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On the 5th day of Festivus, TV gave to me...

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 15th 2007 5:20PM

Jericho logo... Five canceled shows.

Isn't it really sad when a TV show is canceled? It's like a family pet has died. You're not going to see these characters anymore, you're not going to find out what happened to them, and now you have to learn to like a whole new show and a new set of characters. And if the show replaced your favorite canceled show, you probably won't even watch. I still remember when Walker, Texas Ranger replaced Raven on CBS in the early 90s. I never forgave Chuck Norris for doing that and couldn't even watch his show, even though both shows were about heroes who kicked people with their feet.

2007 brought many cancellations to fans. Many cancellations we saw coming, many we didn't care about at all, and some truly hurt us. After the jump are the top five cancellations of the year. The ones that hit us the most and we talked about the most. Air your cancellation grievance in the comments below and at your Festivus party.

Jericho (CBS): OK, so the very first canceled show on my list wasn't, in the end, actually canceled. But it was canceled at one point, so I think I can include it on such a list. Did that make sense? Canceled.

This was one of the truly best new shows of last season but it never really got any respect and was canceled by CBS. Of course, they took the show off for a few months in what turned out to be really bad strategy, and the cancellation wasn't really a surprise to anyone, though hardcore fans couldn't understand it. And it's those same hardcore fans who saved the show, by participating in a seemingly hairbrained scheme to send nuts to CBS headquarters to protest the cancellation. We've seen online petitions to save shows and even other mail-related plots, but this one actually worked. After getting bombarded with TONS of nuts, CBS said "hmmm, there might actually be something to this whole Jericho thing" and renewed the show. OK, the second season is only seven episodes long (and will premiere in early '08) but it's a start. Hopefully those episodes will be watched by everyone and we'll see more.

Studio 60

Studio 60 (NBC): Did you know I was a fan of this show? I kept it pretty well hidden, I know, but I was sorry to see this show go. It's #2 on my list because it was the type of show that was 1.) outrageously hyped as the show that was going to save network television before the pilot even aired, 2.) the pilot was fantastic, and 3.) most people who didn't even like the show got into conversations about it around the web and many of them even wanted the show to stay on the air even though they found a lot of fault with it (seriously, was there ever a show in the past decade that had so many people saying "damn, this show has so much potential?"). Personally, I think the first half a dozen shows or so were great, then it got really bad there for a while, and then it finished its first and only season strongly. With that cast and Aaron Sorkin and the setting of the show...damn, it had so much potential.

Viva Laughlin

Viva Laughlin (CBS): This show was endlessly promoted by CBS and if you blinked you missed it. Really, if there was one disaster in the making that everyone should have seen coming before the season even started, it was this show. Actually, a lot of people did see this as a disaster, except network execs. It was a curio, like Cop Rock, but at least Cop Rock had the actors singing by themselves and to original songs. Viva Laughlin had the actors singing along with the original artists of the songs, which on film turned out to be...just weird. This show was badly done and really, where could you go with it after the novelty wore off?

The Nine

The Nine (ABC): This was a cancellation that...wait a second, is it even canceled? It's been on again, off again for so long that I forget where we stand now. I think it's gone for good, but who knows what unaired episodes ABC will pull out if the writers strike continues ("tonight, the never-before-seen Christmas episode of The Nine, on ABC!"). The Nine had one of the best pilot episodes I've ever seen. Did the following episodes live up to the first one? No way. But it was still a good show. Certainly a show that deserved to have its first season aired in full on TV instead of the half on TV, half on the web treatment this show received. Looking back, of course, this had "long miniseries" written all over it. Many of the stars of this show went on to other shows this fall, including Tim Daly (Private Practice), Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies), and Kim Raver (Lipstick Jungle).

Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars (The CW): I actually thought this show would continue for a while. Really, what other beloved, buzzworthy show did The CW have last year? I thought this show would go four or five seasons, but they dropped it after the third season. I guess that's an OK run for a cult show, right? But fans wanted more. They're not going to get that last "Veronica joins the FBI" season we were teased with, so fans will have to live with the DVDs. Kristin Bell can now be seen on Heroes and heard on Gossip Girl.

Ten reality television nuggets
Nine Writers' Strike supporting sites
Eight seasons to look forward to
Seven sites worth linking
Six welcome returns

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Scott

I'm with others on Drive and Traveler; if you're gonna go to all the trouble to create a serial, could you at least order enough eps to make it worth putting on DVD and give the creators incentive to wrap up a storyline or two?

Am also totally bummed about Veronica Mars; am working my way through the third season on DVD and still impressed with the writing, the character development, and even the lighting. People who say there's nothing good on TV aren't even aware gems like this exist. Anyone think a VM movie-on-DVD would work, (a la Dead Like Me)?

December 18 2007 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pagan1929

I'd have to add Drive to the list as well. It just sucks when a network doesn't give a new show even a remote chance of finding it's audience. Plus, I'd watch anything with Nathan Fillion in it. (Still pissed about Firefly.) Two or three episodes are shown, and if it doesn't make huge numbers right away, off with its head. I wish they'd do the same thing to 95% of the reality drivel they keep cramming down our throats.

December 17 2007 at 1:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lois

I'm an avid Jericho fan and thought that Studio 60...had a lot of potential. It was such a great cast, I wish they'd given them a bit more time to gel. Does anyone remember that no one watched Seinfeld at all its first season?
I liked The Nine, too. And I loved Veronica Mars and wanted to see where the characters were going so the FBI wasn't going to work for me anyway.
I try not to get too attached to any show now since I seem to only like things that are canceled early on!
And what brain decided to put Lost on against Grey's Anatomy?

December 17 2007 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alicia

Bob... you a fan of S60? Really? I couldn't tell.

That is the only one that broke my heart.

December 17 2007 at 9:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jordan

The OC was cancelled this year, that is a shame since the last season was one of the best writing wise and Marissa was gone. Too bad Fox screwed that one up by putting it against Grey's and CSI, not to mention airing the new episodes on Myspace before they showed on TV.

December 17 2007 at 2:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nathaniel

MrC is right... Blackpool is amazing, so I really wanted Laughlin to succeed and be good. Oh well. I even enjoyed the pilot... I said I'd ride it out until the inevitable cancellation, I just didn't figure it'd come so soon.

Also, with all the buzz about quality summer shows, I'm disappointed no one watched Traveler... it was really good, and now I'll never have my resolution.

Also worth mentioning is Day Break. It was amazing, just people were confused about the concept... it did work, but I think too many people were doubtful. They should have called it an extended miniseries from the start. I'm glad we got to see the entire season, including the full resolution (except for one thread, the other repeating-day guy) resolved online.

December 16 2007 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Nathaniel's comment
Tammy

I loved Daybreak and was so mad when it got yanked. I thought they handled it well ... repeated enough to make it interesting but not too much to make you bored with it. I really wish they had stuck with it and at least let us see the whole thing. My computer is too old to have watched the last episodes online so I'm hoping it will come to DVD.

If the Journeyman rumors are true, then you should have that on the list too.

December 16 2007 at 11:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A.S

"Really, what other beloved, buzzworthy show did The CW have last year?"

Supernatural?

December 16 2007 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oreo

Five shows that deserved to be canceled.

All of them were blah. Veronica Mars would have been the best, but I just finished the second season and it's pretty bad. The first season was great through.

December 16 2007 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MrC

I thought Viva Laughlin was campy fun. Crap, but amusing crap. Then I watched the first episode of Blackpool, the show it's based on, and was blown away.

Same silly "actors singing over soundtrack" concept, but the actors were actually smiling and dancing and overall just enjoying it whereas the ones on the US show (including yet-another-brit-cast-as-badly-as-an-american) just didn't look like they cared, except for Hugh Jackman.

December 16 2007 at 5:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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