New Obscurities of the 2013-2014 Television Season

The 2013-2014 television season ended last week. More specifically, the regular season running from September to May came to a close. The 2014 summer repeat season is just getting started. The week before that, the networks announced their 2014-2015 schedules and for fans of the shows that didn’t get renewed, it’s a time of mourning.

(For the record, the season started on Monday, September 23rd, 2013 and ended on Wednesday, May 21st, 2014.)

Over the course of the 2013-2014 season, a slew of new obscurities were born. Some premiered in the fall, others as mid-season replacement and quite a few as spring try-outs.

What’s your favorite new obscurity from this season? Personally, I’d have to say Surviving Jack (FOX). I’m still holding out hope that FOX will air the remaining episode or make it available online. I also enjoyed Growing Up Fisher (NBC). The last two episodes of that show will air on May 28th.

Shortest-Lived Shows

As I do every year, last September I invited readers to predict the first cancellation of the 2013-2014 season. That honor went to ABC’s Lucky 7, which premiered on September 24th and was cancelled on October 4th after just two episodes had aired.

There were a number of other new shows throughout the season that were pulled abruptly after only a handful of episodes had aired. Here’s a list of the shortest-lived shows of the season:

Shortest-Lived TV Shows of the 2013-2014 Season

Lucky 7 (ABC) – 2 episodes
We Are Men (CBS) – 2 episodes
The Assets (ABC) – 2 episodes
Ironside (NBC) – 3 episodes
Welcome to the Family (NBC) – 3 episodes
Mind Games (ABC) – 5 episodes
Killer Women (ABC) – 6 episodes

All of these shows have unaired episodes, some of which have been made available online. Not on the list are shows like Bad Teacher (CBS) and Crisis (NBC) that premiered in the spring and were cancelled quickly but presumably will finish out their runs.

One Season Wonders: Fall

The 2013-2014 season also had its share of one season wonders. It’s not a well-defined term. A full season means something different for a show that premiered in the fall than it does for a show that premiered as a mid-season replacement.

Of the new shows that premiered at the start of the 2013-2014 season, only three were picked up for what’s now considered a full season of 22 episodes and then cancelled: Trophy Wife (ABC), The Crazy Ones (CBS) and The Tomorrow People (The CW).

A few other new fall shows were given additional episodes but didn’t make it to 22. These include Sean Saves the World (NBC), Dads (FOX) and Super Fun Night (ABC).

Then you have the fall shows that weren’t given additional episodes but did air all of the episodes that were produced. Shows like Hostages (CBS), Almost Human (FOX), Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC), Betrayal (ABC) and Dracula (NBC)

One Season Wonders: Mid-Season/Spring

For shows that premiere in the winter as mid-season replacements, a full season can range anywhere from 8-13 episodes. These shows typically don’t get additional episodes. Chicago P.D. (NBC) was an exception, adding two additional episodes to its original 13-episode order.

Most of these shows were allowed to finish out their runs after they were cancelled or are still on the air. Examples include Mixology (ABC), Friends with Better Lives (CBS), Growing Up Fisher (NBC) and Intelligence (CBS).

Like mid-season replacements, shows that premiere in the spring usually only run for 8-13 episodes. These used to be referred to as spring tryouts and are the unlucky shows that debut only months or weeks before network executives put together the following season’s fall schedule. Bad Teacher on CBS premiered on April 24th, less than three weeks before the network announced its 2014-2015 schedule. It was doomed from the start.

A Word About Availability

Will any of the new obscurities of the 2013-2014 season be released on DVD or Blu-ray? The Crazy Ones and The Tomorrow People probably has the best chance of getting a physical release. It’s unlikely any will be syndicated. But in this brave new digital world we live in there are still a lot of options for viewing new obscurities.

Most are available for purchase through video on demand services like Amazon Instant Video or iTunes. Many can be viewed for free online at Hulu or network websites, although there may only be a limited number of episodes available. Some may eventually make their way to Netflix.

With so many avenues, one would hope that these shows will still be available for years to come.

5 Comments

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    ABC HAD to schedule “KILLER WOMEN” because of their prior agreement with co-executive producer Sofia Vergara (star of “MODERN FAMILY”)- they would have cancelled it after the second week [and it recived a VERY low rating], but they were “required” to keep it on. After six episodes, however, they “had enough”, and finally “pulled” it off Tuesday nights [the final two episodes were shown "on-line"]….just in time to see its replacement, “MIND GAMES”, slowly expire after five episodes.

  • Robert says:

    CBS has just pulled both Friends with Better Lives and Bad Teacher from its schedule. Perhaps they, too, will see their unaired episodes released online.

  • Bob says:

    More likely on the networks cable-on demand channel. Every summer NBC releases all unaired eps of canceled (or barely aired) shows in monthly blocks. Once the month is over that series disappears forever.

  • Neville Ross says:

    One of the shows that was cancelled (and that I like a lot) was this mid-season replacement on NBC, Believe.

  • Wiseguy70005 says:

    Ironside broadcast four episodes with at least three unaired.

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