Tag Archives: television

RIP Erin Moran (1960-2017)

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Ouch, this is one that really hurts. Over the weekend the world learned that actress Erin Moran passed away at the still-too-young age of 56. She is best known for playing Joanie Cunningham, the kid sister of Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard, then a quickly maturing child actor, now a very famous director) in the sitcom Happy Days. She also briefly reprised her role in a short spinoff entitled Joanie Loves Chachi (yes that is the real title).

Unfortunately, while other members of the Happy Days cast continued in their careers (be it acting or directing), work didn’t come easily to Moran in the years that followed, her last acting credit came in 2010.

It’s always said when they die too young, RIP Erin Moran

Cancelled Too Soon #10: Alphas (2011-2012)

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is nothing more frustrating then having a show end on a cliffhanger that is never resolved due to the show being cancelled. And Alphas is a prime example of this frustrating phenomenon.

Airing on the SyFy channel from 2011-2012, Alphas followed five individuals known as ‘Alphas’ who possess extraordinary abilities, such as hyperkinesis, the ability to see electromagnetic radiation, heightening one’s senses, and so on. These Alphas use their abilities to solve criminal cases involving other Alphas, and the story develops from this basis.

It’s a great concept, even if it is slightly overdone (remember Heroes?), but it seemed to be a hit and was promptly renewed for season 2. Fast forward to the end of the second season: the Alphas are racing to stop a villainous Alpha from setting off a series of devices that will lead to “the end of the world.” The end of the episode sees everyone in New York City laying on the ground, whether dead or merely unconscious, we don’t know. Oh and did I mention most of our heroes are unaccounted for too? Yes, that is where the episode ends, and that is where the SERIES ends too. SyFy cancelled any plans for season 3, meaning we will never, EVER know if everyone in New York City is dead or not, we will never know what happened to most of our heroes and thinking about it is enough to drive me insane!!

Seriously, there should be a law that doesn’t allow a season to end on a cliffhanger unless it is known that the show will be renewed (I know that’s not really feasible, but hey, I can dream).

Did you sit through Alphas and , like me, get unbearably frustrated by the unresolved conclusion?? Let me know about it in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it.

For more shows that were Cancelled Too Soon, see here

The 2nd Annual Remembering James Horner blogathon is coming in June, check out the sign up page here

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Cancelled Too Soon #9: Lone Star (2010)

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It’s been seven years and I’m still surprised at what happened to Lone Star. Back in 2010, Fox spent a ton of money advertising this new series, and it looked like it had all the makings of a good drama. The premise was good: Robert Allen is a Texas con-man who leads a double life: as “Bob” he is married to Cat and living in Houston while working for his father-in-law who happens to be an oil tycoon. But as “Robert” he also lives four hundred miles away with his girlfriend Lindsey. Between scheming to take control of the oil business, Robert must work to keep his web of lies intact, as well as confronting how he feels about Cat and Lindsey.

It sounds like a great show right? Plenty of drama, good casting, and all the potential in the world to go on for a while. And the critics loved the pilot episode, with many giving it an “A” grade, and calling it “like nothing else on TV.” And yet…the pilot only drew 4 million viewers (not good). When the second episode drew only 3.2 million viewers…Fox pulled the plug, just like that. That surprised me because I feel like two episodes is barely any time at all to give audiences a chance to investigate a TV series, it’s not even a full month! Not to mention there was all the money the network spent in advertising this show, with six episodes produced, one would think they’d have given Lone Star more of a chance. Unfortunately, what’s done is done and Lone Star is yet another addition to the graveyard of shows that were Cancelled Too Soon.

Did anyone see Lone Star in the extremely short time it was on the air? Do you think Fox was too hasty in giving Lone Star the axe? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

I’m really excited because the trailer for Star WarsThe Last Jedi is supposed to premiere TODAY around 12:30. As soon as I am able I will post a review of this trailer because I have been waiting MONTHS for a first look at this film and I’m practically dying to know what they’re going to show us. So stay tuned for that 🙂

For more shows that were Cancelled Too Soon, see here

The 2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon is coming, check out the sign up page here

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Cancelled Too Soon #8: Dr. Vegas (2004)

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I could be wrong, but I believe Dr. Vegas is the first time I took exception to a TV show being cancelled after a few episodes because I really liked it. The extremely short-lived series followed Dr. Billy Grant (Rob Lowe) as he went about his days treating patients in the crazy world of Las Vegas (one heart-pounding episode involved him rescuing a little girl who’d fallen into a pool). I think there was also a side-plot about the doctor dealing with his personal demons as well, or an on-again/off-again girlfriend (or possibly both).

I really liked this series, at least I liked where it was going. But unfortunately, only five episodes were ever aired. One week it was there, the next it was gone. I can only assume the show wasn’t making enough ratings to justify continuing its existence.

It really frustrates me when a show is cancelled after only a few episodes. There was barely any time for character development or to give us a real chance to see where the series was going. But these days studios demand instant success from its television shows (classics like MASH and Star Trek would’ve never made it past episode 1 if they premiered today), and I guess Dr. Vegas just didn’t cut it. What a shame.

For more shows that were Cancelled Too Soon: see here

The 2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon is coming, check out the sign up page here

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Cancelled Too Soon #6: Birds of Prey (2002)

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Birds of Prey is a superhero show that I sadly did not learn about until it was long over. The show premiered in October of 2002 and followed Helena Kyle, aka Huntress, the daughter of Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Selena Kyle (Catwoman). When Batman disappears from New Gotham City, Helena takes over as the city’s protector along with Oracle (Barbara Gordon) and Dinah (daughter of the original Black Canary) as the “Birds of Prey.” They are aided by Alfred Pennyworth and Det. Jesse Reese. The group frequently runs into schemes masterminded by Dr. Harleen Quinzel, aka Harley Quinn (assistant and sometime girlfriend of the Joker).

The show’s concept is intriguing, not to mention rare; how many all female groups of superheros on television can you name apart from Supergirl? For that reason I am especially sad that this show did not go beyond its first season, as what I’ve seen looks amazing.

As for why Birds of Prey was cancelled after only thirteen episodes, it looks like this show was another victim of ratings. While the show did premiere with excellent ratings (7.6 million viewers to be exact), the ratings began to sharply fall and the WB (now the CW Network) subsequently axed the show once the finale aired. I know that television networks need to make money and I understand why ratings play a big part in that, but I feel like it’s unfair to stop a great concept like this after only thirteen episodes. It is my personal belief that a television show should be given two seasons to prove themselves before they can be cancelled. After all, some of the greatest tv shows had abysmal first season ratings (MASH and Star Trek come to mind) and yet when they were given a second chance with another season, they rebounded. Who knows what might have happened if Birds of Prey had been given this chance.

Did you get the chance to watch Birds of Prey? What did you think about it? Should it have continued past season 1? Let me know in the comments!

For more of this series, see also:

Cancelled Too Soon #1: Constantine (2014-2015)

Cancelled Too Soon #2: Terra Nova (2011)

Cancelled Too Soon #3: Dracula (2013-2014)

Cancelled Too Soon #4: Moonlight (2007-2008)

Cancelled Too Soon #5: Firefly (2002)

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Cancelled Too Soon #5: Firefly (2002)

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Alright *deep breaths* here I go…the most infamous show in the “cancelled too soon” category has to be Firefly, a show from the brilliant mind of Joss Whedon that only aired eleven episodes (out of fourteen) before being summarily cancelled by Fox. Now I’ve hinted before that I have a confession to make regarding this show and here it is….

I have never seen Firefly. EVER. (I know that’s a terrible thing for a science fiction researcher like myself to say, but it’s true.) It’s not that I don’t WANT to, it’s just things keep coming up and as a result I’ve yet to see this show (or Serenity for that matter).

That being said, here is the gist of Firefly: In the year 2517 the crew of the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity travels in and around a distant star system ferrying cargo or doing smuggling for various clients. It is implied that a very long time ago, a large population of humans left Earth (due to overpopulation) and moved to this system to start over. All of the planets and moons are controlled by the Alliance (a fusion of the governments of the former United States and China, resulting in a fusion of Eastern/Western culture).

The crew of the Serenity is lead by Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds (Nathan Fillion); he and his first mate Zoe Washburne are veterans of the Unification War where Independents fought to keep the Alliance from taking total control, but ultimately they lost. Mal then bought the Serenity to keep beyond Alliance control.

Now why was such an amazing show cancelled so quickly? Well….apparently the answer is a little complicated. The short excuse is that Fox cancelled the show due to ratings (which isn’t uncommon). The longer reason is that the network aired the episodes out of order (making the plot harder to follow), episodes were pre-empted for sporting events, and what is possibly worst of all: the show aired on Friday nights!! Fridays aren’t considered the “death slot” for no reason, and I think that greatly contributed to the show’s early demise despite its enthusiastic fandom.

Fifteen years later, Firefly retains a cult following that dreams of hearing the news that the show is being relaunched. I haven’t seen the show (yet) but I sincerely hope that their wish is granted, even if it was only for a few episodes (like when the X-Files came back for a limited series).

If you’d like to read more about the great television shows that left us far too soon, see the list below:

Cancelled Too Soon #1: Constantine (2014-2015)

Cancelled Too Soon #2: Terra Nova (2011)

Cancelled Too Soon #3: Dracula (2013-2014)

Cancelled Too Soon #4: Moonlight (2007-2008)

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Cancelled Too Soon #4: Moonlight (2007-2008)

You know it really stinks when a show is cancelled through no fault of its own. Moonlight (2007-2008) is one such example, and it still hurts to think about it.

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The series was billed as a detective show with a twist: the lead character, Mick St. John is a vampire who was unexpectedly turned by his new bride about fifty years ago on their wedding night. Mick ends up connecting with a woman named Beth Turner (Sophia Myles), whom Mick has been watching over in one way or another ever since he saved her life as a little girl. Together the pair end up investigating crimes or other intrigues that end up involving vampires at some level. It was an interesting look at the hidden world of vampires.

Among the cast of characters was Josef Kostan (played by Jason Dohring), a 410 year old vampire and Mick’s mentor and Coraline Duvall (Shannyn Sossamon), a 340 year old vampire, Mick’s ex-wife, and formerly a courtesan in 18th century France.

The series had me hooked from the start (I’d read Interview with a Vampire not too long before and so I was in my “I Love Vampires” phase”) and I eagerly waited for every episode. But then…real life intervened in the form of the 2007 Writer’s Guild of America strike. What happened was, the people who write television episodes? Yea, they all went on strike and once a show ran out of material to film, it stopped airing any episodes (most of the older shows just aired re-runs until it was over). The strike went on so long that by the time new episodes were produced, the audience had lost interest (also I remember the air time had been changed) and the show was subsequently cancelled. I’m certain that if the strike hadn’t occurred, the show would have returned for at least a second season, as before it seemed to be on track for renewal. It’s a real shame, because this series had so much potential.

If you never got the chance to try this show, the 16 episodes have long since been out on DVD (under the title Moonlight: The Complete Series). I don’t know that it’s streaming anywhere, given that it was cancelled nearly a decade ago, but it could potentially be on Netflix (sadly it is not on Hulu, I checked to be sure).

The next entry will likely focus on the most (in)famous short-lived show of all time: Firefly!!! (I’ll need to start with a small confession regarding that show….)

For more short lived (but totally awesome!!) series, see also:

Cancelled Too Soon #1: Constantine (2014-2015)

Cancelled Too Soon #2: Terra Nova (2011)

Cancelled Too Soon #3: Dracula (2013-2014)

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