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November 03 2006

Lamentably Lost One-Season TV Wonders. Firefly gets a mention in a list of 15 great shows that lasted one season or less.

Man, this topic is begging me to make lists.
Miracles? Nope. Wonderfalls? Nope. The Inside? Nope. I'm taking this list with a grain of salt.

Thank God Heroes won't be making this list. My first show in forever to succeed even though I watched it from the beginning! YAY!!!!!
Notice how many FOX shows made the list? What is it about that network, that it can greenlight so many awesome series like Firefly, Profit, and Freaks and Geeks, and yet let them all die premature deaths by not doing any promotion and airing the shows in total dead end timeslots? It's like they're tossing their expensive new clothes in the Goodwill bin without ever wearing them.


Wonderfalls needs to be added to that list.
Wonderfalls is definitely one that should be on that list. Miracles (don't pelt me with fruit!) I thought was okay, but I wouldn't put on the list. The Inside, by a few eps in, was quite intriguing and I enjoyed the whole arc once I got to see the unaired eps. Its a real shame it got pulled so soon :(
Freaks and Geeks was NBC, actually, though I still agree about Fox. I definitely wanted to see The Inside on this list. I despair of it ever coming out on DVD.
I did do a tally: ABC 4, CBC 1, CC 3, Fox 6, NBC 1.

Maybe it has to do with being a smaller network - willing to try new things but not willing to stick with one that's not a hit right off. Good to see FF so acknowledged tho.
Nope. Without Wonderfalls I have no respect for this list. I loaned the DVD set to a friend who had never watched any Whedon related show, and she and her family couldn't stop watching. They ended up staying up all night. Then she called me the next day to ask if there was more.
No My So-called Life? Tsk.

And it seems I should be watching my DVD set of Wonderfalls asap.
Obviously this list could be twice or three times longer than it is. There are still some great shows worth exploring on this AV Club list.

I did watch all of Profit on dvd last year and recommend it to the curious (it's a quick tour).

The Apatow shows (Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared) were pure brilliance and I will watch anything he does in the future just as suredly as I will watch all things Whedon.

I remember thinking TV Funhouse was a lot of fun but how could I possibly watch that show again now that the psychotically brilliant Wonder Showzen exists?

The Dana Carvey Show sounds intriguing to me. I had no clue about the amazing writing staff that show had.

I agree Wonderfalls should be high on the list.
No love for Cupid? Harsh Realm? Now and Again? I loved all those shows AND the many mentioned above included and not included in the list AND many many more like Strange Luck, Space: Above and Beyond, etc etc etc. I think the pool's too deep for any one list -- if you go to another site with a similar list you'll see 10 shows that aren't on this one.

Btw, who did we pick on before there was Fox? I say, BRING BACK HONEY WEST!
American Gothic - next to Profit the best anti-hero series ever. Lucas Buck and Jim Profit, the kind of evil that Lindsey could only aspire to.

Nope. Without Wonderfalls I have no respect for this list.

Maybe they haven't seen it?
Yes, the article failed to mention a number of shows, but that's nothing. 12 comments and no mention of Kevin Smith's Clerks cartoon which only lasted for six episodes.
I think I could compile a list just out of Fox TV series that were cancelled... Aside from the already mentioned there's clearly also gonna be Wonderfalls, which I admired for having such a clear vision without much stumbling going on. (Other than the Wound-Up Penguin episode which I thought was a slightly misguided attempt to clarify the premise which had a slightly saccarine tone.)

Hm, did Andy Richter Controls the Universe last more than one season?
Cop Rock?

Another Fox show I would bring up charges of customer abuse and creative neglect was Martial Law. Sure, it ran for a second year. But it was new producers pretending the first season didn't exist, failing to achieve more than becoming a pathetic ghost of it's initial sublime glory.
cabri: "I say, BRING BACK HONEY WEST!"

That was only one season?!! You know, when you're a kid, time sure runs slower. I loved Honey West, but it sure wasn't because she was a private eye of the particularly empowering sort. I think I liked her because of this stuff:

"She now carried a .38... and all sorts of gimmicks: an exploding compact, a garter belt gas mask, teargas earrings and a lipstick microphone."

Yeah, I think it was because of her cunning arsenal. I wanted this so bad, but my parents wouldn't spring for it, and I think it scarred me.

Ooh, and I liked her because she had a pet ocelot. Which, of course, now I would picket her for, or something.
What about Earth 2? I loved that show!
So did I, madmolly. Antonio Sabato Jr. notwithstanding. It was a very clever premise and had some really good writing. Not always, but often. Also, the 'villains' were gray-shaded, just like I like 'em. :)
Yeah, Cop Rock should not be on that list. I love cop shows. I love musicals. But a cop show musical? With songs by Randy Newman? Even though I tracked down a few episodes to watch(hey, it crossed over with "LA Law" and "Hill Street Blues"!), I couldn't enjoy it even for its camp quality.

Bad Stephen Bochco, bad.

The list was right about Now and Again. Police Squad became three movies, so I don't lament it so much.

Other one-season wonders I still miss: Space Above & Beyond, Earth 2 and Strange Luck.
How dare this person not have my favourite cancelled show on their own list.1 I am so disgusted that Brighton Belles is not included in his top ten, I could spit.2

1. Note this is satire.
2) Yes I am bored.
3) It was not the first time that the fairies had encountered an English king. In 1490, Dragith met with King John on the battlefield of Lincoln to discuss peace terms.
4) Oh god. I'm Susanna Clarke.

I agree that Wonderfalls should be included in any such list. I also agree with the writer about Harsh Realm. I'm not sure where it was going (I only saw the episodes that aired), but it showed some promise. Another show cut down prematurely by Fox. They also put an early ax to Chris Carter's other show "The Lone Gunmen" in its first season (not the best show ever, but somewhat entertaining). Fox sure doesn't seem to allow much time for shows to develop a following...

I'm probably dating myself with this one, but does anyone else remember "Tales Of The Gold Monkey"? I was pretty young at the time, but I absolutely loved that show and would love to have it as a DVD boxset someday.

And of course, Firefly is probably my favorite show ever, so it would definitely be right smack at the top of my list.

[ edited by JossIzBoss on 2006-11-04 01:01 ]
4) Oh god. I'm Susanna Clarke.

Cool, can you get me Neil Gaiman's autograph ? Ta.

That was only one season?!! You know, when you're a kid, time sure runs slower

Then prepare for the ultimate mind-fuck. There are only 16 episodes of 'Hong Kong Phooey'. I shit ye not. Fanriffic ? Unbelievable-riffic more like. Seemed like it was never off when I was a kid. Anyway, normal programming will now resume.

(what no "Amanda's by the Sea" love ? Pfft, calls itself a list...)

And 'Tales of the Gold Monkey' ruled, JossIzBoss (by which I mean 'was probably rubbish but I loved it at the time') ! Wanted a leather flying jacket for years after. And what about 'Bruce Boxleitner is Frank Buck in ... "Bring 'em Back Alive !"'. Happy days (though of 'Manimal' we shall never speak ;).

Sixteen though. Mind boggles.
Simon: "It was not the first time that the fairies had encountered an English king. In 1490, Dragith met with King John on the battlefield of Lincoln to discuss peace terms." *

* I believe an earlier encounter has been substantiated in Dudo of St. Quentin's Gesta Normannorum, which chronicles a troll-brokered meeting between Aelfraed de Faerydae and an unnamed bastard Plantagenet in the late 10th century. The outcome of that historic skirmish has been lost.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-11-04 01:21 ]


"Honey West" was a show before its time. I think it got overshadowed by "The Avengers," which featured Diana Rigg in all her awesomeness. The one thing Honey West had that I so wanted was the pet ocelot.

Some of us are giving away our age here...
Ok Saje, what is it with you and Hong Kong Phooey? Fess up!
And she had a mole. I'd never seen anyone on TV with a mole.
And an ocelot.
But she got her start on Burke's Law, so of course we loved her.
saje--Seriously?! There were only 16 episodes of "Hong Kong Phooey." It so didn't seem that way when I was a kid. Kong-riffic!!!

There's a former friend of mine who honest-to-God, hand-to-heart loved "Cop Rock." He was all excited when that former cable channel was showing reruns of it every night for a while. I thought he was nuts! I tried to watch that show--but after I made jokes all that summer, saying, "What are they going to do, have the cops rap the Miranda?" and then in the very first five minutes of the show, that's what they did... I mean, any show that fulfills one of my bad jokes is just wrong!

To me, "Cupid" is on one verrrrrry long hiatus, because I taped the last show and haven't watched it yet. So nah!

Indeed, where is "My So-Called Life?" Or "Relativity?"

Honey West was sweet (from the coupla clips I've seen, not old enough to have watched the show). They could bring that back!! If the BBC can bring back "Doctor Who," anything is possible!!

I liked "Martial Law"--it was on CBS, actually, which I remember because there was an episode of "Early Edition" where Sammo Hung did a crossover visit.
Deleted because I don't really want to say what I said...

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2006-11-04 06:02 ]
Saje - Yes, yes, I know, Tales of the Gold Monkey most likely wasn't the greatest show ever, but oh what fond memories I have. And lol, I also watched Bring 'Em Back Alive (pretty decent show also) and that other show of which we shall not speak ;)(although that was a couple of years later as I recall and I was a little more discerning so I don't think I gave it more than a couple of episodes).
Cupid comes second only to Firefly for me. If there is any justice in this world, it will be released on DVD. That, and Andy Richter Controls the Universe.

Other personal faves... The Tick (live action), Strange Luck, Cracker (the US one - I never saw the British one), and EZ Streets.
what is it with you and Hong Kong Phooey? Fess up!

Come on Willowy, he's a number one super-guy and quicker than the human eye ! Can't argue with those qualifications ;).

...Strange Luck, Cracker (the US one - I never saw the British one)

I also liked 'Strange Luck' (or at least the premise, sometimes the implementation was a bit dodgy) but you should really treat yourself to the UK 'Cracker' NoSadSeven. I only watched one episode of the US one but the Brit original was loads better from what I saw (though I was a little disappointed in the recent episode, felt like they were trying to catch the proverbial lightning again and failing).
Cupid comes second only to Firefly for me. If there is any justice in this world, it will be released on DVD. That, and Andy Richter Controls the Universe.

Unfortunately, there is not actually any justice in this world. Rob Thomas was asked at the Q&A at Comic-con this year if there would be any Cupid DVDs, and he said he had just been told by TPTB definitively that there would not. The fan who asked was so sad that the TV journalist moderating the panel offered to send her copies off of his old VHS's. I should have asked for some, too.

I liked Cop Rock. It had its moments, though Bochco is certainly no Joss with the musicals.
The first shows that came to my mind were Probe, Max Headroom and Wizards and Warriors... truly lost one season shows since they're unlikely to ever even be released on DVD!
I'm so happy, well, actually sad, to see both Firefly and Police Squad make this list. should really treat yourself to the UK 'Cracker'

I'll have to look into that, then. On another note, I found it surprising that they kept the title for the US version considering that, here, 'cracker' is a somewhat derogatory term for white people. I remember hearing the title and thinking, "Uh, what's that show supposed to be about...?"

Unfortunately, there is not actually any justice in this world.

Yeah... I'm kinda getting used to that. Thanks for the info, dreamlogic, discouraging though it may be.
Heh, yep that could get all kinds of confusing and not in the good way.

(the US Cracker was called 'Fitz' over here which is UK slang for 'satan worshipper'. OK, not really ;)
Wonderfalls, Earth2 and Strange Luck would have been on my list, with Firefly at the top of course :D I also enjoyed Cupid. I now have the first two series on DVD, still have episodes of Strange Luck on tape and I'm sorry to hear that Cupid won't be out on DVD.

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