The Unaired

There have been a bunch of shows cancelled in the last few weeks after only an episode or two. But it could be worse. At least they aired. There are have been a surprising number of series over the years that were picked up by networks, went into production, and were  cancelled without ever airing.

Laf034For example, Fox shut down writer/producer Glenn Gordon Caron’s series FLING after seven episodes were produced and never aired them. They also cancelled the Scott Baio sitcom REWIND without airing it. And the same network had second thoughts after renewing FIRE CO 132 and shelved all 13 episodes produced for the show’s revamped  second season.

A pre-nose job, pre-L&O Benjamin Bratt starred in three episodes of JUAREZ, an ABC cop show that never aired.  The WB cancelled MANCHESTER PREP  afterCruelintentions2dvdcover shooting three episodes that didn’t air — but were later cut together into a direct-to-DVD movie (CRUEL INTENTIONS 2). A few years ago, TNT shelved all 13 episodes of its new drama series  BREAKING NEWS without airing it (Bravo later burned off the episodes).

This is hardly a new phenomenon — NBC ordered 13 episodes of David Brenner’s sitcom SNIP in the late 70s and cancelled the show without ever broadcasting it. There was an NBC sitcom that met a similar fate in the last season or two, but I can’t recall the name.

Anyone else remember any other series that were cancelled before the produced episodes ever saw the light of a cathode ray tube?

7 thoughts on “The Unaired”

  1. Lee,
    I’m mostly puzzled. They’ve spent the money, why not at least air them once or twice and see how the world reacts? Or do they run focus groups that say they suck? Or maybe more to the point, do they show the shows to advertising reps who says, “No way.”
    Mark Terry

  2. Fire Co. 132 (formerly known as L.A. Firefighters) episodes weren’t totally shelved. They aired overseas beginning in 1997 and continue to air in syndication, but not in the US. Of the 13 episodes ordered up for the Fall season as Fire Co. 132, only 7 were filmed.

  3. ABC actually aired the first of two completed eps of ”Juarez” on May 28, 1988 (Saturday) at 8PM. It was the 2nd worst-rated show on the Big Three Nets that week.
    Here are some other recent series that networks picked up and never aired:
    ”Secret Service Guy” (1996-1997, Fox)
    ”Rewind” (1997-1998, Fox)
    ”Hollyweird” (1998-1999, Fox)
    ”Schimmel” (2000-2001, Fox)
    ”The Grubbs” (2002-2003, Fox)
    ”The Ortegas” (2002-2003, Fox)
    ”The Septuplets” (2003-2004, Fox)
    ”Still Life” (2003-2004, Fox)
    ”Commando Nanny” (2004-2005, WB)

  4. There was a show starring Pierce Brosnan (!) as a writer who test-drove cars for a car magazine and got into wacky adventures along the way. I think NBC actually shot four episodes and never aired one…

  5. The show was called RUNNING WILDE and Larry Gelbert was one of writer/creators. I know it was picked up and several scripts were written (because we read them), but I’m not sure if they ended up shooting more than the pilot before they decided to scrap the project.


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