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October 8, 2015


Gone Too Soon: Invasion

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 30th 2009 5:01PM
After the breakout success of Lost in 2004, the following year saw three big-budget attempts at science fiction series with dense continuity. Unfortunately, it also saw those three series ultimately fail to hang on to their viewers, through internal problems or network mismanagement, and fans were left with three frustrating cliffhangers.

While they were allowed to complete more episodes than many series that followed them, I suspect this trinity of cancellations is a big reason current TV viewers are nervous about jumping on board complex shows with intricate continuity and details.

I watched Surface, Threshold and Invasion that season, but always found myself much more involved with the stories and drama unfolding on the latter of the three. Despite Katrina-related sensitivity due to its hurricane-themed opening, Invasion did an amazing job of building tension during a possible alien infiltration. V could learn a thing or two from this show.

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12 Sci-Fi Shows That Were Canceled Too Soon

by Bryan Enk, posted Nov 14th 2009 1:15PM
Joss Whedon has become something of a tortured artist since 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' ended its highly successful seven-season run in 2003. Since Sunnydale was destroyed and 'Angel' got pulled right when it was finding its own identity post-'Buffy,' Whedon has yet to find another long-running hit. It's still hard to believe that a show as great as 'Firefly' only lasted one season!

Whedon's bad luck continues with the recent announcement that Fox is pulling the plug on 'Dollhouse,' a series that had enough of a following -- and potential -- to warrant another season. Would 'Dollhouse' have really hit its stride further down the road? We'll never know. Here are some other sci-fi television series that met their makers too soon.

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What's the greatest short-lived show of all-time?

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 24th 2009 3:03PM
Brisco and CometWe've talked a lot about great short-lived shows here at TV Squad. We even have a whole category for them. But it's always good to revisit the topic to see what you readers think.

Over at Entertainment Weekly, they've chosen the 25 great TV shows that got a quick hook, the shows that got canceled (way) before their time (we're talking really short runs, so Arrested Development and Sports Night aren't on the list). There are several shows on the list that you would expect to see (Freaks and Geeks, My So-Called Life, Firefly), some surprise entries that made me happy to see on there (The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr, Frank's Place, Karen Sisco, Now & Again), and a few head-scratchers (Malibu Road? Really?). It's slightly heavy on the current side, with Journeyman and Life on Mars on the list. I mean, Life on Mars is still running new episodes.

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Ten unfinished sci fi/fantasy series ... and I'm dying for resolution

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 12th 2008 11:01AM
VSure Lost is a bona fide hit, but who remembers Invasion? In fact, none of the sci fi series premiering that year (Surface and Threshold) made it beyond a single season. And yet, as Brad reported, ABC is developing The Return, a series focusing on how the world handles an "alien landing." You know, like the classic V mini-series of the '80s. In fact, the last episode of V: The Series was called "The Return." Maybe this is a secret code name for the long teased V return!

But that announcement got me thinking about all those sci fi and fantasy shows that never finish on television. It's a phenomenon us long-time science fiction/fantasy fans have learned to live with. We jump on any new genre show on television hoping against hope that the ratings will be strong enough that we'll get the whole story. Alas, we know that more often than not the plug will be pulled mid-stream and we'll be left wanting. And for every Joss Whedon who continues Buffy and Angel in comics, there are tons more who don't.

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My Top 10 list is better than Sci Fi Wire's

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 8th 2008 11:04AM
Earth 2Let's face it, science fiction on television is always a challenge, and more often than not, these series fail to find a big enough audience to stick around. That's why the year after Lost hit it big on just minor sci-fi elements, we had three ratings flops at once with Invasion, Threshold and Surface. And all three were good, for different reasons. So my question is why did none of them make Sci Fi Wire's list of the top 10 sci fi shows canceled too soon? Because Sci-Fi Wire liked Eerie, Indiana better!

Seriously though, while there were some good elements in their list, and I absolutely agree with their number one choice, there were some real problems and omissions as well. Wonderfalls ranked way too high and Homeboys in Outer Space didn't even make the list? Outrageous! So I've taken it upon myself to make my own list of The Top 10 Sci Fi Short-Lived Sci-Fi Shows That Weren't Pulitzer Worthy But Went Great With Popcorn. And I intentionally didn't include any of the shows on their list, because I'm acting like a spoiled brat and I don't want to play with their toys.

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Short-Lived Shows: Invasion - VIDEO

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 10th 2008 2:14PM
InvasionInvasion aired for one season from 2005-2006. Check out Jonathan Toomey's great reviewcaps here.

Along with Surface, Invasion was one of my favorite new shows that season, with each episode getting better and better. By the series finale, I was hooked. I'm still miffed that ABC didn't give it more time to flesh out the story and characters.

Incorporating a sci-fi-alien mystery, a government conspiracy, and plenty of family drama, Invasion had a built-in audience because it aired directly after another sci-fi mystery, Lost. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep the series on the air.

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NBC's version of The IT Crowd could be dead already

by Brett Love, posted Sep 14th 2007 8:01PM
The IT Crowd"Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

It would appear that the adaptation of UK sit-com The IT Crowd might need more than Roy's famous reboot fix. According to reports, NBC is set to pull the plug on the midseason comedy. If you haven't been playing along at home, the show is to be a joint production between Universal Media Studios and Freemantle Media. It's an ensemble comedy, set in an IT department, starring Joel McHale (The Soup) and Rocky Carroll (Invasion).

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24 guest star Shanks unloads sexy spoilers

by Meredith O'Brien, posted Apr 17th 2007 8:03PM

Michael Shanks*Spoilers ahead for future 24 episodes. Fair warning.*

Stargate: SG-1 star Michael Shanks, who's going to be featured in a 24 multi-episode arc, has not only been busy filming hot and heavy scenes with the Invasion mom (Kari Matchett) who plays the vice president's assistant, but he's been blabbing about his character's story.

According to Zap2it, Shanks will play Washington lobbyist Mark Bishop who is the "love interest" for VP aide Lisa Williams . . . the one who was getting her hand and face caressed by the creepy vice president, Noah Daniels, in hour 18. Shanks, who said he just started watching Jack Bauer & Co. this season, said he and Matchett have filmed "sexy stuff" that is "unusual for 24."

Great. Another love triangle. Just what 24 is famous for, right? First there was Chloe-Morris-Milo. Then Jack-Graem-Marilyn. Followed by Doyle-Nadia-Milo. And now the love triangle disease is going to spread to D.C. with Daniels-Williams-Bishop? What's next, Buchanan-Hayes-Lennox and other law firm sounding combos?

[Via the Arizona Republic.]

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Day Break: What If Nobody Watched?

by Brett Love, posted Dec 16th 2006 10:02AM
Taye DiggsSadly, that's the case over at ABC. Try as they might, and for reasons I don't quite get, people just don't want to watch this show. I've posted about the slide in the ratings before, and it continued this week. After garnering their lowest 18-49 numbers yet, ABC has pulled the show, with plans for the remaining episodes to be shown on ABC.com. Or, on DVD for those of you that are going to be screwed by that whole geography thing. To add insult to injury, the Wednesday schedule will be filled with repeats of George Lopez and According to Jim until the new schedule starts in January.

I think this has to signal a change at the networks. The big serial drama experiment is now officially a failure. With Surface and Invasion failing to get a second season, and now Smith, Kidnapped, The Nine, Six Degrees, and Day Break all failing to finish one, I think we can look for the networks to try something different next season. And hey, if Diggs really wants to be on a hit show, they're still casting for the next Dancing with the Stars, right?... Too soon?

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Screw the hiatus, bring back Lost now

by Brett Love, posted Nov 24th 2006 4:30PM
lostThere has been much chatter about ABC's somewhat unconventional scheduling of Lost this season. In an effort to avoid a repeat filled schedule, they have split the season into two parts, handing off the time slot to Day Break for three months in the middle. While they will tell you it was because of outcry from the fans, the cynic in me thinks that the fact that Lost doesn't repeat well had something to do with it.

Either way, it's not working. Rather, it's really not working. Day Break premiered with a somewhat disappointing 11 million viewers, despite having the Dancing with the Stars finale drop 27 million sets of eyeballs on their doorstep. But 11 million sounds just grand compared to this week. With the dancing shoes stowed away for the foreseeable future, Captain Kirk's Show Me The Money is delivering just under 8 million viewers as the lead in. And Wednesday, Day Break only managed to hang on to 5.12 million of them. 5 million? The worst repeat of Lost would never approach 5 million viewers.

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The Five: Your questions answered

by Richard Keller, posted Nov 2nd 2006 10:00AM

The cast of USA Network's PsychI know that we already have a 'Ask TV Squad' category to answer questions from our beautiful and intelligent readers, but that is usually meant for one question at a time. In this episode of 'The Five' I'd like to reply to a number of questions that have come to us over the last few weeks. So, without further ado . . .

1. Steph writes 'Please help! Is Psych canceled? I just discovered it and I've only seen reruns.'

Fear not, dear Steph. Psych is just taking a mid-season break, which is normal for cable shows to do. The USA Network comedy, which stars James Roday, Dule Hill and Corbin Bernsen, returns with new episodes in January of 2007.

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New TV on DVD releases today

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 22nd 2006 8:39AM
  • Threshold DVDThe Bill Cosby Show - Season One
  • A Bit of Fry and Laurie - Season One and Season Two
  • Blue Thunder - Complete Series
  • Conviction - Complete Series
  • House - Season Two
  • Invasion - Complete Series
  • Threshold - Complete Series
  • Veronica Mars - Second Season

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Fichtner joins cast of Prison Break

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 20th 2006 12:35PM

William FichtnerIn other news, fans of Invasion were heard whimpering tiny little cries of despair. I started to anyway, but then I got over it. As if fans of ABC's now canceled Invasion hadn't been dragged around enough about the status of the show's future, this definitely counts as the final nail in the coffin.

Yesterday, Kristin over at E! reported that William Fichtner has been cast in FOX's second season of Prison Break as the federal marshal tasked to hunt down Michael, Lincoln, Abruzzi, and the rest of their merry gang of fugitives. I have to say that I'm actually pretty pleased about this. I think Fichtner is a great actor and he'll fit in fine with the rest of the cast down in Dallas.

Of course, this officially means that we'll never find out what happened to Larkin after Tom threw her in the water during the Invasion season series finale. Boo to that.

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Ma and Pa America: They canceled what?!?

by Jonathan Toomey, posted May 28th 2006 6:53PM

American GothicI came home this weekend to see my folks for Memorial Day (which coincidentally means that I've eaten an unhealthy amount of food and it's only Sunday afternoon) and we got into a pretty interesting conversation about TV. For starters, neither of them knew what "the upfronts" were and I suppose it makes sense. If I didn't follow television as much as I do, I probably wouldn't know what the upfronts were either. Moreover, I would most likely have had the same question my mother had: "Why do they call it the upfronts?" I'm not 100% sure, but I think it has something to do with the fact that ad-space is being presented to advertisers "up front" and if they sit on it, they may not be able to get the spots they want at a later date.

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I'm suffering from the post-upfront blahs

by Joel Keller, posted May 19th 2006 6:33PM
Count Blah from Greg the BunnyThis time of year is intense, isn't it? Between all the season finales, all the series finales, and the network upfronts, it's a wonder that people who love TV, and the people who write about TV, get any sleep at all. Heck, we even got a Presidential address thrown in for good measure. It's like we're accountants and it's the two weeks leading up to April 15; lots of late nights, emotional outbursts, and severe negotiations, leaving us emotionally exhausted.

But it's just about over. Even as it is, I feel like I'm coming down from the high. Why? Because the upfronts are over; all five networks have given us a look at their fall schedules, and we finally get to find out what's in and what's out (good news for Veronica Mars fans, bad news for Invasion fans). So right now I'm just feeling a bit spent. And completely uncreative. I couldn't think of one thing to write today because of it. If anyone has any ideas for me to get my mojo back, let me know in the comments.

(By the way, the picture is of Count Blah from Greg The Bunny. Best way I could represent the concept of blah. Blah.)

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