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Greatest One Season Wonders

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  • Somnambulist
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    #337899

    What are some of the greatest “brilliant but canceled” series that only lasted one season?

    An obvious choice would be Freaks and Geeks, which is considered by many TV critics to be one of the modern classics.

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    Renaton
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    #337901

    My So-Called Life. I loved it back then and I still love it now.

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    Halo_Insider
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    #337902

    Freaks and Geeks is the first to come to mind. Such a perfect little run of episodes. 

    Firefly also comes to mind. A show that managed to know its characters practically from the get-go, but just couldn’t survive under FOX, and was frequently aired out of order.

    I hear this all the time about Terriers, as well. 

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    Denis
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    #337903

    Rubicon, Last Restort ( even if the show lost itself on the middle half of the saeson) wouldn’t call it a wonder but it was a good show.

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    KyleBailey
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    #337904

    It still has 2 weeks left as a One Season Wonder but The Comeback was brilliant and ahead of its time. I am so happy it is coming back

    Also loved last season’s Trophey Wife. Very underrated and grew over time

    I really liked The New Normal mostly for Andrew Rannells and Ellen Barkin’s amazing performances.

    If you count the seven episodes of Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23’s first season with its shorten 2nd season, once again brilliant but may have worked better on a cable network 

    Hello Ladies, Stephen Merchant’s HBO show was hilarious. If Silicon Valley could get renewed, I can’t fathom HBO cancelled this show.

    And the very very short lived NBC show Best Friends Forever. I’m pretty sure I was the only viewer since they burned it out in like an April/May slot.

    I don’t know if the BBC show Almost Royal is totally cancelled but last I heard it is for America and that was one of the most suprising gems of this year.  

    And the late great The Crazy Ones. Though not as perfect as it started, it was very funny and really showcased Robin Williams and James Wolk’s comedic chops.  

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    Boidiva02
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    #337905

    The underappreciated, rarely discussed gem Out of Practice comes to mind. The cast was amazing; Henry Winkler, Stockard Channing, Ty Burrell, Christopher Gorham and Jennifer Tilly! 

    I echo the mention of My So-Called Life, a true gem.

     

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    Boidiva02
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    #337906

    and Lonestar could have been great had it been given more than 1 episode to get an audience.

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    Macbeth
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    #337907

    Two shows I adore and rewatch constantly:

    That’s My Bush
    This was Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s foray into a parody of a family sitcom starring George W. Bush and his family and friends. It was designed to be like The Honeymooners or The Cosby Show, and it also covered some serious topics, like abortion, the death penalty, War on Drugs and nuclear warfare. It was suitably cheesy, stupid and cliched, but all eight episodes were absolutely hilarious, and Timothy Bottoms was Emmy-worthy as George W. Bush. Not many people have heard of this show, but it is a gem, and it may be offensive at times, but it was always very funny.

    Family Tree
    I love Christopher Guest, and the concept of this show was brilliant. Chris O’Dowd was a great lead, and the show was filled with these eccentric characters from the Guest Players. I wish it had been extended more than one season, because it could’ve become a wonderful and iconic show. But it just didn’t have an audience, and HBO pulled the plug too soon.  

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    Icky
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    #337908

    I didn’t care for My So Called Life as a teen and liked it less when I watched it as an adult. I appreciated Freaks and Geeks but thought it needed another season to live up to its potential. Still had no business being canceled.

    My favorite one season shows are The Hooneymooners, Terriers, Firefly, Luck, The Tick

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    Renaton
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    #337909

    I knew I was forgetting something, Luck really was special, too bad it didn’t last (and that those horses died).

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    Adam P.
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    #337910

    Personal faovirte one-season wonders:

    Freaks and Geeks – Very funny show that boasted a bevy of future stars (James Franco, Linda Cardellini, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, Martin Starr etc.)

    Undeclared – Another Judd Apatow-produced series with Jay Baruchel and Charlie Hunnam starring. Very funny and underrated in comparison to Freaks and Geeks

    Glory Daze – Brilliant show on TBS that not many people were aware of

    Wedding Band – Yet another TBS series that was doomed from the start with its Saturday scheduling. Although, by Saturday standards, it actually did quite well

    Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous – Brought to MTV by Bo Burnham, the show satirized so many relevant pop culture topics about no-name, no-talent people becoming pseudo celebrities that it was a shock MTV weren’t offended

    Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – Aaron Sorkin light drama about the goings-on behind the scenes of an SNL-type series. If you know Aaron Sorkin’s work you know how tight and sharp his writing is. Unfortunately 30 Rock, a show with a similar concept and broader appeal, debuted in the same season and NBC went with the latter

    Mission Hill – Brightly animated series that had great humor but was sadly never given the chance to grow

    Good Vibes – Despite being created by Joe and Pineapple Express helmer David Gordon Green, and boasting a voice cast that included Adam Brody, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Debi Mazar, Alan Tudyk and Tony Hale, the show was axed by MTV after what they considered “low ratings” (this was during a period where MTV basically cancelled any scripted series that wasn’t pulling in outstanding numbers. Satisfactory wasn’t satisfying them)

    Downtown – Another MTV animated series, this one rarely talked about when it comes to short-lived animations, but Downtown really captured the early 2000s era of New Yorkers, and even today it works

    GCB – Despite decent ratings, ABC cancelled this Kristin Chenoweth starrer after a single season. It was a bit soapy but had great laughs and well-realized characters. I’ve never properly watched Desperate Housewives but it had a similar feel

    Downtown, Mission Hill and Undelcared are all available on YouTube for free. They were when I saw them anyway.

    Also a couple shows that managed to scrape a second season before getting the axe:

    Hard Times of RJ Berger – A show that me and my friends loved, very funny and really speaks to my generation (which is the current teenage generation of around 16+)

    Pushing Daisies – Critical favorite that got the axe way too soon. This is very funny, very bright and incredibly well written and acted. Makes you believe in its high concept and care for the characters

    Better Off Ted – From the same creator as Arrested Development, they had a similar style of humor and in my personal opinion, I actually just preferred Better Off Ted. I loved the characters, the over-the-top idead from the shows characters. It just really worked but unfortunately couldn’t find a good place on ABC’s admittedly strong (mostly) comedy slate

    Dollhouse – Firefly only got one season, and Joss Whedon’s overdue follow-up only lasted a little longer. But both were sci-fi gems and if Firefly got a movie in Serenity, can Dollhouse please get one too?

    Breaking In – The series was a lot stronger in its first season, and actually was resurrected for a second season after being cancelled. But this show was very entertaining while it lasted. The decision to replace Michael Rosenbaum and Trevor Moore with Megan Mullaly and Erin Richards was a poor one as the show quickly declined in quality and couldn’t even complete its second season run. But the first season, that is where this show shone

    White Van Man – A British series that only graced American screens in the form of an abysmal ABC remake, this comedy was given the axe out of nowhere after its second season wrapped. Very very funny with a great cast attached

    And finally one honorable mention:

    Happy Endings – One of my favorite all-time comedy series. It did get three years, but should’ve gotten longer. And would have had USA not passed up the opportunity to save it 

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    Alijah Purdy
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    #337911

    I have to say, Commander in Chief really takes the cake for me. It was a brilliant show, and managed to win Geena Davis a Golden Globe and the show itself get nominated for Drama Series at the Globes. Even with all of the behind the scenes crap, it was a great show throughout the entire season, and I love watching it on Netflix. 

    I also echo the GCB comment. Loved Annie Potts and Kristin Chenoweth in that show.  

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    Boidiva02
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    #337912

    Personal faovirte one-season wonders:

    Wedding Band – Yet another TBS series that was doomed from the start with its Saturday scheduling. Although, by Saturday standards, it actually did quite well

    Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – Aaron Sorkin light drama about the goings-on behind the scenes of an SNL-type series. If you know Aaron Sorkin’s work you know how tight and sharp his writing is. Unfortunately 30 Rock, a show with a similar concept and broader appeal, debuted in the same season and NBC went with the latter

    GCB – Despite decent ratings, ABC cancelled this Kristin Chenoweth starrer after a single season. It was a bit soapy but had great laughs and well-realized characters. I’ve never properly watched Desperate Housewives but it had a similar feel

    Also a couple shows that managed to scrape a second season before getting the axe:

    Pushing Daisies – Critical favorite that got the axe way too soon. This is very funny, very bright and incredibly well written and acted. Makes you believe in its high concept and care for the characters

    Better Off Ted – From the same creator as Arrested Development, they had a similar style of humor and in my personal opinion, I actually just preferred Better Off Ted. I loved the characters, the over-the-top idead from the shows characters. It just really worked but unfortunately couldn’t find a good place on ABC’s admittedly strong (mostly) comedy slate

    Breaking In – The series was a lot stronger in its first season, and actually was resurrected for a second season after being cancelled. But this show was very entertaining while it lasted. The decision to replace Michael Rosenbaum and Trevor Moore with Megan Mullaly and Erin Richards was a poor one as the show quickly declined in quality and couldn’t even complete its second season run. But the first season, that is where this show shone

    And finally one honorable mention:

    Happy Endings – One of my favorite all-time comedy series. It did get three years, but should’ve gotten longer. And would have had USA not passed up the opportunity to save it 

    Yes to all of these and I’d like to add:

    Don’t Trust the B— In Apt. 23, Kate Brasher, For The People and Maybe Its Me.  

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    Denis
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    Oct 14th, 2011
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    #337913

    I’m still trying to process why I forgot to mention Hbo’s Luck, thanks guys for bringing it up, wonderfull show.

    I also remembered “Party Down”, eventhough it won’t qualify because of it’s second season, but boy I liked that show.

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    Emmys2011
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    Aug 29th, 2011
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    #337914

    Personal faovirte one-season wonders:

    Freaks and Geeks – Very funny show that boasted a bevy of future stars (James Franco, Linda Cardellini, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, Martin Starr etc.)

    Undeclared – Another Judd Apatow-produced series with Jay Baruchel and Charlie Hunnam starring. Very funny and underrated in comparison to Freaks and Geeks

    Glory Daze – Brilliant show on TBS that not many people were aware of

    Wedding Band – Yet another TBS series that was doomed from the start with its Saturday scheduling. Although, by Saturday standards, it actually did quite well

    Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous – Brought to MTV by Bo Burnham, the show satirized so many relevant pop culture topics about no-name, no-talent people becoming pseudo celebrities that it was a shock MTV weren’t offended

    Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – Aaron Sorkin light drama about the goings-on behind the scenes of an SNL-type series. If you know Aaron Sorkin’s work you know how tight and sharp his writing is. Unfortunately 30 Rock, a show with a similar concept and broader appeal, debuted in the same season and NBC went with the latter

    Mission Hill – Brightly animated series that had great humor but was sadly never given the chance to grow

    Good Vibes – Despite being created by Joe and Pineapple Express helmer David Gordon Green, and boasting a voice cast that included Adam Brody, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Debi Mazar, Alan Tudyk and Tony Hale, the show was axed by MTV after what they considered “low ratings” (this was during a period where MTV basically cancelled any scripted series that wasn’t pulling in outstanding numbers. Satisfactory wasn’t satisfying them)

    Downtown – Another MTV animated series, this one rarely talked about when it comes to short-lived animations, but Downtown really captured the early 2000s era of New Yorkers, and even today it works

    GCB – Despite decent ratings, ABC cancelled this Kristin Chenoweth starrer after a single season. It was a bit soapy but had great laughs and well-realized characters. I’ve never properly watched Desperate Housewives but it had a similar feel

    Downtown, Mission Hill and Undelcared are all available on YouTube for free. They were when I saw them anyway.

    Also a couple shows that managed to scrape a second season before getting the axe:

    Hard Times of RJ Berger – A show that me and my friends loved, very funny and really speaks to my generation (which is the current teenage generation of around 16+)

    Pushing Daisies – Critical favorite that got the axe way too soon. This is very funny, very bright and incredibly well written and acted. Makes you believe in its high concept and care for the characters

    Better Off Ted – From the same creator as Arrested Development, they had a similar style of humor and in my personal opinion, I actually just preferred Better Off Ted. I loved the characters, the over-the-top idead from the shows characters. It just really worked but unfortunately couldn’t find a good place on ABC’s admittedly strong (mostly) comedy slate

    Dollhouse – Firefly only got one season, and Joss Whedon’s overdue follow-up only lasted a little longer. But both were sci-fi gems and if Firefly got a movie in Serenity, can Dollhouse please get one too?

    Breaking In – The series was a lot stronger in its first season, and actually was resurrected for a second season after being cancelled. But this show was very entertaining while it lasted. The decision to replace Michael Rosenbaum and Trevor Moore with Megan Mullaly and Erin Richards was a poor one as the show quickly declined in quality and couldn’t even complete its second season run. But the first season, that is where this show shone

    White Van Man – A British series that only graced American screens in the form of an abysmal ABC remake, this comedy was given the axe out of nowhere after its second season wrapped. Very very funny with a great cast attached

    And finally one honorable mention:

    Happy Endings – One of my favorite all-time comedy series. It did get three years, but should’ve gotten longer. And would have had USA not passed up the opportunity to save it 

    Dollhouse got a second season after all. Surprise! Now go watch it cause it was amazing. They butchered the ending, folloqing the same storyline as the one in season 1, but only because they knew they wouldnñt last so they had to wrap it up fast. But in season 2 they took it to higher levels…Really cool 

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