Here’s one for the ages: Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly was at last week’s TCA (Television Critics Association) meeting in Los Angeles talking about several network shows that were great, but just too expensive to continue producing.
Joshua Jackson stars on one of them, “Fringe,” and was in the audience listening. In its four-year run, the show, besides being brilliantly written and acted, has been severely ratings-challenged.
Reilly said Fox was losing money on the low-rated Friday sci-fi drama. But he stressed that it was not cancelled. “Please don’t start the letter-writing campaign right now,” he joked. “I can’t handle it.”
It was a ballsy move on Reilly’s part because he said the only way the show might continue would be by some canny financial plan with the other studio involved in the production, Warner Bros. Suffice to say, it caught all by surprise.
Most of the actors and producers expressing total outrage. “If it’s to be canceled, so be it, but I hope they give us the opportunity to wrap it all up,” said Jackson.
Oddly, most of the final shows for this season have already been written, meaning that if it is to be canceled, there may not be time to correctly finish it all. Reilly said he wasn’t giving it a soft cancellation, but, that’s exactly what it says to me.
On the other hand, he instantly gave the show a shot of PR like never before; which could only help. Like, it’s now or never!
I’ve watched the show since episode one and it’s out-and-out brilliant. Though this season might rank among the weakest, it’s still heads-and-tails above almost everything else out there. Once again the viewers lose. So much for the politics of TV!