Tell us about your favorite failed TV shows.

I too recall The Quest, and fondly.

The Tony Randall Show which lasted two seasons on two different networks. I thought it was riotously funny - no one else did. Except my wife, and I didn’t even know her then.

Randall was perfect as the stuffy, exasperated judge with a hyper-annoying assistant named Mario Lanza. Sharp dialog, memorable characters - I wish they would release on DVD.


Oh, a couple more…

Tales of the Gold Monkey
1982 - 1983, 22 episodes (so at least it ran a full season)
A really great pre-WW II adventure show set in the Pacific. A Donald Bellisario show. The lead character was a down-on-his luck pilot. Had a great cast with Stephen Collins, Jeff MacKay, Roddy McDowell, the beautiful Marta Dubois and equally beautiful Caitlin O’Heaney. Plus a dog with a lot of personality.
I saw a couple of episodes of it last year and still think it’s a fun adventure show ala Indiana Jones.

1988, 8 episodes
Starred Parker Stevenson as an off-the-scale genius who got involved in solving mysteries. I haven’t seen it since 1988 but I remember it as being a really smart show.

Firefly, of course.
Another nod for Terriers; a fantastic show with good laughs, a few cries, compelling cast and characters, great reviews, a solidly loyal (if tiny) fan base, and crap ratings.

Two I really miss:

Life. Damian Lewis is a police detective that gets convicted of murdering his neighbor and his family. He spends a long time in jail but his lawyer finally proves his innocence and gets him out. He sues the city/state and gets a big settlement, but wants his old job back. He gets it but his wife has moved on and married another man, and he is constantly working to figure out who framed him for murder. It lasted two seasons but was a very unusual clever show. Donal Logue played the captain during the second season.

American Gothic Horror and intrigue in a small southern town, where the sheriff (Gary Cole) is literally the devil and runs the town with an iron fist. A young boy, the ghost of his sister, and a couple fresh-faced doctors are the only ones to oppose the sheriff.

Miss Guided, a short-lived sitcom that ran for a few episodes in (I think) 2008, starring the extremely able actress Judy Greer. She played a high school teacher or guidance counselor or something like that.

It was funny. I like Judy Greer, always wished we’d see more of her.

One on the funniest shows that never made it was *Police Squad*with Leslie Neilson. Only six episodes.

…ABC entertainment president Tony Thomopoulos said "Police Squad! was cancelled because “the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it.”… :confused:

Better Off Ted. It was funny and clever and well -acted. It’s on Netflix now so “they” know that people liked it. But some other “they” didn’t think it was bringing in enough money I guess.

Or Big Pharma shut it down.

I forgot Journeyman on NBC. That show had a great premise, but it never seem to get its legs.

I will also say Better off Ted. Amazing that we got two seasons.

I will also second Almost Human. It really was interesting.

Clone High was great.

On one hand I would have loved more Freaks and Geeks. On the other the one season was almost perfection.

My So Called Life was canceled for being ahead of its time.

The same with Kitchen Confidential.

At the time I loved a little seen show called G vs. E. It was weird and entertaining.

There was a funny TV Parody called Grosse Point. I liked it.

Freaks and Geeks

Eerie Indiana


I watched a few episodes when some channel replayed the whole run. A few eps in, I realized that it was Gunsmoke in Space. That’s probably why a lot of people stopped watching – I know it’s why I did.

Family Tree
Hello Ladies
Freaks and Geeks
Pushing Daisies
Grosse Pointe

Agreed. Laughed my ass off. “Lets take a walk in the Chinese Garden. . .”

Brimstone. A damned PI is allowed to come back to Earth-to help the Devil himself chase down souls escaped from Hell so as to be sent back. Right when a huge seasonal arc plot twist came about: The female cop turned out to be the ringleader of the escapees. Fox canceled it, before it had a chance to build an audience.


I dunno if thirteen episodes really counts as a “failure,” but I wish that “First Monday” has lasted longer. It featured James Garner as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and had a strong cast, depicting an ideologically divided court (hey, it’s fiction, right!) with some reasonably sensitive exploration of current issues.

Last year’s VH1 show Hindsight.
A girl about to get married for the second time in present day wakes up in 1995 to try to fix her past mistakes.
Cancelled after one season. Boo.

There was a one-season comedy in the mid-1980s called Misfits of Science. The main characters had super powers and went on adventures. As an adolescent, my main reason to watch was the young, lovely Courtney Cox.

NM, someone did mention Police Squad!

Batman. Only three seasons. Aunt Harriet, we hardly knew ye…

The Batman things they’re making these days are way too serious about the material.

Also I once saw a clip from a proposed Wonder Woman series from the same producers, but that one never got green-lighted, apparently.