!

We found it by accident.

Please give this fabulous show 1 more shot! love the acting and actors, needs 2 b on the air!

My husband &I have been waiting for Terriers to come back on for the second season. In fact it is still on my record weekly for new shows. I just decided to look it up, and what a shame. We don't watch any thing else on FX any more.
Please put it back on for more seasons!!!!

Please give this show another chance... it was great. A show I really looked forward to watching. I miss it!

I was just checking to find out when Terriers was returning when I found out it's not. The show had a slow start, but it got better and better as the shows went on and the viewer got to know the characters. I'm sorry to hear it was canceled. All the good shows are being dropped. I didn't care for the Lights Out show, neither did my husband, but Terriers was good.

I can't believe this show is not coming back for another season. It is, or was now, one of my favorite shows. This really sucks!

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