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July 31, 2014

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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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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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Short-lived shows: Surface

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 11th 2008 2:01PM
SurfaceDon't you just hate it when you get hooked on a show and it's yanked unceremoniously off the air, leaving you hanging into infinity? Yeah, me, too. Such was the case with Surface, an alien-sea-monster-inspired drama that aired on NBC during the 2005-2006 season.

The series starred the soulful Lake Bell as Laura Daughtery, a marine biologist who encounters a strange creature on the ocean floor. She writes up her report, only to have it confiscated by the government in the name of national security.

Meanwhile, nerdy teen Miles (Carter Jenkins, whom I predict has a huge career ahead of him, though not if he keeps signing on for shows like the short-lived Viva Laughlin) stumbles across a strange egg on the beach and takes it home. Imagine his surprise when out hatches a weird amphibious creature that emits an even weirder electrical current.

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Stargate Atlantis: Doppelganger - VIDEO

by Brett Love, posted Oct 20th 2007 10:31AM
Joe Flanigan - Stargate Atlantis(S04E04) Last week, Rich commented on the previews for this episode and asked where have we seen that before? It's a fair point, because the dream device is something that has been used again and again in the sci-fi/fantasy/horror genres. I'm OK with that though. Much like episodes where we get to see two characters both narrate previous events from their own point of view, what I like about dream episodes is that they often give us a chance to see characters in a way that we wouldn't normally see them. We got a bit of that here with the evil Shepard.

Of course, the dreams weren't the only part of the episode that felt familiar. Carter made reference to when O'Neill was knocked unconscious by an energy being that took on his appearance. That's from the season one Stargate episode "Cold Lazarus." In an interview with Gateworld, writer/director/producer Robert C. Cooper called it an homage. That's a good way to put it, as you can see if you go back and look at the scene where O'Neill touches the crystal. That video is after the jump.

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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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New TV on DVD releases today

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 15th 2006 8:43AM
  • Surface3rd Rock From The Sun - Season Five
  • The Flying Nun - Second Season
  • Full House - Fourth Season
  • Hardcastle and McCormack - Second Season (Canada)
  • Hogan's Heroes - Fourth Season
  • Hong Kong Phooey - Complete Series
  • The Jeffersons - Fifth Season
  • Magilla Gorilla - Complete Series
  • Masters of Horror - Jenifer (Dario Argento)
  • Remington Steele - Seasons Four and Five
  • Rome - First Season
  • The Simpsons - Eighth Season (Maggie box and regular box)
  • Surface - Complete Series
  • The Weird Al Show - Complete Series

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The Five: Under the sea

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 29th 2006 8:02AM

The Five: Under the SeaWith the announcement that the unaired pilot of Aquaman would become a downloadable video courtesy of iTunes I began to ponder all of the television shows that took place, or featured characters that lived, under the sea. After some extensive research (about five minutes) I discovered that there weren't many. So, as a public service to you, the dedicated TV Squad reader, I present the following list of underwater shows. Please put on your wet suits.

Surface: This on the list first because it was the most recent show telecast that featured underwater creatures. Only lasting one season on NBC (despite a strong fan base) the show starred Lake Bell as an oceanographer who is attacked by an unknown life-form in the Pacific Ocean. After that initial encounter, things go a little bonkers on planet Earth, including stars falling from the sky into the water, and unknown creatures washing up on public beaches. A cliffhanger episode was aired at the end of the first season, but was left up in the air due to the show's cancellation.

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Hey, what's Carter Jenkins up to?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 30th 2006 9:27PM
Carter JenkinsIt's a shame that NBC didn't renew Surface for a second season, but that doesn't mean that Carter Jenkins is just home sitting on the couch, watching TV and eating Cheetos.

Jenkins recently costarred in the big screen comedy Keeping Up With The Steins, about competitive bar mitzvahs, and it's getting some great reviews. The movie also stars Jeremy Piven and Larry Miller. Jenkins has also filmed guest roles on House and The 4400, which will air soon.

You can read our interview with Jenkins here.

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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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Invasion going to the CW?

by Bob Sassone, posted May 14th 2006 9:50AM
Invasion There's been no official word yet (ABC unveils its new fall schedule this Tuesday), but SyFy Portal is reporting that they have heard from inside sources that Invasion will not be renewed by ABC and that the new CW network might be interested in picking it up. I wonder if this would have any effect on Supernatrual or Smallville. Nah, I'm sure there's more than enough room on the network for all three.

Whatever happens, if it turns out that Invasion sticks around for another year and Surface doesn't, I'll be pissed.

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Things I Hate About TV: TV!

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 12th 2006 2:02PM

Love MonkeyYeah, I love TV and I write about it...but boy, sometimes I just hate it.

Case in point: last week sucked for television. You can have your Olympics, but it's also the week that we saw the last episode of Arrested Development, the cancellation of Love Monkey, and the (probable) cancellation of Surface. Ugh.

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And I Quote: the best one-liners of the week

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 10th 2006 1:50PM
  • Stephen Colbert"The guy's a conversational cul-de-sac." - Tom, about Bran's boring boss, on Love Monkey.
  • "I will not be karma's bitch." - Earl, trying to take a little time off from helping people on his list, on My Name Is Earl
  • "What the hell is that?!" - Rich, to Miles about Nim in the back seat of the car, on Surface.
  • "On Monday, customs agents confiscated hundreds of pounds of cocaine and two pouds of Ecstasy aboard a Haitian freighter. But tonight's Grammy Awards still went on." - Jay Leno
  • "I ask myself that every day." - Stephen Colbert, asking an expert "Why can't people smoke where they want?" and getting the answer "Why can't people masturbate where they want?" as a reply, on The Daily Show.  

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Subtle Subtitles

by Keith McDuffee, posted Feb 10th 2006 1:34PM
Stars are back! I've given last week's winners their stars already, and I just need to go back to the other weeks' entries and add them there. Soon!

Last week's winners:

1 star to Alan: "If we keep practing I know we'll make it on 'Dancing with the Stars' next season."
2 stars to Elliott: "And thanks to Botox, you'll continue to make that face for the next few weeks. Enjoy!"
3 stars to Jason: "And then the game of "Got Your Nose!" went horribly awry..."

This week, another one from Surface, this being the season (series?) finale:

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Surface: Season Finale

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 6th 2006 9:10PM

SurfaceI like a show that doesn't BS around with dull scenes in its season finale. Right off the bat we're given the scenario: Miles and his family are packing up to escape town before the tsunami hits, Caitlin's Vespa is stolen when she arrives too late to find Miles, and she's knocked out when the crook pushes her, and Laura steals a rental car from the airport and blows by a road block to find Rich, who has been locked in a room at the mysterious lab. (And what is Jackson's name and pic doing on the lab's computers? Section Chief?!?)

Here we go!

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What's on tonight: new Surface, 24, Skating, Bachelor, Alex

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 30th 2006 4:12PM
  • Kiefer Sutherland - 24NBC has a new Surface (check out my interview with Carter Jenkins) at 8pm, followed by repeats of Las Vegas and Medium.
  • ABC has a new Wife Swap, followed by In Style Celebrity Weddings and a new The Bachelor.
  • CBS has a mix of repeats and new: a repeat King of Queens at 8, followed by a repeat How I Met Your Mother, a repeat Two and a Half Men, and then new eps of Courting Alex and CSI: Miami.
  • FOX has a new Skating With Celebrities, followed by a new 24.
  • 7th Heaven is new on the WB at 8, followed by a new Related.
  • Still more repeats from UPN: One on One, All of Us, Girlfriends, and Half & Half.
  • Also at 8: a new Wildfire on ABC Family, and AMC has National Lampoon's Animal House
  • At 9, a new Unwrapped on Food Network, "Fiery Foods."  
  • Hallmark has the movie A Simple Twist of Fate, with Steve Martin, Gabriel Byrne, and Laura Linney. It's on at 9 too. 
  • Also at 9: the debut of the A&E movie Flight 93.  
  • At 10, Discovery has a new American Chopper, followed by a new Roush Racing: Driver X
  • Also at 10: HBO2 has Phantom of the Opera.
  • Do you miss the short-lived Law and Order spinoff, Trial By Jury? Catch a repeat on Court TV at 11.
  • PBS has a new Tavis Smiley, with guest Newt Gingrich. Check local listings.
  • At midnight, the Travel Channel has a Winter Olympics special, Torino 2006: The Traveler's Guide.  

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