Monday, October 06, 2014

Shows That Ended Too Soon




All of these seem to share a similar trait or two--they were quirky, character-driven, smart shows. Now THE DAYS AND NIGHTS OF MOLLY DODD was on for a longer run, but it was one of those shows that got shifted around.
The rest were on for only two years--too soon to pull a plug in my mind. It is possible LIFE ON MARS was never meant to run longer but boy, did I love that one.
There are many, many more I could list. But you list them instead. What ended too soon or didn't get a fair chance?






30 comments:

Todd Mason said...

You'll have me repeating myself. ONCE AND AGAIN and RELATIVITY, of course, and JOURNEYMAN and THE MIDDLEMAN. THRILLER (hosted by Boris Karloff) and its sibling production 87th PRECINCT. LIFE (about the two cops whose department has it in for them) and KIDNAPPED. FRANK'S PLACE and despite a number of poorly-supported seasons, WKRP IN CINCINNATI. SONS AND DAUGHTERS (the partially improv sitcom) and SAMANTHA WHO? and THE MINOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF JACKIE WOODMAN. PEACEMAKERS and DEADWOOD. We certainly could've used more of TRYING TIMES, the PBS sitcom anthology, and the likes of PBS HOLLYWOOD THEATER and THE HUNTRESS (with Annette O'Toole, Jordana Spiro and James Remar). ABC, when not canceling decent sitcoms such as HELP ME HELP YOU out of hand, was doing similarly to such fine Elmore Leonard-derived series as KAREN SISCO and MAXIMUM BOB. NYPD, probably, the 1960s procedural...likewise THE TRIALS OF O'BRIEN and SLATTERY'S PEOPLE. (and, more famously, EAST SIDE/WEST SIDE). I've been watching some BUS STOPs recently, and this late altho (early-mid '60s) was pretty solid and strangled in its crib. Obvious political hit-jobs such as THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR and LOU GRANT. More will occur to me, I'm sure.

Todd Mason said...

Antho, not altho. Alpo is what they made of it.

Bill Crider said...

Certainly agree about TERRIERS. And I've been talking recently to someone about EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE. A great show. Heck, I still regret that HE AND SHE was cancelled.

Randy Johnson said...

Terriers is the only one that comes to mind. Of course it;s a show that I watched. All those others you mention I never saw anyway.

Anonymous said...

Among recent shows the one that comes up frequently here is IN PLAIN SIGHT. Let's just say USA has kept on a lot worse stuff while canceling this.

I know Bill was a proponent of TERRIERS but...meh. Didn't really work for me.

Most of the others listed so far were either things i never watched or shows that I thought were OK (like MAXIMUM BOB) but not outstanding enough to mourn their loss.

LIFE was an exception. I would have liked to see another series of that, though I doubt they ever would have wrapped up the mystery.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

DEADWOOD for sure and FRANK'S PLACE I think a new version of HE AND SHE would be great! Never saw IN PLAIN SIGHT.

Todd Mason said...

I thought IN PLAIN SIGHT pleasant, unextraordinary in turn, with some better episodes. Mary McCormack is both game and striking, rather as if she was the economy sized version of Maria Bello. One oft he producers was in my Honolulu high-school homeroom, and we were at the University of Hawaii together for a stretch.

Todd Mason said...

I had forgotten McCormack was in MURDER ONE, one of the better Bochco series. Rather good in both seasons, and a candidate here.

Todd Mason said...

Can't imagine you'll disagree with your old childhood favorite MY WORLD AND WELCOME TO IT, Patti. I've recently watched the entire run of EYES on YouTube (it's a short run) and that one also deserved better treatment from the quick trigger fingers at ABC. Dipping into the 1970s finally, an obvious example is HARRY O, and another is ELLERY QUEEN...which puts the most recent version of NERO WOLFE in mind. And since that was on A&E, LONGMIRE, too.

Todd Mason said...

Fox series: WONDERFALLS, FIREFLY, VR5, THE GOOD GUYS, I'll even suggest AGAINST THE LAW deserved more of a shot than it received (one of the first series they ran).

Anonymous said...

McCormack was the major reason to watch. And as my wife points out, it did run 5-6 years.

Jackie added her list:

KING & MAXWELL (canceled by TNT after one season; yet the kept the cartoonish FRANKIN & BASH)
ALMOST HUMAN (Fox)
ALMOST PERFECT (CBS sitcom about the writers of a TV cop show, with Nancy Travis as the executive producer and Kevin Kilner as the DA she falls for; they kind of ruined it in season two but the first year was terrific)
HUMAN TARGET (she likes Mark Valley a lot)
KEEN EDDIE (Fox; Valley as an American cop running amuck in London)
MEMPHIS BEAT (canceled by TNT after two seasons)
Also MURDER ONE, mentioned by Todd.


Jeff M.

George said...

Diane was a huge fan of PUSHING UP DAISIES.

Ed Gorman said...

Tenspeed and Brownshoes for me. It coulda been a contenda.

Gerard said...

FRANK'S PLACE was a good show. I realized a couple weeks ago that the actor who played the Cajun chef, Don Yesso, has had long career. I remember him on a talk show saying how Tim Reid was giving him a lot of advice because it was Yesso's first big job.

I thought BAKERSFIELD, PD was very funny.

In the '90s MTV would try out scripted shows and then can them after a few weeks. They had some fun ones during that time.

Todd Mason said...

AUSTIN STORIES is the best of those Gerard refers to that I've seen...THE STATE got a longer run.

Gerard said...

NOW AND AGAIN was a good show that lasted a season. Old, fat guy (played by John Goodman) dies in subway accident and his brain is transplanted into a lab designed body. The lead actors did a good job.

Todd Mason said...

An episode of MTV's animation DOWNTOWN had a component that was Extremely similar to my story "Bedtime"...I queried around. Probably irrelevantly, DOWNTOWN disappeared from the schedule about two weeks later.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I liked PUSHING UP DAISIES,too. And TENSPEED and MY WORLD. FIREFLY for sure. When we were in UK we got to watch BAKERSFIELD and it was fun.
Missed it here. Yes, MURDER ONE too.

Anonymous said...

Gerard reminds me of another one I really liked: DEAD LIKE ME on Showtime. Ellen Muth, Mandy Patinkin, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy. They were "grim reapers" supposed to help souls killed in gruesome ways (Muth was killed by a toilet that fell from the space station) make the transition. Bryan Fuller did it before WONDERFALLS and PUSHING DAISIES.

And that reminds me of another: REAPER, worth watching for the perfect casting of Ray Wise as The Devil.


Jeff M.

Deb said...

My husband still laments the cancellation (after three seasons) of FX's Baywatch parody SON OF THE BEACH. On the other hand, being a woman and not getting the adolescent boy's humor (Howard Stern was one of the producers), I was not sorry to see it go.

david hartzog said...

Harry O, Twin Peaks, NYPD, Peter Gunn are shows I think should have had more seasons. At least we have the dvds.

Kent Morgan said...

Boomtown where one crime was seen from every point of view: the cops, the victim, the criminal, the DA, the rescue crew, the media. Only in that way did you learn the truth. The cast included Donnie Wahlberg, Gary Basaraba, Neal McDonough and Mykelti Williamson and Jason Gedrick. Some of the actors have recently been seen in Justified. I think it lasted just one season of 18 episodes.

Graham Powell said...

I'm glad Todd mentioned THE GOOD GUYS, which was very funny and well-written. A couple of the episodes had very solid mystery plots - the burglary of a dry cleaner comes to mind.

TracyK said...

The Good Guys
Firefly
Memphis Beat

Probably others. I only remembered these because they were mentioned. My brain is a sieve.

Todd Mason said...

Well, David Hartzog, at least you'll get a third season of TWIN PEAKS all these years later...it's just been greenlit at Showtime, with David Lynch doing the episodes.

neer said...

Star Trek: TOS.

The movies could never capture the spirit of the serial. Why did they have to cancel it?

Todd Mason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd Mason said...

Well, Neeru, the third season was pretty dire, for the most part, and it was never a solid hit for the network.

Todd Mason said...

Correcting myself:
BOOMTOWN was solid in the same way that SOUTHLAND was. There were four 2001 spy series starting more or less at the same time in the US (even though the Canadian one had played several years before up north), and the worse two became cult items, one actually popular (ALIAS and 24) and the better two evaporated (THE AGENCY and ONCE A THIEF). (THE COMPANY was a miniseries from several years later.)

Steve Oerkf said...

Maximum Bob
Carnivale
Pushing Daisies
Southland