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October 8, 2015

The Arrested Development Award Nominees

by Jane Boursaw, posted May 29th 2008 10:41AM
Did your favorite show get canceled? Yeah, mine too. It makes you think twice about investing time into a new show, because you never know how long it'll last. Sometimes even shows with fairly good ratings are sent to the chopping block.

Here at TV Squad, we're doing our part to bring attention to cool shows that were axed in the recent upfront announcements. Last week, I put out a call for considerations for The Arrested Development Award, a.k.a. The Show Least Deserving of Cancellation Award.

You made your opinions known - thank you! - and now we're into Phase 2: The Nominees. The Squad will pick our own winner, but we're giving you the chance to pick a Reader's Choice winner. Here are the nominees, and be sure to vote in the poll at the bottom.

1. Moonlight (CBS).
Paired with the other-worldly Ghost Whisperer on Friday nights, this dark dramedy about a vampire who finds work as a private eye gained legions of fans over its short run this season. So much so that there's currently a big campaign to resurrect it from the dead. In some ways, this show is disturbing. It's downright freaky when the vamps' eyes glaze over and fangs protrude at the prospect of a "freshie." And when they actually chomp into someone's arm -- and the person likes it -- it's weird and dark. And maybe that's the appeal of this show. I guess you'd classify it as a crime-drama, but it's just different enough to bring something new to the prime-time table. Of course, the top-notch cast doesn't hurt either. As Mick St. John, Alex O'Loughlin is a cross between Keanu Reeves and John Corbett with some Matthew McConaughey thrown in. He's smart and sexy and seems to have a handle on the whole vampire-in-the-real-world thing. And I love that Sophia Myles, who plays his love interest Beth, isn't a size 2. She seems like a real girl, not some Hollywood version of a real girl. And as Josef Kostan, Jason Dohring is giving Justin Bartha a run for his money in the sidekick department. We deserve another season of Moonlight, and Mick and Beth deserve more time together. As Alex says in the final passionate moments of the finale, "This isn't about being a vampire or a human. This is about us and how we feel about one another, right here, right now." Ooh, yeah.

2. Journeyman (NBC). Blending romance, family, and history, this series starring Kevin McKidd as time-traveling newspaper reporter Dan Vasser was just hitting its stride when it got the boot. It took a while to catch on, because the series sort of repeated itself during the first few episodes. Dan would disappear abruptly into the white light only to find himself smack in the midst of history. Sometimes it was major history, like the 1989 California earthquake. But it always involved someone who needed a little help to set things right. The dramatic tension was not only the event itself, it was Dan's sudden disappearance from his current life, which made for some awkward moments -- especially when wife Katie (Gretchen Egolf) had to cover for him. She wasn't thrilled about the time-traveling, but what choice did she have? She hung in there as best she could, and tried to keep the home fires burning for their son, Zack (Charles Henry Wyson). Rounding things out was Moon Bloodgood as Livia, a time-traveling former love of Dan's, and his brother Jack (Reed Diamond). By the series finale, Dan was getting close to learning exactly why he was chosen as a time-traveler. But I guess we'll be left in the dark forever.

3. Las Vegas (NBC).
This series about the inner workings of a Las Vegas casino ran for five seasons, and the cast was nothing less than impressive: Josh Duhamel, James Caan, Vanessa Marcil, Molly Sims, James Lesure, Nikki Cox, Cheryl Ladd, Tom Selleck, Dean Cain, and Lara Flynn Boyle to name a few. And those are just the regulars. The show also managed to attract a bevy of guest-stars over the years, including Alec Baldwin, Wayne Newton (of course), Sylvester Stallone, Jon Lovitz, Paul Anka, Rachael Leigh Cook, and pop star Fergie. (yes, there was a nod to her relationship with Duhamel). But it was the way the regulars worked together that made the show for me. The cast fit together like the rat-a-tat lines in a Humphrey Bogart movie -- smooth, natural, never awkward (unless the scene was awkward - plenty of those, too). Needless to say, Las Vegas ended in mid-drama with Delinda clutching her pregnant belly, Cooper returning from the dead, and Piper and Mike just moments away from tying the knot. If this show doesn't deserve a proper send-off, then there's no justice in the world. Oh, and I always made sure to catch the kicky theme song at the beginning of each episode, Elvis Presley's A Little Less Conversation. They couldn't have picked a more perfect tune.

4. New Amsterdam (Fox).
I really thought this show would run the gauntlet into season two. Its central theme was edgy by all counts: "To be human is to die. To die is what makes life worth living." It's the inevitable course for most of us, but not John Amsterdam, played by the soulful Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. He's immortal, the result of a spell cast by a Native American shaman whose life John saved three centuries earlier. She probably thought she was doing him a favor with the spell, which would remain until he found his "one true love." The only problem is that 300 and some years later, John still hasn't found his one true love, and everyone he knows gets old and dies. Some life. This series picks up with him working as a homicide detective with the NYPD, paired with a fierce partner, Eva Marquez (Zuleikha Robinson). I'm kind of ticked that we won't get to find out if the E.R. doc (Alexie Gilmore) is his one true love. Frankly, I was kind of hoping she wasn't, because they didn't have much chemistry.

5. Miss/Guided (ABC). We all know that the high school drama doesn't end when you're clutching that diploma. It just goes on and on, only instead of awkward locker-room confrontations, you've got awkward board-room confrontations. Becky Freeley (Judy Greer) didn't realize that when she took a job as guidance counselor at her old high school. Little did she know she'd be vying for the attentions of hot mechanic-turned-Spanish teacher Tim (Kristoffer Polaha) with her high school nemesis, Lisa Germain (Brooke Burns). Of course, Lisa is smart and sexy. Seven episodes is hardly enough time to figure out whether you like a show or not, but that's all this one got. I liked what I saw. This show was equal parts Clueless, The Wonder Years, and Scrubs (yeah, yeah, go ahead and argue with me, Scrubs fans, but I thought it had the same vibe). Anyway, so much for this show. At least executive producer Ashton Kutcher has a gazillion other irons in the fire, so he probably won't even notice this missing from his meeting schedule.

Who's your winner for The Arrested Development Award?
Moonlight1579 (38.0%)
Journeyman2052 (49.4%)
Las Vegas194 (4.7%)
New Amsterdam164 (3.9%)
Miss/Guided163 (3.9%)

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Journeyman and New Amsterdam were two of the more intelligent shows on TV last season. So of course they got canceled! At least there's still Pushing Daisies. Not really in the same intellectual vein, but darn entertaining.

August 16 2008 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Journeyman is the most engrossing, well-written shows up there and if it wasn't for the strike, it would have had the ratings and it would have made it. More people need to vote for Journeyman.

July 30 2008 at 5:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Crankier Age

JOURNEYMAN! This is/was a terrific show. I sure hope someone else will pick it up. Please! I liked New Amsterdam too. After ABC cancelled "Traveler" and now NBC has taken Journeyman from me (yes, I take personal offense to these cancellations -- wink), I do not want to start watching anymore new shows. WHAW!!!!!

July 14 2008 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Moonlight...Journeyman...New Amsterdam...my three favorite new shows. All gone?! They all made me think. Has thinking become a crime? Uncool? These shows were all about trying to be ordinary in extraordinary circumstances.

The first thought down the tube to a depression is to think there's no point in trying. There is EVERY point in trying. Your life is not over and you can NOT stop trying.

June 25 2008 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andy L

Journeyman had a great cast and plot lines... Please don't cancel.... bring it back!

June 21 2008 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TL Hoosier

I can't believe all the fan support for this show. I am so glad I am not the only one that believes that the quality of every aspect of Moonlight is exceptional. I have discovered tons of websites and activities that I never knew existed. I have pledged to the Moonlight blood drive #2, and requested notification from Amazon of the release date for the first season of Moonlight. My family has never obsessed about a TV show before.

Again, I cannot say enough about how much we have enjoyed the show. We still never even saw all of the shows, only discovering the show late in the season. The show is emotionally addictive thanks to the cast, crew, writers, set designers, directors, and producers... I am disappointed in CBS for canceling such a well loved program.

Thanks for Listening

June 04 2008 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Out of the 5 shows listed, I watched 3, and they were all my favorites. Out of the 5, Moonlight was winning its timeslot every week, and had a higher rating then a lot of shows that got picked up. Whatever the reason for canceling the show, it wasn't the reason CBS was giving.

June 02 2008 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

'Moonlight' definitely!It had everything:romance,mystery, excitement,drama and a little history thrown in! Moonlight well deserved the Peoples Choice Award IT won,as did the Actors (Alex won the sexiest sci-fi guy,and Mick and Beth won the #1 sexiest TV Couple) well deserve their awards.'Moonlight' and it's characters seductively drew us into their world...a world we didn't want to leave!

June 02 2008 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jean B

Aliens in America.

June 01 2008 at 7:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Barbara Young

I am sorry New Amsterdam didn't have the chance to develop more. The characters were not at all bad and the episodes were interesting, which is more than you can say about Moonlight, which is a romance with capped fangs.

June 01 2008 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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