Best of TV 2006 – Best Show Cancelled Before its Time

This category is to honour shows that the networks didn’t give a fair shake to find an audience and was cancelled in advance of completing a full season.

The nominees are:

  • Day Break
  • Kidnapped
  • The Nine
  • Smith
  • Vanished

The season started so promising with all sorts of new serialized dramas, a welcome change from the glut of procedurals, reality shows and game shows that have invaded the airways.  Now here we are part way through the new season and there have been lots of casualties.

I only watched the first few episodes of Day Break but I liked the premise, I liked Taye Diggs and even more important I liked that the show was finite – 13 episodes and it was going to be over.  The perfect way to fill in the time until Lost returns.  Still ABC couldn’t even commit to running the show for that time frame and ABC has no plans to air the remaining episodes.   It will air much better on DVD.

Kidnapped was also a great show with a finite premise.  I give credit to NBC for committing to finishing the show even after it was cancelled to provide its audience with closure.  After being exiled from Wednesday to Saturday night the show was taken off the air.  The remaining episodes are airing on NBC.com.

The Nine was selected by many critics as the best show of the year.  I liked the concept of a bank robbery which bound hostages together after the crisis was over and a mystery as to what really happened in the bank.  The show was supported by a great cast of TV actors including Scott Wolf, Chi McBride and Tim Daly.  It was also given the perfect timeslot after Lost.  The problem I had was in the execution of the premise which was frankly kind of boring.  Still, I would have liked to see how the show resolved itself.

Smith was a great show on the wrong network.  CBS doesn’t have patience for non-procedurals (the relatively mediocre Jericho being the exception) and this show was as far as possible from the standard fare that fits the CBS demographic.  With name actors, amoral characters and slick filming this show had great potential.  Unfortunately it got pulled after 3 episodes.  CBS put the unaired episodes on its web site and published the synopsis of the next dozen or so episodes but seeing what could have been only made the disappointment worse.

Vanished had some of the worst dialogue on TV, and acting by its lead that could at best be called wooden.  Still there was something that made me watch this conspiracy show week after week.  Just as they killed off the main character and replaced him with Eddie Cibrian who I like, the show got pulled.  The remaining episodes are airing on MySpace.

The winner is:  Kidnapped (NBC).

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9 Responses to Best of TV 2006 – Best Show Cancelled Before its Time

  1. Travis says:

    I can see why you would vote for kidnapped, but for me it would have to be between the Nine and Daybreak. I would probably go for the Nine, because Daybreak required a lot more dedication to keep up with the story.

    I liked Kidnapped, but honestly, they way it ended (I watched it online) was just too abrupt and disconnected for me to buy into. And I think that was the way that the whole show was. Perhaps it was because there was too much story. Meaning, they kept adding story lines to make it last 13 episodes, but they would have been better off to keep it to around 5 or 6 episodes.

  2. avster says:

    That’s fair Travis. I based my decision on the episodes that were aired. I may change my mind especially once I see the conclusion of Day Break and compare to the conclusion of Kidnapped.

  3. I’d have to go with Love Monkey, even though it wasn’t an option. I kinda wished they’d shown the rest of the episodes that they’d put in the can online somehere… unless they are online somewhere.

  4. avster says:

    Was Love Monkey last year? If it was then I am in full agreement and I’d replace Vanished on the list with Love Monkey. Truly a great show that ended way too early. I think VH1 played the rest of the filmed episodes but I never saw them.

  5. Vance says:

    Love Monkey was this year. The Nine started off well but never seem to reach it’s full potential. I was actually intrigued by Smith but Love Monkey was straight off into its stride from the very start with a great cast. The rest of the eps VH1 played showed that the show really could have been a great popular hit, but alas, CBS were losers for pulling it (and pairing it with NCIS).

  6. WarrenPiece says:

    Avi, yours is among the most insightful TV-related blogs I’ve yet read. Perhaps that is why your omission of Deadwood among the Best Shows Canceled Before [Their] Time comes as such a shock. True, losing exec. story producer Elizabeth Sarnoff after season two to Lost’s meandering second season lead to a slump in the narrative; nonetheless, while this series lasted there was no better television writing anywhere this side of The Wire.

  7. Sydney Myers says:

    For the millionth time everyone, “The Nine” has not officially been cancelled by ABC. Loyal fans of this extraordinary show (i.e. The BEST new adult-oriented show of the season) are fighting mad with petitions, postcards, letters, phone calls, email and message boards. So for anyone who has yet to send a card here is the address:

    ABC Television Network
    500 So. Buena Vista ST.
    Burbank, CA. 91521-4551

    Oh, and just one of the online petitions (there are others…)
    http://www.petitiononline.com/JoeyBear/petition.html

  8. avster says:

    Thanks Warren. I appreciate the feedback. I guess I still don’t consider Deadwood cancelled yet since there are supposed to be the follow up movies still to come. But you’re right. Officially it has been cancelled before Milch is able to finish his arc.
    I still haven’t seen the third season. It’s in my queue but I haven’t had time. This is the only reason it likely doesn’t appear on my Best of list since I do love the show. I recently rewatched a few episodes from the first season when it was on a local channel here in TV and still marvel at the brilliance of the dialogue and characters.

  9. avster says:

    I know it isn’t exactly official Sydney but truthfully do you expect to see any more episodes aired anywhere but online. My guess is that the cast has already been released and we hear that Scott Wolf, Tim Daly, Chi McBride and others are signed up to other shows within the next 30-60 days.

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