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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

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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