So Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse is canceled. At least Fox will let the season end, airing the remaining episodes and giving the show a proper, if early, finale. Another sci-fi show wasn’t so lucky. ABC canceled Defying Gravity just as it was getting good, though the remaining episodes in the season were allowed to air in Canada. U.S. fans will have to either find the pirated versions online or wait for a DVD release to see how season one played out. Thankfully Defying Gravity creator James Parriott shared online how the show would have progressed beyond that first season.
Those are just two quick examples of current network cancellations, though the airwaves are littered with shows cut down before they could tell their stories.
In this DVR, DVD, on-demand age I wonder if networks are only hurting themselves. Many viewers are getting to a point where they won’t commit to these long story-arc shows until they know it’s going to last. Why get wrapped up in a story line if it could potentially be canceled? Some people are opting to wait for a show to run its course before checking it out on DVD. It would help if networks could pick a show and stick with it. But maybe fans need to start demanding it. Maybe we should refuse to watch a show unless it has a two-season commitment. It’s not how Hollywood works, but maybe show creators should refuse to do a show unless they can get a multi-season commitment.
It’s unheard of, but it sure beats unrealized story arcs and half-revealed plots.