2014: TV’s New Obscurities

It’s that time again. The start of a new year means a look back at the new obscurities that premiered during 2014. In the past, I’ve been strict about only including shows that aired 13 episodes or fewer. There were 29 of those during 2014, compared to 17 in 2013, 20 in 2012, 17 in 2011, and 18 in 2010. A handful still have episodes left to air.

There are also four additional shows that premiered late in 2014 that may turn out to be new obscurities if they’re cancelled: Marry Me (NBC), Constantine (NBC), The McCarthys (CBS), and State of Affairs (NBC).

Mid-Season 2014

The Assets (ABC) – 8 episodes
Premiered January 2nd, 2014
NOTE: ABC promoted this as a “limited series” and pulled it after two low-rated episodes. The remaining six episodes were later burned off during the summer.

Intelligence (CBS) – 13 episodes
Premiered January 7th, 2014

Killer Women (ABC) – 8 episodes (2 unaired)
Premiered January 7th, 2014

Enlisted (FOX) – 13 episodes
Premiered January 10th, 2014

Rake (FOX) – 13 episodes
Premiered January 23rd, 2014

Star-Crossed (The CW) – 13 episodes
Premiered February 17th, 2014

Growing Up Fisher (NBC) – 13 episodes
Premiered February 23rd, 2014

Mind Games (ABC) – 13 episodes
Premiered February 25th, 2014

Mixology (ABC) – 13 episodes
Premiered February 26th, 2014

Believe (NBC) – 13 episodes (1 unaired)
Premiered March 10th, 2014

Crisis (NBC) – 13 episodes
Premiered March 16th, 2014

Surviving Jack (FOX) – 8 episodes (1 unaired)
March 27th, 2014

Friends with Better Lives (CBS) – 13 episodes (5 unaired)
Premiered March 31st, 2014

Spring 2014

Bad Teacher (CBS) – 13 episodes
Premiered April 24th, 2014

Black Box (ABC) – 13 episodes
Premiered April 24th, 2014

Gang Related (FOX) – 13 episodes
Premiered May 22nd, 2014

Crossbones (NBC) – 9 episodes
Premiered May 30th, 2014

Summer 2014

Taxi Brooklyn (NBC) – 13 episodes
Premiered June 25th, 2014
NOTE: NBC acquired broadcast rights to this French series and there has been no word yet on whether additional episodes will be produced and, if so, whether NBC will air them.

Reckless (CBS) – 13 episodes
Premiered June 29th, 2014

Working the Engels (NBC) – 12 episodes (7 unaired)
Premiered July 10th, 2014
NOTE: NBC co-produced this sitcom with a Canadian production company. It was cancelled in both countries.

Backpackers (The CW) – 10 episodes (8 unaired)
Premiered July 14th, 2014

Seed (The CW) – 13 episodes (11 unaired)
Premiered July 14th, 2014
NOTE: The CW acquired broadcast rights to this Canadian sitcom, which ran for two seasons in that country, but pulled the plug after two low-rated broadcasts.

Fall 2014

Red Band Society (FOX) – 13 episodes (3 unaired)
Premiered September 17th, 2014

Manhattan Love Story (ABC) – 11 episodes (7 unaired)
Premiered September 30th, 2014
NOTE: First cancellation of the 2014-2015 season. The unaired episodes were later made available on Hulu.

Selfie (ABC) – 13 episodes (6 unaired)
Premiered September 30th, 2014
NOTE: The unaired episodes were later made available on Hulu.

A to Z (NBC) – 13 episodes
Premiered October 2nd, 2014
NOTE: The last three episodes will air in January 2015.

Bad Judge (NBC) – 13 episodes
Premiered October 2nd, 2014
NOTE: The last three episodes will air in January 2015.

Gracepoint (FOX) – 10 episodes
Premiered October 2nd, 2014
NOTE: Remake of a UK Series. Promoted as an “event series” or “limited series” by the network.

Mulaney (FOX) – 13 episodes
Premiered October 5th, 2014
NOTE: The last five episodes will start airing in January 2015.

Fate To Be Determined

There are a number of shows that premiered in the fall that have not been officially cancelled. Low ratings for all of these shows suggest they won’t be renewed but you never know. They may or may not turn out to be new obscurities. All will be returning in January 2015.

Marry Me (NBC) – 18 episodes
Premiered October 14th, 2014
NOTE: NBC has ordered five additional episodes.

Constantine (NBC) – 13 episodes
Premiered October 24th, 2014

The McCarthys (CBS) – 15 episodes
Premiered October 30th, 2014
NOTE: CBS has ordered two additional episodes.

State of Affairs (NBC) – 13 episodes
Premiered November 17th, 2014

How many of the shows listed above did you watch? Are there any you’ve never even heard of? Hit the comments with your thoughts.


8 Comments

  • In the current primetime climate for broadcast TV, 13 episodes feels like a high threshold for an obscurity. It seems like all but a handful of new shows are given a 13-episode order and all of them are produced before the axe falls.

    I play a game you might be interested in joining next season: The Ted Marshall TV Death Pool. It’s a 14-year-old game where each fall, players pick 10 new or existing broadcast shows that will run their last episode in the upcoming year.

    The website is here:

    http://tedmarshalltv.com/

    Most of the activity is on the contest’s Facebook group:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/145872618829070/

  • Robert says:

    I had to pick a cut-off when I first started these annual reviews of “new” obscurities a number of years ago and 13 seemed like a decent one at the time. I think I considered including one season wonders as well but so many new shows make it to one season.

  • writerpatrick says:

    I think there’s a number of cable channel shows that could become obscure, even if they run a little more than 13 episodes. There was one show that ran only 13 episode on the Travel Channel called Burger Town that ended in 2013. I don’t think most people even heard of it.

    Nowadays short-run shows have the benefit of DVD releases making them less obscure.

  • dee says:

    I’m not sure a show like Gracepoint qualifies – it was designed as 10 episodes. All 10 episodes aired. It was billed as a limited series. It was closed-ended. Not sure that counts as an obscurity – would you count “Winds of War” as an obscurity today? Or “North & South”?

    • Robert says:

      Usually I’d agree but Gracepoint‘s producers had plans for a second season (read more about that here) and I’m sure FOX would have renewed it had the ratings been better.

  • sue lopez says:

    what happened to markus welby, I use to watch it at 11 oklahoma time. no I don’t see it on the line up. will it ever come on cozy again. ? hope they put it back on. please email me and let me know.

  • gailgauthier says:

    Wow. “Working the Engels” was cancelled in two countries. Harsh.

  • Bob says:

    All those fates were eventually determined to become new obscurities.

Leave a Reply to writerpatrick Cancel reply