The shows that had no chance – cancelled too soon – part 2

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Gone before their time, these brilliant TV shows got chopped for all kinds of reasons. On Friday we counted down from 10-6, now here’s the rundown from 5-1…


5. Bored To Death – very sweet and funny, this quirky comedy, set in Brooklyn, is about an author turned unlicensed private dick. Its cool credentials were in no doubt – Jason Schwartzmann and Zach Galifianakis plus Ted Danson in a career rescuing role (so much better than Chevy Chase in Community, an overrated show/role). But after only 24 episodes, HBO got rid. They’ve just got too many expensive shows on the roster so these little ones fall through the cracks sometimes.

4. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - not easy coming straight after the West Wing and airing at the same time as a very similar show, 30 Rock. The show-within-the-show wasn’t great but there were some fantastic performances (from Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford and Amanda Peet) and spectacular cameos from Judd Hirsch (in a searing onscreen Network-style meltdown), John Goodman, Alison Janney and more.

3. My So-Called Life - before she dazzled in the awesome Homeland, many a year ago the world of teen angst was thoroughly owned by Claire Danes (and emo boy Jared Leto). The show covered everything from teen alcoholism and homophobia to child abuse and drugs. A pioneering show of its time. You wonder how rubbishy fluff like Dawson’s Creek ran for years while this was cut after one season.

2. Freaks and Geeks – the finest Apatow product, this brilliant show ran for only 18 episodes. A teen comedy-drama, it’s now become a serious cult classic and its stars were then-unknowns: James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel.

1. Action – spectacularly filthy, funny, cruel show about the rotten insides of Hollywood life, as seen through the eyes of producer Peter Dragon (Jay Mohr). A little too close to the bone for some, it was cancelled after only a dozen episodes. A must-buy on DVD.

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