Back to One: Cancel Culture

Here today, gone two seasons later

You thought I was going to wax poetic about Firefly didn’t you? I did love that show – but so many good ones have come and gone since then that it can be hard to get invested in something new. Shows get cancelled for a variety of reasons – low ratings, actors get tired of playing a character, writers strikes, etc. Sometimes it’s just because of a stupid mistake. Like in the case of Batman 1966 – ABC cancelled the show and NBC decided to pick it up for another season, but there was a communication problem between the networks and ABC destroyed the sets – including bulldozing the Batcave and it proved too costly for NBC to rebuild them.

Shows can’t go on forever, even though Law and Order ran for twenty seasons, ER lasted fifteen and I think The Simpson’s will be cranking out new episodes while the Sun dims – here are some that I wish had been given a little more time.

Agent Carter(2015-2016) Set in the 40’s, this was not a typical Marvel superhero show and that’s why I loved it. Hayley Atwell was great and it was girl power without punching you in the face with it – kind of like if Mary Tyler Moore had become James Bond. Fun and not overly violent with period costumes and sets that made me drool each week, Agent Carter was a fun diversion from all of the murder and crime shows I mostly watched at the time. I even overcame my existential dread of seeing old nemesis Chad MM from One Tree Hill. The show was on ABC and feels like it would have fared better on AMC or TNT or even PBS.

Hannibal(2013-2015) I am generally not into reboots or reimaginings but this show about a scruffy FBI agent and the stylish cannibal that loved him is probably my most favorite show ever. It’s slow and cerebral and really weird that old network stalwart NBC even took it on. The cinematography is gorgeous with every shot looking more like a movie still than a network cop drama. And the chemistry of the cast is amazing with Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkaelson and Laurence Fishburne waltzing around each other in a tightly scripted cat and mouse game. Bryan Fuller, the creator, planned for seven seasons but they only got three and it ended on a literal cliff hanger but I highly recommend it. Be warned – although the gore is inventive and beautifully shot – there is plenty of it.

Rome(2005-2007) This show was on HBO during it’s golden era of period dramas which included Deadwood and Carnivale. I debated which one to put in this post since all were so good, but opted for Rome because it really did end too soon. Cancelled after two seasons for being too expensive – the sets, costumes, large cast and sheer number of extras are not something you usually see in episodic shows. The cast was full of all of your favorite British actors which set it apart from that other Gladiator ripoff, Spartacus. As epic as the Empire itself, Rome deserved to have many more seasons to tell its story and not just end with the ridiculous Cleopatra storyline.

So, good people of Deadsplinter – what shows do you wish you could see more of? As always, thanks for your support and for stopping by!

The answer to last week’s poll is C) Patrick Dempsey – it was during Sweet Home Alabama. My younger siblings loved Can’t Buy Me Love and wanted to meet him not Reese.

This week’s poll:

Which actor would get mad about his much more famous costar - not taking scenes seriously?
18 votes · 18 answers


  1. Downton Abbey. That show has so many throw-away sub-plots that it could have spun off enough content to fill an entire network’s schedule. I wanted it to go the present day. I don’t care if the Maggie Smith character would have had to be 160; any fan of DA has to suspend all disbelief, otherwise you’d leave the room shaking your head and muttering.

    I am happy to see that Julian Fellowes, Baron of West Stafford, refuses to let DA die, and most of the cast seems willing to play along. The first movie was a disappointment; some of the Christmas ones were better, but I have high hopes for the second one, which should be coming out soon enough.

    • My biggest quibble with DA the series was their portrayal of the Royal Family. There is a scene where Cousin Rose is presented at Court and King George V and Queen Mary look nothing like their real-life progenitors. Easily forgivable; the scene lasts for less than two minutes. Much more egregious is David, who was briefly King Edward VIII and then after abdication was the Duke of Windsor. In reality he was tall, thin, and considered one of the best-dressed men in the world. In DA the series he looks like a short, pear-shaped middle manager from Liverpool.

      The movie, “The Royals Always Ring Twice”, did a much better job of portraying King George and Queen Mary as they actually were, at least physically.

  2. I did not know there was going to be another DA movie. I thought it was finished. 
    Looks like a Xmas release – something to look forward to. Thanks for the info Cousin Matty.

        • Well, there was the story arc where Rose gets involved with the Black Chicago jazz musician, because it is the early 1920s and he is Black, but his accent kept slipping so sometimes he sounded like one of the Crawleys himself. 

          Then there was the dashing Turk, Mr. Pamuk, who…

      • Nonsense. It should have gone on for 40 seasons or something, like Upstairs, Downstairs, however long that lasted, which Julian Fellowes clearly ripped off was inspired by. Over the course of a century, just imagine how many crimes Anna and Mr. Bates could credibly be accused of. I’m sure they’d be hackers right now, demanding ransoms in untraceable crypto accounts.

        Lady Mary would be a thrice-widowed and thrice-divorced embittered recluse living in the ruins of Downton with between 150 and 200 cats, no one knows because no one has ever taken an accurate census. Lady Edith would be in London, looking decades younger than her 112 years, and would be the founder, publisher, and executive editor of a self-created British competitor of Teen Vogue. Grandmama, the Dowager Countess, at 168, would content herself with a quiet life in the country dictating comments to a manservant, which would then be posted on

  3. So, giant nerd checking in, but there was a huge glut of Star Trek in the ’90s (Next Generation, DS9, Voyager) and the last show of that era was Enterprise, which was on barely-a-network UPN and started at the worst possible time — just after 9/11 — and is somewhere between forgotten and unloved among most fans.

    It got 4 seasons, which I can’t really complain about too much, but the show really came together in the final season and was setting up for a great fifth season arc and … I wish that existed. Now to launch a streaming network they’re pumping out a half dozen Trek series which are all … there … and I’m sure fatigue will be setting in soon enough.

  4. I voted for Ian Somerhalder because I’ve never heard of him.

    For me, this cuts right to the heart of why I don’t watch new shows until they’ve been around for at least five seasons.  The shows that I was really enjoying, and which NBC nuked for the stupidest programming decision ever, were:

    Life with Damian Lewis.  He was a detective who was released from prison after being exonerated.  His character was funny and weird and the show was excellent.  It only lasted two seasons which was total bullshit.

    Southland, which is kind of a cheat but not really.  NBC killed it after one season, but TNT picked it up for four more.  So, it got five seasons, but only because TNT was smart.  Still should have gone longer.

    There was another show that I really enjoyed about a guy who kept slipping back and forth in time, which NBC also killed, but that was over 10 years ago and I can’t remember the name of it.

      • Oh I remember Journeyman! In one episode he goes back to the 1970s or the 1980s and has to use a pay phone and figure out what it is and how it works. I was staying with a sibling and his family and at the commercial break we reminisced about always having to have all this change on you for pay phones and laundromats and buses and (sometimes) subways. One of his kids asked, “Well, what is a pay phone and how did they work?”

        If you need me I’ll be in the La Brea Tar Pits with my peers.

    • Same. Technically, the “more famous” thing could apply to any of those choices working with an older legend, but I think all three of the others would be humbled in the presence of greatness, and that Ledger and Farrell are actually most likely much better to work with than their early reputations might have had one believe. 

    • …life was excellent…I liked the premise that he’d been done for being a corrupt cop & sued successfully about that being a miscarriage of justice only to make getting his job back part of the settlement despite getting enough cash to not need to work…plus damien lewis…the whole thing just worked…no clue why they killed it off

  5. I was so mad when Agent Carter got canned. It was a delight to watch.
    Hannibal was a 5 sense onslaught. It was masterful. The music alone made made my heart race. I loved everything about the show except for Dr. Bloom. Her character was  annoying and the weakest link. They even made a cookbook .
    Pour one out for Pushing Daisies… I wonder if it was the writers’ strike that killed that show off.

    • I loved Pushing Daisies too – it was so unique. I think it was the writers’ strike that killed it. And, I agree about Alana Bloom – the female actor wasn’t on the same level as the rest of them. 

  6. I agree with both Agent Carter and Hannibal. Both excellent series that got cut far too short. 
    My biggest regret is a series called Now and Again. Created by Glenn Gordon Caron (of Moonlighting fame) it was a science fiction/comedy that had Michael (John Goodman) get hit by a train and his brain is transplanted into a genetically engineered superhuman body. He’s got a family, and he keeps wanting to go back to them, but his handler Dr. Morris (played by the fantastic Dennis Haysbert) will kill Michael and anyone he tells. So he tries to communicate with them while doing secret government missions. It got one season and ended on a cliffhanger, which always infuriated me. I felt like the next season had to exist if only in draft form, and I always thought they should at least release a synopsis to show how the cliffhanger gets resolved, if nothing else. 
    The actor playing the superhuman Michael was Eric Close, who was also on another short-lived science fiction series that deserved a longer life, Dark Skies. It’s a fantastic alternate history story that tells how aliens landed in the 40s and influenced history subsequently (“everything you know is a lie”).

    • Cliffhangers should be illegal. Nowadays at least there’s a possibility a cancelled show can get picked up by a streaming platform – even though they usually can’t reclaim the magic – ahem, cough Arrested Development – but the older ones not so much. 

    • I am guessing Lodge 49 would have lasted a lot longer if it was more on a scale of Always Sunny in Philadelphia and most of it was shot on a small set with a more limited cast. I think it was probably a pretty expensive show. It’s too bad it didn’t get a longer run, though.

  7. “Being Human” (the SyFy channel adaptation) and “Halt and Catch Fire” both had good runs and came to natural conclusions. My issue is you can’t get all the seasons on dvd. I don’t trust things to stream somewhere forever, so I want the dvds of shows i really enjoy. Being Human has 3 of 4 seasons and Halt only has 2 of 4 season in existence. These have been off the air for a while so no reason to think that will change.

  8. One that I really liked and thought was cute was Back To You.**
    It had a GOOD cast, and was cheesy, but cute–and EVERYONE in that ensemble really played their parts well & bounced off each other well, too.
    I was really bummed that it got canceled, because it was a cute little show, even if it was kinda a “character actor” ensemble-type show.
    **and Full disclosure, Ty was one of my actors, the first summer i was out at the Shakespeare Festival–i was one of the dressers assigned to the Men’s dressing room, and he was one of the many Grad & Undergrad acting students cast in that year’s summer repertory season.
    Tbh, I didn’t even realize it was him at first, since it had been nearly a decade since the summer we’d been at that theater… I’d recently watched the then-sorta-new Dawn Of the Dead, where he played a total asshat–so I thought *that* was where I was recognizing him from…
    It wasn’t until a few weeks into the season, when my roommate & i were watching the credits one evening, and I suddenly realized (and shouted!🤣), “OMG it’s TY!!!” 
    My roommate looked at me like I’d suddenly sprouted three heads, and said, “Yes, it’s Ty….”
    And I said, “No, it’s TY, I KNOW who he is!!!”  and ran upstairs to my bookshelf, grabbed the program book from that season, and ran back downstairs to show her what I meant.” 
    We both had a good laugh about it, and were both a bit bumfuzzled, that I had actually known & worked with someone on a show we watched & liked😉
    I was bummed when it got canceled, but was REALLY happy for him, when he ended up on Modern Family.
    Fwiw, back then, he was ALWAYS a really good dude. Professional back stage & on stage, funny, and treated EVERYONE well–cast and crew. 
    Which was why I was so happy to see that he was one of the handful of folks from my time out there to really make it big!

  9. I loved The Riches on FX (before it was so well known for great programming), which I think may have been another casualty of the writers’ strike. Eddie Izzard was great, but that series made me change my mind about Minnie Driver (I was so-so about her in the ’90s, but after The Riches, I have the biggest lady crush on her). 
    Dead Like Me, although I think it would have worn thin after too much longer. But I just loved Ellen Muth and her deadpan delivery and wanted to see her doing more. 
    And, recently, Kim’s Convenience. I’m so salty that its premature cancellation (not by CBC, mind, but the creators had scheduling conflicts and didn’t want to return to it after a hiatus) exposed several frustrations for the cast. [Reminder to buy tickets to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, starring Simu Liu. I’m not yet comfortable going to cinemas in person, nor am I a superhero moviegoer, but I know how important the box office numbers are going to be for this film, so I’m buying tickets whether I show up for the screening or not.]

  10. Terriers
    American Gods (which ended after one excellent season, nobody denies this)
    I still want to see The Americans do an oligarchy season just to see how the super spies feel about their blood equity go into Putin’s Panamanian bank accounts.

  11. Timeless should have made it beyond two seasons. I am not a tv watcher so I can’t even remember how I came across it. It was abruptly cancelled after season 2. There were enough diehard fans who demanded they find a way to wrap up the cliffhanging plots that a special two episode ending was made and I think they did a fantastic job cleansing palates?

    With unlimited history references available to them that they could have went with I think Timeless could have lasted forever. I never looked into the reason for its cancellation.

  12. …another for the chorus on the agent carter thing

    …but the one I expect few people bothered with which I wish had got more than the one season was a show I expected to loathe…they made a TV show based on the movie limitless…I checked out the pilot to confirm it was as bad an idea as I expected…& instead it won me over

    …the protagonist was this sort of good-natured slacker type amidst a lot of tightly wound very serious people & it was just funny…in one episode he figures out how to horde a dose or two of the drug so he can wrangle a day off without having to be off his meds…only to be kidnapped by the CIA who want to use him for a black op of some sort…& the entire episode is a sort of riff/homage deal that is wall to wall references to ferris bueller’s day off…it was very nearly sublime

    …so…yeah…I was enjoying that quite a bit & it sucked they killed it after just the one season

  13. Mindhunter on Netflix looks like it’s not coming back.  Some of the guys they got to play the serial killers, especially Kemper and Manson, were really good.  Netflix had another show called Damnation that I liked.  The main character was a socialist agitator posing as a preacher, who was being hunted by the Pinkertons.

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