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August 28, 2015

The top 20 shows Fox cancelled too soon

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 15th 2009 11:00AM
FireflyIn case you ever think Fox might actually give a good series a break, Topless Robot reminds us of the Top 20 shows cancelled by Fox before their time. It's a decent list. Granted, I haven't watched a chunk of them but I've watched four of the top five in their entirety and own two of them on DVD.

There is only one show the author didn't mention that I wish made the list. The Doctor Who 1996 Television Movie starring Paul McGann initially aired on Fox, but never made it to series due to poor ratings. I can only hope that some day Fox and Universal will come to an agreement with the BBC and allow for a North American DVD release.

So what do you think of the list? Did the author get it right? Is there a Fox series that was not mentioned which should have been? Let us know in the comments.

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Sofia Jennifer Palin

The issue isn't the audience at all. If you know a specific network or channel has the habit of canceling shows that are good and have decent ratings, people won't bother with the shows they have. The issue is that Fox invests too much in American Idol (which is failing in comparison to The Voice) and because they invest so much on what they feel will be their "cash cow" so to speak, they have this horrible habit of moving shows around and playing with the audience. Fox also demands too much. They are lucky some people bother wIth their network at all. For a network that is known to break hearts and make people red with fury because their favorite show got canceled, they sure do demand to much in ratings with every show they have. Fox just needs to straighten things out.

March 24 2012 at 7:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Daune Calovini

Wow. I knew Fox had cut a lot of shows short that I liked, but that list was pretty inclusive. And I am one of the fossils who loved Werewolf and Beans Baxter at the beginning.

From the comments, I'd add Dark Angel pretty high, for sure.

Firefly was a killer. Drive was the last straw. I've tried to not get involved with any Fox shows, since then. That's why I'm watching Lie to Me and Dollhouse on my Roku. Thank you Amazon Video!

August 18 2009 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where's Key West in that list? And although it wasn't canceled after 2 seasons, Fox executives really messed up Sliders after the 2nd season...

August 17 2009 at 5:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let's get real. Some of these shows were good, even great, while others were seriously flawed. Wonderfalls (as well as Pushing Daisies) had a manic over-the-top craziness that made it hard for the audience to connect. Others had weak central characters; John Doe had all personal memories erased (like the "puppets" in Dollhouse) and so again, nothing there for audiences to relate to. Firefly, on the other hand, was an awesome, nearly perfect show.

August 16 2009 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

besides the Dr. Who already mentioned... i also was hoping that White Dwarf TV movie would've been picked up as a series.

also missing from the list... Alien Nation. they only did 1 season and ended on a cliffhanger. they somewhat made up for that by making 5 TV movies after the fact. still doesn't excuse the original cancellation though.

i sorta hope they do something similar with Terminator ... but with theatrical movies coming out... making a TV movie based on another timeline seems incredibly unlikely.

August 16 2009 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I seem to remember watching X-Files in that same death slot for years.

"The only conclusion is that Fox is out there to kill TV shows, and they take the shows in bad faith. They just don't want the other networks to get these shows. So they take as many shows as they can, greenlight them, produce a few episodes, kill it off, and keep the rights so that it can't go anywhere else. This is their secret business model."

I'm not sure if you are being glib here or sincere. If that is what you honestly believe is happening, I'm not sure that anything I say will convince you otherwise. I can't believe that television works that way--it just isn't good business to spend so much developing and greenlighting shows and then abandoning them. In fact, FOX was so gung-ho about Dollhouse it even made it part of its fewer-commercial shows (had a catchy name but I forget it). To me that indicates they wanted it to be a hit.

For me, there are many other conclusions to reach than the secret business plan you mention, and most of them seem more logical to me. I don't like them; I wish it were otherwise, but they strike me as simpler and more in line with what little I understand about the business end of TV.

ABC is doing a lot of these same things with another show I love, Better Off Ted. What links these shows is not sci-fi, but low ratings. When a show has high ratings (Fringe, Lost) it is treated one way. When it does not (Dollhouse, BOT) it draws the short straw often as not.

August 16 2009 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Firefly is right on the money. It's too bad about some of these for sure.

August 16 2009 at 4:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Danny Smith

The Show

August 16 2009 at 3:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Danny Smith

Three words. GET A LIFE

August 16 2009 at 3:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't think family guy should have been on the list, it came back and is now a highly rated show.
He totally left off Kitchen Confidential with Bradley Cooper and Dark Angel with Jessica Alba.

August 16 2009 at 3:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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