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The Tick Off : It Is And We Are
Revolution News
© Joe Crowe

I knew I'd have to use this headline soon.

The Tick has been cancelled.

In not-unexpected news, The Hollywood Reporter says Fox has not ordered any more episodes beyond the original eight. The episodes will continue to air, with the final one appearing Jan. 24.

It's not said whether reruns of the show will air. So, did you people listen to me? Did you tape it? Because if you did, you could put it right on your shelf next to The Lone Gunmen. And Profit. And Harsh Realm. And Action.

I really find it hard to understand. Fox got big by taking chances on shows that the staid "big 3" networks wouldn't touch, because they couldn't go lower than 4th. Fox's success has earned them a spot in the now-big 4, and now they're acting like the other 3.

Only WB and UPN, now in the position Fox used to be in, are taking chances. Well, not big ones. But more than Fox.

Now that Fox has something to lose, they stopped playing.

That's the frustrating part. They haven't. They constantly throw sci-fi (Lone Gunmen, Freakylinks) and bizarre comedies (Action, Tick) onto the air. Their latest comedies are really funny (Malcolm, Grounded for Life, Titus, Bernie Mac, Undeclared). But they've just decreased their orders for several of those, which is tantamount to cancellation.

They just don't stick with anything. A few weeks in an odd time slot is not ample time to declare a show a failure (or a success). Pre-empting The Tick constantly, and blasting it off the air at first opportunity smacks of showing it just to get it over with.

It's safety disguised as risk. Why can't they be like the other big 3, where nothing at all genre-related has made it to the schedule in, well, I don't remember when. At least then, we would know what to expect. The whole thing, as the Tick would say, if he were a real person who was interested in the TV industry, is "just wrong."

Joe Crowe is The City editor for RevolutionSF.

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