Don’t you just hate it when a certain TV show you love gets axed because it “didn’t get enough numbers”? I’m not a violent man, but don’t you want to punch the bunch of suits that decided ‘TRP triumphs quality’?
Over the last decade or so, I’ve had many a heartbreaks – almost all of them caused by network executives who decided to pull the plug on some really good TV shows. Sometimes, they asked the showrunners to wrap up earlier than originally planned, and in some extreme cases they even cancelled entire shows without tying the loose ends.
Here’s a list of some shows that were taken from us too soon.
1. Freaks and Geeks
Canceled after 12 episodes were aired, by NBC executive who claimed executive producer Judd Apatow “wouldn’t listen to his notes“. 18 episodes were produced. The unaired ones are be found on Netflix.
The show later appeared on Time magazine’s “100 Greatest Shows of All Time” list. Judd Apatow went on to become a successful filmmaker who made classics like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up.
FOX cancelled it due to low ratings, even though show went on to become a cult-favourite later.
The network also dropped the ball by marketing it as a action-comedy rather than a complex character driven drama. And to make things worse, some genius(!) in the marketing team decided it would be great to air the second episode as the pilot instead of the original two hour special first episode.
3. Love Monkey
Cancelled by CBS just after airing 3 episodes. Later VH1 aired the remaining 5 episodes just so that the fans could have some sort of closure.
The show is about Tom Ferrell, a 30-something, single, record executive who’s on the lookout for musicians and relationships. In New York City, neither of them is as easy as it sounds.
Judd Apatow’s follow up to Freaks and Geeks too lasted just one season. Earlier it was NBC and the next time it was FOX.
Undeclared was almost like ‘Freaks and Geeks goes to college’, and it featured some stellar acting by now famous Jay Baruchel, Charlie Hunnam and Seth Rogen. The show was mainly about a group of freshmen in college and everything else that comes with it.
5. Pushing Daisies
Cancelled after airing 2 seasons.
In Esquire’s ‘TV Reboot Tournament’, this ‘forensic fairy tale’ was voted number one. Noted critics have said that Pushing Daisies was far ahead of its time and that it was ‘too clever’ for the mainstream audience. But what do the suits know? I’m part of that mainstream audience and I freaking loved it.
6. Twin Peaks
Cancelled after 2 seasons due to low ratings.
Twin Peaks was a quintessentially David Lynch show. The kind of surrealism that he earlier displayed with Blue Velvet, and the kind he would later introduce in Mulholland Drive, fans had already seen in Twin Peaks. Was it ahead of its time? Maybe. Did the masses think it was merely a murder mystery and not appreciate the surreal/supernatural aspects? Definitely. But don’t worry – legend has it, it’s coming back in 2017.
7. Gang Related
FOX pulled the plug after 1 season due to low ratings.
While it’s true that Gang Related existed in a TV culture where people had already seen The Wire and The Shield – arguably two of the best shows about cops and criminals, what it had going for it was a rare sense of pacing apart from a really interesting choice of cast. The season finale, was dark – and it was a perfect build up for a second season, but alas, it was already cancelled.
Cancelled after 2 seasons on The WB. Picked up for a third season on UPN. Cancelled after the third.
While Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the popular one among teenagers all over the world, there are some who’d still choose Roswell over the vampire teen drama. Roswell, the alien teen drama introduced a whole generation to kick-ass music through the songs used on the show. Don’t believe me? Check out this tracklist, and remember, this was in 2001!
9. Better Off Ted
Cancelled after 2 seasons due to poor ratings.
This corporate parody was the perfect sitcom. It had funny characters, great lines and Portia De Rossi. But even though the humour was almost as good as The Simpsons, not too many people actually knew about the show, which actually kept it a “cult favourite” and nothing beyond that.
10. My So-Called Life
Cancelled after one season, despite ending in a cliffhanger.
A show about adolescent life starring Claire Daines and Jared Leto – who would say no to that? Many it seems, since back then those two weren’t the stars they are now. Also, this was the first show for which a fan campaign to get it renewed was started online.