You know, it occurs to me that since successive Terminator texts have now (with the advent of the TV show) pushed the stated date of Judgment Day (the nuclear war started by the machines that kills most humans) to 2011 while pretty consistently giving 2029 as the date of Skynet’s destruction (and the launching of multiple time-trips), the whole wasteland-warfare period is only eighteen years long now, down from the over thirty years of warfare implied by the original film.
So, if the TV series does well enough — say, very optimistically, lasting ten years — to warrant delaying the nukes a few more years to keep the dramatic tension going, we may be able to whittle that unpleasant cyborg warfare period down to, say, eleven years (maybe 2018-2029). No big deal, really, in the grand historical scheme of things. Bring it on!
The higher the ratings, then, the shorter the period of misery for the (fictional) human race, most likely. Keep that series going! Unless the series itself becomes more unpleasant than nuclear war, of course.
Then again, the ads for the TV series’ second season suggest the Summer Glau robot has new schemes of its own, while the Terminator: Salvation teaser trailer in theatres features the significant line “This is not the future my mother warned me about,” so maybe all predictive bets are off anyway (like Hawkman’s personal history, but that’s a complex story for another time [UPDATE: Also: Edwards]).