Netflix has revived a slew of cult projects the last couple of years, series Arrested Development, Gilmore Girls and Full House as well as the movie Wet Hot American Summer. Could Ted Griffin/Shawn Ryan’s short-lived 2010 FX light drama Terriers be next?
“We may have investigated” a reboot, creator/executive producer Griffin said during a “Canceled Too Soon” Terriers panel at the ATX TV fest before jokingly asking the audience to each donate $100,000 for a Terriers movie. “I think we would like to make a movie. And I think we have the idea sort of what we’d want to do, we just need to clear it with Fox.” (The series was produced by Fox 21.)
Ryan, who executive produced the PI series starring Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James, further elaborated on the possibility of revival for the show which achieved cult status in part thanks to Netflix where it became popular post-cancellation. “There’s a couple of things we’d have to clear. Fox has the rights. This is the kind of show where I feel like if Donal and Mikey were up to it and Ted had the story he wanted to tell this is the world we would definitely revisit, given the opportunity.”
Terriers, which was praised by critics but drew very small audience, centered on ex-cop and recovering alcoholic Hank Dolworth (Logue) who partners with his best friend, former criminal Britt Pollack (Raymond-James), in an unlicensed private investigation business.
Logue and Raymond-James, who’d first worked together on an episode of NBC’s Life, revealed that they lived together while filming Terriers even though the studio thought it was a terrible idea. Both felt it added to their on-screen chemistry. “It paid dividends,” Raymond-James said. “We’d come to set ready to jam having already done our homework.”
Since the show’s cancellation after one 13-episode season, the two have continued to revisit it and discuss where they imagine their characters would be, though Logue, who was on-hand, noted that it’s been really hard to re-watch the series. “Michael and I talk about it all the time,” he said. “It was the only job I’ve been on where I can’t really describe what it was like. I can’t distinguish myself from a character in this thing and a fan of this thing.”
Raymond-James, who participated via Skype, said that he knows where his character Britt Pollack is now. “I’m Skyping you guys from some medium-security correctional facility that Britt’s been in these last six years,” he joked.
Ryan also was asked about a potential crossover between his gritty FX cop drama The Shield and Terriers. “Boy, now you’re talking about a lot of contractual that would need figuring out. In a hypothetical world, I think it’d be very interesting to see a Vic Mackey and [these guys]. My guess is that Vic would maybe give Hank a bit of a beat down that Hank would secretly feel he deserved and Britt would sneak out the back door and escape and check-in later and say, ‘Hey buddy, how’d it go?’”
The writers joked about the creative process behind the series. “Writing felt like throwing sh** up against the wall sometimes,” executive producer Tim Minear said. Deadpanned Griffin, “Rian Johnson got Star Wars because of the show,” referring to helmer Johnson, director of Star Wars: Episode VIII, who directed one episode of Terriers.
The decision to cancel Terriers was so hard for FX brass, CEO John Landgraf got on the phone to discuss it — a rarity in television.
“It’s hard to explain why people didn’t watch,” he said on that December 2010 call. One of his theories was Terriers‘ “subtle charm,” which certainly “doesn’t describe pop content” in the era of laud shows like Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead. “I love the show. Sometimes there is a poor correlation between creative and commercial success, but we will keep swinging.”
Today, Ryan offered his own explanation why Terriers couldn’t connect with viewers six years ago.
“I’d like to think we were just a couple of years ahead of our time,” he said, noting that he continues to hear people talk about the show and gets questions about the characters’ fates all the time.