Canceled Too Soon

Why is it that all my shows get canceled early? I get hooked on a series and then... poof! Canceled!

Okay, so I can deal with the announcement that Heroes isn't coming back, as I missed watching the last half of the 3rd season (I blame I Love Money 2) and only saw the first a handful of the episodes of the beginning of season 4 due to starting Mary Kay and doing my girls thing Monday nights (not to mention this season was going really slow - I missed several weeks, came back and it was like I didn't miss anything!).

And I can understand Pitchmen too, as well, Billy Mays died and a show with just Sully would be kinda boring, as it was the dynamic of the 2 of them that made the show work - Billy would often take over and Sully would have to take him down a few notches. 

But the rest... so annoying!


I loved Freaks and Geeks - it's on several best shows of all-time lists -  but unfortunately it only saw one season due to its time slot getting jerked around resulting in low ratings. First it was on Saturday nights for a few weeks, then it was off for 3 weeks due to the World Series airing. Then it came back for a few weeks and then disappeared for the holidays and didn't come back til almost Spring and was now suddenly on Monday nights where it stayed for a few weeks til it got pulled and then canceled, with several of the last episodes airing in the summer to give some closure while 3 other episodes weren't aired until it was in syndication. Fortunately it's all on DVD in a box set, so I can watch them all at my leisure.

For those unfamilar with the short-lived series, it aired during the 1999-2000 tv season, and followed Lindsay and Sam Weir - teenage siblings in high school in the early 1980s. Lindsay (Linda Cardellini), a Junior, has been acting strange since her grandma died just prior to the start of the series and instead of being smart good girl she was, she starts hanging around with the school's burnouts (or Freaks), which included Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jason Segal and Busy Phillips. Her younger brother Sam (John Francis Daley) is a freshman at the school and a total geek who, with his friends played by Samm Levine and Martin Starr, strives to just fit in and survive the torment they get.

This show had it all - a story and plot that was relatable to its fans, early 80s nostalgia references galore (Sam and buddies are huge into all things geeky, from Steve Martin to Star Wars and more), the music is just great, really adding to the time period the series takes place (the Freaks are big into 70s/80s rock - one gets really depressed the day he learns John Bonham died), and it had a great list of guest stars: Thomas F. Williams (aka Biff from the Back to the Future trilogy) as the school's gym teacher and athletic coach, Leslie Mann as faculty member Mrs. Foote,  Ben Foster as the mentally handicapped Eli, Rashida Jones as Sam's (and later Kim's) nemesis Karen, as well as smaller roles by Ben Stiller, Lizzy Caplan, Shia LeBeouf, Allen Covert, Joel Hodgson, and Jason Schwartzman just to name a few!

Another show I loved that got canceled due to ratings was - Pushing Daisies.


Although to be fair, this was one where the Writer's Strike really screwed it over, as it interrupted the first season after it was renewed for a second. For some reason though, ABC did little to no advertising or marketing for the second season, which led to it's lack of ratings and mid-season cancellation. I don't get why either, as they marketed heavily for the first season - working at the theater, there was a trailer for it that aired for several weeks during the movie preshow - that was how I learned about it!

For those unfamiliar with this one, it follows around Ned (Lee Pace), a simple pie-maker with a gift - with the touch of his finger he can bring the dead back to life. However, if he touches them ever again, they die for good and he cannot raise them again. Also, if he leaves them alive for more than a minute, something or someone must die in their place. On to his "ability" is P.I. Emerson Cod (Chi McBride), who enlists Ned to help him with his cases for a cut of the reward - in order to solve the "who dun it" Ned touches the deceased and asks who and/or what they remember before they died to set Emerson on the right path.

However, in the first episode, they stumble on a case where the deceased is Ned's childhood best friend and crush Charlotte Charles aka Chuck (Anna Friel), in which after bringing her back to life, he can't bare to touch her again and send to her final death. Explaining the situation to her, she joins Ned at his pie shop (The Pie Hole) and hides out there in order to avoid her aunts (Ellen Greene and Swoosie Kurtz) who were devastated when they found out she died and she can't bare to make them think she faked her death as they would blame themselves for it. Rounding out the cast is Ned's waitress at The Pie Hold, Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth), who has an unrequited love for Ned and gets more and more jealous the more time she sees Ned spending with Chuck (despite not being able to touch, they get creative and genius with cute and clever ways to kiss and hold hands!).

This show was cute, clever and quirky. It blended the mystery genre with the fantasy genre and had a blend of comedy and cute romance. It also has a fairytale vibe to it thanks to narrator Jim Dale.

It also had some great guest stars: Paul Reubens (aka PeeWee Herman) in a minor reoccuring role, Glee's Jayma Mays, The Soup's Joel McHale, Molly Shannon, French Stewart, Rachael Harris, David Arquette, Fred Willard, Stephen Root, Paul F. Tompkins, and Orlando Jones among many others.

http://souljacker.tarad.com/shop/s/souljacker/img-lib/spd_20080410164340_b.jpgAnother short-lived series that I really started to get into was Dirt, which starred Courtney Cox and aired on FX for 2 short seasons. Cox starred as gritty tabloid magazine editor-in-chief Lucy Spiller. This was another that got affected by the Writer's Strike though, as only 7 episodes were made for the 2nd season despite 13 being ordered.

I missed a lot of the first season, but I remember watching the second season, as one of the plot lines was inspired by Britney Spears' relationship with a paparazzi photographer - on the show, this singer shaves her head after a publicized divorce where she learns the only reason her ex married her was to divorce her and talk half her fortune. One of Dirt's photographers is order to become the singer's personal photographer and he ends up befriending her during her rough patch, however learning about this, Lucy makes the photographer get closer in order exploit the singer's problems, much to his dismay as he really does care about the girl.

It was dark and edgy and was canceled due to low ratings after being moved to a competitive time slot, the reasoning being that it never really found its target audience.

Also last summer, the VH1 reality show "Megan Wants a Millionaire" starring reality TV "famewhore" Megan Hauserman (from Beauty and the Geek 3, Rock of Love 2, I Love Money, and Rock of Love Charm School) along with her reality show friends Brandi C. (whom she met on I Love Money) and Cecille (also from Beauty and the Geek 3).

The show, spawned from the comment Megan made in Charm School where her goal in life was to become a "trophy wife," consisted of wealthy men (who all had an individual net worth of at least $1M) vying for the heart of this unashamed gold-digger. In addition to regular challenges to win dates with her, the date attendees could purchase lavish gifts to give her in order to win her over. I thought this whole premise was just hilarious and genius - I couldn't help but watch!

Unfortunately, it was canceled and pulled after 3 episodes aired, as one of the contestants - Ryan Jenkins - was wanted by authorities for suspicion of brutally murdering of his newlywed model wife Jasmine Fiore, whom he met soon after the taping of the show and married days later. After nearly a week of looking for him, he was found dead in a hotel room where he hung himself. Rumor is that he made to the top 3 in the show - he was also nicknamed as a Smooth Operator, as he always knew what to say and do. He was also on I Love Money 3 and rumored to have won, so that show was also canceled before it ever aired, as was I Love Money 4.

And the most recent show I watched to fall victim to early cancellation...

10 Things I Hate About You, the TV series.

I know, I know - it wasn't THAT great of a show, although rather than be a spin-off, the only things it has in common with the hit movie from my teenage years are the character names, the basic premise, and the name of the show... oh and it has the same dad from the movie too, playing his character just like he did in the movie which proves to be quite hilarious at times! It's more of a re-imaging of the movie condensed into 20 30-minute episodes. It does take nods to the original though in some episodes - Bianca getting Patrick to take Kat to a dance so she can go, as dad won't let her unless Kat goes too, as well as the party where Kat gets drunk and makes a fool of herself in front of everyone.

It was an end of summer guilty pleasure show that got green-lit for a full season, but then canceled due to low ratings when it (quietly) returned in the spring.

In this version, Kat and Bianca just moved to California from Ohio and trying to fit in at their new school (in the movie, Cameron was the new kid at school, while Kat and Bianca were already there). Big sis Kat stands out as an angsty independent feminist (To be honest, I like Lindsay Shaw's portrayal of Kat better than that of Julia Stiles. While Stiles has the whole hippie-feminist part down, Shaw's brunette Kat is more aggressive and angsty). Bianca's goal is to become popular and a cheerleader.

Initially, unlike in the movie, Bianca and Chastity (the head cheerleader) are rivals, as Chastity is basically a stuck-up bitch and originally makes Bianca the school mascot when she first tries out for the team. Instead of being a sleazy d-bag like he is in the movie, the TV Joey Donner is a total airhead as the popular football player and an aspiring model who first dates Chastity but after Bianca helps him in Chemistry starts falling for her as she does him. TV Cameron is a lot more awkward than his movie counterpart (I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Cameron better!) - he instantly falls for Bianca but follows her around like a puppy dog at first, serving as her male best friend (in which Bianca mistakes him for being gay and begins calling him her GBF - gay best friend). Patrick Verona is basically the same, aside from looks - he's a dark mysterious guy, often getting into trouble, who basically has a constant on-again, off-again relationship with Kat.

I'm curious as to what show I'm going to get hooked on next that will get canceled.


  1. Don't forget what FOX keeps doing to Joss Whedon! Firefly and Dollhouse. Both cut down in their prime. Last summer's series Defying Gravity was really good, too. I still mourn the loss.

    I also loved Freaks and Geeks and Pushing Daisies. I was so sad when they were taken off the air. Never really watched the other shows you've listed.

    And I suppose there is always hope, as Comedy Central got permission to resurrect Futurama! New episodes start in June!!

  2. I miss Dollhouse. I actually never saw it on TV but I started watching it on Netflix and it was pretty good. I can't wait for the second season to come out on DVD so that I can watch the end of it.

  3. I checked out of Heroes at the end of the third season. I figured that I heard the fourth season got any better, I could catch up online or DVD or something. So I'm not sorry it got canceled, I'm just sorry that it didn't keep up the quality it had in its first season.

    I haven't watched Freaks and Geeks, but everyone says it's great. Considering where some of the people involved in it are now (e.g. Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, James Franco), it's kind of hard to believe it wasn't a hit. Maybe it was before its time. Some day I'll try to watch it. Considering its premature cancellation, it wouldn't take too much time...

    Oh, I so miss Pushing Daisies! You're right, it got totally screwed over by the writer's strike, and by ABC's handling of it after the strike. It's such a shame, since the show was so funny and unique and smart and delightful.

    And I, too, miss Firefly and Dollhouse. Especially Firefly, which didn't even get a full season. So tragic.

  4. freaks and geeks was completely awesome and i shall mourn that it never got any further forever. other cancelled too soons for me include sports night and studio 60 on the sunset strip. *tear*.

  5. I stopped watching heroes mid 3rd season but was obsessed with the first one.

    Dollhouse and Firefly was irritating to me.

    Same with Dark Angel.

  6. I miss Firefly and Arrested Development :(

    I looooove Freaks and Geeks. I own it too so I re-watch it ALL the time. Actually, I'm in the middle of the season right now!

  7. ABC has cut Legend of the Seeker. I am pissed. Firefly was also a wonderful show. TV exes are assholes. I wish there was a tv network that played all the cancelled TV shows under one roof. It would make $$.

  8. @Lady Mel
    You are a bloody brilliant genius! How has no one ever thought of that before? :) If only some benevolent billionaire would start one...

  9. oooh that IS an awesome idea!!


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