10 TV shows that shouldn’t have been axed
|LISTS - TV LISTS|
It's amazing what gems still sparkle from the scheduler's trash-bin...
You know the drill. You love that show. Want it to last forever. Then they go and cancel it. The TV execs don’t care that you plan your life around it. They don’t care that you obsess over the characters so much it’s as if they are real people you know and care about. All they care about is advertising revenue and whether it’s attracting enough greenbacks. Programmes after all are what fill in the time between the advertising. The reality means good shows get dumped in the trash. Let’s pay tribute to the shows we loved that should never have been axed whilst lesser offerings were allowed to go on and on…
10. The Others (2000)
A one-season show, The Others (not to be confused with that Nicole Kidman movie) seemed to have the recipe for success. A diverse group of people including likable student Marian Kitt, linked by only two things – the amazing paranormal abilities they all possessed and their desire to understand and accept what they were. Maybe with all of their abilities the cast should have seen the end coming. They didn’t just kill off the show, they killed all the characters too in a finale that was more slasher-flick than X-Files. To add to the confusion, episodes were shown out of order and characters who died were alive again in the next instalment.
9. Enterprise (2001)
On paper this should have gone on and on. Set a hundred years before the original cult series, Scott Bakula was born to play the role of Starship Captain Jonathan Archer. After all, he earned his sci-fi kudos in cult classic Quantum Leap. Jolene Blalock as the delectable Sub-Commander T-Pol was as sultry and sexy as Seven of Nine. Impetuous Trip Tucker made the perfect engineer and Dr Phlox, the ship’s physician, was a Denoluban with three wives.
Yet it ended up being the first ever Star Trek franchise to be cancelled by its network rather than its producers. For all it had going for it, something was clearly missing, so it was beamed down to the Planet TV dump.
8. Dark Skies (1996-1997)
Reminiscent of the engrossing The Invaders (1967-1968) starring David ‘knows the invaders are here’ Vincent, Dark Skies was based on the premise that aliens were amongst us, and had been since the 1940s, shaping the world as we knew it.
It starred intrepid duo John Loengard and Kim Sayers, who were on a mission to protect the planet from these marauding invaders, whilst evading the authorities who were trying to hide what they both knew – namely that the invaders were here.
7. FlashForward (2009-2010)
Billed as the new Lost (well, it did star Dominic Monaghan and it was sci-fi), the show suffered as much from the fact there was a huge gap in completing the first series. TV execs be warned: viewers hate waiting a long time for their next instalment, especially three months. And, as good as this show was, it wasn’t Lost.
We never did get to find out what happened after the next blackout and yes, we did care.
6. Traveler (2007)
What do you do when you are hunted by the FBI, who wrongly believe that you bombed a museum, and you think your best friend (who has conveniently disappeared) has set you up? We followed pals Jay Burcher and the brilliantly named Tyler Fog on a journey to discover the truth and to find out what secrets their friend Will Traveler was hiding. Playing like a David Baldacci novel, there was a feeling when it ended that there was a lot more for Traveler to give. Like the whole truth, for instance. As with all cancelled shows, it ended with a cliffhanger when the man responsible for the conspiracy, Jack Freed, appeared to die in an exploding car, taking the evidence and the show with him.
5. American Gothic (1995-1996)
Trinity sounds like a nice little town. Everybody knows everyone and how to make apple pie. Seems like the perfect place for little Caleb Temple to be embraced into the bosom of the community after he’s orphaned following his father’s suicide and his sister’s murder. But the town hides a dark secret, which is bad news when it’s the sheriff Lucas Buck who seems to be the main focus for all the darkness.
From the first time viewers heard ‘somebody’s at the door’ they were hooked and entranced by Caleb’s murdered sister Merlyn who became the angel by his side.
4. Jericho (2006-2008)
Post-apocalyptic drama at its best, Jericho lasted two seasons (and the second was down to loyal fans and their avalanche of peanuts). The premise was simple – local bad boy with a past Jake comes swinging back into town just as there’s an explosion and a whopping great big mushroom cloud appears as it does. Someone’s set off a nuclear bomb, and Jericho is cut off from the rest of the country. How did the residents survive? Discount the bitter war with a neighbouring town, the death of charismatic Mayor Green and capitalistic America trying to run the town using gun law, and they were rubbing together fine. How are they doing now? No-one knows unless they read the graphic novel. Shame.
3. Journeyman (2007)
With the engaging Kevin McKidd of Trainspotting fame in the lead role of likeable family man Dan Vasser, travelling back in time helping people, this was the new Quantum Leap and fans lapped it up. Yet it turned out to be unlucky 13 as the show was consigned to TV heaven after a mere 13 episodes. Yet it had legs. How would desperate Dan resolve his relationship issues? His fiancé Livia has returned ten years after he believed she died in a plane crash and his wife is not best pleased. Would son Zack inherit his ability? Who else would he encounter on his travels? Sadly, we never got to find out.
2. Boomtown (2002-2003)
Boomtown had the fantastic idea of showing the day’s events through different people’s eyes. This method worked so well, sometimes it was as though you were watching completely different events unfold. With Mykelti Williamson in a standout role as Detective Bobby ‘Fearless’ Smith (a role he reprised in Raines – yep, that was also cancelled), Boomtown packed a punch and was must-see TV. Yet despite a clutch of awards, it limped off into the TV sunset to be replaced by re-runs of top show Law and Order by NBC. A case of depraved indifference? Some may think so.
1. The 4400 (2004-2007)
So-called because it began with the reappearance of 4400 missing people on one momentous day, this show had it all. Ordinary people with super powers being hounded by the authorities, a great baddie/cult leader in the shape of Jordan Collier and latterly Isabelle Tyler, and a fine actor with a name so long it nearly didn’t fit into the credits: Mahershakakhashbaz Ali. The show's cancellation was blamed on low ratings, a writers' strike and budget problems. Even a bid by fans, who sent sunflower seeds and petitions to protest, couldn’t bring them the fifth season they wanted. But fans could see some of The 4400 in Heroes – yep, until that got cancelled too.
Footnote – A plea to Telly big chiefs – it hasn’t escaped our notice that shows featuring a science fiction element seem to be the first for the old chop-a-roo.
Related: Don't leave me this way: Tears in TV's cancellation graveyard
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