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October 10, 2015

Ten great shows that were canceled in their first seasons

by Paul Goebel, posted Apr 9th 2007 10:01AM

Bob NewhartWelcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.

No matter how much TV I watch, I can't seem to get over the first rule of television programming; if it doesn't get the numbers, it doesn't get renewed. I have watched many a beloved show get yanked from the schedule due to low ratings, even though critics and fans alike all raved about it.

Here are some examples of shows that were too good for the small screen.

The potential for greatness was here, sadly Fox didn't promote the show and nobody watched. I was lucky enough to watch the entire season on and finally get answers to some really nagging questions.I also got see favorites like Mark Valley & Dana Delaney really chew the scenery.

The Bob Newhart Show (the variety show on NBC)
This show won a Peabody award, but was clearly ahead of its time. It's pretty hard to find these days, but Tv icons like Ken Berry and Joe Flynn were regulars and the comedy was superb.

Now & Again
This was one of my favorite shows of recent years. Stylish and suave and so clever, no wonder it didn't last. This was creator Glen Gordon Caron's (Moonlighting, Medium) first foray into sci-fi and featured breakthrough roles for Dennis Haysbert and Eric Close. They have all gone on to greater success but if you can catch an old episode on Sci-Fi, don't miss it.

The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour
Folks my age may remember this sketch show that showcased all of Crystal's great characters before he became Robin Willaims' straight man.

Buffalo Bill
The first of many great Dabney Coleman sitcoms. Anyone remember the "Hit the road Jack" episode? How about a very young Jim Carrey as a Jerry Lewis impersonator?

Honey West
Anne Francis as the first female private eye with a pet ocelot. So hot! TV Land used to show episodes before they became the "Network for Shows we've seen a Million Times."

The Loner
Rod Serling create this series starring Lloyd Bridges as a cowboy who never drew his gun. Possibly the greatest and most depressing western ever. I remember watching an interview with Serling where he said the network cancelled the show because they wanted, "Mannix in the desert."

Police Squad
It breaks my heart that more people are familiar with The Naked Gun trilogy starring OJ Simpson and Anna Nicole Smith. Peter Lupus as the original Nordberg has to be seen to be believed. You have got to respect anybody who attempts to make a parody of The M Squad.

The Ben Stiller Show
The last decent sketch show on free TV. Before Stiller went on to direct and star in bad movies like Zoolander, his show was the best place to see spoofs of TV shows and movies. Plus the cast included Bob Odenkirk, Janeane Garafalo and Andy Dick.

The Outsider
No, not the dumb TV version of the Matt Dillon movie. A very cool private eye show with Darren McGavin as a guy living in LA, who knows everybody, but has no friends.

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Greg the Bunny

May 03 2007 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How many of these shows had so much of a fan backing that they had major motion pictures made out of them? Firefly should not only have been on the list but it should have been first.

Canceled shows don't generate millions of dollars in DVD revenue (particularly when a show that didn't even get a full season to begin with) Firefly made history. This list is a joke.

April 19 2007 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about ACTION, with Jay Mohr in 1999? The show was made for cable, yet FOX bought it and destroyed it ----funniest selection in my DVDs.

April 16 2007 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Marblehead Manor. It was in syndication and one of Michael Richard's early tv roles. Very funny show!

April 15 2007 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Jay Mohr will always be Peter Dragon

April 13 2007 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Big D

Thought of another one I enjoyed.

Cover Me: Based on the true life of an FBI family

with this show, Roar (Great character in Longinius), American Gothic & Invasion, Shaun Cassidy has proven (to me at least) he can create great TV. Hopefully networks taking his shows out after one season will not keep him from giving us more.

ps: and while I am here, Bring back "Rome" HBO !

April 10 2007 at 10:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Big D

American Gothic
Nowhere Man
Harsh Realm
John Doe
to name a few more......

I almost don't want to start watching any new series until I know it's going to be a hit, Just wait and catch up with it on DVD. But this is happening more and more...

April 10 2007 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



April 10 2007 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kyle Beasley

Freaks and Geeks!!!


April 10 2007 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Vengeance Unlimited. One of the great semi-serialized mysteries before serialized and mysteries were cool again. It starred Micheal Madsen as a guy who would help you get revenge on anyone for a million dollars or a favor to be called in at a later date. Madsen's performance was awesome, especially his one liners.

April 09 2007 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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