List of television series canceled before airing an episode
||This article possibly contains original research. (December 2013)|
This list of television series canceled before airing an episode comprises television programs that were officially produced and announced to be broadcast, but were removed from the schedule prior to their scheduled debut. Shows are listed in alphabetical order with the slated year of debut (plus timeframe, or specific premiere date, where applicable), known cast and plot information, the reason for cancellation (if known), and what happened to the series after cancellation.
- All My Babies' Mamas (early 2013)
- An American reality show set to air on Oxygen starring rapper Shawty Lo, and showcasing his life as the father of eleven children by ten different women. The series was cancelled after an online petition and public outcry.
- Arranged Marriage (early 2010)
- American reality show that CBS ordered for the 2009-2010 season, but it never materialized. Its concept would later be used in another dating series, 3, which was canceled after only two episodes.
- Average Jane (Fall 2004, early 2005)
- American reality spin-off of NBC's Average Joe, it was later pushed to mid-season in favor a third cycle of Last Comic Standing. Ultimately, it suffered casting difficulties, and was shelved in favor of another Average Joe season, which eventually aired in Summer 2005.
- Bill and Martha (Fall 1964)
- An American situation comedy starring William Bendix and Martha Raye that was scheduled to air on CBS, but due to the shaky health of Bendix the network decided not to air the program. This action resulted in a lawsuit from Bendix for $2.658 million in May, with the actor stating that the decision hurt his career and that he was in excellent health and could perform all of the requirements of the agreement. The case was settled out of court. Bendix died on December 14, 1964 from pneumonia complications.
- Blonde Charity Mafia (July 7, 2009, early 2010)
- An American reality series developed by Lifetime, it followed three Washington, D.C. socialites whose lives revolved around charity events. After production was completed on one six-episode season, Lifetime decided to sell the show to The CW network rather than air it itself. The CW scheduled the July premiere date for the series, but later decided to forgo all original programming for that Summer, and program the show as a midseason replacement for the 2009–2010 season. Sometime after that decision, the network apparently lost interest in the series; references to it were removed from CW websites, and on December 29 the network officially confirmed that it would not air the show at all. It was apparently dropped in favor of two other reality series developed by The CW, Fly Girls and High Society. The series did air on MTV Australia and MTV New Zealand in August and September 2009.
- The Cheetah Girls (2003)
- Based on the novel series of the same name, Walt Disney Studios produced four episodes of this television series for the Disney Channel, but canceled it before airing any of them.
- Coastocoast (September 14, 1978)
- This hour-long sitcom about two airline stewardesses, from Bud Yorkin's production company, was originally announced for NBC's Thursday-night schedule. Several Hollywood insiders, however, felt that the show was an "abomination" and would do irreparable damage to the network's reputation. When Fred Silverman took over the network in June, the show was pulled for "further development" and eventually scrapped.
- Commando Nanny (September 2004)
- A series for The WB, created by Survivor producer Mark Burnett, was based on his life as an au pair (he is also a former squaddie), serving in No3 Para. The show's debut was delayed due to Phillip Winchester breaking his foot and being replaced by Owain Yeoman, followed by Gerald McRaney undergoing lung surgery. After the pilot was reshot, Rachel Sweet departed as showrunner, forcing The WB to shelve the sitcom permanently.
- Day One (early 2010)
- American sci-fi drama from NBC about apartment residents that survive an unknown worldwide cataclysm that destroys modern infrastructure. The show was initially ordered to series, then had its order cut to mini-series, then it was announced the pilot would be retooled as a TV movie, before ending up never airing at all. According to NBC's Angela Bromstad, the show was originally expected to fill the Heroes time slot after the 2010 Olympics. The movie/pilot was directed by Alex Graves, who previously directed the pilot episodes for the Fox TV series Fringe and Journeyman.
- The Dictator (Spring 1988)
- This CBS sitcom, which starred Christopher Lloyd as a former dictator of a foreign country now living in a laundromat, was ready to air as a Spring replacement show, and ads ran in TV Guide and on the network announcing its debut. The show was pulled before a single episode aired, owing in part to the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike.
- Do You Trust Me? (2007)
- American gameshow for CBS hosted by Tucker Carlson. Six episodes were produced in 2007, but none aired. The series even had a page on the CBS website.
- Domestic Goddess (September 20, 2003)
- American cooking series for ABC Family hosted by Roseanne Barr. 13 episodes were ordered but Barr underwent an emergency hysterectomy on August 20 which ended the project. A program detailing the show's creation, The Real Roseanne Show, made it to air on ABC that Summer.
- Eight Days a Week (early 2008)
- The CW announced this single-camera comedy for mid-season, but no episodes were produced besides the unaired pilot, partly due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.
- Ev and Ocho (September 3, 2012)
- A VH1 reality show featuring NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson ("Ocho Cinco") and his then-wife, former Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada, had eleven episodes taped. Johnson's arrest for assaulting Lozada, which came three weeks before the show was to premiere, and the subsequent divorce, prompted VH1 to shelve the series.
- Everything Money Can't Buy (Fall 1974)
- ABC originally announced this series for its fall schedule, although no pilot had been made. Perhaps it was just as well; all this ever was, was a title.
- Fearless (Fall 2003, early 2004)
- The WB announced production of this show for the 2003-2004 season which was based on the young adult series of novels by Francine Pascal for its Tuesday-night schedule. The show starred Rachael Leigh Cook, Bianca Lawson, Ian Somerhalder, and Eric Balfour. The network decided to put One Tree Hill in its place and move Fearless to midseason after hearing of issues producers were having with the lead character's emotions and later issues of casting. After many delays, the show was canceled. The pilot was the only episode shot, and although it never aired on television, it later leaked on the internet.
- Friend Me (early 2013)
- A late addition to CBS' 2012-13 schedule, this multi-camera sitcom was scheduled to premiere mid-season. The show never aired, possibly related to the sudden death of co-creator Alan Kirschenbaum in October 2012. The show's official page disappeared from the CBS website sometime in February 2013, and it was reportedly announced as axed at the August Television Critics Association Press Tour.
- The Frame (2011)
- US network The CW announced this 8-week 16-episode Big Brother-esque reality game show for mid-season in 2011, but it was revealed to be shelved in March 2012.
- Garbage Pail Kids (September 19, 1987)
- An animated series based on Topps' popular parody of the "Cabbage Patch Kids" was scheduled to debut on CBS' Saturday-morning schedule, but was canceled before its debut after complaints from parental groups and replaced by an extra half-hour of Muppet Babies. Although the 13 produced episodes aired in other countries (most notably Iceland), it remained unseen in North America until April 2006 when the complete series was released on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment.
- The Grubbs (November 3, 2002)
- An American version of Granada Television's The Grimleys starring Randy Quaid and Carol Kane, The Grubbs was produced without Granada's input and was blasted in early reviews as "the worst sitcom ever produced". Scheduled for Sunday nights at 9:30 PM, the show was scrapped two days before its debut. Fox Entertainment President Gail Berman stated that it "failed to live up to its creative potential".
- Hancock Down Under (1968)
- British comedian Tony Hancock was set to star in the Australian-produced TV series, playing himself as a new immigrant to Australia. After taping three episodes, Hancock, who had been battling alcoholism and depression for years, committed suicide. The series was cancelled without airing, although the three episodes were eventually edited together and broadcast in Australia as The Tony Hancock Special in 1972.
- Head of the Class (June 24, 1960)
- This Summer primetime game show hosted by Gene Rayburn was slated to air on NBC's Friday-night schedule from 8:30-9:00 PM, and TV Guide listed this as such; however, NBC changed its plans and opted to fill the time period with reruns of Wichita Town. The pilot is among the holdings of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
- Hollyweird (1998)
- Fox abruptly pulled the plug on this drama from producer Shaun Cassidy before it ever made it to air, citing creative differences.
- Hooligan's Island (2013)
- A projected British sitcom television series created by, written by and starring Ade Edmondson and Rik Mayall. The show was to be a spin-off sequel to Mayall and Edmondson's BBC Two sitcom, Bottom, which ran from 1991–1995, and based on the sitcom's 1997 stage tour, Bottom Live 3: Hooligan's Island, with the show's characters Richie and Eddie stranded on a desert island. It was due to air on BBC Two in 2013. On 15 October 2012, Edmondson announced during an interview with BBC Radio Essex that he had pulled out of the new series of Hooligan's Island stating that he wished to pursue other interests.
- Hotel Story (1977)
- This Australian series made by Crawford Productions was canceled by Network Ten before a single episode aired and only seven episodes taped. After Network Ten canceled the series, Crawford Productions found their series' contract had never been signed, so they had no legal redress. The first four episodes later went to air as a "miniseries" screened over two nights (July 13 and December 27, 1977).
- Immigrants (August 12, 2004)
- This animated series from Klasky Csupo for Spike TV featured a story about two immigrants – Jóska and Vladislav (from Hungary and Russia, respectively) – as they adjust to their new life in the United States. Six episodes were ordered, with a two-hour marathon to begin the run. However, for reasons unknown, the series never aired. The series was made into a motion picture for theatrical release, which was released on DVD in the United States in 2009.
- In The Dark (Summer 1997)
- The WB was slated to air an American version of a British game show of the same name on its prime-time Sunday schedule, but it was yanked before its premiere.
- The IT Crowd (early 2008, Fall 2008)
- NBC slated an American adaptation of the British comedy series of the same name with an American cast (although Richard Ayoade reprised his role as Moss). Jessica St. Clair played the female lead Jen, and Joel McHale played Roy. The show taped its pilot before a live audience on February 16, 2007, and was picked up for a midseason debut in 2008, but was later pushed back to air during the 2008-2009 season. On September 13, 2007, the Hollywood Reporter reported that NBC was considering pulling the plug on the show. When NBC announced its schedule for the 2008-2009 season, The IT Crowd was not on it, and McHale had since been cast as the lead for Community. However, the pilot has been seen on various video-sharing sites, including YouTube.
- The Jake Effect (early 2002)
- Seven episodes were produced to premiere in midseason 2002, but NBC canceled the series before a single episode aired. In 2006, Bravo aired the series as part of its "Brilliant But Canceled" block.
- Jingles (2008)
- A CBS series produced by Mark Burnett where teams compete to create new advertising jingles for brand-name products. Starred Gene Simmons and Kimberly Caldwell.
- The Jordan Chance (February 1979)
- A CBS drama starring Raymond Burr as Frank Jordan, a man who was wrongfully imprisoned who becomes a lawyer and advocate for others in similar situations upon his release.
- Let's Dance (November 23, 2009)
- ABC ordered five episodes of an intended comedy-celebrity dance competition, to be hosted by Kathy Griffin; however, casting difficulties led to the series being scrapped.
- Liza and David (October or November 2002)
- This planned reality series, about the lives of Liza Minnelli and her then-husband, producer David Gest, was abruptly cancelled by VH1 in October (shortly before it was to debut).
- The Love Nest (Fall 1974)
- CBS originally announced this sitcom to air in its Fall schedule on Friday nights. It starred Charles Lane and Florida Friebus as widowed senior citizens who live together in a Florida trailer park.
- Lost in the USA (Fall 2001)
- American reality show for The WB. Scheduled for Sunday at 7, the show was to follow four groups of young people on a cross-country scavenger hunt. It was cancelled due to troubles at the production company Artists Television Group.
- Mainly For Men (1969)
- A BBC magazine program aimed at men. The pilot was made in 1969, but went unaired until 1992 on the TV Hell program as an example of some of the worst television ever made.
- Manchester Prep (1999)
- This US series based upon the film Cruel Intentions was commissioned by Fox and advertised as a new series but, perhaps due to its controversial subject matter involving teen sexuality, was canceled after two completed episodes. The pilot was later partially refilmed to add nudity and adult subject matter, and released as the R-rated direct-to-video film Cruel Intentions 2.
- Man vs. Beast (November 1, 2003)
- British channel ITV commissioned a six-part series based on the controversial Fox special of the same name. It was withdrawn on October 30 after protests from animal rights groups.
- Marie (September 14, 2009)
- This American daily talk show from Las Vegas, hosted by Marie Osmond and syndicated by Program Partners, was cleared in 80% of US markets; however, the show's distributor withdrew it from distribution on July 31, roughly six weeks before the show's debut. Some of the stations that picked up the program had also changed their mind and withdrew their commitments. Marie eventually made it to air three years later on Hallmark Channel.
- Match Game (Summer 2004, Fall 2008)
- American network Fox promoted a revival called What the Blank!, hosted by Fred Willard and announced by Randy West, for Summer 2004; other than the addition of a "man on the street" segment, the game was faithful to the 1970s format. In 2008, TBS picked up the show as Match Game for its late-night schedule with Andrew Daly as host, but did not air any episodes nor mention the show in any press conferences since then. Other networks rumored to have declined revivals include NBC and GSN. The series eventually returned in 2012 on The Comedy Network in Canada, hosted by Darrin Rose.
- The Mayor (2004)
- American sitcom for The WB produced by Adam Sandler. Six episodes were ordered but it was later nixed due to the network reportedly unhappy with the show's creative direction.
- The Men's Room (early 2005)
- An NBC sitcom starring John Cho that was scheduled for midseason in the 2004-05 season, but shut down production after completing only six of its 13-episode order, none of which aired.
- Misconceptions (early 2006)
- A sitcom ordered as a midseason replacement for The WB's 2005-06 season. Six episodes were produced, but none of them aired before The WB shut down and merged with UPN to form The CW. The newly merged network aired only two new series during its first season on the air, the rest of its schedule being made up of established series from both networks on other nights; one of these returning shows was 7th Heaven, a popular series which had been given a large "Countdown to Goodbye" fanfare by The WB but was renewed three days after its "series finale", which subsequently left no room for Misconceptions.
- Mr. Dugan (March 11, 1979)
- This American sitcom was to premiere on CBS and received substantial on-air promotion. Starring Cleavon Little as a fledgling black congressman, Mr. Dugan was yanked from CBS' schedule on March 7 because several real black congressmen denounced it after a special screening.
- My Man Can (2013)
- A British ITV dating game show axed for "being too rubbish" before any of its episodes were aired.
- NASCAR Wives (January 24 and February 15, 2009)
- This TLC "docusoap" was to follow the lives of several wives of prominent NASCAR drivers. It was to be shown as a special after the 2009 Miss America Pageant, but the network changed its mind and decided to wait until after the 2009 Daytona 500. The series never made it to the air, despite being heavily promoted, due to a conflict between the parties involved with the making of the show (TLC wanted to create in-show conflicts that were along the lines of traditional reality programs, namely fights among cast members, while the NASCAR Media Group refused to show their drivers and the wives in a negative light).
- Next Caller (early 2013)
- An NBC single-camera sitcom about battling radio hosts starring Dane Cook, Collette Wolfe, and Jeffrey Tambor. NBC scheduled the show as a midseason replacement for the 2012-13 season, but production was halted after filming only four of its six episode order, none of which aired.
- On the Ropes (Fall 1999)
- This teen-aimed sitcom was slated to air on the Kids WB lineup, but was withdrawn due to the popularity of Pokémon.
- The Ortegas (2003)
- This Fox project starred Cheech Marin and was based on The Kumars at No. 42, a British hit about an Indian family that hosts its own talk show.
- Our Little Genius (January 13, 2010)
- Fox picked up this Mark Burnett production, hosted by Kevin Pollak, for a midseason debut to air after American Idol. On January 7, the series was postponed on request by Burnett due to concerns about the show's integrity; Burnett had gotten reports that some contestants got too much information about the questions they were going to be asked. On February 20, it was reported that a letter sent to the FCC on December 17, 2009 by a contestant's parent stated that, before a taping, a staff member gave the child certain questions and answers that he "needed to know". The FCC looked into the allegations since the letter was sent, and Fox officially canceled the show without airing an episode.
- Popetown (2002)
- A cartoon series commissioned by the BBC which consisted of comical misrepresentations of the Roman Catholic church. After a sustained campaign from senior Catholic theologians, the series was never broadcast on the grounds that it was not of sufficient quality. However, Popetown made its debut on New Zealand music television network C4, and was released on DVD in September 2005.
- Press Ganged (Fall 2004)
- A reality television series made by Granada Productions for ITV1 in the UK. Filmed in Summer 2004, it appeared on lists of forthcoming series several times over the next year, but was never broadcast. No reason has ever been given for the show's non-appearance.
- Raising Caines (1995)
- Judge Reinhold was set to star in this family sitcom alongside Mel Harris on NBC. Although it never aired in America, it did air in other countries.[clarification needed]
- Real People 2 (2004)
- Around the time of the 25th Anniversary of the human interest series Real People, various networks attempted to revive the series. However, litigation and the economic realities of the day straightjacketed their efforts.
- Red Dwarf USA (1992)
- An American version of the British sci-fi sitcom was planned for NBC's 1992 schedule, but was never broadcast due to casting issues and concerns over the pilot by studio executives.
- Rewind (early 1998)
- An American Fox sitcom following two advertising executives (Scott Baio and Mystro Clark) both in the current day and in flashbacks to their experiences in the 1970s. The network heavily advertised the series, and it was featured in the 1997 fall preview of TV Guide, but it was canceled before any showings.
- The Robert Taylor Show (1963)
- NBC originally slated this Four Star series, starring actor Robert Taylor as a troubleshooter for the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare with George Segal and Robert Loggia, in its Thursday-night schedule. The series was later pulled before airing for unknown reasons.
- Roman's Empire (early 2009, Fall 2009)
- An American adaptation of the British comedy was planned for ABC's midseason schedule, but was later pushed to the Fall season. The project, starring Kelsey Grammer, was officially passed on with Grammer working on Hank (which itself was canceled after airing five episodes).
- The Runner (January 2002)
- LivePlanet, the multi-media company formed by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, announced this series in 2001 to air on ABC. The premise would have a "runner" compete for a $1 million-plus prize by completing a series of "missions" across the country, while three "agents" try to "capture" him. The show would have an internet twist: not only could potential contestants apply to be runners or agents online, but viewers could win a share of the pot by digging up and sharing clues about the runner's whereabouts on the Web. The series never aired, possibly so LivePlanet could focus on the drama Push, Nevada, which did air in 2002 (but was cancelled after seven episodes).
- Schimmel (2000)
- American Fox sitcom starring comedian Robert Schimmel with Mike Scully serving as executive producer was shelved when Schimmel underwent treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Secret Service Guy (1997)
- Judge Reinhold was slated to star in this sitcom, which Fox decided not to air. However, the series did air in Australia in a very early-morning time slot.
- Septuplets (early 2003)
- Another unrealized Fox commitment, this one about a set of 16-year-old septuplets who run an upscale beachfront hotel with their parents.
- Seven Days (1985)
- A proposed ABC newsmagazine series to have been anchored by Kathleen Sullivan which would have reviewed the major national and world news stories of the previous week. The network decided against putting the series into production.
- The Singles Table (early 2007)
- NBC announced this sitcom about five people who meet at a wedding after they are placed at the worst table in the event as a midseason replacement. However, the series was pulled without explanation before airing.
- Snip (September 30, 1976)
- Comedian David Brenner was slated to star in this sitcom, where he would portray a hairdresser dealing with his ex-wife (Lesley Ann Warren) moving back in with him. Created by James Komack, who had earlier created Chico and the Man and Welcome Back Kotter, Snip appeared to have great potential and was heavily promoted by NBC; however, after seven episodes were written and five were filmed, the network decided to pull the show at the last minute – so abruptly, in fact, that TV Guide still listed the show in its schedules. Brenner later stated that he believed the pulling was due to fears of controversy, as one of the supporting characters was openly gay, quipping that apparently "In 1976, there were no gay people in America." The five completed episodes later aired in Australia.
- Star Trek: Phase II (Spring 1978)
- A planned revival of Star Trek that was to air on a proposed Paramount Pictures television network. When plans for the network fell through with 13 episodes written, the first script of Phase II was given an expanded budget and became Star Trek: The Motion Picture while two others later became episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In 2008, the online fan-film project Star Trek: The New Voyages changed its name to "Star Trek: Phase II" and announced it would be adding at least one "new" character who had been created for the abandoned 1970s series. Pre-production of Phase II had progressed to the point of costume design, preliminary casting and screen tests, and some set design; footage of all three survives and was included as bonus features on the 2001 DVD release of the "Director's Cut" of The Motion Picture.
- Still Life (2003)
- Fox family drama. 6 episodes were made but never aired.
- Surprise With Jenny McCarthy (2012–13)
- NBC announced an American adaptation of the British variety show Surprise, Surprise fronted by Jenny McCarthy at upfronts, but it was revealed to have quietly been axed at the January Television Critics Association Press Tour.
- Thick and Thin (early 2006)
- This sitcom starred Jessica Capshaw as a formerly overweight woman who was struggling to commit herself to a healthier lifestyle – over the objections of her still-overweight family and friends. Six episodes were produced as a midseason replacement for NBC's 2005-06 season, but none were aired. Due to the premature cancellation, Saturday Night Live cast member Chris Parnell and writer Paula Pell returned to working on SNL.
- Tonari no 801-chan (early 2009)
- Anime adaption of the manga that was scheduled to air on TBS in Japan when the network made the announcement in mid-August 2008. For unknown reasons, the series was later canceled; all of TBS' websites on the show were removed, making the cancellation official, on August 29.
- Top Gear (early 2009)
- American version of the cult British show of the same name, hosted by Adam Carolla, Tanner Foust and Eric Stromer, was announced in mid-June by NBC to premiere as a midseason replacement in 2009. Although studio segments which were taped on July 26 for the pilot were generally favorably reviewed (hewing close to the UK version's format), NBC reversed its decision in December, citing the failure of Knight Rider. The show was picked up by History in 2010, with Rutledge Wood replacing Stromer and Adam Ferrara replacing Carolla.
- 12 Miles of Bad Road (2008)
- The brainchild of comedic writer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, centering around a Texas matriarch who must reconcile her booming real-estate business and immense wealth with the day-to-day struggles of her dysfunctional family life. Ten episodes were ordered by HBO, but only six were shot due to the contemporary writers' strike. On March 17, 2008, HBO confirmed that they were not planning to air the show, and the creators then attempted to shop the episodes around to other networks.
- The Walt Disney Magic Hour (Fall 1998)
- A travelogue series of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts hosted by George Foreman was supposed to debut as part of PAX's debut lineup, but never made it to air.
- Waterfront (early 2007)
- CBS ordered this drama, which dealt with the political and personal lives around the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, as a midseason replacement series. After completing production on five episodes, the network decided to cancel the series, citing creative and financial issues.
- Welcome to the Neighborhood (July 10, 2005)
- An ABC reality show that was canceled before airing as its subject matter "risked fostering prejudice". The series had a conservative white neighborhood choosing their new neighbors from a group of families that were black, Hispanic, and Asian; two gay white men raising an adopted black child; a couple covered in tattoos and piercings; a couple who met at the wife's initiation as a witch; and a poor white family.
- When I Grow Up (2001)
- Also known as Fling. An American romantic comedy for the Fox network created by Glenn Gordon Caron. The show was cancelled after six episodes were completed, none of which aired.
- When Women Rule the World (Spring 2007; June 2, 2008)
- An American reality show for the Fox network that consisted of 12 women and 12 men sent to a "primitive location" where the men were forced to be subservient to the women, with the women voting off one man per week and the final man left winning $250,000. The show was announced in early 2007, but its debut was delayed to June 2, 2008, then delayed again in April before the network scrapped it permanently. A version was later produced for the United Kingdom.
- Where's the Fire? (Fall 1974)
- A sitcom about volunteer firemen; scenes from the pilot were shown in ABC's 1974-1975 season promo reel, but the show was withdrawn before its launch.
- Who's Your Daddy? (January 2005)
- The 90-minute pilot to this ill-fated reality series aired as a "special" on January 2 and finished fourth in its time slot, prompting Fox to shelve the other five episodes (although they eventually aired on Fox Reality). No series premiere occurred, so it is considered to have been canceled before airing an episode.
- The Young Astronauts (early 1986)
- This animated series about a family in space was slated to be a Saturday-morning midseason replacement on CBS, but was pulled due to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28. A Star Comics comic book series from Marvel Comics was planned to tie into the cartoon, but was also cancelled for the same reason.
- Television series
- List of television series canceled after one episode
- List of longest-running United States television series
- List of longest-running U.S. cable television series
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