FX canceled the freshman drama Terriers on Monday — a decision that the network's boss found wrenching enough to explain to the media.
Landgraf said the cancellation was not a reflection of the show's quality, adding: "We wish there was a perfect intersection between all that is good and all that is successful, but the reality is there's a relatively poor correlation between excellence and commercial success."
Landgraf addressed complaints that the show was poorly marketed by FX. He said although billboards in New York and Los Angeles played up the image of a snarling dog instead of the buddy-cop duo, network's efforts nationwide mostly were focused on TV advertising that clearly depicted what the show was about.
Landgraf even commissioned a survey of 600 non-Terriers viewers about seven weeks into the show's run that suggested the advertising effectively conveyed what the show was about.
"People thought that the show was compatible with FX's brand, but dissimilar to other FX shows," Landgraf said. "They found it to be a little less edgy, a little less sexy, a little less suspenseful [than our other shows].
"The things that were really wonderful about the show tended to be relatively subtle — I don't know if subtlety is something the American public is buying in droves today," Landgraf said. "When I look at Jersey Shore and the Kardashians and Sons Of Anarchy and Walking Dead ... I wouldn't say that subtlety and nuance describe the most successful pop content."
The show has already made several best-of-the-year lists (including TVGuide.com's), which Landgraf called "bittersweet."
"This isn't the first really good show that we've had to cancel," Landgraf said. "And it won't be the last."
Are you sad to see Terriers go?