What a TV season it’s been so far. The networks each debuted a number of new shows, many of them serial dramas, for the 2006-2007 season. They looked very promising and lots of viewers were hooked — more were not. From the beginning of the season, the networks have pulled shows off the air quicker than ever before, leaving viewers with the equivalent of television whiplash. Here are the casualties.
Smith – The Ray Liotta series was the first to go. Smith debuted on September 19th and was cancelled due to declining ratings. Only three episodes aired. The four remaining completed episodes, as well as future episode synopses, were released on the CBS website (subsequently removed), and on iTunes.
Kidnapped – NBC’s big serial drama under-performed network expectations and was cancelled after three episodes and pulled from the schedule after five. Luckily for viewers, NBC released the remaining seven episodes online.
Runaway – One of the new CW’s two new series. The drama about a family on the run starred Donnie Wahlberg and was pulled after just three episodes. Three other episodes were reportedly completed but have gone unaired.
Happy Hour – Fox debuted one of the few new sitcoms in primetime on September 7th. The network aired three episodes in September (before the World Series took over their schedule) and one episode in November. Fox has said that 13 episodes have been completed and may be released on DVD at some point.
The Rich List – This was a game show on Fox that has the dubious distinction of being cancelled after just one episode. The single episode aired on November 2nd and was cancelled along with Happy Hour.
Twenty Good Years – This sitcom starred series veterans John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor, was pulled from the NBC schedule after just four episodes. It’s doubtful that we’ll ever see it again.
Justice – Fox’s courtroom drama starring Alias’ Victor Garber was pulled from the schedule after five episodes because of the World Series. Justice returned in October and was pulled in November after three more episodes. The series returned in December for four episodes and has been pulled from the schedule once more. Twelve episodes of Justice have aired and its unlikely that we’ll ever see any more in primetime.
Vanished – FOX pulled their mystery serial drama after nine episodes. It was supposed to return in December but FOX opted instead to bring back Justice. Luckily (for U.S. fans with high-speed Internet access anyway) the network released the remaining four episodes online. Few viewers felt satisfied with the storyline’s rushed resolution.
Six Degrees – This was the first of ABC’s serial dramas to be pulled in the 2006-2007 season. Six episodes of the J.J. Abrams series have aired. At the time, it was said that Six Degrees would return in January but that doesn’t look very likely at this point.
The Nine – ABC then pulled another serial drama after just seven episodes. The Nine was a character drama that focused on a 52-hour bank robbery/hostage situation and its repercussions. ABC has said that it will air the remaining six episodes in 2007 but there are no firm plans to return the series as yet. Seven episodes are available on iTunes
3 lbs – The Stanley Tucci medical drama was moved up from a midseason replacement show to replace CBS’ cancelled Smith series. It lasted just three episodes before being cancelled itself. Those three episodes are available on iTunes while CBS has said it will release unaired episodes on their website.
Show Me the Money – The William Shatner game show seemed to be a success initially but its popularity declined at warp speed. Six additional episodes were ordered and then quickly cancelled. Five episodes have aired to date.
Help Me Help You – Ted Danson’s new sitcom about an egotistical therapist and his patients was recently cancelled after nine episodes. Four episodes are unaired. Help Me Help You was replaced by episodes of fellow sitcom Big Day but that show looks like it’s headed for cancellation as well.
Day Break – The Taye Diggs dramatic series was heavily hyped by ABC and brought in to take the place of Lost until it returned in February. Unfortunately, Day Break was pulled after six episodes. ABC planned to air the seven unaired episodes online but that was reportedly delayed due to music licensing issues. Now, it seems Day Break has been purged from the ABC website completely. We’ve started a petition. Will fans ever be able to see the resolution to the deja vu series? Time will tell so stay tuned!