The circle of life for television shows is a cutthroat one. Despite a loyal following, a show can get the axe way too prematurely. In the last decade shows like ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘Family Guy’ were cancelled only to come back due to high demand. Not all shows are so lucky, as the longer it sits on the shelf the less likely it is to ever come back. These are five unique shows that were never given the chance to end the right way or come back.
One of the strangest shows out there, ‘Carnivale’ was a risk taker. On the surface the show was about a traveling carnival during the 1930s American Dust Bowl. At its core the show was about a whole lot more. Prophecy and mysticism helped to support the show’s unique premise about the battle between good and evil. Starring Nick Stahl as Ben Hawkins, a man with unique abilities he has yet to fully understand, ‘Carnivale’ gave us a look at a world rarely covered in film or television. Through the two seasons it aired on HBO, we were treated to the mystery surrounding who Hawkins was and how he was connected to the seemingly perfect Minister Brother Justin Crowe. The show was not a simple one, which most likely led to its early demise.
Joss Whedon has such a loyal fan base that it is unusual for him to have as many failed television shows as he has. ‘Dollhouse’ was another one of Whedon’s creations that only lasted two seasons. Heavily advertised when it was on, ‘Dollhouse’ suffered from an unclear premise for the public along with a name that made people believe it might be for little girls. Eliza Dushku starred as Echo, a woman who is part of the Dollhouse program where the personalities of men and women are altered to be whoever the person paying for the service wants them to be. Of course, problems arise in the picturesque Utopian world created. Luckily for fans of the show the story was wrapped up nicely enough even if it was a little rushed.
Freaks and Geeks
To younger fans of Judd Apatow it may surprise them to find out how unsuccessful he was on television. Although seemingly a failure on cable, his creation ‘Freaks and Geeks’ has reached a cult following while helping to launch the careers of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and a few others. It has become well-known that the show suffered from being too realistic in the cruelness suffered by the show’s geeks. The show was targeted toward people who could relate to the stories and sometimes it was too cringe-worthy in a good way. The show only lasted one season, thankfully an 18 episode one. Fans have plenty to go back and watch anytime, unfortunately it was still not nearly enough. The show never got a proper sendoff, leaving the future of the characters in limbo.
The Adventures of Brisco County Junior
Bruce Campbell took a break from playing the chainsaw armed Ash to star in his first television series ‘The Adventures of Brisco County Junior’ back in 1993. The show was a western with a heavy science fiction eliminate added in. The show never took itself too seriously and relied on comical elements sprinkled into the action bounty hunter Brisco would endure. The show unfortunately only lasted 27 episodes. A big reason behind the show’s cancellation was the thought that it was too violent, even though compared to today’s standards it would be seen as incredibly tame. Not all of the blame can be shifted to close-minded television executives. As is the case with any cancelled show, the ratings slipped and ultimately the show was forced to end before beginning a second season.
Creator of ‘Oz’ Tom Fontana managed to recreate 1860s New York City, specifically at the Five Points area. ‘Copper’ was the name of this show and after two seasons it has already ended. What made the show unique was the atmosphere and time period in which it took place. A lot of work had obviously been put into the show’s set, giving the viewer the feeling that they were actually there. This alone was not enough to keep the show going. Lacking recognizable actors may have hurt the show’s credibility with casual television viewers. More so were the show’s plots which seemed to be inconsistent, wavering from serialized to a more “crime of the week” style. ‘Copper’ was a show that could have gone lots of places and introduced us deeper into the world of Civil War Era New York City. Unfortunately we will never know where.