April 6th, 2004

Eye in the Pyramid, fnord

Another One Bites the Dust.

Crap. They canceled Century City. I liked that show.

For those of you who blinked and missed it, it was a show about a law firm in Los Angeles in the year 2030. Like CSI, Law and Order, and similar ensemble shows, each episode would center around one or two thorny cases. It was the kind of Science Fiction I like to read: short, self-contained stories about the impact of technology on society and the human condition. It was smart, innovative, and accessible: the future was within the lifetimes of much of the audience, and the advances that were portrayed both as the centerpieces of the cases and as background color were reasonable extrapolations of what we see around us today. In the tradition of the best of the genre, it attempted to address current social concerns by projecting possible future consequences.

In other words, it stood in direct opposition to the space operas that most people associate with television sci fi, chock full o' whiz-bang technology whose social impact tends to the ambiguous.

Century City aired four times, and apparently couldn't succeed in the ratings against Fox's American Idol.

Please bear in mind that in those four airings, it averaged 7.7 million viewers. I did some quick research on ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the highest I could find was a little over six million viewers. Different networks, different standards.

Odd that the major networks can find an audience for intelligent, thoughtful fantasy, but not genuine science fiction.
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