New Obscurities of the 2014-2015 Television Season

The 2014-2015 television season officially ended yesterday. Remember last September when we all guessed what the first cancellation of the season would be? In case you’ve forgotten, it was Manhattan Love Story, canned by ABC after just four episodes had aired.

By my count, 19 new obscurities were born during the 2014-2015 season. There were a few very short-lived shows (the aforementioned Manhattan Love Story, Allegiance, and Weird Loners, for example). Only two or three shows survived long enough to be considered one season wonders, depending on whether Stalker counts with 20 episodes rather than the typical 22 episodes for a full season.

New Obscurities of the 2014-2015 Season

Red Band Society (FOX) – 13 episodes
Forever (ABC) – 22 episodes
Manhattan Love Story (ABC) – 11 episodes (7 unaired)
Selfie (ABC) – 13 episodes (5 unaired)
Stalker (CBS) – 20 episodes
A to Z (NBC) – 13 episodes
Bad Judge (NBC) – 13 episodes
Mulaney (FOX) – 13 episodes
Cristela (ABC) – 22 episodes
Marry Me (NBC) – 18 episodes (4 unaired)
Constantine (NBC) – 13 episodes
The McCarthys (CBS) – 11 episodes (4 unaired)
State of Affairs (NBC) – 13 episodes
Backstrom (FOX) – 13 episodes
Allegiance (NBC) – 13 episodes (8 unaired)
Battle Creek (CBS) – 12 episodes
One Big Happy (NBC) – 6 episodes
Weird Loners (FOX) – 6 episodes
The Messengers (The CW) – 13 episodes (still airing)

If I’ve left out any shows, I apologize. Maybe they were so obscure even I’ve forgotten them. Not included in the list are reality shows like Utopia (FOX). I’m also not including The Slap (NBC), Gracepoint (FOX), or recently introduced Wayward Pines (FOX) because they were promoted as “limited” or “event” series, although in the case of Gracepoint there probably would have been a second season had the ratings not been terrible.

(NBC hasn’t officially cancelled American Odyssey or A.D. The Bible Continues, so the list could grow if one or both are cancelled.)

Some of these new obscurities were yanked with episodes left unaired. Fortunately for fans, many of these unaired episodes were later made available online and on demand. That’s how I was able to enjoy the five episodes of Selfie that ABC didn’t air. I don’t believe the unaired episodes of Marry Me or The McCarthys are officially available anywhere. It’s possible they may be burned off this summer.

Personally, I’ll miss Forever the most. I’m not alone: Forever topped an Entertainment Weekly poll of most-missed cancelled shows (both new and returning) from the 2014-2015 season. At least it got a full season and a decent season-turned-series finale. I also really enjoyed Selfie. I’m convinced the title doomed it before it even hit the air.

Looking over the list of new obscurities, I’m left wondering what will ultimately be the “most” obscure new obscurity of the 2014-2015 season? In other words, a decade from now which of these shows will be forgotten to a greater degree than the others? From a Nielsen perspective, The Messengers, Weird Loners, and Mulaney had the lowest ratings and the fewest viewers. One episode of Mulaney was watched by just 990,000 viewers while the least-watched episode of The Messengers (so far, anyway) drew just 650,000 viewers. In terms of fewest episodes broadcast, only four episodes of Manhattan Love Story aired while Allegiance managed one better with five.

Hit the comments with your thoughts on what will be the most obscure new obscurity in the long run and which of these departed shows was your favorite.


3 Comments

  • Bob says:

    Robert – This past season the Nets cancelled a few (produced) shows before airing. Are these still considered obscurities even without a single episode be shown?

  • Chuck Collins says:

    Thankfully, unlike in years past, every one of these programmes will be on DVD and/or have had all episodes broadcast or shown online.

  • David says:

    The only two series on this list that I watched were Red Band Society and Backstrom. I watched about the first half of the premiere of Red Band Society, and switched to something else. It was not that I thought it was bad, but that I thought it was aimed at a young adult audience, which is a demographic I have not been a part of for quite some time. I did watch Backstrom from the first episode to the last. It was quite enjoyable. The character development for the main character was believable. He really had no redeeming qualities in the early episodes, which could be why the show never took off. The ratings were abysmal from the start. However, as the season progressed, he became more human and the viewers learned about why he was like he was. The last scene of the last episode had him taking the first step to turning his life around. If it had continued, I am sure the stories would deal with the struggle to change his ways, which would certainly be an uphill climb. I was sorry to see it cancelled, but I was not surprised.

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