Mercy Kill: 6 Shows (Thankfully) Canceled After One Episode
Some TV shows are cut down before their time, and never really get a fair shot (We are artistically obligated to mention Arrested Development at this point). Other shows live long past their time (According to Jim will be entering into it's seventh motherfucking season).
But then, every once and awhile, those crazy TV executives get it just right and cut an awful show off after it's first breath. Here are six shows that barely got to the credits on their first episode before somebody threw the switch.
Emily's Reasons Why Not
Heather Graham's breasts play Emily Sanders, a successful young publisher who has a knack for giving great advice ... except when it comes to her own relationships. Emily, armed only with a gay best friend, who works in a tea shop, and a sassy female friend, who tells it like it is, is now on a quest to find the perfect guy, even if it cancels her.
Graham's breasts ultimately decide that, if they can find five reasons to break up with a guy, they will. That is what the entire show is based around.
Why It Was Canceled:
ABC reportedly committed to the show and poured millions in advertising and promotion into the show before seeing a script. They were, one might speculate, impressed by the heartfelt and passionate persuasion of Graham's talented sweater melons.
Generous critics compared the show to a "severely watered-down episode of Sex and the City," while many others found it to be "highly offensive" and "fucking stupid." One of the most common critiques was that Heather Graham was wholly unlikeable and unwatchable, though her breasts are still widely considered to be Emmy-worthy and, going further, a heaving symbol of artistic integrity. The clip below pretty clearly demonstrates Graham's "acting" as well as highlighting where the show goes wrong.
Did you watch that clip? Watch it again but, this time, pay close attention to the moments when you can't see Heather Graham's breasts at all and note how your decreased interest in the show coincides perfectly. Amazing, right? In short, this show needed less stupid plot and Heather Graham's shrieking Chihuahua head and more shots of her amazingly gifted chest monsters. Got that, ABC? If you greenlight our "22 Minutes of Heather Graham's Breasts" pilot, you will have a guaranteed hit on your hands.
Who's Your Daddy?
A new reality show where an adopted woman tries to pick her father out of a lineup of 25 men. If the person guessed correctly, they got $100,000 (and a father). If they guessed incorrectly, their wrong selection would get $100,000, but they'd still gain a father. First off, raise your hand if you couldn't tell just by the description that this show originally aired on the FOX network. Now, chop your hand off because you're a fucking moron.
Why It Was Canceled:
Well, the adopted girl in question, TJ Myers, happened to be an actress in--you guessed it--borderline soft-core pornography! Also, the FOX producers reportedly lied to Myers about the title of the show, as well as the possibility of money being at stake. Also, it's a show that turns being reunited with your biological parents into a fucking game show.
So, yeah. Go ahead and pick a reason.
FOX wisely destroyed all evidence that the show ever existed so we can't provide a clip. However, The Maury Show is the same idea, presumably a little watered down since it's managed to stay on the air for this long. So to give you a vague idea of what Who's Your Daddy was like, here's a clip from Maury in which a guy finds out he's not a child's biological father, and begins dancing while a woman who hoped he was the father of her child weeps quietly off to the side.
Notice the classy way Maury comforts the weeping single mother while his producers play celebratory hip-hop music to facilitate the would-be father's I-don't-have-to-pay-child-support dance. Yeah, Who's Your Daddy was apparently less classy than that.
Honestly FOX, if you're going to exploit and capitalize on something as serious as adoption, why not go all out? Make it a Joe Millionaire-style reality show where a successful bachelor goes on dates with a bunch of aspiring actresses, with the big reveal at the end being ... don't worry ladies, you didn't bang a poor guy. You did, however, have sex with your own biological father! Oh, snap!
Actually, we're literally positive this show is in some stage of production at FOX right now.
Related: The 'Your Mom' Joke: A Brief History
Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos
It's like America's Funniest Home Videos, except not in America, and not funny. Really, we can't imagine any questions you might have that aren't immediately answered in the title.
Why It Was Canceled:
If you honestly can't figure out why this show was canceled, in all likelihood, you are the guy who came up with the idea for this show. If you are that guy, watching the below video should help clarify things.
Hah! From the title, you were probably expecting some unappealing, low-budget, homemade Australian pornography, weren't you? You had no idea that you were about to be tossed knee-deep in animal-humping! Neither did Australia.
This show has gained fame for being canceled before the first episode even ended. The show went to commercial, presumably to give the "People Who Hate Seeing Rabbits Humping Things" a chance to recuperate, and never came back. Instead of treating it's audience to a low-quality video of a jaguar fucking a mailbox, the network ran the message "We apologize for this interruption, unfortunately, a technical problem prevents us from continuing our schedule program at the moment. In the meantime, we bring you a brief, more intelligent program." That "more intelligent program," by the way? Cheers.
That message was cleaned up considerably from Nine Network owner Kerry Packer's original order, "Get that shit off the air!"
Heil Honey I'm Home!
A British sitcom designed to poke fun at the cheesy, formulaic American sitcoms of the '50s and 60s. Also, it's about Hitler.
Why It Was Canceled:
"The show was centered on fictionalized versions of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, who lived together in suburban bliss, until the day their lives are turned upside-down by their new neighbors, the Goldensteins, who are Jewish."
Look, we don't think any topic is off limits when it comes to comedy. Everything can be funny; anyone can be laughed at; and it's never too soon. So, we could potentially get behind a show like Heil, despite that you can't overlook that the main character with whom you're supposed to identify is Adolf Fucking Hitler.
That said, this show was stupid. The jokes were stale, the performances were over the top and the theme song wasn't all that catchy. Also, the show is based around the predicament, "What's going to happen now that Adolf has to live next door to Jewish neighbors?" Well, we all know what happened, and it'll make for a terrible season finale.
The creators of this show seemed to operate on the premise of, "We'll make a show that's so intentionally bad, it's hilarious!" Yeah, that actually doesn't work. That's why Snakes on a Plane didn't make money. We'll laugh at the idea of something that intentionally stupid, but we're not going to sit down and actually watch it. We're not that bored.
Now, we know what you Laughlin fans are thinking: "Hey, Viva Laughlin lasted two episodes, not one! Also, I'm a Viva Laughlin fan. My life is pointless." You're not entirely correct (well, except about the pointlessness of your life). While CBS did (inexplicably) air the second episode of Laughlin, the good people of Australia's Nine Network canceled it after just one, and if there's one thing the Nine Network knows how to do, it's cancel shitty television.
Wikipedia describes it as "a mystery drama musical about businessman Ripley Holden." You read that correctly. It's a mystery TV show where the actors break into contemporary song when appropriate. It's important to note that spontaneously erupting into song is never technically appropriate, but no one told that to Laughlin's writers who genuinely believed that making the lead character jump onto a poker table and sing "Viva Las Vegas" was a reasonable and realistic decision.
Why It Was Canceled:
Watch this clip.
If you're still not sure, watch it again. Just keep watching it.
The New York Times honestly wondered if Viva Laughlin could be "the worst show in the history of television."
It's a show about zombies that has almost nothing to do with zombies. Seriously. It's a show about an average suburb with average people that focuses on an average cop, and there just happens to be zombies wandering around. The show has been described as an apocalyptic comedy, but also as a crime drama, and finally, but only as an afterthought, as a show about zombies. These aren't zombies that are interested in "chasing you" and "eating your sweet, sweet brains," though. Instead, their particular brand of terror involves "moving back in with their families" and "talking about boners."
Why It Was Canceled:
Do you actually remember this gem? Of course, you don't. Babylon Fields has the rare distinction of being canceled before its first episode ever aired. Sure a lot of pilots don't get picked up, but this one did. A pilot was filmed and CBS greenlit it, was all ready to show it on air, and then just a few weeks ago, gave it the old ax (repeatedly, to the head).
We hate to burst anyone's bubble, but no one goes to zombie flicks hoping to see a couple of zombies standing around on their front lawns bullshitting. We go to see the things that are absent from most other movies (the consumption of brains and so forth). When you put zombies in a show but then remove what makes them zombies, you're left with a show that's not only boring, but also full of ugly people. Sure, that formula worked with Roseanne, but it's 2007, we're passed that now.
It's for the best that this was canceled before seeing the light of day. If it actually succeeded, next years fall lineup would undoubtedly be full of imitators, all ready and eager to ruin timeless horror staples by making them mundane and pointless.