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The will of the TV executive is as mysterious as the ways in which God is said to move.

Shows that are commissioned that never should have been aired because they are rampantly frog-stupid. Take any of the Big Brother’s after Series 1. Or those dancing shows. Or that brainless TV clip show. Or your face. That’s right – I’m saying you should have never made that face.

Even worse is when true gems are cancelled after a limited, or even extended and quite successful run for no apparent reason other than appeasing the peon masses who “want to see more about Britney’s puke on eBay.” Dullards. But anyway…

Here are the gems we have been deprived of in recent years. For each one listed I will be praying to the dark lord SATAN for justice to be reaped in the form of a faceful of poisoned locusts.

5. Carnivale

2 Seasons of crazy malevolent metaphorical carny-drama which served as a backdrop for the ultimate battle between good and evil. And fuck me was it great. It featured the weird wobbly-headed dwarf from David Lynch’s movies, who spoke of magic at the beginning of the (alas but) 2 seasons and served a wonderful turn as the go-between for the carny folk and the mysterious “management” – a shady character who doesn’t appear until right at the end of season 2. The show was master of two things:

a) Cinematography – Carnivale was shot in the most amazing way, that made every scene look like a real old style dustbowl American photo brough to life. The opening credits alone, with the eerie half country and western, half Arabian music, is unbelievably impressive.

b) Things happening really slowly. Unusually for a TV show, Carnivale took its time. Plots would take hours to unfold, developments were few (but unpredictable) – it was atmosphere itself.

Just as the series reached a crucial 2nd season finale, with main characters possessed, dying and other things that I’m not going to tell you, HBO pulled the rug from under creator Daniel Knauf’s project, and we quite simply are left with no resolution. Like reading Douglas Adam’s last and uncompleted novel The Salmon of Doubt, it’s an amazing piece, but all the more depressing when you come to the end of the work with no resolution. DAMN YOU HBO!

4. Firefly

Not surprisingly, Fox Network make their first of many appearances on this list (mostly because they are absolute losers when it comes to preservation of good programming.) Firefly was the brainchild of Buffy creator Joss Whedon. The episodes, which follow the adventures of a motley crew of interplanetary pirate cowboys, who are good natured but STEAL SHIT.

A marvellous cross between wild western and science fiction, the show was basically fucked in the face by Fox executives. The episodes were shown out of chronological order (dddudhdudhdudhdddddddduuuuuuuhh!!!111) and the show was binned like a bad tuna sandwich after about 14 episodes. The consequent uproar by Firefly fans around the world and rampant DVD sales spawned the film Serenity which kikked ass with three k’s.

For more info on the quite weirdly wonderful story of the fans’ takeback, look for a documentary called Done The Impossible, released in 2006. Actually, don’t look for it, just click that link. Wow, teh interwebs.

Whedon said he’s never work with Fox again after the debacle. Only now he is. What a tool-bar.

3. The Adventures of Brisco County Jnr


Anyone who knows Bruce Campbell or his work can stop reading now. He’s a legend.
For everyone else, go buy the damn DVD box set. Here was yet another cross between sci-fi and the Old West (only it came first, having been made in 1993 or so.) AND it had the mother of all chins, Campbell in it.

Campbell (or Brucey-babes as no-one calls him) plays a sheriff Brisco of the title, who is out to avenge his dead father, who was murdered by the Bly Gang (headed by a seedy and amazingly focussed Billy Drago, whose real name is actually William Burroughs, but he changed it so as not to be confused with the author of the same name no I don’t get out much actually now you come to mention it.)

Brisco and a few other bounty hunters loosely revolve around a plot to find The Orb, some kind of crazy mystical time machine thing. The show is filled with deliberate anachronisms and running gags about the future, alluded to as “the coming thing” – a must for anyone who appreciates quality television CUT DOWN IN ITS PRIME BY FOX THE COX! I’M NOT YELLING THE CAPS LOCK JUST BROKE.

2. Family Guy


Family Guy got axed in 2003 if I remember rightly. Why? Because the cocksucking witch who ACTUALLY controls Fox told some snake-limbed exec to do so, of course. After a successful run in the US and the UK (where, thanks to the monitors not actually realising that Family Guy is NOT for children, the show was first broadcast at aroun 3pm in the afternoon pm) the show vanished after season 3. Back-slapping all round, douche-bags.

Again, fans rallied. Sites sprang up demanding back the Griffins, Quagmire, the whole crew “back on the air now before I stab you with this bit of lead”. And when the DVDs went on sale in the UK, they outsold all other TV shows put together times 432.

Ok that’s a lie. But it did VERY well.

Fox buckled like the animal abusing losers they are and put it back on primetime so we could all download it on torrents again whilst complaining about show’s getting cancelled due to lack of revenue.

AND to Fox’s credit, they commissioned American Dad!, a sister show with independent characters that has, to my mind, ended up stronger than Family Guy. But anyway. Both Seasons are now well into their senior years.

1. Futurama.


This one was less the fault of Fox and more the fault of…oh wait – FOX!!!! Due to some dispute about creator Matt Groening’s Simpsons show, Futurama got unrenewed after 4 fabulous maths in-joke laden seasons of geekery.

Once again the “pig of luck” struck and, in November 2007, Futurama’s creators David X Cohen and Groening were reinstated as ‘rulers of everything”. In addition to the season the first of what is rumoured to be four feature-length movieswas released called “Bender’s Big Score.” And it ruled my face off. I now need plastic surgery. Here’s what I intend to look like.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
Arrested Development – I loved the Bluths. It’s the crazy show that could. And I’m really glad it did.

Wonder Showzen – This show actually changed the way I think about television. Buy both seasons. MTV2 did something right for once in it’s crap life. And then negated that good immediately by cancelling the shit out of this amazing yet mental show.

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