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

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Now that the Spielberg-produced Terra Nova has been consigned to the great dinosaur graveyard in the sky, we cast a respectful eye back over those milestones of modern television that were never given the chance to find their full potential. Pray stand and let us have a minute’s silence as we remember fallen friends, brutally cut down in their prime.

WORDS HELEN O'HARA, JAMES DYER
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In Memoriam: TV Shows Cancelled Before Their Time | Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip (2006 - 2007)
Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip (2006 - 2007)

Starring: Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Bradley Whitford, Sarah Paulson

What was it? Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing follow-up was a bold (some might say suicidally-so) look backstage at the making of an SNL-style live comedy show. Replacing the White House with a studio lot, Sorkin populated it with a similar ensemble of incredibly smart, funny and principled characters whose fizzing one-liners and rapid-fire banter were a joy to the ears.

What happened? Too smart for its own good, Studio 60 began with an episode that cast aspersions on the integrity of network television while simultaneously poking the Christian Right with a sharp stick; talk about making friends. It wasn’t controversy that killed it, though, but a lack of resonance with the TV watching masses – partly down to the similarly-themed but more comedy-focused 30 Rock, which delivered the laughs without the high-brow subtext. S60 was put on extended hiatus while its Monday night slot fell into the hands of Paul Haggis’ The Black Donnellys (also swiftly cancelled). Studio 60 did eventually return to finish out its first season run but it was just postponing the inevitable. A last ditch attempt to broaden appeal with a hideously misjudged romantic slant drove even the show’s original following into the arms of Tina Fey.

 

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Your Comments

1 Dirty Sexy Money
Produced by the sensational Bryan Singer I really enjoyed Dirty Sexy Money when it was on, some great actors in it, the characters were well written and it looked and felt smart, the travesty is that it only managed two seasons with a massive cliffhanger at the end of season 2. Writers strike damaged it and it went into hiatus with not enough interest to pick it back up, don't think the final two episodes were even shown in America, it will continue to annoy me that I will never find out what Nick's dad was up to :) More

Posted by jordieb on Saturday May 12, 2012, 03:21

2 RE: In Memorium: TV Shows Cancelled Before Their Time
I'm a Browncoat forever, and Studio 60 was one of the most intelligent shows on at the time. For my money though, Wolf Lake is the show that never stood a chance - cancelled after just nine episodes, it was a potentially great show with an interesting premise and cast that got killed by a lousy timeslot in the States and here. More

Posted by subcircus on Thursday May 3, 2012, 15:50

3 RE: Damn Those Writers.
Firefly and Arrested Development ... a travesty! More

Posted by thatgeekwiththeglass on Sunday April 22, 2012, 21:54

4 ITV2!
shame itv2 did not renew 'no heroics', a superrhero comedy made you finally forget about 'my hero', and also 'fm' with chris o'dowd and kevin bishop. variety rates the best 1 season wonders on US tv in last 10 years- http://weblogs.variety.com/on_the_air/2012/03/ranking-t he-one-season-wonders.html they are right about 'undeclared'. More

Posted by spark1 on Wednesday March 28, 2012, 12:21

5 RE:
L: SortingStuffOutMan You missed Rubicon, AWESOME show the creator of that show is now writing for similar show 'homeland'. oh, and 'the riches' lasted 2 seasons before being cancelled. More

Posted by spark1 on Wednesday March 28, 2012, 10:11

6 Profit
strange show where the anti hero plots and plans in the boardroom then goes home to sleep naked in a cardboard box in his penthouse. More

Posted by spark1 on Tuesday March 27, 2012, 10:00

7 Channel 5!
surprisingly this channel had a few cool UK tv shows around 2002-3 like 'surburban shootout', 'respectable', 'swinging' and 'murder pervention'. all too short a season and now c5 relies on US shows and docs. More

Posted by spark1 on Sunday March 25, 2012, 11:48

8
You missed Rubicon, AWESOME show More

Posted by SortingStuffOutMan on Friday March 23, 2012, 02:30

9 Missed one
I would have to say Carnavale deserves a nod too. Great show More

Posted by Baron Von Haz on Friday March 23, 2012, 02:29

10
Wonderfalls! From the creator of Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me. Great show. More

Posted by rycki1138 on Wednesday March 21, 2012, 15:10

11
Party Down andTerminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles More

Posted by BobLoblaw17 on Wednesday March 21, 2012, 10:58

12 Crusade
the b5 spin off had some intriguing new characters, the return of some old ones and was a great way to dip into the b5 timeline. and anything with gary cole in it is worth the watch. More

Posted by spark1 on Wednesday March 21, 2012, 10:07

13 Day Break
I would have added Day Break to that list, the 2006 show with Taye Digs, Moon Bloodgood and Adam Baldwin. I think it was shown on Bravo in the UK. It was like Groundhog Day in that Taye Digs had to relive the same day over and over again. He was a cop who had to prove he was innocent of a shooting someone, and if memory serves he had to save his girlfriend's life too. My brief description doesn't do it justice. It was a top show while it lasted I'd like to see a similar blog but on TV shows that have dragged on way too long. One Tree Hill anyone? It was pretty decent in the beginning, but how that got 10 seasons and the OC only 4 surprises me. Smallville went on about 6 seasons to long too. More

Posted by chrispdaniel on Tuesday March 20, 2012, 21:57

14 RE:
Cause it's very cheap and it has some ratings More

Posted by Sanya on Tuesday March 20, 2012, 20:38

15
Dark Skies, Now and Again, Space:Above and Beyond. All great and all dead after 1 season! But somehow 2 and a half men won't die!!! More

Posted by zeech1941 on Tuesday March 20, 2012, 17:16

16
Dark Skies, Now and Again, Space:Above and Beyond. All great and all dead after 1 season! But somehow 2 and a half men won't die!!! More

Posted by zeech1941 on Tuesday March 20, 2012, 17:15

17 Odyssey 5
Yes yes very comprehensive but what about Peter Weller's Odyssey 5 - totally amazing and cancelled precisely when I was in the middle of watching it on dvd! I'll never get over that one, only Angel and Firefly smart more. Actually Angel dammit! one execs - they've just started armageddon, time to cancel the show. More

Posted by Hanroro on Tuesday March 20, 2012, 17:14

18 Spy Game
sam rami did a cool 'avengers'-steed/peel-type show in the 90s that was gone too soon. loved the theme tune as well. More

Posted by spark1 on Tuesday March 20, 2012, 12:36

19 Dark Angel
How Dark Angel isnt on the list I dont know, created by James Cameron and staring Jessica Alba, it was brilliant, a mix of superhuman kids in a post apocalyptic future.... More

Posted by oz_p on Tuesday March 20, 2012, 11:07

20 Ultraviolet!
I was ickle but I loved that show, would have liked to have seen a follow to Flash Forward more than the likes of Invasion (which was pretty annoying later on) More

Posted by rossabroad on Tuesday March 20, 2012, 10:26

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