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Wondercon 2009: We Talk 'Sarah Connor' Season 3 with Shirley Manson and Summer Glau


Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles' ratings have been faltering since its move to Friday nights on the Fox Network, prompting speculation that the show may not be renewed for a third season. Nevertheless, two of its stars -- Summer Glau and Shirley Manson (good and evil Terminators, respectively) -- attended Wondercon today in San Francisco to give fans a taste of what's to come in the second season's six remaining episodes. I caught up with the actresses and asked them what's next and where they'd like to see their characters go, should the show get picked up for another season.

"I don't write it," Garbage-lead-singer-turned-T-1001 (a.k.a. Catherine Weaver) Manson told us, "so I can't really answer those questions. I know that there is a total shift at the end of season 2, which leads into season 3. And as a result I'd be asked to do very different things. But I don't know where the plot goes. Josh Friedman and the writers, they keep it very, very hush-hush. So it's a big surprise. There's a lot of things I'd like to see her do."

Manson remarked that her love of sci-fi made winning her first major acting gig on Sarah Connor particularly sweet. "I love sci-fi, and particularly I was a huge fan of Alien, and of Terminator 1 and 2. It's an honor to be a part of the Terminator mythology. So I'm thrilled."

Glau told us that, in season 2, she wanted her heroic robot Cameron "to question her purpose." Now, she says, "her larger agenda is starting to falter. Towards the end [of the season] that intensifies, and then in the season finale some really big things happen."

As for where she'd like to see Cameron go in Season 3, Glau said with a laugh, "I'd like to see her go to a third season. That's the most important thing, then whatever happens I'll be happy."

Executive Producer Josh Friedman was also on hand to discuss the show's ratings, and its surprising audience.  

"It'd be nice," he said, "if, over the last six episodes, we picked up any amount. It's one thing for all of us to say [to the network], 'Stick with your show.' It's another thing to make it financially a good thing for them. And so hopefully this idea, which I think was a good idea for them, hopefully it will grow. It's been three weeks. Our ratings, they're not good. If you talk to some people they're abysmal, but they aren't, like, crazy low for what you'd expect on a Friday night. They're basically the ratings we did on Monday night, adjusted for Friday night. I mean, everything gets about that rating, except for Ghost Whisperer."

"And I can't explain that," he laughed. "I mean, I don't know. I don't know who's watching that show. A lot of people are watching that show. I don't say it in a bad way, I just don't know what the demographic is. I think it's a whole different demographic, a more female demographic. Actually, we do very well with men. We don't do very well with women. I've always found that to be boggling. We have very strong women on the show. I think our show is quite concerned with motherhood and female power, those types of things. We have very little romance on the show. And I don't want to be so shallow as so think that's why women don't watch the show, although that's what the female writers in the room tell me all the time... So the state of the union is flux."

Friedman went on to say that the second season finale was not, and could not have been, written as a possible series finale in the event that the show would be cancelled. He added that he had "no idea" where season 3 would go yet.

Friedman also claimed there would be no references or allusions to his show, at least to his knowledge, in the upcoming film Terminator Salvation, and vice versa.

"I've never read the script," he said. "I don't know what happens in that movie – other than they spend more money than we do."