Awesome But Dead: Five Great TV Shows That Were Cancelled Undeservedly
Profit (1996), 4 episodes aired
The best show you have probably never heard of. Also, it is the most cancelled of all cancelled shows, taken off the air by FOX after only four episodes in 1996, even though eight had been completed (and were later released on DVD).
Jim Profit (Adrian Pasdar) is a ruthless businessman without any human emotions such as compassion, fear or love (Dexter, anyone?). He does everything from manipulating women into falling in love with him to fraud and murder to reach his goals.
The show does have a small, devout following today, whose members mostly agree that it was "ahead of its time." True, the lead character was a heartless, manipulative bastard, something that wasn't common in the mid-nineties. And yes, there was a scene in the pilot in which he made out with a woman just to then greet her with, "Hello, mom." And he slept in a box. Naked.
The question really is how this ever got green lighted in the first place back then. And if it wouldn't be a huge hit today.
Vengeance Unlimited (1998), 16 episodes aired
Michael Madsen, best known as Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs, stars as Mr. Chapel, a mystery man with a dark past. He goes after criminals who have dodged the justice system in one way or another (Dexter, anyone???). But he doesn't kill them, he just sees that the end up behind bars after all; or that they experience for themselves what they did to their victims. Sometimes, it's even both: In one episode a rapist is finally convicted. The last sequence is a - suggested - prison shower rape. Set to "It's raining men."
It was an extremely dark premise, and the plots were twisted and thought-challenging. So it might have been "ahead of its time" as well. Also it was stupidly scheduled to air at the same time slot as "Friends."
Tru Calling (2003-2004), cancelled 6 episodes into season 2
Maybe it wasn't the greatest TV show in the history of the planet. But it was cancelled at the worst possible time: Six episodes into season 2 and in the middle of an intriguing story arc.
Eliza Dushku starred as a college graduate who relives days in order to save people that died the first time around. When the concept started to feel a little stale mid-season 1, Tru´s nemesis (Jason Priestley - yes, that Jason Priestley!) came along. He spiced things up by trying to ensure the dead people stayed that way. Lots of staring duels and sexual tension ensued. Tension that will never be acted upon.
Everwood (2004-2006), cancelled semi-surprisingly after 4 seasons
This tear-jerking tale of a surgeon who moves to a small Colorado town after his wife's death and tries to reconnect with his children was one of the best dramas on TV. Mostly because it had a lot of drama (Comas! Death! Unrequited love! Teen pregnancies!) without ever being cheesy, and just enough comedic elements without being ridiculous. It was sacked after The new-born CW decided to continue "7th Heaven" instead because its supposed final episode had had great ratings. Now that's what we call a really sad ending.
Moonlight (2007), sacked after 1 season, just to have another vampire show (True Blood) debut the following fall.
Vampires! Detective work! Alex O'Loughlin, shirtless! Come on, why was this cancelled?
Story by Johanna Schönfeld
Starpulse contributing writer
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