Wonderfalls on its face

April 6, 2004

I had planned to write a post extolling the virtues of the clever and critically acclaimed television show, Wonderfalls. But then Fox cancelled the show after 4 episodes, so I am a week too late. Wonderfalls is a clever, entertaining, somewhat odd, program about being overeducated and underemployed-- being no more than "four words and a digit" in a bio blurb. Caroline Dhavernas in Wonderfalls

Executive Producer Tim Minear on the cancellation:

At some point in the process, I could sense an erosion in enthusiasm. Even as we were finding our footing and delivering to them [Fox] some really exceptional episodes (ones you never got to see!), things got chilly. Then they couldn't seem to find any place on the schedule for us. Then they did... and it was Friday night. I tell you now, the moment that was announced, I knew it was over. They were dumping us into Friday nights and that was that. When the smashing reviews started coming in... and coming and coming and coming... I think they didn't know what to think or do. You have but one chance to make a good first impression. But they'd given up on the show before it ever aired, and even when the lion's share of critics were hailing the show, it was too late for them to backtrack and launch the series with any kind of conviction. My "Firefly" experience was repeating itself.

Fox has put some of the most clever shows on television, yet cancelled them to make room for more low-brow reality shows, such as The Littlest Groom, My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancée, The Swan, Paradise Hotel, Joe Millionaire, and more. Besides Wonderfalls, Firefly, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Futurama, Family Guy all met premature demises. Arrested Development is not likely to return next year. Why is Fox initially willing to run creative programs, but reluctant to support or air them?

San Fransisco Chronicle TV critic Tim Goodman kvetches: Angry gods of Nielsen badger Fox

Honestly, Fox has reached a point (well, technically, it reached this point about three seasons ago, but just go with me here), where it no longer gets brownie points for putting on Really Great Shows. It makes critics happy... but no greater good is achieved when said Really Great Shows get canceled.

Wonderfalls may yet get picked up by another network or get released on DVD. The theme song, by Andy Partrige of XTC is available on iTunes

Posted by Andrew Raff at April 6, 2004 04:20 PM
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