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Feature
In Memoriam: TV Shows Cancelled Before Their Time
Gone but not forgotten...

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Arrested Development (2003 - 2006)

Arrested Development

Starring: Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera

What was it? The story of a wealthy family brought to its knees by its patriarch’s criminal malfeasance, this is one of the smartest, most surreal, most beautifully written comedies ever produced. Complex and absurd plots build to some of the most elaborately constructed gags you’ll ever see, while the cast are a comic ensemble for the ages. Once you’ve seen it, you’ll understand why all those who have are still agitating for a movie.

What happened? Terrible, awful ratings. Oh sure, Fox didn’t help by scheduling the third season against US ratings juggernaut Monday Night Football – and they added insult to injury by scheduling the finale against the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics – but the show never got the audience it deserved. Of course, since it's now set to come back, it's getting another shot at a longer life. Let’s hope its spiritual successor, Community (which paid tribute to Arrested Development’s Chicken Dance recently), really does get six seasons and a movie.

 

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Your Comments

21 American Gothic...
I loved that show... More

Posted by partybee on Tuesday March 20, 2012, 08:53

22 Lame list
What about Sliders., resent tv series about superfamily, awesome "V", not bad "the event" and from modern point of view Farscape end was good More

Posted by Sanya on Monday March 19, 2012, 20:16

23
Spectacular Spider-Man anyone? More

Posted by Radical_Duck on Monday March 19, 2012, 15:42

24 What?!
I did not know o Deathen cancelled! I haven't finished season 2 but it's just hitting it's stride, it is the programme that made me actually like Zach Galifinakis. But yes, more importantly, when aksncelled it had reached an incredible creative peak and I needed  more, more black lodge, more Bob, but alas no. lk With Meally interesting and dark but not enough to help me get over that second series finale. :( More

Posted by rigsterblaster on Monday March 19, 2012, 15:41

25 Cmon!
Any list like this has to include Carnivale! Freaks, Carnies, Alpha and Omega, Clancy God Damn Brown More

Posted by smiteo on Monday March 19, 2012, 13:27

26 Hang on...
Mystery Science Theater 3000 should be top of this list. More

Posted by Pineapples101 on Monday March 19, 2012, 09:40

27 How about shows from the 1980's....
Why was Streethawk canceled after only 13 episodes ? I'm sure that was a series that could have run and run . More

Posted by Telford Boy on Monday March 19, 2012, 04:54

28 A nice list but.........
Could anyone tell me what has happened to "The Riches" ? More

Posted by Telford Boy on Monday March 19, 2012, 04:50

29 A damn fine list, but....
Twin Peaks should be on here! More

Posted by Killian Mc Partland on Sunday March 18, 2012, 23:52

30 "Firefly."
Yet another "random-"Firefly"-reference-in-"Emp ire"-blog-shocker"....C'mon...'fess up - you just wanted to give another shout-out to the Browncoats out there, didn'ya? Didn'ya?! More

Posted by Speff on Sunday March 18, 2012, 22:41

31 RE: Cupid (1998) starring Jeremy Piven & Paula Marshall.
L: simonburgess Created by Rob Thomas, the man behind Veronica Mars, this got cancelled during its first season. Piven's character claims to be the eponymous god of love, sent to Earth as punishment, where he must pair up a 100 couples before being allowed back to Olympus. Marshall plays his psychologist and she's unconvinced of both his claims and his methods. It was smart. It was funny. It was doomed. unny, that show was revived and recast in 2008 but also cancelled after a short run. same thing happened to 'parenthood' which was cancelled in '91 and revived in 2010. More

Posted by spark1 on Sunday March 18, 2012, 15:17

32 Cupid (1998) starring Jeremy Piven & Paula Marshall.
Created by Rob Thomas, the man behind Veronica Mars, this got cancelled during its first season. Piven's character claims to be the eponymous god of love, sent to Earth as punishment, where he must pair up a 100 couples before being allowed back to Olympus. Marshall plays his psychologist and she's unconvinced of both his claims and his methods. It was smart. It was funny. It was doomed. More

Posted by simonburgess on Saturday March 17, 2012, 15:36

33 Aherne's Other Show
wish bbc had continued 'appartitions', joe's equally scary supernatural thriller. More

Posted by spark1 on Saturday March 17, 2012, 14:14

34 Come Back
any show that ends prematurely and gives you that a "wow - can't wait for the next series' feeling deserves to come back. More

Posted by spark1 on Saturday March 17, 2012, 12:32

35
Bugger! I enjoyed this and was hoping for some sort of conclusion. I think the plots just got too complex to maintain. More

Posted by dkthomson on Saturday March 17, 2012, 10:01

36 Nkenobi
what about "better off ted"? one of the funniest show ever aired and it only got two very short seasons, with ABC pulling the plug on it with two episodes still to air. they purposely killed that show, putting it behind a declining "scrubs", and never giving either a definite time slot. i was huge fan of both shows and i missed them from time to time because i honestly didn't know what day they were on. and i have to say fuller was right about "dead like me", the first episode was magnificent but it did decline severely as the season went on. Joe and JOes family were jsut so annoying that they ultimately led to the shows failure. More

Posted by sterny540 on Saturday March 17, 2012, 03:17

37 Reaper
That last program reminded me of the excellent Reaper which lasted 2 seasons and ended on a "wow - can't wait for the next series" moment. Dammit. More

Posted by IainPurdie on Friday March 16, 2012, 23:09

38 gone...but not...
agree with Veronica Mars & Firefly-especially agree with Invasion-just rewatched the series & the season end was a chilling cliffhanger-honourable mentions to DollHouse & Carnivale as well but for every Invasion,Firefly,Dollhouse & Carnivale we get gems like the Mentalist,Castle,Supernatural & er,The Simpsons (early years)-on a seperate note-F@*K CSI shows!!! More

Posted by themanfromunkle on Friday March 16, 2012, 22:31

39 Too many to mention
Though I agree with the ones you mention (at least the ones I've seen anyway) especially Veronica Mars & Firefly, I can't go without mentioning Point Pleasant, Tru Calling, Dollhouse, Reaper and The Others. Shocking lack of respect for quality by the networks. More

Posted by djdjk on Friday March 16, 2012, 20:57

40 What about British?
Tripods, Outcasts (killed by constant moving!). Primeval just to mention a few. More

Posted by bluelace on Friday March 16, 2012, 20:42

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