9 of the Fastest Cancellations in Television History

The first network cancellation in each season always stings, and so it goes for the Mischa Barton comeback vehicle The Beautiful Life, whose aborted, two-episode run left a trail of broken hearts including those of conspiracy theorist costar Sara Paxton, the less than a million Beautiful Life viewers, and a handful of Brazilian fans who watched via iTunes. We hate to see television fans suffer, and knowing that there are inconsolable Americans clinging to tear-stained, homemade petitions and Mischa Barton-covered vision boards is too much for us to handle at Movieline HQ. Take solace, then, in these other quickly canceled series that surely could have taken off if they'd only reached those amazing third episodes.


9. Osbournes: Reloaded (2009)

Synopsis: Variety show hosted by Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly Osbourne.

Network: FOX

Episodes Aired: 1

Warning Sign: See synopsis.


8. Rosie Live (2008)

Synopsis: Another variety show, this one for Rosie O'Donnell to showcase her lifelong passions: duets with Liza Minelli, Gloria Estefan, children's charities, and sketch comedy about Broadway shows. Initially, the network wanted to use the show as a pilot episode for a regular series.

Network: NBC

Episodes Aired: 1

Warning Sign: TV Guide critic Matt Roush predicted the show was "dead on arrival."


7. Secret Talents of the Stars (2008)

Synopsis: Viewer-voted competition show in which celebrities showcase their, well, secret talents. Debbie Reynolds, Brian McKnight and Gavin Polone made up the judging panel.

Network: CBS

Episodes Aired: 1

Warning Sign: The first only episode's contestants were Clint Black, Mya, Sasha Cohen, Clint Black, and George Takei.


6. Emily's Reasons Why Not (2006)

Synopsis: A single career woman (Heather Graham) with little luck in the love department develops a list system to determine whether men are worth her time.

Network: ABC

Episodes Aired: 1

Warning Sign: Network executives allegedly picked up the show without seeing a pilot.


5. Dot Comedy (2002)

Synopsis: Annabelle Gurwitch and the Sklar Brothers host a program that showcases humorous videos found on the internet.

Network: ABC

Episodes Aired: 1

Warning Sign: For a series with "comedy" in the title, there were little to no laughs among the 4.1 viewers.

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  • Colander says:

    The Garbage Pail Kids (which I think was cobbled into some kind of movie?), and DC Follies battled for spots in my nightmares for years. This is a true story.

  • FrancoisTrueFaux says:

    re: Dot Comedy

    In their defense, it's hard for 1/10th of a person to laugh.

  • jimrockford says:

    Turn On was 1969, my children...

  • teambanzai says:

    Everyone always forgets about the Glenn Fry disaster South of Sunset from 93 as I recall it was canceled halfway through the first episode.

  • Bib Fortuna says:

    The Paula Poundstone Show sits in the corner lamenting not only its lameness, but it's glaring omission.

  • Lowbrow says:

    Oh, if only Liza and David could have made it for just one season... Television gold like that never sees the light of day, but a show like Giuliana & Bill is plastered all over the Style Network?
    Fuck that.

  • HwoodHills says:

    if VH1 were smart they'd launch:
    I Know My Kid's A Star! 2 (hosted by Roman Polanski)

  • FilmFather says:

    I'd love to see what the "offensive content" was that got Turn-On yanked off midway through its premiere. It's probably laughably tame for 2009.

  • G. Bondi says:

    What ever happened to the Hank Azaria show? I saw a few commercials then nothing.

  • RAND says:


  • Shirley says:

    I am sooooooooooooo glad Rosie O'Donnel got canceled. She is so depressing and hateful, how can anyone enjoy that B****!!!

  • Jay Anderson says:

    Let's not forget The Chevy Chase Show.

  • Coz says:

    ...and then there was ABC's Tammy Grimes show, a mid-60's one episode wonder thanks to then network president Tom Moore and Producer Phil Sharpe....

  • Mike Hunt says:

    They air crap like "Fat Balding" John and Kate "The Skank" plus 8 , Flavor Of Love ""GAAGGG"",Lost"cause" and the Kardashian skanks show's
    it amazes me they continue to pull the ratings. I am Befuduled by the
    sheer mass of media suicide commited on a nightly basis. The list grows weekly now,and my gag reflex is on a hair trigger.I wa dissapointed yet again tonight as i cursed "SyFy Channel" formerly known as Sci-Fi Channel,after 2 months of steadly being barraged by the commercials every 15 seconds for the new Stargate Universe.A clever tag escapes me as i attempt to shake off 2 hours of dissapointment,and take a brow beating from my wife and friends for dragging them along.Thank God for Bones,House,Fringe and all my H.B.O. and Showtime show's....This is why i am forced to pay $150.00 a month For Sattelite HD packages .......Enjoy fellow Frequency Fiends =)

  • Paul says:

    How about the comedy "Snip" (1976?) that starred David Brenner as a hairdresser and Leslie Ann Warren? It was promoted heavily by NBC and I remember seeing snips (pun intended) of it on TV but NBC did not show a single episode come Fall.

  • Eric says:

    That has to be the most insane idea in TV history.
    I saw it years ago and thought it was a student film spoofing sitcoms.

  • Glen says:

    What about the now-forgotten "South of Sunset?"
    you were bombarded with ads touting it for weeks. The first episode barely finished airing before the press release hi that it was cancelled.
    Apparently there were some radio stations in the Mountain and Pacific time zones that had the ads running as the press release was coming out. Not sure if the West Coast ever even got one episode.

  • Kyle says:

    Yeah, and all the "internet video" shows are also very similar to the shows from the last decade showcasing random home videos. But even those ones had varying ratings/popularity too..

  • Kevin says:

    9. Osbournes: Reloaded (2009)
    8. Rosie Live (2008)
    7. Secret Talents of the Stars (2008)
    6. Emily’s Reasons Why Not (2006)
    5. Dot Comedy (2002)
    4. Liza and David (2002)
    3. The Mike O’Malley Show (1999)
    2. Garbage Pail Kids (1987)
    1. Turn-On (1969)

  • Twilight Man says:

    "Viva Laughlin", anyone???
    "The Hasselhoffs" reality show????
    "Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos"????
    (the rauchy, x-rated videos submitted for the "funny" show tried to be shown once, they yanked it off the air midway through the showing, and put on a rerun of "Cheers".)

  • Um...? Where is "South of Sunset" (1993)? Wasn't it, at the time, the fastest a show had been cancelled (it was cancelled less than ten hours after it aired its first episode)?

  • candaianeh says:

    You're In The Picture with host Jackie Gleason only aired 1 episode. The following week Jackie spent the entire 1/2 hour apologizing for the previous week...

    • slice says:

      The 1986 sitcom "Melba" featuring singer/actress Melba Moore literally got canceled after the first episode, I always wondered why, since I actually saw the only episode that aired. Accord to IMDB, it happened to air the same day the Challenger space shuttle went down ( I disagree with that,even though I remember when that happened) but I do also remember reading a review in which the show was said to be straight-up lousy, but, frankly I've seen worse shows (like "Friends" last forever and a day, so go figure.)

  • HBG says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia%27s_Naughtiest_Home_Videos This was cancelled before it finished airing by station owner Kerry Packer.