Originally Posted by captaincelluloid
Thanks for the straight scoop "foxeng"
Too bad you can't improve the CONTENT as readily.
Too bad they cancelled FIREFLY
. . . and WONDERFALLS
. . . and THE X-FILES
. . . . and MILLENIUM and HARSH REALM
. . . . and blah blah blah
I shall, however, be looking forward to seeing 24 and HOUSE and BONES in the new improved PQ.
Here's the thing: while I agree they have sometimes ditched shows before their time, some of the shows you mentioned really needed to go.
Firefly: I liked the series, you liked the series and several others here liked it as well. However, most people saw it as "the old west in space" and were turned off by it. That theme song didn't help the cause, either. Sure, Fox screwed the pooch on actually running it in any sort of fashion that would allow viewers to find it, but most people weren't looking for it anyway. If DVRs were popular at that time, you might have gained a few extra eyeballs just because they could follow the timeslot changes, but overall, it was simply a good show nobody wanted to see.
Wonderfalls: I never watched the show, so I can't comment in any informed way on it.
The X-Files: You're kidding, right? It ran for like 8 seasons and had seriously fallen of the rails by that point. The original cast was gone, the conspiracy was now laughable and the writing was dull at best. It was time for that show to go. They couldn't even pull it out of the muck to wow us in the finale. I was a die-hard fan of the show and I really believe it should have gone out at least a season before it did.
Harsh Realm: I think you, me and the guy on that single episode of the X-Files were the only ones that ever tuned into that one. I kind of liked it, but I'm weird.
Millenium: That show went the same way as the X-Files, only quicker. Once Lance was no longer an independant consultant for the FBI, the show started to unravel. Besides, we can probably thank Fox for causing Terry O'Quinn's career to not be as big as it could have been. Otherwise, ABC might not have been able to afford him all these years later and we would have the excellent portayal of Locke on Lost.
However, let's look at some shows they keep running, despite the ratings:
America's Most Wanted: Fox wanted to dump the show. However, a write-in campaign by citizen's groups and police agencies made them change their minds despite lackluster performance. Of course, one has to ask where all those people were when the show was actually airing.
Arrested Developement: Sure it got awards, but the ratings were dismal. Yet Fox kept in on for several seasons beyond the normal axe point.
Family Guy: In its initial run, it was a loser in the ratings. However, after fans wrote in and the DVDs were a hit, the network gave it another shot.
You can probably look at any network and wonder why some great shows get cancelled so soon. The problem is, series TV is expensive and if enough people don't watch, it's gotta go. Shows have to pay for themselves and it's often best to pull the plug before too many shows are completed. It stinks for the fans, but it also gives the chance for other shows to come in and potentially be a hit (I believe House was an example of this). Midseason replacement can sometimes become a big ratings grabber (Prison Break). You could perhaps have ABC's problem where they end up with so many shows doing well, they finally decide it's the right time to dump the oldest regular sports programming franchise to a cable network. Sometimes you get wheat and sometimes you get chaff. Unfortunately sometimes it's the chaff that people really want.
Of course, I should actually apologize, since this whole line is off topic, anyway.