It’s just a few weeks into the 2010-2011 television season, and already the ax has fallen – hard – on a number of new shows.
Do you remember seeing “My Generation,” “Lone Star,” or “Outlaw”? Then you’re one of the few millions who tuned in to these short-lived and doomed shows that have been canceled after just a few episodes. “Lone Star,” on FOX, was beloved by the critics but couldn’t find an audience. NBC’s “Outlaw” boasted the prodigious talents of Jimmy Smits but was yanked anyway.
These days, if a new show doesn’t catch on within a few weeks, it goes off to where all the other television shows go to die. Even an audience of 3 or 4 million isn’t enough for the networks, who are aiming for higher numbers in the Nielsens.
The question you may ask is why didn’t these shows catch on. The three I’ve already mentioned were well reviewed and had some talent behind them.
That being said, I have to confess I never really watched any of them. I did watch a few moments of “Lone Star” and found the main character smarmy. The others I never saw at all, but the subject matter of each didn’t interest me, so I didn’t turn them on.
I doubt the networks gave them a fair shake. Oh, for the good old days, when shows could air for at least six or seven episodes before getting the boot.
Here’s what’s been canceled so far in the 2010-2011 season:
“Lone Star”: The critics gave it high marks, and the show’s creator begged audiences to watch. It didn’t matter. This FOX dramedy about a con man leading a double life was 86’ed after just two episodes on Monday nights; no word yet on whether or not another three episodes will be aired.
“My Generation”: The ABC series about high school friends who reunite a decade after graduation didn’t get much of a run. It was canceled after just two episodes, on Thursday nights, and no more are expected to be seen. FOX is currently running extra episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” in its stead.
“Outlaw”: This Jimmy Smits vehicle on NBC blew a tire somewhere along the way. Portraying a former Supreme Court justice who was also a bit of a rebel didn’t seem to intrigue audiences, even after four episodes aired on Fridays. The remaining episodes are being burned off the next few Saturday nights.
“Persons Unknown”: The NBC summer series was supposed to be self-contained but ended up leaving many dangling questions at the end. A mystery involving a group of strangers in an odd town, manipulated by unseen forces, didn’t draw much interest and the last episode aired Aug. 28, 2010.
“The Bridge”: Did anyone even get a whiff of this CBS series? I sure didn’t. Apparently, it aired a few times on Saturday nights and involved a police union. And no one watched. Oh well. Easy come, easy go …
Personal viewing of “Persons Unknown” and “Lone Star”