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20 TV Shows That Didn’t Survive Pilot Season


20 TV Shows That Didn’t Survive Pilot Season

Pilot season is one of the few things that people look forward to year round. It gives TV lovers a chance to sink their claws into a new obsession, something to talk about around the water cooler. 

The pilot season for 2016-17 has lost a lot of shows and rightfully so. Seeing as a majority of them were not interesting and lacked whatever genre they were going for. Comedies weren’t funny enough or at all, dramas lacked actual drama and shows slated to be ground-breaking didn’t break anything.

Chances are a show you were totally into got canceled and you may think it’s unfair but, thems the breaks. So, in case you are out of the loop, here are a few shows that won’t be returning for season two.

20. Pitch

Pitch began the season with a sea of fans. Everyone was excited to have a show that not only showcased a female lead but a female lead that was dominating a sport normally played by men. So, you can see the fascination around the series. Unfortunately, after the first few episodes, the show was losing steam, quickly.

It was allowed to finish out the rest of the episodes that were filmed and ready to go but as for a season 2, well, you know where this is going. The concept was great, but the show just didn’t have enough to take it to that next level. Maybe in another lifetime.

19. Conviction

Conviction starred Hayley Atwell who was fresh off the cancellation of Agent Carter and looking for a more realistic show to star in. Conviction focused on a spoiled former President’s daughter who is a brilliant lawyer but just plain horrible at life. Needing to boost her image she takes on a job at the DA’s office overturning wrongful convictions.

The show was pretty great, every week it had a new case like any other procedural but, there was also personal drama intertwined into the main storyline. It was canceled after it’s 13 episode run mostly because of negative reviews from TV critics and a shocking 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The bane of TV lover’s existence.

18. Shots Fired

Shots Fired starred Sanaa Lathan as a police officer investigating a white male shot during a routine traffic stop. Right off the bat, TV lovers could tell that this show wasn’t anything special. But, because so many other cop dramas have made it they figured, why not get their shot. The show aired for just about 3 months, enough for 10 episodes.

Those 10 episodes weren’t anything substantial enough to get picked up for a second season or to even get a full season order. One great thing about the cast is that it was pretty versatile; Helen Hunt, Tristan Wilds, and Stephen Moyer, just to name a few.

17. Powerless

Powerless was marketed to be this super cool show about a female named Emily Locke who was the Director of Research & Development at Wayne Security. It was set in the DC universe which should have given the show a boost AND it starred Vanessa Hudgens which truthfully wasn’t the best choice. But, she has a great following on social media.

After the first episode aired the reviews were better than most shows. However, NBC must have been hoping for more because they immediately pulled the first 3 episodes from its schedule and went silent on the remaining episodes. The show was officially canceled in May.

16. Son Of Zorn

This Jason Sudeikis lead live-action/animation comedy was on track to be a pilot season favorite. It had a great spot on Sunday night with all the other popular animated shows AND it also starred Cheryl Hines who is always a freaking hit. So, WTF happened? The show had a few behind the scenes problems like, they ran through showrunners like nobody’s business.

It also had mixed reviews because people just couldn’t figure out if it was really great or a bunch of BS. However, Rotten Tomatoes gave it 53 percent which is better than a lot of other shows receive. While the critics agreed that the show was original and innovative they all also agreed that it didn’t have enough to forge longevity.

15. Time After Time

Jack The Ripper, time machines and a race against time. It’s surprising that a show with this many elements wasn’t able to thrive on television. It’s actually based on a novel of the same name and follows the story of H.G. Wells making the first time machine. However, a wrench is thrown into the mix when fans realize that he is friends with Jack The Ripper.

The ripper takes Wells’ time machine into the present day and it becomes a race against time to find the ripper before he goes on a killing spree in the future. You have to admit it sounds like a pretty cool concept. Unfortunately, it didn’t make the splash everyone thought it would and it was pulled from the TV line up. All 12 episodes did air in Spain and Portugal though.

14. The Catch

The Catch was apart of Shonda Thursdays we all know that everything Shonda Rhimes touches turns to gold. So what happened to The Catch? It got canceled during season 2 pilot season which is also pretty crazy. It followed a private investigator who was defrauded by her husband. She makes it her mission to find her husband and get her life back on track.

Okay, so if you put it into context it does sound kind of, not so great. Needless to say, the ratings plummeted drastically, and the show was forced off the air. Out of respect for Shonda Rhimes, they allowed the second season to finish but it was clear there would be no season 3.

13. Doubt

The lead for Doubt was Katherine Heigl which probably has a lot to do with why the show failed. Heigl doesn’t have the greatest fan base or the best track record. She has made a lot of people in Hollywood mad and it’s a wonder how she even gets roles anymore. Doubt was actually the first show to be canceled for the 2016-17 pilot season that’s kind of embarrassing.

But, a show about an attorney falling in love with her client is actually basic AF. It’s kind of like been there, done that the viewership was weak and after two episodes aired the show was pulled.

12. Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

We don’t need another Criminal Minds especially because Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior didn’t do well. The original Criminal Minds is doing fine on its own, but, we get it everyone wants a franchise like Law & Order. Either way, the show lasted an entire season before people began to realize it wasn’t great. It came back for a second season, but it was cut very short.

Gary Sinise was the lead on this show and he’s not bad to have as a lead. There is, unfortunately, just better shows about Americans being stuck/caught on international land. A 26 episode run is way better than most shows do.

11. Emerald City

As you probably have guessed, Emerald City is the story of Dorothy Gale of The Wizard of Oz and her journey to find the Wizard. Just like the book and movie, she is lifted by a tornado into the land of Oz but this time she is 20 years old, ooooh magical twist.

She hasn’t yet met her friends the tin man, the lion, and the scarecrow but there is her little dog Toto. Maybe all of these changes are what made the show fail? Or maybe having so much success with other certain fairy tale shows (ahem, Once Upon A Time) they had a little false hope.

10. Frequency

Frequency was based on a movie that did pretty well at the box office 17 YEARS AGO. It’s never a good idea to dredge up the past. If a show was the plan after the success of the 2000 film then it should have premiered the latest in 2005. So, surprise, the show did horrible with viewers and it was canceled after a few episodes.

They were able to give the little bit of viewers they had somewhat of a wrap up with an epilogue that aired 5 days after the official cancellation. We will admit that the storyline is still cool AF but like we said, it’s too little, too late.

9. Imaginary Mary

The return of Jenna Elfman to television, people should be excited but alas they were not. Her show Imaginary Mary was a live-action/animated fantasy sitcom about a woman whose imaginary friend comes back into her life just when she is falling in love with a single father. Rachel Dratch was the voice of Mary and she was hilarious.

The show was smart-mouthed and witty but again viewership took down another show with great potential. It started out with a 13 episode order but after the first episode aired ABC reduced the episodes to 9 and then pulled the show altogether.

8. Notorious

ABC had a number of shows premiere this pilot season that honestly just weren’t very good. But, we have to admit that Notorious was not that bad. It had a fun element to it, high energy. Notorious took place mainly in a newsroom on a show kind of like something one would see on CNN. It covered controversial topics of all kinds.

The case for this season was a media mogul being accused of murdering his fiancé. Besides the main storyline, the show takes many twists and turns that honestly left the viewer with some pretty good cliff-hangers to sit on the edge of their seat with until next time. So, what happened to Notorious?

It just got overshadowed by other shows in their prime. However, the cast of mostly unknowns besides Piper Perabo didn’t help the situation either.

7. Making History

Making History was a comedy starring Leighton Meister, Adam Pally, and Yassir Lester. The show much like Time After Time had a time machine element. It featured three friends who discovered a time machine and used it to their advantage. They would take random trips to different times all the while screwing with timelines and ultimately it would blow up in their faces.

Fans of the show didn’t get to see the blow up because the show was pulled from the weekday line up soon after premiering. In addition to low viewership, they show was supposed to be a comedy that didn’t turn out to be that funny. Unfortunately, for Adam Pally, his comedic style wasn’t enough to save the doomed show.

6. Uncle Buck

Uncle Buck the TV show was intended to be based on the wildly popular movie starring John Candy. It now starred Mike Epps as the insane and irresponsible uncle Buck slated to take care of his nieces and nephew. This idea didn’t sound good from the start and the fact that this show got the go-ahead was well, a waste of media resources.

The show was given negative reviews right from the start besides having a recognizable cast and being a much needed successful comedy for ABC. It was canceled after one season, in fact, it was canceled before the seasons even finished but ABC gave it the benefit of the doubt and played out the full season.

5. Quarry

Quarry was an American crime drama on Cinemax. Cinemax hasn’t had the best of luck with their TV endeavors so why they thought Quarry was a good idea is beyond us. Nevertheless, they went ahead with the Logan Marshall Green lead drama. He plays a Vietnam vet returning home he takes a job as a kind of a killer for hire.

He also has PTSD before it was known to be PTSD and he struggles to deal with this while trying to be a functioning member of society. It was unfortunately slow moving and boring. It failed to make an impact on viewers and dropped off the map just as silently as it appeared.

4. American Gothic

American Gothic was a murder mystery revolving around a prominent and rich family in Boston. After their father dies, they begin to suspect that he was a serial killer terrorizing Boston in the 70s. The family begins to suspect that one of the 4 siblings was his accomplice. They slowly begin turning against one another all the while trying to protect their family name.

Secrets are dredged up and their lives begin to unravel. The show was interesting enough and it was marketed as a miniseries but somewhere along the lines, someone thought it was a good idea to try to go for a second season. It obviously didn’t work out and that’s because the numbers started to decline closer to the end of the series.

3. Training Day

Based on the popular movie of the same name from 2001. It picks up 15 years after the original film and what has taken place since then. The show had the same gritty and exciting writing that the film did and because the film had such a cult following the TV show initially got a lot of decent reviews. At least enough to get a second season.

But, something horrible happened. Actor Bill Paxton passed away and he was, unfortunately, a vital part of the TV show. The creators couldn’t see the show without him and decided to call it quits. Unlike all the other shows on this list this show didn’t disappear based on horrible reviews and viewership alone.

2. Vinyl

Created by Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese with the backdrop of the 70s music scene this show should have been a hit. Many people have chimed in on why the show failed. Some blamed it on not enough viewers with HBO, some said it was who they choose to play the main role (Bobby Cannavale).

Some people chalked it up to not being interesting enough. Depending who you ask the answer is different. The show was initially renewed for a second season right after the first episode premiered but once it was a few episodes in the producers decided that it just “didn’t land”. They no longer wanted to pool resources into the show, it just wasn’t worth it.

1. APB

Another procedural drama bites the dust. Everyone knows that there are already way too many police dramas on television. We don’t need another one. This show failed simply because everyone already has their police drama of choice.

Technically the numbers is what killed this show but, it didn’t help that the writing was uninteresting and the storylines had all been covered already by other police dramas. The writers probably should have added an extra element to the show.

Something that stood out especially seeing as the actors starring in it were not the most noteworthy. Fox was probably just looking for their own police drama to add to their weekly line up.

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