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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.

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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

41 FlashForward and Harsh Realm
These definitely deserve to be included in the list......both of them were cancelled half way through the storyline with no chance of resolution of the stories. And then there's The Black Donnellys....not a sci-fi drama but still an excellent series that went nowhere when it was cancelled !!! More

Posted by aberclive on Friday March 16, 2012, 17:09

42 Anyone remember HARSH REALM
I understand that you cannot list all the goods shows but I have a warm place in my heart for "HARSH REALM" from Chris Carter. More

Posted by sylvesd on Friday March 16, 2012, 16:34

Can't believe this wasn't in the list!!! More

Posted by Kezabien on Friday March 16, 2012, 16:15

44 RE: In Memorium: TV Shows Cancelled Before Their Time
Heroes was returning to form for me and then got cancelled, So too Sarah Connor Chronicles and they were both left open for what could have been cracking next series. The one I was most upset about though was Survivors, left on a cliffhanger (or in Max Beasley's case a bog-on-a-plane-hanger) and then nothing more.. shame we never got to see where it was going really. More

Posted by Discodez on Friday March 16, 2012, 15:33

L: Wild about Wilder Seems like the words Fox & Sci-Fi anywhere together is pretty much the deathnail in the Coffin for any such show. only minor channels like CW and cable channels seem good fit for long running genre shows like 'sg-1', 'buffy', 'smallville' and 'supernatural. More

Posted by spark1 on Friday March 16, 2012, 13:59

How about we add Carnivale and The Unusals to this list??? More

Posted by Kiki81 on Friday March 16, 2012, 13:59

47 RE:
I won't toast that though More

Posted by matt st hubbins on Friday March 16, 2012, 09:31

48 RE:
I'll toast that More

Posted by matt st hubbins on Friday March 16, 2012, 09:31

49 Reaper
Gutted that this show got axed, still had plenty of ideas and still fresh when it finished... More

Posted by pkcotter on Thursday March 15, 2012, 19:28

50 Arrested Development = One of greatest comedies ever
What a world we live in when Arrested Development gets cancelled but Two and half men runs for years and years. I agree with the guy below who said Falling Skies should get cancelled,, Sci Fi at its absolute worst. Walking Dead deserves to be cancelled after its awful awful second season too, which is a shame because it had so much potential. More

Posted by Jamie_M on Thursday March 15, 2012, 17:51

What about the x-files? That was just hitting it's stride by season nine...oh, hang on. More

Posted by Deano1977 on Thursday March 15, 2012, 17:42

52 Chicago Code
Kinna miss this... Only ran for one season, should have had a longer run. Jennifer Beals was great in it. Also Dark Angel and Firefly should have been continued A side thought though.. Why does one tree hill and shows like it continue to run? Crap show doesn't even explain it More

Posted by alison2000 on Thursday March 15, 2012, 14:19

Seems like the words Fox & Sci-Fi anywhere together is pretty much the deathnail in the Coffin for any such show. More

Posted by Wild about Wilder on Thursday March 15, 2012, 12:17

you can tell the writer of the bit on deadwood had never seen the show, otherwise he'd have known that there were no "dusty streets" depicted in that show, the place was muddy as hell. It is the show i miss the most. more than the sopranos and the wire which luckily were both brilliant but who's stories were concluded so there's no sense of real loss like there is with deadwood which had more to do. So with milch's latest show being cancelled a handful of episodes into it's premiere season, I say Write those last couple of shows that you wanted to do before hbo closed it down. More

Posted by simjamlmx on Thursday March 15, 2012, 11:21

55 The Good Guys
Starring Bradley Whitford (of The West Wing) as a cop clinging onto the glory days of his 80's career, this show was action-packed and hugely funny, although it takes a few episodes to get going. More

Posted by petebonnici on Thursday March 15, 2012, 09:07

56 Dollhouse
Fantastic series which had the potential to explore so many interesting, unique obviously the studio (think it was Fox?) went and killed it stone dead after only two seasons. Joss Whedon must have really, REALLY pissed someone off given his unbelieveable bad luck with TV shows (recent ones at least). CSI, NCIS and the ilk can suck my balls. More

Posted by MusicLovesYou on Thursday March 15, 2012, 08:42

57 Prickteasers!
I long ago stopped watching American TV as I was sick of quality shows, time I had invested getting to know the characters, getting emotionally involved. There is lots of quality entertainment out there without getting annoyed because of executive changes at Fox,HBO et al deciding that their ideas and programme scheduling is superior to their predecessors. Tip: wait for the series to end, pick up the Dvd;s, then you aren't dissapointed watching something with no conclusion. Perhaps if we all did that less rash decisions would be made! More

Posted by kittybinks on Thursday March 15, 2012, 07:48

58 Luck
That's another one to add to the list... ck-cancelled-by-hbo-after-death-of-third-horse.html More

Posted by sideshowbob1971 on Thursday March 15, 2012, 00:30

59 Luck
That's another one to add to the list... ck-cancelled-by-hbo-after-death-of-third-horse.html More

Posted by sideshowbob1971 on Thursday March 15, 2012, 00:27

60 Bored to Deeeeeeeaaaaath
Can't believe Jonathan Ames' recently deceased comedy didn't get a mention. Shame on you! More

Posted by davidgirvan on Wednesday March 14, 2012, 23:16

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