When I say “failed TV show,” I mean shows that were ratings/financial failures, not artistic ones (not that I expect anyone to name a show they considered an artistic failure as one of their most liked series). That means that the show was meant to be a regular ongoing series but lasted less than two seasons, and optimally less than one full season.
And of course “favorite” means you liked or loved the show and were sorry to see it go.
Whether the property moved to other media doesn’t matter; nor does it matter if the show was screwed by the network and might have lasted longer if some executive hadn’t hated it. Clear enough?
Oh, and explain why the show was awesome, if you like, and why you think it failed.
I’ll start the bidding with one late '80s series and another more recent one. The former is The D&ays Nights of Molly Dodd, which aired on, I think, NBC, and starred, I know, Blair Brown. It was this quirkly little dramedy about a perpetual fuckup named (obviously) Molly Dodd, who was prone to flights of fantasy in a fashion Ally McBeal would rip off a decade later. I always thought it was hiliarious, but even at 16 I could tell it wasn’t long for this world. Like Oswin’s soufles, it was too beautiful to live.
My second nomination goes to a series whose creators screwed up in the second season: the Cartoon Network animated show Young Justice. Oh, its cancellation (after a huge cliffhanger!) came partly because the network aired it so irregularly, but I think the main reason was that the writers lost their way. The first season started with a small cast, slowly grew it, and despite the season-long arc was character driven. You cared about what was happening because you had gotten to know and like the characters, and the young heroes were interesting enough that the essential absurdity of the premise was forgivable. But in the second season they did a five-year-time skip, doubled the size of the cast, and introduced multiple ongoing mysteries. That made teh show quite confusing,and because all these new people had been introduced without explanation or background, there was no reason to care about them or to ignore the basic problem of a dark, quasi-realistic adventure show starring teenagers who had parents neither dead nor supposedly idiots. YJ screwed itself far more than the network did. The best way to enjoy the first season is to stop the DVD just before the last scene of the season finale.
But that’s just me. Anybody else got a failed TV show they want to praise?