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9 TV Shows That Were Cancelled Before Their Prime

Despite an outpour of fan love and a constant stream of critical acclaim Community was given an F earlier this month by NBC, falling just short of it's "6 seasons and movie" tagline. Some viewers feel that five seasons with the students at Greendale were just enough. But another, louder, internet contingent thinks that the show was just getting back on its feet after a disastrous fourth season. Here are nine other series that were ripped away from the viewers too soon.

9. Happy Endings

To say that Happy Endings was one of the most perfect sitcoms to ever grace the form is anything but hyperbole. If only ABC and Sony (who surreptitiously pulled it off the air after the series’ third season) had seen it the same way.Not only did the series break ground by presenting a multicultural base of friends and lovers like Jane and Brad.

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By introducing with fan favorite, Max, Happy Endings showed that all gay men weren’t just able to give fashion tips and snappy one liners, they were also able to eat honey out of a jar and wear clothes that were soaked in garbage.

 

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Like Ghandi, and Starbucks’ almond syrup, we didn’t appreciate Happy Endings when we had it and now that it’s gone it’s all we want.

 

8. Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip

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Maybe it was poor timing, or maybe the public wasn’t ready to watch Chandler Bing play another sassy role. Whatever it was, Studio 60 only lasted one brilliant season, a rare miss for Aaron Sorkin. Bursting with snappy dialogue, insider knowledge and plenty of that patented Sorkin walking and talking, S60OTSS (also my license plate number) scorched the earth of television drama.

Some viewers think that two series depicting life on a live comedy show was one too many, but this very important television article writer thinks there's always room for Jell-O (in this article Jell-o is a metaphor for Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip).

7. Veronica Mars

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A long time ago, we used to be viewers but I haven’t heard of you lately at all. That would have been much funnier if my only vetting source for this article wasn't the Veronica Mars fan chat "4th Blog From The Sun."

The series followed teenage detective Veronica Mars as she explored the seedy underbelly of Neptune, California with her father, ex-sheriff Keith Mars and a bevy of supporting characters. Unfortunately, after the third season Veronica Mars was the victim of its very own murder mystery. Recently, members of the Veronica Mars cast have shown up in fan favorites and fellow “Best Of…” listees Party Down and Parks and Recreation.

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Most recently, a feature film version of the series has been produced through Kickstarter it’s possible that a new series, or even a series of fan produced feature films will flood the market. Stranger things have happened in Neptune.

6. The Tick

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Trying to convince adults on a Thursday night to watch a live action superhero satire that equally spoofed and reveled in the world of caped crusaders is a tough bet, but when the hero is a 7 foot tall blue tick the chances are slim to none.

Even though The Tick had massive critical acclaim, it was too smart and too weird to have a broad appeal. Closer to Seinfeld in spandex than Superman on the small screen, Fox dropped this title like a hot plate.

5. Clone High

Way, way back in the 1980s secret government employees dug up famous guys and ladies and made amusing genetic copies. Now those clones are sexy teens and they’re going to make it if they try. Everyone knows the back-story to this fiercely adored cult classic so I know I shouldn’t have to recap for you.

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For a specific group of teens coming of age in the early 2000s, Clone High was the gate way to alternate history, Monty Python inspired off the wall antics, and some of the coolest indie rock of the time (seriously, check out the soundtrack to a normal episode – Owen, Matt Pond PA, Hot Rod Circuit, and Mates of State). Sadly, only six episodes of the series were aired in the US with the rest of the 13 episodes finishing off in Canada, possibly due to the diligent work of John Stamos.

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But don’t worry your pretty little head about the alumni from Clone High; they went on to bigger and better things after graduating. Maybe you’ve heard of a little thing called The Lego Movie?

4. Wonderfalls

After writing and producing for Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and Voyager, Bryan Fuller took a break from zipping around the cosmos to create something a little more down to earth. The writer penned Wonderfalls,in which a Brown educated sales clerk in a Niagara Falls receives odd advice from inanimate objects and becomes a reluctant savior to the townsfolk. Sort of. Too quirky for broadcast television and with an overactive time slot, Wonderfalls was quietly shuffled off the air and onto Logo, where it finished its run in 2004.

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3. Freaks and Geeks

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It seems silly to complain about the cancellation of Freaks and Geeks (and the subsequent Apatow cancellations – Undeclared and The Ben Stiller Show) now the Apatow Productions seal is basically an excuse to print money, but there was a time when the world wasn’t head over heals with Seth Rogan and James Franco wasn’t creeping through the streets of New York under the guise of a “performance artist.” A period piece following the two Weir siblings through their 1980-81 high school year in a suburb of Detroit, their classmates would soon make up most of our viewing habits. If you’ve been under a rock for the last fifteen years and are wondering what the Freaks and Geeks are up to, may I suggest you turn on your television and watch literally any show?

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2. Twin Peaks

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For one year in 1990, the entire country couldn’t stop asking the question “Who killed Laura Palmer?” Twin Peaks quickly became a critical darling and ratings hit when it premiered in April of 1990. One of the first, if not the first, series to incorporate dream logic and a surreal story arc that spanned an entire season, it immediately captured a devoted cult fan base and became a part of popular culture that has been referenced in television shows, commercials, comic books, video games, films and song lyrics. If you’re one of the few that have yet to be indoctrinated into the cult of Twin Peaks, you can always pick up the box set and finish the series in a long weekend. Just make sure to take my advice and avoid Fire Walk With Me, it’s not for the casual viewer.

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1. Firefly

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Do you think the suits that canceled Firefly screamed at themselves in the mirror for a solid hour after they read the box office numbers for The Avengers, written and directed by Joss Whedon? Or do you think they tried to play it cool and told all of their friends that he wouldn’t have been half as successful if they hadn’t canceled the beloved space western? It was probably a combination of the two. At the time, network television hadn’t seen anything as epic or innovative as Firefly. Beginning in media res after an intergalactic civil war, the series followed Captain Mal Reynolds and his rag tag group of space pirates as they traveled from planet to planet, collecting bounties and speaking in a goofy, yet probably soon to be accurate slang made up of a mélange of Eastern and Western curse words. For the crime of being far ahead of its time and airing at least ten years before the nerd entertainment take over, only eleven of Firefly’s fourteen episodes were aired.

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Oh and the series was followed by a feature film, original novels, comic books, and a role-playing game so maybe Firefly floated out at just the right time.

 

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