Which 'classic' or past shows would be cancelled by today's rules?

UPDATED: Saturday, December 18, 2010 17:14
VIEWED: 1178
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Friday, December 17, 2010 11:10 AM


I'm blatantly stealing the idea from Suasor for this thread.

It really does seem like a lot of shows these days (not just sci-fi) aren't given time to grow. Even those shows that get a loyal fanbase quickly are soon for the chopping block unless they start to pull in big ratings.

So which shows do you think would be cancelled, say after one or two seasons (or less) applying todays network standards.
I'm thinking of the mid-90's and earlier time periods just to put some distance between then and now.

Would Babylon 5 get past its (generally regarded as) poor first season?
Would Airwolf, Knight Rider, The A-Team or the other 80's shows survive long?
Or MASH, Rockford Files and Starsky And Hutch from the 70's?

Pick any show you like and state your view.

"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall


Friday, December 17, 2010 11:38 AM


I know the X-Files has been cited as a huge hit that would have been canceled it's first year. It had very low ratings until late in the second season.

And while not a scifi show (or one I enjoy) Seinfeld was a huge bomb it's first year, so much so they changed the format and name of the show.

But the reality of TV has changed a lot since those days. Shows are expensive, and it's tough to justify spending so much on something that might someday turn a profit.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."


Friday, December 17, 2010 10:06 PM


If the networks had had their way the A-Team would not have been as popular and it would have died...the people involved with that show did their own thing and people loved it.
I don't understand how some really blegh! by my standards tv shows get 4+ seasons when good ones are cancelled. E.g. Ghost Whisperer is so damn boring. (am glad it's finally tanked). the sad thing is Australia gets alot of the crap blockbuster shows and we don't even get a taste of some of the good ones or they show them late at noght or early in the morning and uually out of order.

Rose S


Saturday, December 18, 2010 1:11 AM




Saturday, December 18, 2010 2:53 AM


'All in the Family'. We're just too PC today for this classic show to fly again.


Saturday, December 18, 2010 3:58 AM



Originally posted by lwaves:
So which shows do you think would be cancelled, say after one or two seasons (or less) applying todays network standards.

I don't think the original Star Trek would have made it past season 3.

Battlestar Galactica (original) would have been axed after the first season (with maybe some lame attempt at a cheaper-to-make spin-off). Other shows, from Buck Rodgers in the C25th to Seaquest DSV would have reached their second season only to be derailed by bizzarre changes in the cast and format that left established viewers thinking "wuh?"

As for UK shows, even successful ones like Thunderbirds and UFO would have been ditched after one season, while potentially great shows like Star Cops[1] would have been bunged into graveyard summer vacation slots and never heard from again.

Oh, wait...

Here's a question - has there been a "space" show since "Firefly" that wasn't a reboot or spin-off? (Defying Gravity? That was arguably "Voyage to the Planets" rebooted as a full drama).

([1] No, you're thinking of "Space Precinct". "Star Cops" was about an under-resourced and ridiculed group of UN "police" based on the moon trying to maintain law and order in the near future as humanity started to expand into space. Yup, they beet "Serenity" hands down for "bad choice of title").


Saturday, December 18, 2010 2:33 PM


Cheers is the obvious one - it was an absolute stinker in the ratings, literally last of all its shows, and today it probably wouldn't have made it to having its sixth episode aired. Modern network chiefs would have scrapped it, which also would have killed off Frasier. 22 years of successful programmes gone. But of course if you ask a TV boss nowadays, it's people pirating shows that's responsible for the networks turning into garbage.

Of course, in some parallel universe, they're discussing how Firefly could have been cancelled in its first season (to gasps of horror).


Saturday, December 18, 2010 5:14 PM


I can't imagine any Western making the grade. There has not been a successful western in a couple of decades. I remember Dr Quinn Medicine Woman and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. plus a show about the Pony Express, can't remember the title, that did not last long. The only western in the last few decades I would call a success is Little House on the Prairie. Little House was not a typical action shotout type western, so I don't know if it even counts, but I include it here.






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