Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wrongfully Cancelled!

While there are some great shows on television right now, network programming is full of garbage. It seems like viewers have to endure one reality show after another whereby some "b" list celebrity or "has been" tries to find love or lose a million pounds. For some reason or another these shows have replaced quality programming that hires real actors and has real scripts. Here's a list of some of the best shows to get axed before their time to make way for less than stellar programming.

5. Everwood

Perhaps the only thing the "CW" has ever done right. This heartwarming story of a family that relocated to a small Colorado town to start anew when mom dies in a car crash. Excellent writing and a modern day Brady Bunch feel made this one of the most underrated shows on television. Fans are probably still pissed about the way the show was hastily cancelled when instantly the season finale morphed into the series finale within one week. To further twist the knife, the show will probably never be released on DVD (past season one) because it is not lucrative enough for the powers that be. Sorry to say that this small-screen gem is probably gone forever.

4. Joan of Arcadia
Joan wound up being a fantastic show built around a teenage girl who had conversations with God. While sometimes quirky, Arcadia was able to delve into some great episodes built around faith and spirituality without coming off as preachy. Amber Tamblyn was the perfect middle man (or woman) for the almighty and it's shameful this show was cancelled especially since CBS essentially traded a girl who could talk to God with a girl who talks to Ghosts.

3. Homefront

It's hard to believe it's been so long since this fantastic show was cancelled. There was something charming about this drama which focused on three returning veterans of World War II. It reminded Americans that while the greatest generation was seen as "a golden age" in American history it was certainly not without its problems. This is yet another small screen gem that has not been released on DVD.


It seems that HBO decided to pull the plug when this show was just hitting its stride in its second season, citing very high production costs. In retrospect this might not have been the best decision given the fact that Rome's cancellation coincided with the Series finales of The Sopranos. HBO has had difficulty generating any buzz with it's new lineup, while Showtime seems to be overtaking the network as the place to go for edgy original programming. Could the fall of Rome bring about the Dark Ages for Home Box Office, we'll wait and see?

1. My So Called Life

Was teenage angst ever done better? The show that launched Claire Danes into the stratosphere, even tho she has been lost in space since Terminator 3. Low ratings, ABC's unwillingness to promote the show, and Danes' ambition to make the jump to the big screen all factored into So Called Life's cancellation. Enraged fans took to the Internet in protest, but their voices were not heard.
Any shows you can think of missed the list? Fight for your show like a pack of rabid My So Called Life Fans to get it added.


Dutkus said...

Mr. V, Freaks and Geeks,come one! Good stuff right there! And it had all the guys that are super hot right now:

Seth Rogen
James Franco
Linda Cardellini
and more.

Luckily, this was released to dvd.

Michael said...

This list is missing perhaps the most innovative sitcom in the history of network TV: Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night. Sports night, sadly, came before HBO and the laugh-track-less comedy. If Sports Night were to debut today, on a Showtime or HBO, it'd be as much of a hit or bigger.

Other shows to consider:

1. Arrested Development

2. Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip (yet another Aaron Sorkin)

Here's to hoping other little watched great shows come back next season, a al Friday Night Lights and Eli Stone.

Ernie said...

I have to agree with both Freaks and Geeks as well as Sports Night. Both excellent shows. My own pick would be Firefly, the best sci-fi series ever. Unfortunately, it didn't make it through it's first full season. The Fox executives must be crazy...

Marc V said...

Friday Night Lights and Scrubs are both fighting for the lives right now. Both excellent shows which are being wrongfully terminated to make way for more garbage. Can I get Deall or No Deal on my TV four night a week please!

JamesBedell said...

I may be breaking ranks here, but Scrubs (aside from the musical episode) just aint that great.

I was a huge Studio 60 fan, and was supremely annoyed when Sorkin and team hurriedly changed the writing mid-season to make it less cerebral and more appealing. It also annoyed me that NBC seemed to push the shift despite the script of the very show they were altering was essentially all about how television, especially network television was dumbing down america.

Bryan Pol said...

If 'Family Guy' can get some love after its first cancellation, maybe shows on your lists have a ray of hope. Mind you, a re-working of Beverly Hills 90210 is on the horizon, so even crap can find its way back to television.

Eric said...

Anyone remember Threshold? A gem of a show a few years back about "bioforming" aliens who broadcasted a signal that would change peoples' DNA and turn them into psycopathic killers intent on propagating the signal. Acting and plot and dialogue were great, and yet the show was axed after ten episodes because someone thought it would be a great idea to move the time slot no less than four times, most of which were on late Friday, the worst night for TV.

Beth Pol said...

While in this particular blog we seem to be discussing wrongfully cancelled... I would like to send a thank you out to the network God's who actually did the right thing by cancelling a thankfully almost non-existant "cavemen" series. Oh the humanity. Maybe cromagnatism? You get the point.