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Old 05-30-2013, 09:52 PM   #1
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TV TV Guide: "The 60 Best Shows That Got Cut Short"

The 60 Best Shows That Got Cut Short
by Matt Roush
June 3-9, 2013 Edition



No one said loving TV would be easy. We've lost count of how often we've mourned terrific shows that left us wanting more - not by choice, but because low ratings or other factors caused the network ax to swing.

With one exception, this list is limited to shows that didn't make it past a second season. They're all missed.







1. "Freaks and Geeks" (NBC, 1999-2000)

Judd Apatow's painfully funnt remembrance of a middle-America high school circa 1980 and the class divide between hip stoners and socially clueless nerds was too real and raw for the masses.

But with such future stars as James Franco and Seth Rogen in the poignant mix, what a squandered masterpiece.





2. "My So-Called Life" (ABC, 1994-95)

Long before she won Emmys as Temple Grandin and Carrie Mathison, Claire Danes played Angela Chase, a deeply pensive teen with issues, in this lovingly rendered exploration of adolescent angst and star-crossed romance.

Jordan or Brian? We'll never know.





3. "Frank's Place" (CBS, 1987-88)

As savory as a rich Creole gumbo but not to everyone's taste - and an exotic oddity on a mainstream network - this atmospheric comedy was set in a New Orleans restaurant inherited by a New Englander (played by WKRP's Tim Reid).

It brimmed with peculiar characters - his love interest was a mortician - but less bon temps only rolled for one tangy season.





4. "Profit" (Fox, 1996)

"Profit" was ahead of its time, anticipating the trend of darkly compelling dramas built around antiheroes.

Jim Profit (Adrian Pasdar), a sociopath who slept naked in a box while plotting his ruthless climb up the corporate ladder, might be a hard sell even now, but the show (which only ran for 4 episodes) was shockingly memorable.





5. "Firefly" (Fox, 2002)

Joss Whedon's funky hybrid, fusing classic sci-fi and rambunctious Western tropes starred Nathan Fillion as a witty rebel captain leading a transport ship of misfits.

The early dismissal of the series, mistreated by a network that ran several of its 13 episodes out of order, inspired fans to demand more. Thus, the 2005 movie sequel, Serenity, was born.





6. "East Side/West Side" (CBS, 1963-64)

Immersed in the gritty realities of a time when audiences preferred "The Beverly Hillbillies", this stark urban drama harked back to TV's first golden age.

George C. Scott starred as an idealistic social worker tackling inner-city issues, including drugs and child abuse.





7. "Police Squad!" (ABC, 1982)

The Airplane! spoof masters turned their sights on cop dramas in this wacky, densely joke-packed parody that killed off each week's "special guest star" in the opening scene.

A network president famously opined that audiences had to pay too close attention to the show, so it was gone after 6 episodes. But Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) lived on in the smash hit Naked Gun films.





8. "Deadwood" (HBO, 2004-06)

The only show on this list to run for more than two seasons, David Milch's profane and brutal Western about a lawless South Dakota outpost ruled by the unscrupulous Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) ended abruptly after its third year, leaving fans dangling and still hoping against hope for a movie to wrap things up.





9. "I'll Fly Away" (NBC (1991-93)

Like a series version of To Kill a Mockingbird, this evocative drama illuminated race relations in the '50s South through the travails of a small-town prosecutor (Sam Waterston), his family and the African-American housekeeper (Regina Taylor) who opened their eyes to the struggle of equality.

After cancellation, PBS commissioned a movie to bring fans closure.





10. "Sports Night" (ABC 1998-2000)

Aaron Sorkin's dazzling workplace dramedy was lighter than "The West Wing" and less ponderous than "The Newsroom", but perhaps too inside-baseball in its riveting depiction of the breakneck shenanigans behind-the-scenes of an ESPN-style news show, with gilb anchors (Peter Krause and Josh Charles) and a harried producer (Felicity Huffman) leading the charge.







The Other 50 in ABC Order:


"Action" (Fox, 1999)
"The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." (Fox, 1993-94)
"Alien Nation" (Fox, 1989-90)
"Aliens in America" (The CW, 2007-08)
"Andy Richter Controls the Universe" (Fox, 2002-03)



"Bakersfield, P.D." (Fox, 1993-94)
"Better off Ted" (ABC, 2009-10)
"Boomtown" (NBC, 2002-03)
"Brooklyn Bridge" (CBS, 1991-93)
"Buffalo Bill" (NBC, 1983-84)



"Carnivŕle" (HBO, 2003-05)
"Cliffhangers" (NBC, 1979)
"The Comeback" (HBO, 2005)



"Eli Stone" (ABC, 2009-10)
"Ellery Queen" (NBC, 1975-76)
"Equal Justice" (ABC, 1990-91)
"Eyes" (ABC, 2005)
"EZ Streets" (CBS, 1996-97)



"Homefront" (ABC, 1991-93)
"Huff" (Showtime, 2004-06)



"Jericho" (CBS, 2006-08)
"The Judy Garland Show" (CBS, 1963-64)



"Karen Sisco" (ABC, 2003)
"Kolchak: The Night Stalker" (ABC, 1974-75)



"Max Headroom" (ABC, 1987-88)
"Men in Trees" (ABC, 2006-08)
"Men of a Certain Age" (TNT, 2009-11)
"Murder One" (ABC, 1995-97)
"My World and Welcome To It" (NBC, 1969-70)



"The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" (HBO, 2008-09)
"Nothing Sacred" (ABC, 1997-98)
"Nowhere Man" (UPN, 1995-96)



"Over There" (FX, 2005)



"Party Down" (Starz, 2009-10)
"Pasadena" (Fox, 2001)
"Playmakers" (ESPN, 2003)
"The Powers That Be" (NBC, 1992-93)
"Pushing Daisies" (ABC, 2007-09)



"The Richard Pryor Show" (NBC, 1977)
"The River" (ABC, 2012)



"Sons and Daughters" (ABC, 2006)
"South Central" (Fox, 1994)
"Swingtown" (CBS, 2008)



"Terriers" (FX, 2010)
"Twin Peaks" (ABC, 1990-91)



"Undeclared" (Fox, 2001-02)
"Unsub" (NBC, 1989)



"Wonderfalls" (Fox, 2004)
"Wonderland" (ABC, 2000)



"A Year in the Life" (NBC, 1987-88)
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:48 AM   #2
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I actually liked Cliffhangers and I was incensed when NBC had the nerve to cancel this show WITHOUT airing the final episode (Which brought two of the segments (Stop Susan Williams & The Secret Empire to a conclusion (Dracula concluded in the final episode they did air, which was supposed to be second-to-last). It took me 30 years to FINALLY see how the other two segments concluded (Thanks http://sell.com) but I was able to see them, better late than never.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:53 AM   #3
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"Terriers" should have been a hit. FX marketed it poorly. It was like a modern day Rockford Files mixed with the storyline arc style of "Veronica Mars" and yet was unique in its own way. A wonderful show. Not even available on DVD. I have all the episodes recorded and every once in awhile enjoy going back through the narrative and seeing all the intricacies of the plot even though they rushed the ending probably due to low ratings.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:44 AM   #4
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I TOTALLY agree with Firefly, and if my grandmother was still alive, she would totally agree with Brooklyn Bridge and I'll Fly Away. She LOVED those shows and was sad when they were cancelled. Then again, if I'll Fly Away hadn't been cancelled, Sam Waterston may never have had the chance to play what became his best-known role, Law & Order's Jack McCoy, which he played for 16 years.

Another one I'd pick is Christy, a 1994-95 CBS period drama based on Catherine Marshall's 1967 best-selling novel of the same name. It was about a 19-year-old girl who leaves her affluent city lifestyle to become a schoolteacher in a destitute community in the backwoods of Tennessee in 1912. It starred Kellie Martin (in the title role) and Tyne Daly. Constant pre-emptions and changing of the guard at CBS (Jeff Sagansky left and was replaced by the future Mr. Julie Chen, Les Moonves) sealed its fate. Three TV-movies were produced several years later for the (now former) PAX network to wrap up the story (the original series ended in a cliffhanger), but with an almost entirely different cast. Bummer.

Here are some pics of the show:
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:57 AM   #5
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Not in alphabetical order:

Coronet Blue
The Young Lawyers
Singer and Sons
Occasional Wife
Love on A Rooftop
The Governor and JJ
The Don Rickles Show
Most Wanted
The Tycoon
Nancy
Temperatures Rising
Second Hundred Years
Way Out
Bus Stop
Slattery's People
Longstreet
The Immortal
The Paul Lynde Show
Medical Story
Doctors Hospital
Lucas Tanner
What Really Happened to the Class of '65
James at 15
The Andros Targets
Kaz
Best Times
Run Buddy Run
Double Life of Henry Phyfe
The Outsider
The Reporter
Saints and Sinners
The Good Life
Adam's Rib
Accidental Family
My Friend Tony
Wendy and Me
The Bill Dana Show
Captain Nice
Sam Benedict
Mr. Novak
Cain's Hundred
The Outer Limits
The Nancy Walker Show
Rich Man Poor Man Book 2
Sara (1976)
Here We Go Again
A Touch of Grace
Thicker Than Water
East Side West Side
It's Your Move

Wait, its 60, not 50. I can add 10 more!

Many Happy Returns
Eye To Eye
Man Who Never Was
Blue Light
For The People (1965)
Three For The Road
Sons and Daughters (1974)
The Little People
Five Fingers
Kate McShane

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Old 06-04-2013, 01:05 PM   #6
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^ Wow, you've listed a few pretty obscure titles!! I hadn't heard of some of these before.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:44 PM   #7
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Add these two to the list

Moonlight (CBS, 2007 - 2008)

Invasion (ABC, 2005 - 2006)
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:27 PM   #8
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It is still amazing to me even after all these years that they canceled a gem like 'Freaks and Geeks.' What were they thinking? It was SUCH a good show!! I'm glad that there are hardcore fans out there that keep the show alive and that people still recognize its genius.

I also loved 'Wonderfalls' and was so pleased to find it on the list.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyinPink55
I also loved 'Wonderfalls' and was so pleased to find it on the list.
I don't know if you know this, but Chelan Simmons reprised Gretchen on an episode of "Hannibal".

Both shows were created by Bryan Fuller.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:19 AM   #10
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One-season wonder T.H.E. CAT should've gotten another season or two, ditto 87TH PRECINCT and JONNY QUEST (1960s version).

THE WESTERNER should've at least gotten a full season, and could've probably done well for three or four seasons. Ditto CORONET BLUE, BLUE LIGHT and THE IMMORTAL, from Ben Casey's list.

THE INVADERS should've gotten a third season, with a two-part finale to wrap things up, like its big brother, THE FUGITIVE, did.

I'd have liked to see THE ADDAMS FAMILY get one more season, if only to see it switch to color and add a few more visiting relatives.

DEAD LIKE ME should've also gotten a third season (or more), with some closure, though we did get a so-so direct-to-video movie follow-up.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesG
I don't know if you know this, but Chelan Simmons reprised Gretchen on an episode of "Hannibal".

Both shows were created by Bryan Fuller.
I didn't know that!! Thanks for letting me know!! I'll have to check it out!!
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:41 PM   #12
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buffalo bill would be a hit if it were made today but in 1983 people were not ready to watch a show built around a guy with very few redeeming qualites i was 12 when it first aired and even though i did not get all the humour back then what i did get i found funny and watching it on dvd today it plays even better than it did back in 1983/84
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:29 PM   #13
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I liked alot of NBC sitcoms that ran short in the late 90's and early 00's. Most people won't even remember then however.

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Old 06-08-2013, 12:34 PM   #14
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^ I remember those titles but never saw the shows themselves. Speaking of NBC sitcoms, I think my brother-in-law was the only one who watched/liked Inside Schwartz.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:40 PM   #15
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I'd like to add American Gothic, Quark, Murder: One, and Nothing Sacred to this list.
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