I’ve wanted to write about this topic for years. Television shows that were cancelled before actually going on the air? That’s fascinating (and almost unheard of). But it wasn’t an article I wanted to tackle because, frankly, just how much is there to say about shows that never aired? The more I read about these shows, though, the more interested I became and the longer this article got. I actually cut out a section discussing unsold pilots that I’m going to turn into its own article later this month (in addition to the article I’ve been planning about CBS and Psycho
). So you’ll be getting three new articles this month.
Of the four shows I discuss in this article, two are relatively “famous.” Snip
, I think, is the show most associated with the concept of “cancelled before they premiered, followed by Mister Dugan
. I only learned about The Dictator
a few weeks ago and actually first read about The Robert Taylor Show
late last week while doing research. There could be other shows that suffered the same fate during the 1950s through the 1980s.
Rather than writing at length about the slew of shows from the 1990s/2000s that were cancelled before premiering I decided to simply list them. So you won’t be reading paragraphs about Manchester Prep
or Still Life
, I’m afraid. And I left out the seven or eight unscripted/reality shows that never made it. There were a few additional shows that I thought had produced a few episodes that were never broadcast: Hollyweird
and The Septuplets
, for example (all from FOX). It turns out none of them made it past the pilot stage and thus don’t count.
Anyway, I had a lot of fun writing this article and I hope you’ll have just as much fun reading it. Or at the very least I hope you’ll find it interesting. So please take the time to read Programs Cancelled Before They Premiered:
Thousands of potential television shows never get past the pilot stage. Others are given a slot on a preliminary network schedule yet never materialize. But only a handful of shows have been pulled abruptly by a network after producing several episodes and with promotional efforts underway. These shows are the unhappy few to be cancelled before they had a chance to premiere. Read all about The Robert Taylor Show, Snip, Mister Dugan and The Dictator.