It is the fate of a huge number of TV shows to be cancelled. This can be after a few seasons, one season, even a few episodes. In many cases, the show is crap. There’s nothing else to be done than humanely take it out the back and shoot it in the alley. However, there are equally a number of tragic cases where even shows with a dedicated fan base and rave reviews aren’t safe from the axe. These are the shows that were cut down in their prime:
Joss Whedon had enjoyed success with fans and critics alike with his series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it’s follow-up/spin-off Angel, but wasn’t so lucky when it came to his next project. His brilliant space-western Firefly was cancelled after one series, and only 11 of the 14 episodes they made were even aired. To add insult to injury, the episodes that were screened were shown in the wrong order.
It’s incredibly difficult to understand why the studio heads at Fox didn’t see the potential in the show. The writing is witty and engaging, the universe that characters inhabit is astonishingly well presented, and the cast is phenomenal. Nathan Fillion still hasn’t found the recognition he deserves even now, but he should’ve found it 10 years ago: his Malcolm Reynolds is an excellent creation, the cowboy swagger of Han Solo taken to a new level.
2. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Aaron Sorkin, despite having serious influence after having created The West Wing and winning a screenwriting Oscar for The Social Network, hasn’t had the best of luck in television. Sports Night was cancelled after two seasons, but Studio 60 didn’t last any longer than it’s initial run of 22 episodes.
Like a more weighty 30 Rock, the action takes place behind the scenes at a once-successful late-night live sketch show and all the politics and drama that come with it. Unfortunately, poor audience figures ensured the show was killed at the end of its first season despite some cracking writing, Sorkin’s trademark walk-and-talks, and winning performances from a stellar cast of regulars and high-profile guests.
Time magazine may have put the series on its list of ‘5 Things That Went From Buzz to Bust’, but on the same list it featured the PS3 and a little something called Blu Ray, so we’ll ignore their judgement for now.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any shows you think were taken too soon and they could be included in the next issue!