Friday, April 17, 2009

Another one bites the dust

cover story

As the 2008-09 television season wraps up, many series are falling victim to the cancellation hatchet. While some of these series have had the chance to play out their storylines, others have not been so lucky and are disappearing in a fray of unanswered questions as a result of their early demise. Here are some of the latest casualties that will not be returning for another season:

According To Jim
With the very unlikely pairing of Jim Belushi and Courtney Thorne-Smith, According to Jim was either very annoying or somewhat amusing, with the response largely depending on whether or not you want to hurl your remote control at the TV every time Jim Belushi appears on the screen. Revolving around a ‘Jim messes up, Jim fixes it’ premise, the sitcom surprisingly lasted for 8 seasons and a total of 182 episodes, and (if we’re really unlucky) could remain in syndication for many years to come.
Deserved cancelled? According to me, hell yes!
Original run: October 3, 2001 – May 19, 2009

Boston Legal
The very awesome spin-off of The Practice, this quirky legal drama was one of the very few shows on tele that were actually worth watching. Centred around the attorneys at Crane, Poole and Schmidt, the very awesome dramedy featured the acting talents of the very awesome James Spader and William Shatner. Boston Legal was cancelled after 5 very awesome seasons, probably because people didn’t recognize how very awesome the series was, and a 100 episodes after it started, the show ended with a very interesting two-hour finale at the end of last year.
Objections to the cancellation? As we have already established, the series was very awesome. Therefore it should not have been cancelled. I rest my case.
Original run: October 3, 2004 – December 8, 2008

Eli Stone
Another legal dramedy, Eli Stone was the story of a thirty-something attorney who suffers from an inoperable brain aneurysm that causes him to hallucinate. With Jonny Lee Miller (yes, that would be Ms. Jolie’s first husband) playing the protagonist, supported by a cast that included Natasha Henstridge and Victor Garber and a host of cameo appearances by George Michael, the series was an amusing mix of comedy, drama, music and fantasy, but sadly couldn’t make it past season 2.
Will it be missed? By some if not all. Eli Stone might not have been the best series ever, but it certainly wasn’t the worst either. Shows of the more boring variety (I’m looking at you Ghost Whisperer) continue to trouble our TV sets.
Original run: January 31, 2008 – December 30, 2008; the remaining four unaired episodes are now surfacing (in March and April) as the series is aired in various countries.

The long-running medical drama set in the emergency room of the County General Hospital that at one time featured (the amazing) George Clooney and (the lovely) Noah Wyle had been on the air since 1994. But by the end of the 11th season, all the original cast had been replaced by newer characters, and the viewership had gradually declined. At season 15, NBC finally decided to pull the plug on the series.
Let it go? The original cast members moved on a long time ago. Maybe it’s time the viewers did the same.
Original run: September 19, 1994 – April 2, 2009

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Late Night With Conan O’ Brian
Not so much a cancellation as a shuffle, talk show host Jay Leno will be moving to his own primetime series (tentatively titled The Jay Leno Show) which is expected to start in September, while Conan O’Brian will take over The Tonight Show starting June 1st. O’Brian has been succeeded by fellow SNL alumnus Jimmy Fallon who started hosting Late Night on the 2nd of March this year.
Original run: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno started on May 25, 1992 and will end on May 29, 2009; Late Night with Conan O’Brian aired from September 13, 1993 to February 20, 2009.

Kyle XY
Kyle XY has often been described as John Doe Jr; the two series began with a very similar premise – the title character waking up without any recollection of who he is or how he got there despite his super-human capabilities. But while the series diverged in execution – John Doe was driven by action and mystery while Kyle XY decided to turn into an overindulgent teen drama – both ultimately shared the same fate: neither got the chance to wrap things up. At the end of season 3, Kyle XY wasn’t renewed for another season, and viewers were left hanging as the series ended on cliffhangers, never getting a chance to come up with a proper finale.
Axed why? The show might’ve been high on conspiracy, low on making sense, and a little too desperate to appeal to the younger audience, but the series did have a loyal fan base who did not deserves to be left with unanswered questions and unresolved storylines.
Original run: June 26, 2006 – March 16, 2009

This delightful dramedy starring Tony Shalhoub as an obsessive-compulsive detective has been on the air since 2002 and follows Monk as he investigations cases while his OCD and various phobias both impede and aid him in the process. The show has even inspired a series of novels, and although it has been cancelled, the show will return for a final season.
Time to end? Well, we’ll make our peace with it but only if Mr. Monk ends up solving the mystery of his beloved Trudy’s death.
Original run: July 12, 2002 – present; will return for what is believed to be its final season in mid-2009.

October Road
From the very first episode of October Road, it was fairly obvious the series wouldn’t last. The drama, which revolves around a writers-block struck author who returns to his hometown after ten years, is apparently on a mission to bore to sleep anyone who would make the mistake of watching this show. And while October Road made a few unconvincing attempts at seeming sincere, it was just taking itself too seriously and ultimately failed to connect with viewers. With ratings falling by the episode, it all went downhill until someone mercifully pulled the plug at episode 19.
Short road to ruin? In the series’ Star World promo, Laura Prepon says that there’s nothing like this series on TV. Yes Laura, nothing is nearly as boring.
Original run: March 15, 2007 – March 10, 2008; the 15-minute series finale will be released as part of the second season DVD on May 5th this year.

Prison Break
When it started, Prison Break was one of the most interesting and (ignoring the plagiarism allegations) original shows on TV. It’s premise – a man deliberately getting himself sent to prison to help his brother escape – was touching, its moral ambiguity refreshing. Yes, Prison Break was awesome…and then it was renewed for a third season. Shark-jumping antics pursued. And if season 3 was a stretch, season 4 was downright ridiculous. Viewer-ship consequently fell, and cancellation followed soon after. Its first season will remain one of the best debuts of recent time. If only it hadn’t wandered off into the realms of ridiculousness thereafter.
Bring it back? Not unless you want to see how far fetched a series can get. Maybe the show will redeem itself by the finale?
Original run: The series started on August 29, 2005, and will return for its final episode(s) on April 17, 2009.

The Emperor’s New School
Based on the characters of The Emperor's New Groove, the animated series chronicled Kuzco’s attempts at passing all his classes so that he can become emperor, and was possibly one of the more delightful things Disney channel has done in years, something they probably would’ve noticed had they not been so busy mass-marketing teen-pop clones like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez.
No more doodles? Looks like it. To the person who killed this show: may a llama eat your paycheque.
Original run: January 27, 2006 – November 20, 2008

- By S.A.

Us Magazine, The News - 17th April, 2009

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