Letters of Mass Construction

What Were They Thinking: TV Style


I love when I am taking a shower and a blog just pops into my head. Then it just starts writing itself and I am thinking, “damn this is going to be a good blog.” Then I get out and forget the whole freaking thing. I promise it would have been a great one though. Instead you will just have to settle for this one. I started thinking about great TV mistakes. Then I started thinking of great mistakes in all of entertainment and thought, “Hey, that would be a good blog also.” So here starts a new series I will write from time to time about interesting, bizarre, or down right wrong decisions in the world of entertainment.

Now these are just my opinions and I went with the shows that popped right into my head (in other words no heavy lifting because frankly my brain is only on half speed right now). Feel free to disagree in the comments or add your own to the list.

Shows that should have never been cancelled:


Not only did Fox cancel this series prematurely, they aired the episodes out of order. I still think this was Joss Whedon’s best series and will never forgive Fox for screwing us on this one.


This was part of a general brain fart from HBO. I don’t know what their executives were thinking when they let this one go. A critically well received show that was having some trouble finding an audience. It was hard to pick up in the middle. HBO let it go and then watched it do well later on DVD. What did they replace it with? The truly awful John from Cincinnati.


Here is the other part of HBO’s brain fart. The show was expensive but it was quality. HBO cancelled this and Deadwood at the same time the Sopranos went off the air. They had no viable replacement and allowed an opening for Showtime to sneak into the TV series game. HBO is just now rebounding. Ironically, one of their bounce back shows (Boardwalk Empire) is far more expensive to produce than Rome was.

Dead Like Me:

One of Showtimes first entries into TV series land and it was magnificent. Funny, heart warming, and well acted. It was laced with a whole lot of great acting and smart humor. I think if the show premiered today on Showtime it would have survived, but back then they really didn’t know how to grow a show.

Pushing Daisies:

Years after the cancellation of Dead Like Me, Bryan Fuller bounced back with a wildly entertaining show. It was weird and cooky. One of the most beautifully filmed shows I have ever seen on TV. Chalk full of smart, it was of course just as doomed as Dead Like Me. It didn’t help that a strike interrupted its first season and it never recovered.

American Gothic:

Created by Shaun Cassidy and executive produced by Sam Raimi this show was just creepy (who knew Shaun Cassidy had so much creepy in him). It starred Gary Cole and a young Luca Black. Airing back in 1995 on CBS it was doomed from the get go. CBS was struggling and didn’t seem to have any patience to grow an audience. This show just came out before it’s time. It would have fit right in today (although it was probably better suited for a cable network). Gary Cole was truly a marvel to watch as the evil town sheriff and the supernatural undertones constantly kept you wondering what would happen next.

EZ Streets:

Created by Paul Haggis in 1996, this was a show that once again came out at the wrong time. It was a dark, moody show. The main character played by Ken Olin was hard to like and possibly corrupt. Joe Pantoliano as a psychotic bad guy ate up the screen. Network TV was not ready for this kind of show. Today, it would be a perfect fit on A&E or HBO.

Freaks and Geeks:

I will never understand why NBC cancelled this show. It was a who’s who of future stars starting right at the top with its executive producer Judd Apatow. I still think it is the best show about high school I have ever seen. Cancelled after only one season it is far funnier than almost every sitcom on TV today. I know my status as both a freak and geek left me with a built in affinity to this show but I do wish it had made it a few more seasons before the plug got pulled.

P.S. – I’ll be back next week with shows that should never have been made.

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2 Responses to “What Were They Thinking: TV Style”

  1. >WOW. we sure have different tastes. Except for Pushing Daisies I actually either never watched due to no interest at all or watched and hated from your list.Fun to read your thoughts though.

  2. Merri says:

    >Oh I liked dead like me! Never watched it on tv, but rented it from netflix later on. I saw some episodes of deadwood, a billion years ago when it was on, my at the time bf used to like it and I watched it with him but was never much a fan. Oh american gothic. I kind of remember that. There was a ghost? Or something.. I think I liked it. That was TWO billion yrs ago lol.

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