James Cameron will direct this season's final episode of the Dark Angel television series, which will mark the first time that the Academy Award-winning director of Titantic, Terminator 2, and The Abyss has directed a TV show. The Dark Angel episode's $3 million budget is roughly equivalent to a month's catering bill on the typical Cameron cinema epic, so it should be interesting to see how he copes with the financial and temporal pressures of working in television.
Cameron co-created the Dark Angel series and also serves as an executive producer on the show, which has been shown on Friday nights this season. It has not performed up to expectations in the ratings and so far Fox has not renewed the series for next season, so Cameron's involvement appears to be his attempt to pump up a series in which he has a substantial investment. Given the disjointed nature of the current TV season, which was delayed by the horrific events of 9/11 and further disrupted by the World Series on Fox and the Olympics on NBC, Dark Angel might be able to survive for another year if it finishes this season on an upward trend.
The future of Dark Angel is of some importance to pop culture retailers because the property has already demonstrated some licensing potential by spawning a series of action figures from Art Asylum (see 'Art Asylum Goes Major') and trading cards from Topps. Thanks to its photogenic star, Jessica Alba, Dark Angel has some additional licensing possibilities if the TV series can stay on the air (or at least retire gracefully to a second, lower-budget life on a cable network).