- List of television series canceled before airing an episode
Many times, a television series will only run for a single season or, in rarer cases, just one episode. An even rarer occurrence is a series that is canceled before a single episode has aired. While many pilot episodes for series are made each television season and only a select few get picked up, this article is about shows that have been officially announced by a network as part of its schedule, only to be canceled before being broadcast.
eries canceled before airing a single episode
The Cheetah Girls" : Walt Disney Studios produced four episodes of this television series for the Disney Channel, but canceled it before airing a single episode. The premise later had success as made-for-TV movies.
; "Coastocoast" : This hour-long sitcom about two airline stewardesses, from
Bud Yorkin's production company, was originally announced for inclusion in NBC's fall 1978 schedule on Thursdays. Some Hollywood insiders actually felt that the show was an "abomination" and would do irreparable damage to NBC's reputation. When Fred Silverman took over the network in June, the show was pulled from the schedule for "further development" and eventually scrapped.
; "Commando Nanny" : A 2005 series for the WB, created by "
Survivor" producer Mark Burnett, was based on his life as an au pair. The show had its pilot re-shot when the star was replaced. After a few more delays, the show was shelved permanently.
; "The Dictator" : In spring 1988 this
CBSsitcom, which starred Christopher Lloydas a former dictator of a foreign country now living in a laundromat, was ready to air as a spring replacement show, and ads ran in TV Guideand on CBS announcing its debut. "The Dictator" was pulled before a single episode aired, owing in part to a Writers Guild of Americastrike.
; "Eight Days a Week" :
The CWannounced this 2008 series as a midseason offering, but no episodes were produced besides a pilot, partly due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.
; "Fearless" :
The WBannounced production of this show for the 2003-2004 TV season which was based on the young adult series of novels by Francine Pascalfor its Tuesday nights. The show starred Rachael Leigh Cook, Bianca Lawson, Ian Somerhalder, and Eric Balfour. The network decided to put "One Tree Hill" in its place and move "Fearless" to mid-season after hearing of issues producers were having with the lead character's emotions and later issues of casting. After many delays, the show was canceled. The pilot was the only episode shot and never aired, but was leaked to the Internet after the show was put onto the schedule.
; "Garbage Pail Kids" : An animated series based on
Topps' bubble gum card series, " Garbage Pail Kids", a parody of the " Cabbage Patch Kids". Originally scheduled to debut in the fall of 1987 on CBS's Saturday morning schedule, it was canceled before its debut, after complaints from parental groups. It was replaced by an extra half hour of " Muppet Babies". The "Garbage Pail Kids" series remained unseen in the U.S. until 2006, when the series was released on DVD.
; "The Grubbs" : The very first new series of the 2001-2002 season, scrapped on September 12, 2001, and never mentioned again.
; "Head of the Class" : This Summer replacement 1960 prime time game show to have been hosted by
Gene Rayburnwas slated to debut on NBC Friday nights on June 24, 1960as listed in TV Guideand paired with " Play Your Hunch"; but the week before NBC changed its plans and slated to air on Friday nights reruns of " Cimarron City" and " Wichita Town".
; "Hollyweird" : In 1998, Fox abruptly pulled the plug on this show from producer
Shaun Cassidybefore it ever made it to air, citing creative differences.
Hotel Story" : In 1977, this Australian series made by Crawford Productionswas canceled by Network Tenbefore a single episode had been aired and only seven episodes shot. After Network Ten canceled the series, Crawford found that the contract had never been signed, so they had no legal redress. The first four episodes later went to air as a "miniseries" screened over two nights.
; "The Hunters" : A gory sexcrime Western was originally slotted by CBS on the Fall 1970 schedule in the Sunday 10-11 p.m. time period. Fred Silverman scrapped the project in July of that year.
; "In The Dark (US version)" : In
1997, The WBslated to air an American version of a British game show of the same name on its prime time Sunday schedule, but was yanked before its premiere.
The IT Crowd" (U.S. version) : A television comedy that was originally planned to debut on NBC in the 2008-2009 television season, and based on the British series of the same name, it was to be adapted for U.S. audiences. The show was to be remade with an American cast although Richard Ayoade reprised his role as Moss. Jessica St. Clair played Jen, the female lead, and Joel McHale played Roy.  The show was picked up for a midseason debut in 2008 but was later pushed back to air during the 2008-2009 season. On September 13, 2007, the Hollywood Reporter reported that NBC was considering pulling the plug on the show. When NBC announced its schedule for the 2008-2009 season, the show was not on it.
; "Liza and David" : In October of 2002,
VH1abruptly pulled the plug on this planned reality series, which would have been about the lives of Liza Minelliand her then-husband, producer David Gest, shortly before its premiere. This triggered a string of lawsuits that brought about the dissolution of the marriage soon afterwards.
; "The Love Nest" : In 1974, CBS originally announced this sitcom to air in its fall schedule on Friday nights. It starred
Charles Laneand Florida Friebusas widowed senior citizens who live together in a Florida trailer park.
Man vs. Beast(UK Version)" : In 2003, ITVin the UK commissioned a six-part series based on the controversial US Fox TV special of the same name. It was withdrawn two days before its scheduled debut after protests from animal rights groups. [http://www.ukgameshows.com/page/index.php/Man_Versus_Beast]
Manchester Prep" : In 1999, this series, based upon the film " Cruel Intentions", was commissioned by the Fox and advertised as a new series, but, perhaps due to its controversial subject matter involving teen sexuality, was canceled before broadcast. The pilot episode of "Manchester Prep" was later partially refilmed to add nudity and adult subject matter, and released as the R-rated direct-to-video film, " Cruel Intentions 2".
Milli Vanilli: The Series" : CBS was deeply committed to putting this Saturday morning cartoon show on the air for fall 1991, but it never materialised due to a scandal in which it was revealed that the two lead singers did not sing on their album and they lip-synched during concerts.
Misconceptions" : This show was to be a mid-season replacement during The WB's 2005-2006 season. Six episodes were produced, but none of them were televised before the network shut down later that year.
Mr. Dugan" : This sitcom was supposed to have premiered on CBS on March 11, 1979, and even received substantial on-air promotion. Starring Cleavon Littleas a fledging black congressman, "Mr. Dugan" was yanked from CBS' schedule four days before the premiere, because several real black congressmen took umbrage after a special screening.
On the Ropes" : This teen aimed sitcom was slated to air on the Fall 1999 Kids WBlineup but was withdrawn due to the popularity of " Pokémon" .
The Ortegas" : This 2003 Fox project starred Cheech Marin. It was based on " The Kumars at No. 42", a British hit about an Indian family that hosts its own talk show.
Popetown" : A cartoon series commissioned by the BBC in 2002 which consisted of comical misrepresentations of the Roman Catholicchurch. After a sustained campaign from senior Catholic theologians, the series was never broadcast on the grounds that it was not of sufficient quality. However, "Popetown" made its debut on New Zealandmusic television network C4, and was released on DVDin September 2005.
Press Ganged" : A reality televisionseries made by Granada Productionsfor ITV1in the UK. Filmed in the summer of 2004, it appeared on lists of forthcoming series several times over the next year, but was never broadcast. No reason has ever been given for the show's non-appearance.
Raising Caines" : Judge Reinholdwas set to star in this 1995 family sitcom alongside Mel Harrison NBC. Did air in other countries outside of the United States.
Real People2" : As the 25th anniversary of the human interest series "Real People" rolled around in 2004, various networks attempted to revive the series. But litigation and the economic realities of the day straightjacketed their efforts. The closest anyone came to a second "Real People" was a pathetic and totally imperceivable weekend lifestyle piece on a Long Island cable channel, which had the name but none of the magic of the original. ; "Rewind" : In 1998, Fox heavily advertised this series, which would have followed two advertising executives ( Scott Baioand Mystro Clark) in the current day and in flashbacks to their experiences in the 1970s but eventually canceled the series before any showings.
The Robert Taylor Show" : In 1963, NBCoriginally slated this Four Star series in its Thursday night schedule. It would have starred actor Robert Taylor as a troubleshooter for the U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and featured George Segaland Robert Loggiaas his assistants.
Robotech 3000" : Planned for 2000, this project was canceled after a disastrous reaction by convention attendees over its abandonment of Robotech's trademark anime look. American production studio Netter Digitalwent out of business soon afterwards.
; "Schimmel" : Plans for comedian
Robert Schimmelto star in a 2000 Fox sitcom were shelved when the star underwent treatment for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. ; " Secret Service Guy" : Judge Reinholdwas also slated to star in this 1997 sitcom which Fox decided not to air.
; "Septuplets" : Another unrealized Fox commitment, this one for midseason 2003. It would have concerned a set of 16-year-old septuplets who run an upscale beachfront hotel with their parents.
The Singles Table": NBC announced in 2006 that this sitcom about five people who meet at a wedding after they are placed at the worst table at the event would debut as a mid-season series during the 2006-2007 television season, but no episodes aired.
Snip" : In 1976, comedian David Brennerwas slated to star in this sitcom where he would portray a hairdresser dealing with his ex-wife (portrayed by Lesley Ann Warren) moving back in with him. Created by James Komack, who had earlier created hits like " Chico and the Man" and " Welcome Back Kotter", "Snip" seemed to have great potential, and was heavily promoted by NBC. However, the network decided to pull the show at the last minute after seven episodes were filmed (it was so abrupt even " TV Guide" was caught off guard, and still listed the show in its schedule guide). Brenner thinks this was due to fears of controversy, as one of the supporting characters was openly gay. Brenner quipped that, apparently, "In 1976, there were no gay people in America." Five completed episodes did manage to air in Australia.
; ' : A planned revival of ' that was to air on a proposed
Paramount Picturestelevision network in the fall of 1977. When plans for the network fell through, the first episode of "Phase II" was given an expanded budget and became ' and two of the unaired plots would go on to be re-written for episodes of . In 2008, the online fan film project called ' changed its name to "Star Trek: Phase II" and announced they would be adding at least one "new" character who had been created for the unfilmed and abandoned 1970s Trek series.
; "Thick and Thin" : This sitcom starred
Jessica Capshawas a formerly fat woman who was struggling to commit herself to a healthier lifestyle - over the objections of her still fat family and friends. Six episodes were produced as a mid-season replacement for NBC's 2005-2006 season, but none were ever aired.
Tonari no 801-chan" : An anime adaption of the manga that was scheduled to air on TBS in Japan when the network made the announcement in mid-August 2008. For unknown reasons, the anime series was later canceled and their web sites on this anime were removed and made the cancelation official on August 29, 2008.
12 Miles of Bad Road" : The brainchild of comedic writer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, this show was originally created for HBO and centered around a Texas matriarch who must reconcile her booming real estate business and immense wealth with the day-to-day struggles of her dysfunctional family life. and stars Lily Tomlin. Ten episodes of the series were ordered by HBO, but because of the writer's strike, only six episodes were shot. On March 17, 2008, HBO confirmed that they were not planning on airing the show and the creators are shopping the episodes around to other networks.
; "Waterfront" : In 2006,
CBSordered this show as a mid-season replacement series that was scheduled to be aired in 2007. The drama dealt with the political and personal lives centered around the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island. But after completing production on five unaired shows, the network decided to cancel the series altogether, citing creative and financial issues.
; "Welcome to the Neighborhood" : This 2005 ABC reality show was canceled before it aired because of its subject matter that "risked fostering prejudice." A conservative white neighborhood has to choose their new neighbors from a group of families that are black, Hispanic and Asian; two gay white men who've adopted a black child; a couple covered in tattoos and piercings; a couple who met at the woman’s initiation as a witch; and a poor white family.
; "What the Blank!" : A revival of the 1970s hit "
Match Game" that was to be hosted by Fred Willard; the series was supposed to air on Fox during summer 2004, but was canceled without explanation before any episodes made it to air.
Where's the Fire" : This was a sitcom about volunteer firemen. Scenes from the pilot were shown in ABC's 1974- 1975season promo reel, but the show was withdrawn before its fall 1974 launch.
; "Who's Your Daddy?" : The pilot to this ill-fated reality series aired as a 'special' and FOX later declined to air any other episodes of the series. No series premiere occurred, so it was cancelled before airing an episode as a series.
The Young Astronauts" : This animated series about a family in space was slated to be a 1986 Saturday morning mid-season replacement on CBSbut was withdrawn following the 1986 Space Shuttle Challengerdisaster. A Star Comicscomic book series from Marvel Comicswas even planned to tie in to the cartoon series but was also withdrawn following the disaster.
List of television series canceled after one episode
List of longest running U.S. television series
List of longest running U.S. cable television series
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