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Top 5 Shows Canceled too Soon

Posted by CJ Cregg on August 17, 2009

I don’t watch Mad Men and my next favorite show to premiere will be Top Chef on Wednesday, but I didn’t want to wait until then to get in on the blogging action, so here for your reading pleasure is my list of my favorite TV shows that met with untimely deaths.

From absolute-favorite-and-kind-of-obsessed-with to not-quite-as-favorite-but-was-still-a-real-shame- to-see-go:

unusuals1) The Unusuals-I was obsessed with this crime drama when it was on the air on ABC briefly this spring/summer.  The character development was fantastic, and it was very easy to get involved in the relationships between the characters.  For those who didn’t watch (which must have been most people as it got canceled very quickly), each episode featured a few unusual crimes and scrappy New York detectives trying to solve them.  Witty banter and eccentric personalities made this show a winner in my book.  I’m still absolutely devastated it got canceled and desperately hoping a cable network picks it up.

2) Pushing Daisies-A whimsical fairy tale.  This show completely created its own world that was fun to watch.  In the show, a pie maker with a special talent that allows him to wake the dead uses the talent to solve crimes.  Pushing Daisies survived 2 seasons before meeting its untimely end, but the plot lines and characters could have sustained many more seasons.  The set design, costumes, and characters were over the top and exquisite.  Plus, Kristin Chenoweth sings!

3) Firefly-This is kind of cliche.  Everyone loved Firefly, and it got canceled.  It was a great show.  I’d describe it as western meets sci fi. Set in 2517, the show followed the renegade crew of the spaceship Serenity across star systems as they made deals and tried to survive in a world of superpowers–the ethical and political implications of such a world are explored by the characters.  Also, I just kind of love Nathan Fillion.  MalReynoldsFirefly

4) Sports Night-I suspect my love of Aaron Sorkin is no secret, and it did take me awhile to warm up to Sports Night, but I was hooked half way through season one.  While the show seems dated now, the characters are still funny and real, the banter is still Sorkin-tastic, and there is a lot of walking and talking.  Many of the plot lines and themes are similar to the West Wing, but played out in a TV studio.  While the last episode of season two wrapped the series up nicely, the show was clever and funny enough for more.

5) Studio 60-My least favorite of the Aaron Sorkin shows, but still good.  Josh Lyman, er, whatever Bradley Whitford’s character on that show’s name actually was, was great, and a lot of personality from the rest of the cast made this show, also about a TV show–sketch comedy this time, funny.  I’m not sure that this show would have lasted much longer than it did (one season on NBC), but I would have liked to see where it would have ended up.

What fantastic shows am I forgetting?


17 Responses to “Top 5 Shows Canceled too Soon”

  1. Christopher Moltisanti said

    Philly! Starring the chick from NYPD Blue and Thomas Everett Scott. P.S. Sorry I posted on top of you. Lost should take precedence over nothing.

  2. CJ Cregg said

    Way to steal my thunder. Not like this was my first post or anything. Phhhhhbbbbtttt.

  3. Andrew Jorczak said

    Cop Rock.

  4. Mr. Feeny said

    Nice list to start things out, CJ! I only watched Pushing Daisies, but I definitely agree.

    I’m not familiar with Cop Rock, Andrew. Or Philly, Moltisanti. What were they about?

    Here’s what would be on my list:

    Journeyman — It was on for about 13 episodes 2 seasons ago before being canceled. It was basically a cross between Early Edition and Quantum Leap, two shows I love. But the fact that it had already been done probably killed it. Great acting though, especially from Kevin McKidd (Rome).
    Arrested Development — Though it was great humor in the third season when they made meta jokes about being canceled. Probably the funniest show that nobody watched, that’s now gotten new life with online viewership. One of my first Hulu addictions. I want more Bluth family! Thankfully, there will be a movie.
    The Honeymooners — It always amazes me how few episodes there were of this show. Yet it’s loved by so many now. The filming looks very primitive now, but the writing and acting (particularly of Gleason and Carney) is fantastic. But how many times can you watch the same 39 episodes?

  5. Katie said

    CJ and I are so like-minded. 😉 I had no idea Kristen Chenowith sings on Pushing Daisies! I’ll have to see it for that if nothing else.

    The Unusuals was the smartest show to come out of the mid-season premieres in 2009, and it’s absolutely mind-boggling that they killed it.

    And always remember when you’re talking about Sports Night and The West Wing…The West Wing is similar to Sports Night. NOT the other way around. 😉

    • Mr. Feeny said

      What’s even more baffling is The Unusuals had the highly-sought after LOST lead-in. But maybe that was the problem. They seem like very different shows and audiences. Except for Harold Perrineau.

  6. Malcolm said


    • Mr. Feeny said

      Nice one. That lasted about 4 episodes or something like that, right? I never saw it, but I constantly hear that it went too soon.

      • CJ Cregg said

        Never heard of it. What was it about?

      • Mr. Feeny said

        I believe it was about a souvenir shop at Niagra Falls. You’d probably like it for Mr. Lee Pace.

      • Malcolm said

        It was the show Bryan Fuller created between DEAD LIKE ME and PUSHING DAISIES.

        If you’ve liked either of those two shows then you should find the DVDs of WONDERFALLS and watch it without looking too much into what it is about.

        Don’t want to spoil it for you…

      • CJ Cregg said

        So I just watched the pilot to Wonderfalls. It’s on youtube for those who want to see it:

        While the show didn’t grab me, it was good, Malcolm, you’re right. It’s not as full of whimsy as Pushing Daisies IMHO, but the critters that were talking were cute. Also, the music was FANTASTIC. Pretty much every song that they played is a song I have in my iTunes and love. I’m definitely going to keep watching when I get the chance.

  7. Skate said

    Freaks and Geeks was a personal favorite that was never given the chance.

    A beautiful show, well written and acted. It would have blossomed into something completely amazing. Instead we are left with one unique season that will go down as one of my favorites.

    Firefly might be cliche, but it is that way for a reason. They never should have canceled that show. The only problem is it is too late to try to revive it and any recasting and redone material would be blasphemy.

  8. […] 2) Pushing Daisies-A show that is surprisingly tongue in cheek, clever, and self aware.  I love shows that are self aware.  I love the use of the narrator; it truly makes the show unique.  I have raved about this show in other places, so I will save the column inches here, and point you to that earlier post. […]

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