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Life TV show canceled by NBCNetwork: NBC
Episodes: 32 (hour)
Seasons: Two

TV show dates: September 26, 2007 — April 8, 2009
Series status: Cancelled

Performers include: Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi, Adam Arkin, Brent Sexton, Donal Logue, Brooke Langton, Robin Weigert, Jennifer Siebel, Victor Rivers, and Jessy Schram.

past TV show

TV show description:
Offbeat Detective Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis) is convicted of a triple murder and serves 12 years in jail. DNA evidence finally exonerates him thanks to the efforts of his close friend, attorney Constance Griffiths (Brooke Langton).

While in jail, Crews loses his wife, his job, and sometimes his grip on reality but also ends up embracing the Zen philosophy. After suing the LAPD, he’s reinstated to the force and wins a substantial settlement. He’s partnered with unpopular Detective Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi). Lieutenant Karen Davis (Robin Weigert) questions Crews’ unconventional tactics and blackmails Dani into supplying her with reasons to fire him. Living above Crew’s garage is his friend Ted Earley (Adam Arkin), a former CEO he befriended in jail.

Crews works to acclimate himself to life outside prison while also trying to solve the 12-year-old murder and to discover who framed him.

Series Finale

Episode 32 — One
On video, Roman Nevikov answers questions from an unseen interviewer. He confirms a man is serving his prison time and that people “do favors” for him out of fear he’s going to kill them or their families. When the interviewer asks the one thing he’d like to say to Charlie Crews, Roman shoots him dead. He takes the camera, films himself walking in a bunker area through mobsters and prostitutes. He enters a room where a hooded prisoner sits tied to a chair. He rips off the hood, revealing Reese. In the next frame, she’s bloodied. At Roman’s command, she recites his message to Crews.

Crews is at a red light when an attractive bicyclist pulls up next to him and puts a video tape on his windshield. Crews and Tidwell watch Reese on screen saying that Roman will let her go if he brings Mickey Rayborn to him. Both wonder why Roman thinks Rayborn is alive. Rayborn hasn’t been seen since his yacht, its deck covered in his blood, was found without him at sea. Crews knows he can’t get anywhere with the brass involved, so he leaves before they get there. Tidwell switches phones with him so no one can track him.

Reese tells Roman that Crews will find him but won’t give him what he’s expecting. Roman calls Agent Ray at the FBI to warn them Crews is coming. At the news, one of the agents kills her and two others in her office with a silenced gun. Seever calls Crews, who’s on his way to the FBI to warn him about the shooting and not to go there. While Crews tries to get Bodner’s number to warn him, the FBI assassin approaches Bodner in his garage at gunpoint. The man confirms Roman sent him and shuts the garage door.

Starks calls Crews with Bodner’s number and tells him to ditch his car. He trashes Crews’s cell after using it. In the garage, Bodner’s cell rings, distracting them both just long enough for Crews to ram his Grand Prix National through the garage door and take out the agent. After Crews explains what’s going on, they leave in Bodner’s wife’s minivan before the cops get there. At the scene, the brass wants to know why there’s a dead FBI agent and Crews’ car, yet Crews isn’t there. Tidwell feigns ignorance, and then radios Stark and Seever to tell them to find Crews.

Crews and Bodner figure that Roman must know something they don’t about Rayborn. Since Rayborn was very sick and required daily treatments, they find his doctor through Amanda and pay him a visit. The doctor says Rayborn had a rare form of cancer, but he isn’t treating him anymore. When asked, he declines to elaborate. After they threaten him with some off-the-taxpayer’s-books bodily harm, he admits that Rayborn wasn’t really sick, and he’d been taking his blood and stockpiling it for him. They realize just how long Rayborn had been planning to fake his own death.

As Crews and Bodner wait for Seever and Stark, Bodner asks him about laundering money with Tom Seybold. Crews says that Seybold was the one laundering money, not him. Bodner is surprised that Crews didn’t know what his good friend was up to. Crews figures he must not have known him. Stark comes bearing gifts, that bigger gun that Crews was after. When he tries to convince him to let everyone help, Crews says that Roman wants him. Stark asks Charlie if he’s ever wondered why that is.

Roman learns his agent’s bit the dust and reacts. Reese goads him about his plan going awry. She says Crews is getting closer while he’s hiding in the basement. When Reese compares him to being in love with Crews, he smacks her, then says to go ahead and cry like her father did when he killed him. Meanwhile, Tidwell works with a sound expert to dissect every individual sound in Reese’s tape to try to pinpoint where she is. He hears an extra sound, but the expert doesn’t think it’s anything. The brass asks Tidwell if they can see his phone, but he pretends to have lost it.

After tracking Tidwell’s phone, the cops pull over Bodner but only find him and Stark in the car. When asked to see their phones, Stark feigns surprise upon seeing Tidwell’s phone and says he must have grabbed his boss’ by mistake. Meanwhile, Seever is in the car with Crews, who calls Ted and Amanda to try to trace any activity on Ted’s bank accounts. There’s been nothing on his accounts and all his assets are in place. When Ted talks about feeling old because he’s a grandfather, Amanda reads between the lines and tells him Olivia is in Spain.

Crews and Seever try to figure out how Rayborn is living without any money. They learn through Amanda that Rayborn funded five homeless shelters, but only visits four. At the downtown shelter, Crews has a brainstorm and asks Seever to get him the Seybold murder file when she can. Inside the shelter, they find Rayborn living low. Rayborn doesn’t seem surprised, as he always knew Crews was a good cop.

After pinpointing the sound on the tape as a subway, they research warehouse buildings near subway lines and find that Nevikov owns one of them. They raid the building and find the body of the dead videographer and know they’re in the right spot. However, the building is vacant, including the seat that Reese was sitting in.

Stark tells a Russian hooker to send word to Roman that Crews has Rayborn and where to meet him. Seever tells Crews she already read the Seybold file. Through her photographic memory, she remembers that Seybold was applying to be a taxi driver for a second job, which contradicts with someone who was laundering money. Crews realizes that Seybold may have never been dirty. Perhaps the dirty cops targeted Seybold because he owned a bar with Crews, whom they planned to make dirty by association. And, when they leaned on Seybold too hard, things got out of hand and resulted in the murders.

Rayborn confirms Crews’ suspicions and says he chose Crews over all the new cadets to take over their laundering operation, even Roman knows that. However, when Seybold refused to play, things went bad. Rayborn says the family wasn’t supposed to die and Crews wasn’t supposed to go to prison. And like a proud father, Rayborn says, “But just look at you!” He says he chose Crews, and he was right. “Even that animal Roman knows that,” Rayborn says.

At an abandoned diner, Crews and Roman meet to see that neither have brought their hostages. After determining they don’t trust each other, Roman asks what they should do. Crews wants to know one thing, why he wants Rayborn. When Roman won’t answer, he says Roman can’t have him. He gives Roman the bullet that Bodner shot him with, which almost brings Roman’s rage to the surface, “This is why he-,” Roman says, but reels it in. Crews exits to see the cops have found Seever and Rayborn. When Amanda learns this, she goes to collect her client.

Tidwell tells Seever that Rayborn told the brass she saved his life so she’d get a promotion. Seever is aware he did it so she’d owe him. Stark sends another swap location to Roman via the hooker network; an orange grove that Crews bought when he got out of prison. While they wait, Roman calls to confirm that Rayborn is there. Even though he isn’t, Crews says he is. When Roman sees only Crews and Bodner, Crews says he’s Rayborn. Roman thinks he’s been duped and orders his goons to shoot Reese. However, when Crews says he knows all of Rayborn’s financials, Roman agrees to trade Crews for Reese.

In the SUV, sitting next to Roman and surrounded by his goons, Crews goads Roman that what this is really all about is that Rayborn chose him instead of Roman. Roman punches Crews, who centers himself, then asks Roman if he knows how he got through 12 years in prison. Roman scoffs that it was his Zen, but Crews delivers a chop to Roman’s neck that crushes his windpipe. As Roman gasps for air, Crews says, “Like that.” Roman dies before his stunned muscle. Crews says that whatever Roman has on them and their families is gone, so it’s their choice how this ends. They let him go and burn the SUV with Roman inside.

Bodner and Reese pull up, with Reese absolutely astonished that Crews is standing before her alive. Rayborn and Amanda leave the station, happy to be together as client and protector again. Ted heads off for Spain to look for Olivia. He leaves a note, “Went to Spain,” where he knows Crews will find it. In his fruit bowl.
First aired: April 8, 2009.
Synopsis courtesy NBC.



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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Morris September 10, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Bring back the series Life. What is wrong with NBC… I have been watching the 3 major networks less each year. This past year there were only 5 shows I recorded from the big 3. I watch USA, Bravo, and TNT more and more. Now I am down to 4 shows to watch from NBC, CBS, and ABC…
I am not intereted in trying out your new comedys that are usually not funny, lack any plot, and will likely end the first season. I am tired of having good shows cancelled. The station said it had poor ratings but I see pages & pages of people complaining that you took this off the air. How many people do they need for their ratings?


serena September 10, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I was just checkin to see when the season premiere was and found out Life was canceled what the hell? Me and my husbad watched every episode and I can’t believe that its been canned!!! Way to go NBC anything else you want to screw up and cancel? Bring it back!!


Rich September 9, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I was just looking to see when new episodes of Life started back up and realized it was cancelled, im sad to see a good show with such a good story line and great characters get knocked off the air, one of my favorites next to Chuck, hopefully they dont cancel that show either. i’d hate to be stuck watching reality shows for the rest of my life. Bring Life Back into mine NBC.


Jummy September 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm

I agree with Bruce, there was very poor promotion for this series especially after the whole Strike thing. It’s sad to see it end. Damian Lewis is phenomenal and cracked me up as Detective Cruz. Sad that another good show bites the dust.


Bruce September 9, 2009 at 11:12 am

I just found out about this show. Have watched the first 8 episodes on dvd and think its great. Really some interesting characters and I got hooked on the sub plot to find out who framed Crews. If this show wasn’t well received it was because there was no ( or maybe poor) supporting promotion. I am also sick of stupid reality shows. Never watch them. I am very disapointed in the people behind this decision.


remyr12 September 9, 2009 at 11:04 am

Why did they have to cancel LIFE! We love this show! Why do these companies cancel good, quality shows! LIFE (NBC) and THE UNIT (CBS) have been cancelled and they are good shows! Then the’d replace it with the same old type…you know sort of ER type (they took out ER and yet to be replaced with another similar type of show), or some poor written show with actors not having the charisma!


SICK AND TIRED September 9, 2009 at 6:29 am



Hope September 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm

PLEASE bring back LIFE..this was an aweosme show!!! We watched it religously EVERY week!


R Minning September 8, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Loved this show. One of my favorites. I am really starting to dislike NBC. Seems that every good show they cancel, it just ends. No closure, no warning. I will stop watching shows on NBC. I dont want to get disappointed anymore.


M September 5, 2009 at 8:15 pm

You need to bring LIFE back to TV. It is fantastic


Gwennie September 4, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I love this show! Why not cancel those boring reality shows instead.


Roy September 1, 2009 at 8:41 pm

No wonder no one watches NBC for anything other than Sunday Night Football. They pull or cancel all of the really great shows like Life and bring out something stupid like I’m a Celebrity. I will go back to just watching Sunday Night Football and nothing else from this network.


diana September 1, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Three smart stories with great characters just get started…
Life The Unusuals and Eleventh Hour
and then are canceled -please finish telling us the rest of the story.


smallrage August 31, 2009 at 10:49 pm

One of the few shows show NBC has that is worth watching is being canceled I guess not too many of the 18,000 who are equipped with a Nielsen rating box had that brains it took to follow this show


Marcia Milanovich August 26, 2009 at 9:30 pm

AT LEAST give us some closure to the 12 year old mystery of his being set up for murder….PLEASE


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