Sunday, October 11, 2009

7 More Shows That Were Canceled Too Soon

Since the networks keep canceling good television shows, I am going to keep pointing out their mistakes! Here are more shows that should have been given a chance.

1. Conviction - Now you know how I am frustrated with all of the Law & Order spin-offs, but I actually really liked this one - mostly due to the exceptional cast. Stephanie March reprised her role from Law & Order: SVU as Alex Cabbot and the plot of the series revolved around the lawyers that work in the NYC District Attorney's office. The other actors included Julianne Nicholson, Eric Balfour (obviously a favorite of mine - he was on The O.C and Six Feet Under), and Anson Mount. Although the story takes place at the DA's office, most of the show is about the characters personal lives and how it effects each case they are given. The show was smart and sexy and had the potential to be like Grey's Anatomy if it was given a chance - it was not renewed for a second season due to low ratings (another dumb NBC decision).

2. Dark Angel - How can a show created by James Cameron, starring a hot newcomer (Jessica Alba) about genetically enhanced humans living in a future post-apocalyptic world not be genius? It was pre-Alias and even more pre-Dollhouse and sort of paved the way for Jennifer Garner and Eliza Dushku to kick-ass as tough, independent women. The show had me on the edge of my seat every week, that is until the second season when FOX moved the show to Friday nights (keep in mind this was 9 years ago - way before I had a DVR). Friday night is where shows go to die and every executive at FOX was aware of this when making the decision to move the show. So after losing almost 1/2 of it's viewers the show was sadly canceled, but still highly regarded as paving the way for great Sci-Fi television.

3. Six Degrees - I love the idea behind the whole Six Degrees of Separation theory and had even thought that it would be great to create a show with this theme behind it - leave it to JJ Abrams to steal my idea! It's a little different then what I had in mind, but all the same - I loved the show. It was about 6 very different strangers living in NYC. At different points through out the series their lives would connect with one and other. The cast was great and each episode was really interesting. This years FlashForward is doing the same type of thing (every one's lives interconnect in some significant way) on a much more universal scale. I've only actually seen the first 6 episodes of Six Degrees because then NBC (!!) pulled it off the air, then aired a few episodes without even telling anyone, then pulled it off again - then canceled it. I'm still awaiting the DVD.

4 & 5. Fat Actress & The Comeback - Fat Actress is seriously one of the funniest shows that has ever aired and I am saying that as a non Kirstie Alley fan. I do appreciate her now - the show was self-deprecating, down-right humiliating and bitingly satirical and the best part is that it is based on Alley's actual life as an overweight actress trying to make her way through Hollywood. The show also had the advantage of the incredibly talented comedian Rachel Harris as Alley's assistant and a hilarious recurring cameo of Mayim Bialik (yes, Blossom). The Comeback was a similarly themed show about a former television actress (played by Lisa Kudrow) trying to make a "come back" in Hollywood. The show was created in faux-documentary style, which made it pretty realistic (and actually quite sad - which I think alienated viewers). Kudrow was absolutely brilliant and proved to everyone that she is Phoebe no longer (she even scored another Emmy nomination). Both of these shows lasted for like 2 seconds (Fat Actress - 7 episodes, The Comeback - 13 episodes), which is a shame because they were both exceptional television.

6. Unscripted - This show is similar to The Comeback and Fat Actress, in that it was about struggling actors, however this show was actually "unscripted", making it interesting. The three actors were Bryan Greenberg (October Road), Krista Allen (George Clooney's ex) and Jennifer Hall (um..I got nothing) and it actually followed them around to their current projects, meetings with agents and an acting class (o.k the class was fake - the professor was played by Frank Langella). It mixed documentary with fictional film, the A-list with the D-list and the professional with the personal lives of actors. It was like an American version of Extra's (which by the way - should be would be awesome!). Plus it had crazy cameo's (Brad Pitt, Shia Labeouf, Keanu Reeves, Merly Streep). The show only lasted one season, which is a shame - I think they should have continued the show and changed the actors every season. Oh well.

7. The Ex List - I never watch CBS shows, but last fall I decided to give this show a shot -mostly due to Elizabeth Reaser (she was the infamous "Jane Doe" that Karev falls for in Grey's Anatomy) - and guess what? I actually liked it. It was fun, cheesy and girly but in a good way. The premise was that Bella (Reaser) gets a psychic reading that tells her that she has already met (and dated) her future husband - so now she has to date all of her ex's to find out who Mr. Right is. Cute, right? I was happy to find a new show and that it was on CBS - because the network is known for giving their shows room to grow before canceling them (which is ironic because most of their shows suck). However, due to creative differences between the writer and the network - the show was canned...just my luck!

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