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October 9, 2015

Hardly Knew You: The Short-Lived Shows of 2010

by Rich Keller, posted Dec 20th 2010 5:40PM
'Lone Star,' which garnered huge pre-season buzz, was cancled by FOX after only two episodes.Not everything is a long-running classic in the fickle world that is television. You may feel that your show has the right mix of acting, writing and directing to be a favorite for indefinite first-run and syndicated airings, but the viewers may have other ideas.

And when that happens, your show could disappear before the cover art is even dry for the complete series DVD set.

The year 2010 had no shortage of these short timers. In fact, the 2010-2011 season has already seen not one, not two but three series that bowed out after only two episodes. This, despite long-promoted hype and pre-season buzz. Mentioned here are the 2010 programs that had shorter runs than the presidency of William Henry Harrison.

'Lone Star' (Fox)
Premiered: Sept. 20
Last Aired: Sept. 27
Status: Canceled

Normally, cancellation of a new show on FOX isn't a big deal. However, when the show is canceled after only two episodes after being declared one of the best of the season before it even aired, it's somewhat bigger news. Despite the huge praise and a cast that included David Keith and Jon Voight, the subject matter and characters of 'Lone Star' didn't mesh with viewers.

Another buzz-worthy entry of the 2010-11 season, 'My Generation' was dropped after two episodes.'My Generation' (ABC)
Premiered: Sept. 22
Last Aired: Sept. 30
Status: Canceled

Fox isn't the only network that uses the cancellation ax when it sees a show tumble in the ratings. After the documentary-style scripted drama 'My Generation' plummeted 31 percent after its premiere, the network decided to put the show out of its misery after only two episodes. The remaining four episodes of the show will probably never be seen unless a series marathon airs some weekend on one of the cable networks.

'The Hasselhoffs' (A&E)
Premiered: Dec. 5
Last Aired: Dec. 5
Status: Shelved (According to the network)

What's worse than having your show removed from the air after only two episodes? Having it removed from the air after one. Such was the case with A&E's reality series 'The Hasselhoffs,' which was shelved by the network after the first two episodes premiered to dismal ratings. While the network says the show isn't canceled, the fact the first two episodes only garnered an average of 611,000 viewers will probably keep it off the air.

Though an interesting concept, 'Past Life' floundered on the schedule until dropped with unaired episodes.'Past Life' (Fox)
Premiered: Feb. 9
Last Aired: June 4
Status: Canceled, with unaired episodes

Fox has a problem. While it's great at maintaining the popularity of its existing series, it has the hardest time finding interest in its new ventures. Take 'Past Life,' for example. Though the concept was interesting -- solving modern day crimes with clues from past lives -- the show wasn't. After only three episodes, it was yanked off the schedule and two additional installments were burned off in late spring before Fox ended the show's misery.

'Romantically Challenged' (ABC)
Premiered: April 19
Last Aired: May 16
Status: Canceled

Alyssa Milano deserves a show of her own. Unfortunately, 'Romantically Challenged' was not it. The producers should have realized it was doomed from the start when ABC reduced the episode order from 13 to just seven. 'Romantically Challenged' never really caught on with the viewers, despite its premiere right after 'Dancing With the Stars,' and ended after airing only four of its completed six episodes.

'The Deep End' (ABC)
Premiered: Jan. 21
Last Aired: Feb. 25
Status: Canceled

When creators describe their show as a combination of two different hit shows, people have to be concerned about its originality. With the legal drama 'The Deep End,' which creators said was a combination of 'L.A. Law' and 'Grey's Anatomy,' those concerns were merited as critics and viewers described the lack of new material as the reason they weren't watching this series about five recent law school graduates. Only six episodes were ordered of 'The Deep End' and the series was canceled in May.

Once 'Outlaw' was moved to Saturday nights, its cancellation was imminent.'Outlaw' (NBC)
Premiered: Sept. 10
Last Aired: Nov. 13
Status: Canceled

Moving a show from Friday to Saturday nights can only mean one thing in the modern world of television: cancellation. That's what happened to the Jimmy Smits' legal drama 'Outlaw.' After being put on production hiatus, the network moved the show from its regular time slot to Saturday night, dealing the show a death blow after only 8 episodes.

'High Society' and 'Fly Girls'(CW)
Premiered: March 10 and March 24
Last Aired: April 28; May 5
Status: Canceled

The reality series 'High Society,' following the life of a Manhattan socialite and her friends, holds a dubious honor: It was the least watched show during the 2009-2010 season, averaging only 800,000 viewers per episode. 'Fly Girls,' the reality series that focused on Virgin American Airlines flight attendants, didn't do much better. However, it was named as a stronger lead-in for 'High Society.'

Though boasting a cast that included Rob Morrow and Maura Tierney, 'The Whole Truth' failed to gain viewers.'The Whole Truth' (ABC)
Premiered: Sept. 22
Last Aired: Dec. 1
Status: Canceled, with remaining episodes

Chalk this one up to irony. When the new season debuted, 'The Whole Truth,' a legal drama starring Rob Morrow and Maura Tierney, was pitted against the CBS legal drama 'The Defenders,' starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell. The winner? The series starring the former lead on the much maligned 'What About Jim?' and the former child actor who's had a bit of bad series luck over the last few years. ABC was so disinterested in 'The Whole Truth' that the series finale, which has completed filming, may never see the light of day.

'Running Wilde' (FOX)
Premiered: Sept. 21
Last Aired: Dec. 7
Status: Canceled, with remaining episodes

It seems love for fan and critical favorite 'Arrested Development' can only go so far. Though starring 'AD' alum Will Arnett and created by Mitch Hurwitz, the romantic comedy was plagued by problems since the pilot and never really caught on with viewers. Even casting former 'Felicity' star Keri Russell as Arnett's romantic foil didn't draw in the audiences. Most likely, the remaining five episodes of the series will be added to the complete DVD set. Shortly after that release, rumors of a 'Running Wilde' movie will begin.

Despite praise of the show's diversity, NBC's 'Undercovers' only lasted a few months.'Undercovers' (NBC)
Premiered: Sept. 22
Last Aired: Dec. 29
Status: Canceled

Even J.J. Abrams can produce a clunker once in awhile. Though it generated a good deal of buzz during last May's upfronts, especially with the racial diversity of its cast, the show never used that momentum to push its ratings higher. Right now, the remaining two episodes of the series will air during the Christmas break. However, that decision could be reversed at any time.

'Miami Medical' (CBS)
Premiered: April 2
Last Aired: July 2
Status: Canceled

A canceled series that completed its 13-episode commitment ... it's a miracle! This medical drama focused on a team of Miami trauma surgeons who had 60 minutes -- the golden hour -- to save the life of a critically injured patient. With no room left for a new medical procedural, let alone a new procedural in general, CBS canceled the series.

While a hit over the summer, 'The Good Guys' couldn't keep the momentum during the fall.'The Good Guys' (FOX)
Premiered: May 19
Last Aired: Dec. 10
Status: Recently Canceled

Just under the wire comes the following Fox entry; the fourth short-run series for the network in 2010. While it started off as a promising summer series featuring Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks, the buddy cop comedy faltered during its fall run. After only 20 episodes, the series was canceled one week before Christmas.

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Usually, the "shortest lived shows" for any given year has at least two shows I will miss. Not this year.
Though I still think "Undercovers" could have been a break out hit if the writing was freshened up and the couple given more excitement (it got so boring so fast it was awful. I really wanted this show to do well, as it filled a gap when the 'season' ended for "Covert Affairs".)I was very disappointed when it fell flat. Did they allow stodgy old college professors to write the episodes? Felt like it.

December 21 2010 at 8:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to argue that the Good Guys faltered when moved to the fall schedule. It underperformed all summer too. It got heavily spanked by reruns, which was why the less expectations of a Friday night were a blessing; that turned into a curse by coming in last there too.

December 21 2010 at 7:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Muir

Rubicon and Terriers are the shows I'll miss most from this season. Both great shows, IMO.

December 21 2010 at 2:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pat Keenan

terriers was amazing... which of course meant that nobody watched it.

December 20 2010 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Ott

The shortest-lived show of 2010 to me, had to be
Cartoon Network's last hurrah with The Looney Tunes
Show. I thought this ressurection of the classic
cartoons was going to be perminant after they ran
2 big Looney Tunes Marathons on CN in 2008 & 2009.
However, that didn't get to happen, and The New
Looney Tunes Show, it was gone quicker than a stork's
hiccup, because everyone owns their DVD collections.
Cartoon Network's new slogan is "The Biggest Place
For Kids"? The Boringest Place For Kids is more like
it, because even with a new Foster's Home movie, and
a possible series return to syndication, they still
couldn't resurrect The Powerpuff Girls as a series?
For 8 years, that was my favorite cartoon on CN, and
they took it away in 2004. Please, CN, BRING IT BACK!

December 20 2010 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What about "Persons Unknown"? I still want my 13 hours of watching that back. It was promoted as a summer mini-series and ended more like a season 1 cliff hanger.

December 20 2010 at 9:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved Good Guys. It will be missed.

December 20 2010 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Um....what about Terriers?

December 20 2010 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Undercovers was enjoyable and certainly as good as many shows that are on for years, so it's hard to understand why it didn't do better. The cancellation of The Good Guys is very, very disappointing, however. Funny, quirky, and certainly not a clone of anything else that's on television, it will be missed.

December 20 2010 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A real shame about The Good Guys. I really enjoyed the show. I'm glad that FOX did air the entire season instead of cutting it short. The Good Guys seems like it would have fit better with the USA Network and maybe would have done really well airing after Psych.

December 20 2010 at 6:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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