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Dead Inside?

July 4, 2005

Sometimes, I hate to be right… Showrunner Tim Minear has announced that it looks like it’s all but over for The Inside, his so-dark-it-makes-you-twitch drama on Fox.

Okay, gang, here’s what I do know…While the network hasn’t said to me that they won’t order more episodes, it sure does shake out that way. On Thursday they needed to extend their options on the cast and decided not to. Considering it would have been chump change for them, it basically means we’re done.

I’m not ready to start hawking the 13 episode DVD set — because I’m hoping it’s gonna be a 15 episode set, including the two, you counted right, TWO! unaired pilots.

I’m pretty convinced the same thing that happened with a lot of the non-believers here with Wonderfalls and Firefly will happen if they get a chance to see the full 13 (well, 15).

I’m told by the network that they’re “still supporting the show” and that we will continue to air. Which, if my experience tells me anything, means catch it while you can. If you wanna, I mean. I’m gonna make my bet right now that we’ll have, not including any unaired pilots, six unaired episodes featured on that DVD set.

Heh… After last week’s episode (the fourth) I made a bet that it wouldn’t go past seven episodes aired — and both five and six are playing back-to-back this week.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the show — it’s just REAL dark. I =like= dark shows, but last week’s episode was probably more uncomfortable to watch (in a fun way, mind you) than any drama I’ve ever seen on network TV.

On a lighter note, I guess after three mid-first-season cancelations in three consecutive at bats on Fox, Tim is beginning to take it all in stride.

When I spoke to one my cast members about this, he offered that I must “be crushed.” I’m not. This is pretty much what I expected, which doesn’t mean I didn’t pour every bit of energy, time and care I had into 13 episodes for the last year. I never consider it a waste of time. Or a waste of, well, their money. DVDs have changed a lot. If I end up being some little Americanized BBC, churning out limited series for DVD, and the people who employ me want to keep handing over 20 or 30 million dollars for me to do that, then I’ll be perfectly content. There’s something nice about being able to go from a hard drinking space western to a hard drinking whimsical comedy to a hard drinking abyss peering noir.

The writing’s on the wall, folks.

Take this, and the Firefly cancelation cum DVD set cum movie deal, and the Global Frequency (potential) new life through torrent phenomenon, and it’s hard to decide not to let the networks disintermediate themselves.

Who’s going to be the first studio to stand up, release a pilot on BitTorrent, and use it to sell a series direct to DVD?

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