?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Things and stuff and whatnot

Someone on the Dr. Who list I read (or, often, skim through) listed Sci Fi Wire's Top Ten SF shows that weren't given a chance - MANY of them I never saw and some I agreed with (like the Adventures of Brisco County Jr. and Alien Nation); but I was sad that several of my favorite "never got a chances" didn't make the cut, like Cupid and Jericho (although some were saying Jericho DID get a second chance, it wasn't much of one!). Some days I STILL miss Cupid, though.


Wire's Top 10 Brilliant But Canceled


It's the sad fate of every science fiction fan to fall in love with
amazing, creative television shows only to see them struggle in the
ratings and eventually disappear into the land of repeats and DVD box
sets ("Own the complete series for just $24.95!").


It happened just this spring for Jericho fans, who got a mini-reprieve
of seven episodes thanks to a whole lot of nuts (the kind you eat, not
the fans themselves), but they too would eventually see their show ride
off into the sunset like so many others before it. For too many of
these on-the-bubble shows, the bubble popped before the rest of the
world caught on to the genius that went into them. Fortunately, they
live on in the memories of fans, including those of us here at SCI FI
Wire.


We now present a list of the top 10 brilliant-but-canceled SF&F shows,
as determined by SCI FI Wire's news editor and contributors. For the
purposes of this list, the selections were made based on quality
network shows that were not renewed after their first season. Bonus fan
points (and sympathy hugs) if you remember them all.


1. Firefly, created by Joss Whedon. Fox. Original run: September 2002
to August 2003. Number of episodes produced: 14


Joss Whedon's high-concept space western was a difficult sell to
mainstream audiences, television critics and even its own network, but
it inspired a group of dedicated fans (called Browncoats, after the
show's rebel fighters), who are still active today (as evidenced by
their booth at this year's Comic-Con). Through their active
campaigning, the Browncoats got more than some fans do. The 2005
feature film Serenity brought back the characters, resolved the
relationships and tied up loose narrative ends. And it continues to
live on in comic books, novels and games. Still, we can only imagine
where the crew would have gone, say, in season six or seven.


2. Wonderfalls, created by Bryan Fuller and Todd Holland. Fox. Original
run: March 2004 to December 2004. Number of episodes produced: 14


Before Pushing Daisies on ABC, Bryan Fuller teamed up with Todd Holland
(Malcolm in the Middle) and Tim Minear (Angel, Firefly) to create this
quirky series, about a cynical twentysomething souvenir-store clerk
(Caroline Dhavernas) in Niagara Falls. When she begins hearing the
voices of talking animal figures, she finds herself forced to actually
care about helping others. The show expertly blended dry wit,
unpredictable plots, a sharp cast and an unsentimental approach to
sentimental material. Unfortunately, it got lost in a season of shows
with similar concepts (like Joan of Arcadia, which lasted one season
longer). Considering the network never really had any idea what it had,
let alone how to properly promote it, the writing was probably on the
wall from the beginning for this lost gem.


3. Now and Again, created by Glenn Gordon Caron. CBS. Original run:
September 1999 to May 2000. Number of episodes produced: 22


Why CBS chose not to renew this inventive, funny, sad, well-cast,
newfangled take on The Six Million Dollar Man is no mystery. Despite
the intriguing concept of a man who is hit by a subway train and wakes
up in a perfect, government-built body, the ratings for this show were
not exactly stellar. Stars Eric Close (Without a Trace) and Dennis
Haysbert (24) have since gone on to more high-profile gigs, but once
upon a time they had great chemistry together as the restless,
super-powered secret agent and his by-the-book handler.


4. Alien Nation, created by Kenneth Johnson. Fox. Original run:
September 1989 to May 1990. Number of episodes: 22


The not-so-subtle pun in the title gives some indication of the
allegorical themes at work in this series, based on the film of the
same name. Picking up where the film left off, the show is set in a
world where an alien slave ship has crashed on Earth and left its
passengers stranded. Forced to assimilate into human society, they
encounter the same kinds of struggles as any every other immigrant
group throughout history. Except that they get drunk on sour milk and
require three partners to procreate. Through the mixed-species
partnership of a pair of police detectives--one human, one alien--the
show explored issues of immigration, racism and cultural identity.
Although it was canceled after one season due to budgetary pressures,
Fox did bring it back in a series of five television movies.


5. Space: Above and Beyond, created by Glen Morgan and James Wong. Fox.
Original run: September 1995 to June 1996. Number of episodes: 24


This futuristic war drama followed a squadron of marines known as the
Wildcards aboard the USS Saratoga, the space-faring equivalent of an
aircraft carrier. In addition to an alien threat and rebel AI
mercenaries, the soldiers also faced conflicts closer to home, with the
introduction of artificially bred humans and a potential government
conspiracy. The show's dark tone, desaturated look, military backdrop
and exploration of complex topics such as the moral ambiguity of war
make this a predecessor of sorts to the more successful Battlestar
Galactica. But back in 1995, the public wasn't quite ready for this
kind of series, and the show failed to attract an audience wide enough
to justify renewal.


6. The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., created by Jeffrey Boam and
Carlton Cuse. Fox. Original run: August 1993 to May 1994. Number of
episodes: 27


Clever writing, great production values and a brilliant turn in the
title role by the one and only Bruce Campbell made this genre-bending
SF-western-comedy a pleasure for those who were hip to its
self-referential humor, witty dialogue and memorable performances.
Unfortunately, that didn't include most of the viewing audience. Fox
scheduled the show on Friday nights, a timeslot notorious for low
ratings, with the exception of The X-Files, which just happened to
premiere the same year. Seems that the network could only afford to
take a chance on one low-rated show, and we all know how that turned
out, so they're probably not regretting their decision (though they may
be regretting that second movie right about now).


7. American Gothic, created by Shaun Cassidy. CBS. Original run:
September 1995 to July 1996. Number of episodes: 22


Moody, atmospheric and sinister, this show from creator Cassidy and
executive producer Sam Raimi was the epitome of subtle,
character-driven horror. Featuring career-making performances by Gary
Cole and Lucas Black, the series centered on a boy (Black) whose soul
is desperately sought by the competing forces of good--represented by a
small-town doctor and the ghost of the boy's dead sister--and
evil--represented by Cole as the demonic Sheriff Buck. Notable veterans
of this promising, terminated-before-its-time show also include
Battlestar Galactica's David Eick and Oscar winner Stephen Gaghan
(Traffic).


8. Jake 2.0, created by Silvio Horta. UPN. Original run: September 2003
to February 2003. Number of episodes produced: 16


NBC seems to have a hit on its hands with Chuck, but it's a safe bet
that few of the show's viewers realize that the exact premise was
already done in a little-seen show called Jake 2.0. Like its successor,
Jake dealt with an affable, lovelorn geek (Ugly Betty's Christopher
Gorham) who receives a computer upgrade to his brain (thanks to
nanobots, in this case) and is recruited by the government as a spy.
This was back in the early days of UPN, when the network was still
trying to find its identity and looking for a breakout hit to
complement Star Trek: Voyager. This didn't turn out to be it.


9. Nowhere Man, created by Lawrence Hertzog. UPN. Original run: August
1995 to May 1996. Number of episodes: 25


One of the most frustrating things that can happen when a show is
yanked before its time is a denial of answers to a big, overarching
mystery. That's what happened in the case of Nowhere Man, about a
photographer (played by Bruce Greenwood) who takes a controversial
picture in a South American war zone and suddenly finds his identity
erased by a covert, possibly governmental, organization. Nowhere Man
incorporated elements of The Fugitive and The Prisoner, but unlike
those shows, it never got an epic final episode, leaving fans (dozens
of them) to wonder forever (or for a few weeks, at least) about the
significance of that fateful photograph.


10. Eerie, Indiana, created by Jose Rivera and Karl Schaefer. NBC.
Original run: September 1991 to April 1992. Number of episodes: 19


Although it may not have featured big-name stars, this semi-anthology
series engaged the few viewers it attracted with the story of a boy
(Omri Kats) who moves to the titular town and becomes best friends with
the only other normal kid on his block (Justin Shenkarow). Together,
they investigate a series of strange phenomena in their neighborhood,
including a Tupperware lady who seals her kids up in large tubs every
night to keep them immortal and a pack of intelligent dogs who scheme
to take over the world. The show's bizarre plots and offbeat tone
helped keep it in the public consciousness, inspiring the creators to
continue the storyline in a series of books. --Cindy White


Of course, obligatory dragons:

Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

While you're at it click everyone else's, too: ishte, evil_little_dog, mjules, cornerofmadness, floranna, kashicat, kehf, nutmeg3. It's very likely that kehf has a chicken (like melvh). Hee! I can't seem to get to the cave fast enough - I've tried about twenty times today to get another egg with no success. There have been several abandoned ones of the sort I want, but I can't get 'em. I only ONCE found eggs actually IN the cave. This must have become a VERY popular online sport.

Speaking of television shows that have gotten cancelled, I was reading that my former favorite soap (seriously, the only "daytime drama" I ever actually watched) has gotten the axe. This does not surprise me - about a year ago, it was pulled from NBC and put exclusively on NBC's Direct TV station, requiring any fans who still wanted to watch it switch to Direct TV. I did not like that soap that much. (For anyone interested, it was Passions. And yes, it was HORRIBLE. The writing was appalling, the characters idiotic, the situations astoundingly stupid, and yet... I COULDN'T STOP WATCHING once I was hooked. I started watching because of the supernatural element, and I was home sick for a week and plead only "Well, Spike watched it" and being slightly feverish. As to why I kept on watching? I can't explain that.) Anyway, I predicted back when it was first moved that NBC was doing this because they REALLY wanted to cancel it outright, but the fans complained, and so they moved it to Direct TV and the subsequent enormous drop in ratings would give them a clear reason to cancel. This is precisely what happened, because I'm assuming I was not the only fan who wasn't going to switch to Direct TV just for Passions. ANYWAY, the one thing that has made me happy was finding out that my favorite characters (a pair of thoroughly insane elderly lesbians) are getting married on the show. So, a toast to Norma and Edna, the strangest pair on television. Seriously.

Speaking of lesbian marriages, it's official. We are going to be married in the Old Orange County Courthouse on October 17, 2008, at 9 o'clock in the morning. Anyone who's going to be in the area and free that morning is welcome. I believe Barb has some formal invitation-thingies in the works. It's not going to be anything big or formal, we're just hoping some friends can swing by.

I think that's all the news for now.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
wildrider
Aug. 11th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC)
Re: wedding chicken
Thanks!!!

I have seen eggs, but haven't been fast enough to snap 'em up - they seem to appear right on the hour, and rarely at any time after! It's becoming quite a task, being a dragon egg thief!

(Deleted comment)
wildrider
Aug. 11th, 2008 01:06 pm (UTC)
Re: wedding chicken
Yeah, I was trying that, but the only eggs coming up were green and red at the time... I ended up with abandoned kids.
cornerofmadness
Aug. 11th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
well yay for getting the date set
wildrider
Aug. 11th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC)
Thanks!

nutmeg3
Aug. 11th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC)
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I wish I lived on the Left Coast and could be there.
wildrider
Aug. 11th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
THANKS!!!

It would be awesome! And I know you were just out this way, so it's not like you can take another trip! But the best wishes will be with us!
mustangsally78
Aug. 11th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
Wedding Date
Congratulations!

I am so proud of you guys for finally doing it right! And pissing off the right while you're at it!


wildrider
Aug. 11th, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Wedding Date
Thanks! I was with you on changing our names JUST TO PROVE WE'D DONE IT!

Dance, suit cat!
ljs
Aug. 11th, 2008 10:09 am (UTC)
YAY OCTOBER 17! I'm on the other coast, but will cheer you on in spirit! :-))

[hugs]
wildrider
Aug. 11th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks!!!
evil_little_dog
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:23 am (UTC)
Much congratulations are in order!

I agree about Brisco County, Jr., Eerie Indiana, American Gothic and Jake 2.0 (Dana and I watched Jake almost religiously when she lived with me). I only saw the pilot of American Gothic - telling that it kept bouncing from night to night and I could never find it again.
wildrider
Aug. 11th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks!!!

Brisco County was one of my favorite shows ever. I'd already have it on DVD if they didn't require one's firstborn to buy it. *grump*

evil_little_dog
Aug. 12th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
Brisco County is one of silvrethorn's favorites, as well. She's the one who suggested I watch it (as often happens, she finds The Good Stuff and tells me).
wildrider
Aug. 12th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
I didn't even realize I was a fan, way back then; it was just a show I found I liked and was quite bereft when it just didn't come back (especially ending on such a #^$%^# cliffhanger!)...

I didn't really know about online communities to share with, then; it was still so new... *g*
evil_little_dog
Aug. 13th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
I actually came in late to the series - after it was canceled. That's me, never on time. *grin*
melvh
Aug. 11th, 2008 12:14 pm (UTC)
Congrats on getting hitched!!!

Errr... I don't have a chicken egg. Don't want one either. Nor am I interested in any of the goofy-looking dinosaurs. My white eggs are Healer Dragons.

The eggs are only dropped to the cave at the top of any given hour. There are times during the wee hours where the eggs can stay on thepage until almost quarter after the hour, but that stops after 6am here on the East Coast.

Do you have broadband, or dial-up?
wildrider
Aug. 11th, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

My apologies! I thought it was your scroll I'd seen that on. (It's really funny, for what it's worth!)

I was figuring that out - but I swear, they were gone by 6:03, 7:02, 8:04... I was not kidding when I said it took an hour to pick up the water dragon egg, and both of these kids were abandoned, not fresh to the cave.

I'd love a healer dragon - they are lovely. I'm not sure what kind of white my blue's father (Gene Simmons) is, but he's very pretty, too.

And it's broadband. Of course, this morning it seems the cave is down - every time I've tried to click someone I've gotten a "server down or busy" message.
melvh
Aug. 11th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
If he's white & wrapped around a black staff, then he's the Healer type.

And yes, there are times the eggs are gone in under a minute. You really have to get there at an off-peak time.

When is convenient for you to be online? I can always breed my kids and then abandon the eggs when you're around.
wildrider
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
I'm usually on all night, but I hate asking people to abandon them just in case I'm not quick enough! *g* But we could try for any time and see if I can make it.

melvh
Aug. 12th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
But if I'm breeding them for the specific purpose of abandoning them....

Except that most nights I'll be in bed by 9pm EDT, since I have to get up at oh-dark-stupid for work. But, I can generally stay up later on Sunday & Monday nights.

And I'm working on getting breeding pairs of most of the dragon types. (Oh, and for the record, your blue egg's daddy is a Silver Dragon, not a White.)

And there's a way to stack the deck so you're more likely to successfully snag an abandoned egg/hatchling. It just requires you to have the egg's specific code before it's actually abandoned. Then you go to the "Get Dragon" page for that egg & just keep hitting the F5 key while it's released from the previous owner's scroll.

We can work on this......
wildrider
Aug. 12th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
At the moment I have two hatchlings and three eggs, so there's no rush yet! *g* Silver dragon, eh? Hmmmm....

(Deleted comment)
wildrider
Aug. 12th, 2008 12:46 pm (UTC)
Yep, Orange County - we chose it simply because we got a package deal for Disneyland, we'll be staying in Anaheim, and Barb chose the place that looked the most picturesque of the closest-to-there offices. *g* Our license is filled out and waiting for us, and the appointment has been made!

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

September 2019
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930     

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow