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Thread: TV shows and cancellations

  1. #31
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    Every time I think I've forgotten about BraveStarr, it shows back up again.

  2. #32
    New Romantic Pogue Mahone's Avatar
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    Screw that noise, the Galactic Rangers was way better than Bravestarr. I mean, talking bipedal horses versus robot horses? Forget about it.

  3. #33
    World's End Supernova Brian Rubin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLWheeljack View Post


    Awww yeah.
    I LOVED that cartoon as a kid. I wonder if it still holds up...

  4. #34
    Social Worker Ginger Yellow's Avatar
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    While that sentence works for some people, a vast majority of people would respond with "Who is Joss Whedon?"
    Well, yes. But as I more or less said on the Fringe thread, the audience for Firefly, as for Dollhouse, is not "the vast majority of people". It's a subset of Joss Whedon fans.

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    I think you are missing the point.

    Lost is simply described, thus is has an easy on-ramp for new potential viewers. Lots of people watched Lost even though they never would have watched a show described as a sci-fi adventure on an island that moves through time and exists as the plug that keeps evil from taking over the planet (or whatever the fuck the show was about)... but "People are shipwrecked on an island where weird stuff happens", they'll give that a shot.

    Firefly, and especially the sentence you used, is a terrible on-ramp. As proof, the show got terrible ratings and was canceled. It has taken years, a cult movement, and much begging and pleading by individual fans to coax people who had no interest in "a Joss Whedon space Western" into watching the show.

  6. #36
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    I can attest to that. I avoided the show when it aired, and for many years because of the fact it was "a Joss Whedon space western". Why would I put myself through that?! I ended up watching an episode on Netflix one night on a whim and ended up consuming the rest of the series in just a couple of days. Quality show, but it had zero to hook a clueless person who just might be surfing the channels or reading about new shows that they should watch.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugin View Post
    I"Redheaded Tea Leone At Her Absolute Peak: The Series."
    Bingo, we have a winner!

  8. #38
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    US broadcast television is commercial. So why would a network lock itself into a 12 episode commitment(using the British method)? What if 4 episodes in you(the network) realize you could get higher ratings showing "When Animals Attack Pt 8" in that time slot?

    I think it's up to us as viewers to know when to say goodbye. I did it with the Xfiles, there came a point where I knew it was best if we just went our separate ways. Chris Carter could run it into the ground and I didn't care because I wasn't watching anymore. I stuck around till the bitter end with Lost because abusive relationships can be hard to leave.

    Also, I'm starting to come around to the idea that no matter what Chris Carter did, it was going to be gibberish in any case. Honestly, is there anywhere they could have taken the Xfiles that wasn't going to be stupid in some way? Same for Lost, no matter what it turned out to be, everyone in the audience was doomed to roll their eyes and say "So THAT'S what it was about all this time?"

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason View Post
    I think you are missing the point.

    Lost is simply described, thus is has an easy on-ramp for new potential viewers. Lots of people watched Lost even though they never would have watched a show described as a sci-fi adventure on an island that moves through time and exists as the plug that keeps evil from taking over the planet (or whatever the fuck the show was about)... but "People are shipwrecked on an island where weird stuff happens", they'll give that a shot.

    Firefly, and especially the sentence you used, is a terrible on-ramp. As proof, the show got terrible ratings and was canceled. It has taken years, a cult movement, and much begging and pleading by individual fans to coax people who had no interest in "a Joss Whedon space Western" into watching the show.
    Yep, and the more sci-fi and time-travel infused latter seasons of Lost got lower ratings than the earlier ones. But because the simple premise had attracted such a large number of viewers initially lower ratings than the first few seasons of Lost was still healthy enough to be considered a hit.

    People just need to accept that the kind of mass audience needed to sustain a hit on a broadcast network isn't really interested in a complex sci-fi drama.

  10. #40
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    ah fox and the awesome shows they canceled. i liked strange luck, about a news photographer that had...massively lucky and unlucky events happen to him..

    the worst hit besides wonderfalls was profit. in that show adrian pasdar played amoral jim profit, vp of acquisitions.

    Profit is an American television series that originally aired on the Fox Broadcasting Company in 1996. The series was created by David Greenwalt and John McNamara, and stars Adrian Pasdar as the titular character, Jim Profit. In February 2008, episodes began airing on Chiller in the USA. In October 2010, episodes began airing on CBS Action in Europe.

    Considered by many to be ahead of its time, the show is a precursor to more recent edgy television shows that include The Sopranos, Nip/Tuck, Dexter, Breaking Bad, and The Shield. Subversive themes stemming from the amoral actions of the central character made the show uncomfortable and unfamiliar viewing for mainstream audiences and Fox network affiliates, which ultimately led to the demise of the series.
    in the pilot, he framed a rival by blackmailing her secretary into confessing to a non-existent lesbian love affair between them. in the middle of the show he went to his house and am attractive woman about his age went up and kissed him full on the mouth. he replies, "hi mom.*" at the end of the show he slept in a cardboard box that his father forced him in when he was being punished.

    *it was his stepmom.

    i watched it on netflix dvd to see episodes that never aired and it still held up.

  11. #41
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    Seinfeld is probably the best example of a show that needed time to find an audience. As I recall it was just so-so in the ratings at first. It kept building, though.

    I'd say for the most part the TV people know what they're doing. It might have taken Firefly years to build an audience. And while Fox knee-capped the series by not showing the pilot episode first, that particular episode is probably not one of the better ones and it's a double length episode, I believe.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by gameoverman View Post
    US broadcast television is commercial. So why would a network lock itself into a 12 episode commitment(using the British method)? What if 4 episodes in you(the network) realize you could get higher ratings showing "When Animals Attack Pt 8" in that time slot?
    Yes, it is commercial, but US networks are also in the business of culture, and thus they do have a tendency to save low-rated "prestige shows" that have high critical awareness if they can make their money elsewhere. Or if they're NBC.

    But what's also missing from this discussion is the costs of producing a show tend to go up rather than down as time goes on. Shoot schedules and editing get a bit easier as the show settles into a rhythm for the long-haul, but the big salary makers, the producers and actors, tend to get paid more and more as time goes on. Eventually, it becomes less and less attractive to keep a show on the air if costs keep rising and profits keep falling. (See: House.)

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by velouria View Post
    People just need to accept that the kind of mass audience needed to sustain a hit on a broadcast network isn't really interested in a complex sci-fi drama.
    I'm not sure how accurate that really is anymore, though. For example, the top rated cable show on Thursday night scored a 2.8 rating compared to a 5.1 for the top rated network show. But if the ratings were combined, the top rated cable show would have been tied for #5 overall. So while there is still a gap, it isn't as huge as you would think. And that's just a snapshot random night comparison.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Asher View Post
    I'd say for the most part the TV people know what they're doing. It might have taken Firefly years to build an audience. And while Fox knee-capped the series by not showing the pilot episode first, that particular episode is probably not one of the better ones and it's a double length episode, I believe.
    I beg to differ. The pilot took its time, but in many ways it was a better episode than The Train Job (which was the first one aired). Fox wanted an insta-hit, but Firefly simply wasn't that kind of show: It was one sold by word-of-mouth more than an easily sell-able premise (and the marketing was borked anyway). Given a full season there's every chance popularity (and ratings) would only have grown.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by krise madsen View Post
    Given a full season there's every chance popularity (and ratings) would only have grown.
    There's no reason to think that's true.

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by madkevin View Post
    There's no reason to think that's true.
    Sure there is. Even with the small fan base it did have, it spawned a movie. Five years later. From a show that got cancelled halfway through the first season. Look at how fans (like me) won't shut up about it. Eventually, that kind of buzz can reach critical mass, and the media will start reporting about "that TV show everyone's talking about" in earnest.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by krise madsen View Post
    Sure there is. Even with the small fan base it did have, it spawned a movie. Five years later. From a show that got cancelled halfway through the first season. Look at how fans (like me) won't shut up about it. Eventually, that kind of buzz can reach critical mass, and the media will start reporting about "that TV show everyone's talking about" in earnest.
    The movie tanked, though. Didn't even make back it's production budget. So that's hardly an indication of some secret popularity hidden with Firefly, waiting to be tapped. Rather, it's an indication that Fox was absolutely correct to cancel it.

    And, dude, come on. Nerds won't shut up about plenty of stuff that's never going to be popular. Based on that logic, the original Prisoner would have made eleventy gabzillion dollars if they had kept it on the air long enough.

  18. #48
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    Hey, it's not like it would have been the biggest cash cow in the history of television, but still. Anyway, I'll agree as far as Fox shouldn't have greenlit the show in the first place, because it clearly wasn't the kind of show they were looking for.

    On a different note, I'm puzzled by this concept of constantly shuffling shows around time slots, something not done much around these parts. I get the presumed intention to min-max exposure of the various assets (shows), but you'd think keeping the viewers guessing when their favourite show was actually on was counter productive in the long run?

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by krise madsen View Post
    Hey, it's not like it would have been the biggest cash cow in the history of television, but still. Anyway, I'll agree as far as Fox shouldn't have greenlit the show in the first place, because it clearly wasn't the kind of show they were looking for.

    On a different note, I'm puzzled by this concept of constantly shuffling shows around time slots, something not done much around these parts. I get the presumed intention to min-max exposure of the various assets (shows), but you'd think keeping the viewers guessing when their favourite show was actually on was counter productive in the long run?
    For the most part, if networks have a show they feel they need to move, the alternative is canceling it. Because it's getting crushed in the ratings by a show on a rival network, or it's losing far too much of the preceding show's audience, and in turn crippling the show that comes after it. Or it's a creatively good but weak show and you're moving it to get some eyeballs on it from your most popular shows.

    Or you need to move it somewhere where ratings expectations are low (Fridays. People love accusing networks of "killing off" shows by sending them to Fridays, but the reality is, most of those shows would simply die from low ratings if you kept them on another day. Friday is their last chance to limp along with some kind of tenable audience).

  20. #50
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    I'm left with the question of why they let Heroes go on for so long? Guilt over killing all of those cool shows too early?

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRobb View Post
    I'm left with the question of why they let Heroes go on for so long? Guilt over killing all of those cool shows too early?
    It was getting decent ratings for most of its run. It's as simple as that. Once the ratings fell it got canceled, pretty much like what happens to most shows.
    Last edited by velouria; 03-11-2012 at 12:50 AM.

  22. #52
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    Cause the first season was really good with high ratings. The second got a pass for being poor because of the writers strike. The 3rd and 4th...I try to pretend they never happened.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra View Post
    II think the coming season of Mad Men is going to be the last which is a real shame.
    What do you base that on? My understanding was that it had been renewed through the next 3 seasons.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by HumanTon View Post
    I'm the opposite. I hate TV renewals. Most of the bad things that happen to an American dramatic TV series are because of the chance it might get renewed, not because it was cancelled.

    Frustrated because your favorite show got cancelled with a million loose ends and unfinished plot lines? That's because they were trying to string you along into a next season that never happened.

    Bored because a show that was great the first season has descended into aimless meandering? That's because the show runners had no plan past the first season and are scrambling to come up with storylines that are interesting ... but not actually ever resolved, because they're trying to string you along to next season.

    The British model is better. A show gets a full season. And if it's really, really, really popular it might get another. Meaning a season tells a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end, and there's no stringing you along or saving the good stuff for later.

    (This post is prompted by Awake, a cool idea for a show that is almost guaranteed to end in disaster. Either it will get cancelled before anything is actually explained, or it will quickly descend into Lost-like gibberish if it becomes popular enough that they want to string you along indefinitely. Whereas if it was restricted to 12 or 24 episodes with a beginning, middle, and end, it might just turn out to be a classic.)
    100% agree. A lot of TV is about creating franchises rather than compelling stories. Sure you can make a lot of money off of fan service after a point but that doesn't mean it's good TV.

  25. #55
    Social Worker Ginger Yellow's Avatar
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    Kinda sorta on topic, is there some reason both Fringe and Castle seemed to have been off air this last week? Are they on hiatus again? And is it at all surprising that most shows only lose audience if the networks screw around with the scheduling so much? "I've heard good things about that show, I'll give it a chance. Oh, it's not on. Never mind." Just run a series until it's finished, absent massive live events.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger Yellow View Post
    Kinda sorta on topic, is there some reason both Fringe and Castle seemed to have been off air this last week? Are they on hiatus again? And is it at all surprising that most shows only lose audience if the networks screw around with the scheduling so much? "I've heard good things about that show, I'll give it a chance. Oh, it's not on. Never mind." Just run a series until it's finished, absent massive live events.
    So were 30rock and parks. They are just saving eps for May sweeps I assume.

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger Yellow View Post
    Just run a series until it's finished, absent massive live events.
    Absolutely! That's one good thing about UK TV, they don't screw around with schedules too much that way. Equally, the UK TV model means things like B5 can't happen here.

    (Doctor Who was more or less an accident, and that kind of popularity has never been repeated. There's Invasion:Earth, which is good...but also 6 episodes!)

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armiger View Post
    So were 30rock and parks. They are just saving eps for May sweeps I assume.

    I also thought they were (and other shows) being put on hiatus for NCAA basketball.

  29. #59
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    Huh, I'll never understand the view that it's better to have never experienced something like Firefly or [insert your beloved show here], just because it wasn't allowed to run for multiple seasons or to end properly.

    Let me put it this way: if I was told I could only remember the one season of Firefly or the seven seasons of LOST, I'd choose the former in a heartbeat.

  30. #60
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    Yeah, Firefly was great. With the series and the movie we got what? about 16 hours of it? That's not bad.

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