Ten great shows that were canceled in their first seasons
Welcome 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.
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?
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."
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."
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.
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.