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Cancelled TV Shows – A Tribute To The Fallen

Here at PlayerAffinityTV, we're a sentimental bunch of nerds who have made it our collective mission in life to keep you informed about the best that television has to offer. Networks are constantly bringing in new shows, or in some cases old shows with a shiny new coat to try and pull the wool over our eyes. Spending countless hours sitting in front of our television screens has given us the ability to distinguish between the good, the bad, & the ugly. But what happens when our opinion doesn't matter? What happens when our favorite shows get inexplicably cancelled and buried into eternal oblivion? Do we revolt? Do we petition Sam Fisher, Commander Shepard, and Master Chief to go kick their collective asses, because no one else will take us seriously? No. We're better than that --- right?

The year is now 2012 and I found myself reminiscing about the TV shows that were never really given a fair chance to flex their muscles and show us what they really had to offer. The advent of reality TV (also known as "the scum of television") has seriously deprived genuinely promising TV shows the opportunity to garner a bigger audience. And without the numbers to show for it, shows that deserve a second chance don't usually get one. Some of the following shows have been dropped over the years in the meanest way possible, but let's take this opportunity to give them the proper accolades they so richly deserve:


I loved this show! It was the perfect blend of action and comedy to kept me interested for an hour. The stories were engaging, the action scenes were fantastic, the dialogue was witty & clean-cut, and the cast was simply brilliant. Mark Valley as Christopher Chance put his best foot forward in this role. After his seriously lame stint as Brad Chase in Boston Legal, I was happy to finally see him in a show that gave him enough space to shine. Chi McBride as Winston and Jackie Earle Haley as Guerrero provided serious backup both in terms of action and entertainment. Guerrero in particular, had some really hilarious moments that I sorely miss. Season two added two new characters into the mix (Ilsa Pucci & Ames) that actually added another element to the show that I didn't think it lacked. You would think that this combination would work, and I personally thought the series was going in an interesting direction, but wouldn't you know that FOX decided to cancel it. The action/adventure genre is a dying one and this cancellation didn't help. So where's Mark Valley now?? Pretty much where he was before Human Target, in another David E. Kelley show where he plays the exact same character.
Mark --- if you're reading this (Hee hee), you're talents are being wasted on Harry's Law. Get the hell out of there!


After The Shield, I was eagerly waiting for Shawn Ryan to deliver another series that would make me not dislike cop shows again. The Chicago Code got me hooked from episode one. The fact that it got dropped after a single thirteen episode season had me breathing fire for a week. Jason Clarke is one of those underrated actors who deserves his own show. This was finally a role he could sink his teeth into, and he was doing it with absolute magnificence. Jennifer Beals' strong presence was an added bonus in itself, but to top it all off with Delroy Lindo as Alderman Gibbons? What could go wrong, right? The show was a realistic interpretation of the politics and the power struggle between City Hall and the Chicago Police Department. It possessed Shawn Ryan's inimitable style coupled with brilliant work from both sides of the camera. So what the hell happened?? The ratings monster gobbled up the show and it ceased to exist. And although it eventually wrapped things up nicely in the series finale, another promising show got unfairly kicked in the nuts.


This was without a doubt one of the most disappointing cancellations in TV history. Joss Whedon's space/western masterpiece was arguably the best show ever to be cancelled too soon. The sci-fi genre lost its most precious jewel the day the FOX execs made this blunder of galactic proportions. Whether it was the cast, the action, the visual effects, or the environment in general, Firefly made me a resident browncoat for life. It was absolutely despicable what the network did to this show. Not only were the episodes aired out of order, but patchy scheduling never really gave the viewers a chance to appreciate just how brilliant this show was. It's been nine years since its cancellation, but countless petitions along with considerable interest from its former actors (most notably Nathan Fillion) still hasn't dampened our spirits. The struggle to bring back Firefly continues, and although the possibility of its eventual return is next to impossible, hope lingers. The other actors involved in the show have moved on and carved separate roles for themselves in different shows (though none of them will ever be as good), but Firefly will always hold a special place in TV history. Just ask Sheldon Cooper or Troy & Abed. 


It takes a lot of mettle for the producers of a show to fully invest time and money in a TV western, and David Milch's Deadwood epitomized the power of good writing and great casting. With an excellent medley of critically acclaimed actors, Deadwood was a perfect example of how any genre can thrive on primetime TV. The show received universal praise for its work, especially with respect to casting. This was the show that gave us Al Swearengen (played by the ridiculously awesome Ian McShane) and also propelled Timothy Olyphant's career to staggering heights. Although the show received a healthy run consisting of three seasons (36 episodes), its unceremonious cancellation caught the TV universe completely off guard considering the confidence HBO usually places in its shows. 

Television has progressed significantly with respect to quality and quantity over the past several years. But the reasons for cancelling a perfectly good TV show need to be more clearly defined. Poor ratings is a perfectly logical reason to scrap a show from the schedule, but a certain balance between quality and ratings needs to be established as a consideration before the decision is made. Each of the shows mentioned above were brilliant in their own way, but unforeseen circumstances led to their early demise. Awesome shows like Fringe & Community are constantly under scrutiny for reasons over which we have no control. Let's hope that the future of television is a promising one, and that we don't have another Firefly fiasco on our hands.


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