This week’s topic had me ready to go, as I always seem to get invested in a television show that subsequently gets yanked off the air. It cracks me up when people say that a show was cancelled too soon if it was pulled after ten years (Friends, Frasier). Honestly, at that point, the story has been told. It might be funny to tell it again, but the story was told. I always think of Cheers though, which was the dead last ranked show at #77 according to Nielsen the week it made its debut. Thanks to Brandon Tartikoff it stayed on the air, but all too often shows don’t get the chance to stick around.
So here is my list of 10. Oddly enough, many people appear in more than one of these shows before finding the show that kept them on the air . . . .
- Relativity, starring David Roth and Kimberly Williams (now -Paisley). The first show I remember getting stuck on as a post-grad living on my own. Such a cute story, such an amazing cast, and such a shame it was cancelled.
- Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, starring Matthew Perry, Brad Whitford, Steven Webber, Amanda Peet, DL Hughley, and lesser knowns Diana Maria Riva, Sarah Paulson, Nathan Corddry, and a yet unknown Simon Helberg pre The Big Bang Theory days. I’ve blogged about why I thought this was a seriously fantastic, though flawed, show before. Love. It. And again, brilliant.
- Side Order of Life, starring Marisa Coughlan, Diana Maria Riva (that’s 2 for her on this list), the voice of Steven Webber (also 2), and the last appearance of Roscoe Lee Browne before his passing. A photographer’s best friend is diagnosed with cancer, and new insight is brought to her work. Unabashedly a soap opera, it was unfortunately a victim of the writers strike at that time.
- Cupid, the 1998 version not the recent reboot that was only on for a few episodes. Starring Jeremy Piven, and Paula Marshall. Just a cute episodic dramedy that entertained me while I was in the hospital with meningitis.
- Firefly, starring Nathan Fillion and Summer Glau. I am a browncoat. I admit it. Joss Whedon. Brilliant. ‘Nuff said.
- No Ordinary Family, starring Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz. What mom wouldn’t want the ability to move that fast????
- Muppets Tonight, starring everybody, but most disturbingly Kevin Clash as Clifford. Such a drastic change from Elmo. Not sure why this reboot of the original variety show didn’t take off.
- Defying Gravity, starring Ron Livingston and Malik Yoba. Takes place in 2050 or thereabouts, and they’re on a four year space mission with some freaky stuff going on!
- Miss Match, starring Alicia Silverstone, David Roth (that’s 2), Nathan Fillion (2 for him too), and James Roday before Psych fame. Originally started watching for Silverstone because I love her, but Fillion after his turn on Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place was also great eye candy.
- Drive, starring Nathan Fillion (that’s 3!) and Melanie Lynskey. Originally started to watch because I love Lynskey, also known as Rose from Two and a Half Men. Before the series even really started they changed it to be a mini-series, and then didn’t air all episodes. Grrrr. Also had Emma Stone, Brian Bloom, and Cindy Williams in the cast.
Honorable mention: Freaks and Geeks, My So Called Life, Men in Trees (had two seasons so didn’t count), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (also two seasons), The New Normal, GCB, Kitchen Confidential,