Though the series was heavily hyped, things haven’t been going so well for FOX’s new series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Is this freshman action series in danger of being terminated?
With the writers strike going in full force, Sarah Connor had become the most anticipated event of mid-season when it debuted on Sunday, January 13, 2008. The pilot dominated the night with 18.36 million viewers and a 7.6 rating and 18 share of the 18-49 demographic. Unfortunately, the next night only 10 million returned for the second episode and the ratings have been steadily dropping ever since. Last week’s episode attracted only 7.3 million viewers.
Because of the writers strike, only nine of the 13 ordered episodes were completed. FOX has opted not to put the show back into production so tonight’s pair of episodes will be the last of the season. Looking solely at the declining ratings, they’d likely be the end of the series as well.
But now, thrown into the mix is the fact that Warner Bros. has just announced a fourth movie is in the works. Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins is scheduled to hit theaters on May 22, 2009. With Christian Bale picking up the John Connor role, the studio is hoping to jumpstart a new Terminator trilogy. With this in mind, Warners may want to keep the Sarah Connor series on the air to help cross-promote the movie — perhaps badly enough to reduce the series cost to FOX.
Considering the worldwide success of the Terminator flicks, there’s also likely a big global market for the TV series. Unless viewership turns around, it’s hard to envision any scenario in which the series could last long enough to make a syndication package.