Saturday, May 14, 2011

Gone Too Soon? Shows Cancelled Before Their Prime

Lately I've sat down to watch some shows that were cancelled. Most people would simply pass over these series, after all, they were cancelled. Perhaps it is because I root for the underdog, and what better underdog is there than a show that was cancelled? Below highlight 3 series I recently sat down to watch.


RainesRaines was a quirky series that was killed by bad marketing. I remembered the ad-campaign for the short-lived television series, and it never really captured the true nature of this crime drama that turns out, was unlike other crime prodcedurals on TV at the time. The main character, Detective Michael Raines would create imaginary manifestations of the victims of the crimes he was investigating. Jeff Goldblum starred as Raines.

Goldblum went on to feature in Law and Order: Criminal Intent after this, and the show's creator Graham Yost went on to do the phenomenal series, Justified. The show aired on NBC for a paltry 7 episodes, between March 15, 2007 – April 27, 2007.

Verdict: Gone Too Soon


VanishedVanished debuted on FOX, focusing on the kidnapping of a Senator's wife, which was slowly revealed to be part of a larger nationwide, and perhaps worldwide conspiracy. This show certainly had a lot of ideas. It started as a show in the same vein of 24, that is, until the New World Order/Illuminati showed up. Despite its short run, the show had been retooled once when they killed off the central protagonist in the seventh episode because of supposed poor tracking with young males.

I don't know if this could have survived more than one full season. This could have either been the next 24 as an action thriller or the next Lost with piling questions upon questions and mystery upon mysteries with little payoff (or worse, Flashforward or The Event). This series ran 13 episodes, between August 21, 2006 – November 10, 2006.

Verdict: Needed Serious Retooling


ConvictionConviction was the 4th Law & Order spinoff series produced and it followed the following year after the short lived series, Law & Order: Trial By Jury was cancelled. Stephanie March reprised her role as Alexandra Cabot (who appeared for years on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit). The show revolved around young assistant district attorneys. The show was placed up against the popular but terrible CBS by-the-numbers crime procedural, NUMB3RS. On top of that, the show did not include "Law & Order" as part of the title so the association wasn't exactly there with the long standing (and at the time, still highly popular) franchise.

Watching the show, I was struck how unlikable two of the leads were in their first few episodes (Anson Mount and Milena Govich) and how much focus we got on these characters. They warmed towards the end. After the cancellation, Julianne Nicholson moved on to Law & Order: Criminal Intent as a completely different character, and eventually became partners with Jeff Goldblum's character, unrelated to his Raines character. This series ran 13 episodes, between March 3 – May 19, 2006.

Verdict: Gone Too Soon

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