Cancelled after one episode -- a look back at very short-lived television shows

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 7, 2015 05:02pm | Post a Comment
CRT Graveyard
CRT Graveyard

While there have been at least six or seven quality television programs, the telecommunication device has for seventy years or so more often been derided for the lack of quality programming. Whereas US forces regularly play awful music to tortured captives, no one with even the tiniest remaining shred of humanity would force even the worst villain to watch Access Hollywood or Extra so how bad, then, must a show be to be cancelled after a single episode?

Watching Television in the 1950s

Of course, television is valued by network executives less for its artistic quality than its ability to sell advertising space, which is why we have Big Brother. What then would result in the plug being pulled after just once episode? Let's have a look.


FUN AND FORTUNE (6 June, 1949)

Fun and Fortune was a game show hosted for its only episode by Jack Lescoulie. The object of the show was for contestants to identify a mystery item concealed by a curtain after being given four clues. It certainly sounds no better or worse than most game shows that came before. Perhaps ABC execs, then in their second year of television broadcasting, were merely hoping that something better would come along in its wake. 

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Get a Life - The Complete Series is coming!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 27, 2012 03:40pm | Post a Comment
Get a Life advertisement

Get a Life
is finally coming to DVD (and Blu-Ray?). For those that don't know, Get a Life was a sitcom that aired on FOX between 23 September, 1990 and 8 March, 1992. It also may very well be the best thing that ever aired. 

The show starred the comedic visionary Chris Elliott as a 30-year-old man-child paperboy named Chris Peterson who initially lived about his parents' garage. His father was unmistakably played by his real-life father, Bob Elliot of radio's Matinee with Bob and Ray and TV's The Bob & Ray Show. Peterson later moved in with a cranky misanthrope named Gus (played by Brian Doyle Murray) after his parents filled his bedroom with cement to prevent his living there further. 

Chris Elliott on David Letterman

The show was created by Elliott, fellow Late Night with David Letterman writer, Adam Resnick; and writer/director David Mirkin. Its writers included, among others, Charlie Kaufman and Bob Odenkirk. After the phenomenon of Twin Peaks had occurred, networks seemed to be willing to allow for a greater degree of quirkiness in shows (e.g. Northern Exposure, Eerie, Indiana, Picket Fences, David Lynch's On the Air, &c) but Get a Life was (with the possible exception of On the Air) the most bizarre of the bunch. For a protagonist, Peterson was extremely irritating, stupid  and there was very little continuity from episode to episode -- Peterson died in twelve of them.