Maybe it’s me, maybe I’m watching too much TV, but it seems like there have been a ton of canceled showed this past year. Here’s what we’ve lost:
- House: Ongoing, but final season. Getting too expensive to produce, mainly from actors’ salaries.
- Chuck: Painfully overt Subway promotions couldn’t make up for low ratings. At least they had lots of time to lead to a real series finale.
- Terra Nova: I really enjoyed this one, but the ratings didn’t support the high filming costs. Netflix was in talks to save it, but bowed out. Another reason to not go back to them.
- Alcatraz: Yet another one season wonder, ending on a cliffhanger to boot.
- Pan Am: spies and stewardesses in the swinging sixties. How did this not catch on? I’m a Christina Ricci fan, but Margot Robbie was just stunning in this show. Prettiest face on TV. Expect we’ll see more from her.
- Bored to Death: Read it was canceled to help pay for Luck.
- How to Make it in America: Again, was unLucky, even with lots of nudity added in the second season. At least we got to see Lake Bell topless.
- Luck: Ha! Two shows killed for this and they cancel it because show also killed horses. Actually, the last horse died walking back to the barn and wasn’t at all related to filming, but there is such a thing as bad publicity.
Honorable mention to:
- Hung: Honestly, I didn’t make it past the second season. The show didn’t make it past a third.
- Men of a Certain Age: I liked the first season, but never made it to the second, so I’m in part to blame.
Here’s what a lot of producers don’t get: if you acknowledge the bad ratings and tie up the loose ends at the end of the (probable) final season, you can actually get some DVD sales, which might justify a return season (see Family Guy, Arrested Development). I know it interferes with your perfect 5 year story arc, but you can always come up with a good plot excuse for keeping it going. The alternative, putting your head in the sand or being overly optimistic, leads to cliffhangers that just piss off your core audience. Alcatraz followed in the steps of Flash Forward, which was the worst series finale in history.1 If your fans yell, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?” at the screen when your series ends, you have not done a good job. I will give exceptions to shows like Luck, which filmed all its episodes before the first aired, not to mention it was actually renewed before the sudden cancellation.
At this point, I just hope the following actors get jobs on something I want to watch:
- Best series finale goes to Good Times where, for once, good things happened to everyone in the show. [↩]