In 2016, the on-screen world is different. Show producers don’t have to contort so much to network standards. TV shows that aren’t considered mainstream might go straight to Netflix for all our binge-watching pleasure. Actors and actresses can launch a Kickstarter to get crowd support to fund a project if the networks won’t buy it.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, that wasn’t an option and networks, like NBC and ABC, would bring out 10 series in early fall and cancel 7 of them before winter came, or so it would seem. Or they would roll out a season, hook us for the next season, a continuation that would never come. And viewers were left with forever-unanswered questions about the characters. Closure was something to yearn for but was never promised.
Here are 5 long-gone shows that I really liked and wish had stuck around a little longer.
- October Road. A novelist writes about his hometown and returns home years later to find that his friends and family aren’t happy about how he portrayed them in his book. Even back then, I put myself as that writer (played by Bryan Greenberg) and wondered if that would happen when I wrote my own hometown-based novel. I loved Odette Yustman’s character and started following her career. Update: Yustman came back last year in Astronaut Wives Club. Greenberg is starring in movies and recording music these days.
- What about Brian? The title character, Barry Watson, had played Matt in Seventh Heaven, one of my childhood favorites, and I was so happy he got his own show, even when it got weird. When I got Netflix, I watched all the episodes of this show a second time.
- Samantha Who? which I loved immediately because it starred Barry Watson (yup, him again) and Christina Applegate. When it got cancelled, Christina felt like I did – she campaigned to get the series picked up again but we’re still both disappointed. Interesting tip: this comedy also featured a funny Melissa McCarthy, way before she became the Bridesmaids and Spy box-office darling she is on the big screen today. Update: Applegate is back to doing films. Melissa McCarthy is doing even bigger films, which is ironic since her TV show Mike and Molly got cancelled because after losing weight, the producers thought she was no longer “big” enough to play the role.
- Daybreak with Taye Diggs. I’m not the biggest Taye Diggs fan but I’d really liked the premise of this series and I expect that if it had stuck around, it would have gotten better. Update: Since then, I’ve really enjoyed seeing Diggs in The Best Man movies and with him becoming a published author, I am starting to like him even more.
- Six Degrees with Bridgette Moynahan. I love the idea of six degrees of separation and would watch anything that’s based on this concept but aside from that, I was so sure it was going to be a good show. Bridgette got such a bad role in SATC and she deserved to be happy in this next series. I felt cheated when the show was cancelled. Update: Moynahan now has a CBS drama called Blue Bloods which I’ve never watched 😦
Did you watch any of these shows? What cancelled series would you bring back if you could?
Note: This post was first published in 2015 but I brought it back today because the ladies at Broke and Bookish are talking about this topic today, and I added updates about all the favorite characters mentioned above.