A friend of mine recently got me watching Arrested Development, the show starring Jason Bateman which aired from 2003-06. Have to say, this is one of the few truly laugh-out-loud shows that has been on television in recent memory; it has terrific characters, sharp writing and great acting.
Fox cancelled it in 2006, ostensibly due to low ratings.
In 2004, when I moved into an apartment but couldn’t get cable for a few days, I picked up the DVDs of Firefly, a show that ran on FOX for about 10 minutes back in 2002. It remains, in my opinion, one of the best shows to have ever been on television. It’s setting was unique, characters three dimensional and writing top-notch.
Last year, Lone Star was one of the most critically lauded shows of the year; FOX basically cancelled the show after the first episode (it let the second air, but the network may have actually cancelled the series during the episode). This happens at least once every other season.
Makes you wonder: why is FOX ordering these shows in the first place? Frankly, if viewers don’t tune in to the first minute of a show, then either (1) there wasn’t enough marketing or (2) the critics have so poisoned the potential viewership that no one would bother. And since we all know that bad shows continue to air (Will and Grace anyone) year after year, it’s more likely the first.
Note to television producers: if you have something unique, fresh and smart, FOX is not the network for you.