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.

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.


Canceled and renewed TV show

65 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Ron says

    Life was my favorite show on network TV! Whoever at NBC that put it at the same time slot as “Criminal Minds” was obviously out to lunch. TNT and USA networks have done very well in Primetime by offering alternatives to” Reality” TV . CBS picked up “Medium” and I was very happy. How bout someone picking up “Life” and putting it up against one of NBC’s shows to get get a true rating. hmmmm… let me see,” Life “or “The Biggest loser”??

  2. Jackie says

    Bring “LIFE” back please…. My Husband and I watched this together! I can honestly say that it was one of those shows that appealed to both men and woman and was not your cliche’ detective show. I can’t believe that a smart studio exec. that has seen this show isn’t bringing this gem back.

  3. Deano says

    Parroting what many others have said…enjoyed the characters, plots/subplots…one of the few shows that my wife enjoyed watching together. These reality shows are such a bunch of crap but I know that they are cheap to produce. Life had the the characteristics that I look for in an entertaining show. The show was not jamming some political correctness or point of view down the viewer’s throat. Since Law and Order has become a propaganda tool for the left I don’t watch it or related programs any more.

  4. Karolynn says

    I can’t believe Life was really canceled. I have been waiting and waiting for its return. It was my (and my husband’s) favorite show. What gives? Why do you cancel good shows and keep some of the crap that is presently showing on?

  5. Love the whole team says

    No, all the questions did not get answered!!! Please bring back Life. Without a doubt it was the only show I thought worth recording

  6. Griff says

    Guys, in the final 2 episodes the answered all of the questions behind the framing and Charlie got the bad guy in the end! I really liked this show as well (Tivo’d it every week!!!). I just wonder how they could continue the story when all the questions had been answered.

  7. Avid Fan says

    Loved the show. Cruises character was intriguing and offbeat. Sarah Shihah was edgy, confident yet vunerable, not to mention extremelly sexy. The ongoing search for closure on the part of Cruise was believable and sustained audience interest.
    So what’s my point?
    What the hell? Why you do me like that?

  8. shannon says

    COME ON!!!! As soon as we find a series that peaks mine and my husbands interests THEY CANCEL IT!!!! Whats up??? It had everything! Plot twists, drama, comedy! What more could they ask for? I don’t understand the thought process over at NBC. The overall ratings are in the toilet, and when they do get a program that so many people enjoy, they cancel it! Well, they brought back friday night lights… lets see if they will bring Life back too! I think its a much more dramatic show.

  9. Patricia Bird says

    Wow!! One has to wonder who makes these decisions to cancel shows. Life was a great show from the first one I watched. Charlie Crews was so refreshing. He could be funny and cop-smart at the same time. And, yes the man is sexy! He and his partner had a chemistry. His buddy, the accountant was a great addition. This series could have been built on for years to come. It was a show I recommended to all my friends and co-workers. It wasn’t made of the same old dribble that you see so much of on the tube. I swear if they come out with another “REALITY” show, I think I’ll abandon television. It’s not a wonder other countries think America is such a brainless society. REALITY….what a laugh! PLEASE. bring back Life and put life back in television.

  10. Craig says

    Life would be better off on USA. I really liked the characters and think they cut this show off way too early.

    P.S. – UNLIKE CSI , Law & Orders, CSIs, NCIS the characters in Life were what made the series, not the cases.

  11. tara says

    GOOD! life sucked anyways, sarah is a horrible acress and frankly you Guys are the only ones who liked it, because it never got good ratings, there are too many law and detective shows anyways, law and order; svu is the only one worth watching. Niether actors from life fit the part and we knew it wouldnt last, no ones going to watch unless shes half naked.. THANK GOD!

  12. Debbie says

    I too was looking to see when it would be on this season and found out it was cancelled. I love this show. I’ve noticed when they bounce around their show times (you kind of expect it to stay in the same night/time- I know I’ve missed episodes of shows because of it) shows seem to get cancelled.
    They cancelled “Life” but brought back “Parks and Recreation”. Gimme me a break. What a STUPID show!!! It’s apparent they don’t know a hit when they see it. I would love to see another network pick it up.

  13. Histeach says

    Another NBC disgrace. They cancel shows such as Life and Boomtown and try to force feed more medical dramas on us. If I am correct, ER went down the tube with bad ratings. What a shame. Smart writing such as Life and Arrested Development never have the chance. It is called Dumbing Down of America

  14. lswrtr says

    Un freeking believable! It was the best drama show on TV. It smoked CSI Miami by miles with its intelligence and humor and acting. You know that if they brought it back, they’d screw it up by trying to make it overly fake like CSI. They’d take the blood out of the acting and storylines because they think all TV viewers are idiots and can’t stand to think. It would be cool if a cable network brought it back, except for the fact that I don’t have cable! ARRRRGGGHHH!!!

  15. jay f says

    our whole family started watching ‘life’ on dvd just a couple of months ago. we loved the story lines, subplots, odd characters, and unique style. we are all very sorry to see great show going away.

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