The late Summer and early Fall of 2015 wasn’t really the best for me. I had just been laid off from my job, I had a month long bout with bronchitis, and finding another job was proving to be tricky at best. Needless to say, after I had made my rounds in job searching for the day, I was able to spend a lot of time watching Netflix and catching up on shows I had missed in the last few years.
Unfortunately, many of these shows were “one and done.” You know, those shows that lasted a season, but were never renewed because lack of ratings or the show was too risque for prime time telly. But it wasn’t until my third rewatch of the MCU, when I was on Marvel’s Daredevil, that I couldn’t help but wonder why Netflix hadn’t picked up some of these shows to save them.
That train of thought led me to think about all the great shows I’d started watching over the years that never really got off the ground, and after speaking with Aaron about it, we decided that I should argue a case for my top 5 (+1) television shows that should have been renewed and/or got picked up by Netflix for continuation.
And don’t worry, I eventually found another job that I really love and keeps me challenged. You know the saying about closing doors…a better door definitely opened for me.
#5) Bunheads (2012)
From the creator and producer of Gilmore Girls, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Bunheads was a loveable drama on ABC Family about a former Vegas showgirl, and how a quickie wedding could change a life for the better.
Sutton Foster (Younger), played Michelle Simms, a former ballerina who wound up a Vegas showgirl, and married a persistent admirer before moving in with him in a small town in Southern California. Unfortunately for Michelle, her wedded bliss – okay, I think she actually uses the words “drunken mistake” when thinking about it – was cut short due to her husband’s, Hubbell, untimely death in a car accident.
Following Hubbell’s death, Michelle ends up teaching her mother-in-law, Fanny’s, ballet class a routine to perform at the memorial service in honor of Hubbell, and Fanny is touched at the gesture her new daughter-in-law gave. Although, however touched Fanny is at Michelle’s thought, tension grows between the two as both learn that, before his death, Hubbell had had enough time to change his will: everything – the house, property, the dance school – now belonged to his wife.
This show continued on for another sixteen episodes, but it never got the following Sherman-Palladino achieved with Gilmore Girls. Through the rest of the season, Fanny and Michelle learn to live amicably with each other, both women learn how to move on from tragedy and loss, and dancing is all the rage.
The target audience was for those who watched Gilmore Girls in the past and women 13-25 years of age, but the show also catered to those individuals who love the art of dance. I know that, to many, this type of show is just a cookie-cutter drama that can be viewed on any channel. Honestly, I wondered for a long time just why it made my list. However, when I really thought about it, I would really like to see more of these characters as they were relatable, real, and well-written, and that’s just something a lot of shows just aren’t anymore.
#4) Constantine (2014-2015)
I know, I know. Why did I put this show towards the bottom of my list? Well, it’s probably a given that there are just some shows that I liked a bit better than this NBC sci-fi/drama.
Constantine was a drama based on the DC Comic Hellblazer character John Constantine. Constantine, a demon hunter and master of the occult, uses the brief series – all 13 episodes of it – to struggle with his past mistakes all while trying to protect the world from an evil called the “Rising Darkness” as it tries to enter the world.
It’s pretty much your classic story of a character’s battle with good v. evil, while trying to obtain and maintain a goodness to redeem this troubled soul. Starring Matt Ryan as the supernatural detective, Constantine travels with psychic Zed Martin (played by Angelica Celaya) exorcising those demons that did break through from hapless individuals who managed to be possessed by this army of Rising Darkness.
The reason I liked this show was because it was dark, and it played on my love for psychological thrillers that make me think about the, not very likely, what if’s: what if this happened to me or someone I love? What if no one would be able to save us? What if this is the beginning of the apocalypse?
Ultimately, NBC pulled the plug on the show despite the audience that tuned in every week for new episodes. Although they cited ratings as the determining factor of the show’s demise, I suspect it had to deal with the theme of the show. It takes a big channel – one who doesn’t really care to break boundaries and rules – to air a show about exorcism, demons, monsters, and the whole gamut of evil creatures. It’s something the CW has been successful at for over a decade with Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals. Had the CW, not NBC, had signed for Constantine, I have no doubt that it would still be airing today.
Despite numerous petitions to keep the series on the air, NBC cancelled it in 2015. As luck would have it, however, the CW is giving John Constantine a life outside of NBC’s rigid standards as the character has appeared in – so far – one episode of Arrow, and has been rumored to appear in more this upcoming season (Maybe even seasons).
#3) Zero Hour (2013)
For fans of The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure, Zero Hour was like coming home after a long time away. In late winter 2013, ABC television aired this series that appealed to drama enthusiasts, conspiracists, and mystery fans.
The premise was that paranormal junkie and Modern Skeptic magazine publisher, Hank Galliston’s (Anthony Edwards, ER) wife had been abducted from her clock shop, but had left clues that pulled him, his staff, and the authorities into a mystery that stretched around the world and through centuries of history.
In true form of a Dan Brown novel, the show’s plot revolves around a hunt for the world’s holiest of relics that began in early Nazi Germany and winds up changing the life of the main characters. Also, like Dan Brown’s work, the controversy of the theme of the show didn’t sit well with most viewers, and the series aired with the least amount of viewers any ABC scripted show ever had. After airing three episodes in February 2013, Zero Hour was canceled on March 1. However, ABC allowed the rest of the episodes to be aired during the summer hiatus of their more prolific shows.
Now, you may ask why I want Netflix to pick up a show that pulled in the lowest ratings of television shows in the entirety of the 21st century? Because it was interesting! I really enjoyed the mystery behind Hank’s wife’s abduction, I enjoyed the premise of tracking down history and finding out the truth, and I especially enjoyed the thought that there could be some other driving force to the history I learned in school.
#2) Revolution (2012-2014)
In a world where post-apocalyptic books and movies fill the shelves at book and electronics stores, Revolution was not able to make a go of it with the avid readers or watchers of this particular genre. And, okay, Revolution had two seasons during it’s run on NBC, but it’s a television show that deserves to live it’s life to the fullest.
Taking place in the near future of the United States (2027), it had been fifteen years since a cataclysmic event that caused all electricity to stop working and plunging the globe into a second dark age. It was an era without high-tech communication or electricity and people lived in small, farming communities; to some, this slower pace of life was sweeter than before; however, danger lurked in all corners of the new world, and the power to turn back on the electricity lay with a few key individuals who would do anything to keep it off indefinitely.
NBC garnered some great reviews and ratings for the show during its first season, but unfortunately, season two lost a lot of followers due to the significant change in theme and settings that watchers just couldn’t agree on.
Why do I want to see Netflix pick it up? Because I need more information about this land, these people, than what the comic book series created to “finish” the series gives us. (Besides, as much as I want to admit it isn’t true, not many people like to read comics; and I feel that they should get the closure they we are meant to have.) The series should get a better ending than what was given by the network; this show deserves a better ending than what it had been given.
#1) The Tomorrow People (2013-2014)
Before Dragon Con 2015, I had never once heard of this television show. However, it wasn’t until a conversation I had with Robbie Amell (who plays Stephen on the show), that I found out the premise and became intrigued of the concept behind it and decided to watch it.
Like many comic book television shows and movies, The Tomorrow People is filled with characters who have special abilities and powers and are the next step in the evolutionary process. Does this whole plot sound familiar to you? Well, it probably should as The Tomorrow People that aired in 2013 on the CW was a revival of The Tomorrow People that aired forty years earlier in Britain.
What made this series unique from others on television at the time was that we didn’t have a show where ordinary people were made extraordinary by either biology, chemistry, or particle accelerator explosion. No, at the time, this was a show unlike any of the others, the fact it was different didn’t sit well with some viewers, and the CW canceled the show after just one season.
The cast has gone on to star and guest star in other shows and movies: Robbie Amell and Peyton List (Cara Coburn) gained recurring roles on The Flash, and Luke Mitchell (John Young) earning a spot on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. However, the series finale really left the avid viewers of the show hanging as Stephen gained a new power in the last minutes of the show.
The reason Netflix should pick this up is because the US plot deserves to be told in its entirety. I want to know more about what happens to The Tomorrow People, I want to know if they defeat Ulta for once and for all, and I really want to see Robbie Amell in a role that isn’t a sporadic one.
All of these shows could be given a full life if Netflix, or Amazon, or even Google would choose to give them another chance. Every show I picked for this post is one that could have an amazing lifespan, and they are shows that I would highly recommend to others. Maybe, just maybe, enough interest in them via streaming sites can alert these places that we want even more.
Wait… I mentioned a plus one, didn’t I?
+1) Firefly (2002-2003)
Did anyone really think I could complete a list of short lived shows that deserves a new life without mentioning Firefly? Really? For shame!
Of course I couldn’t leave out the story of the Serenity crew and their desperate attempt to survive and have new, better lives after a universal civil war. New lives that include running from Alliance officials, flesh eating Reavers, and harboring a trained weapon that has the ability to end entire armies single handed.
Although the series had an average of 4.7 million viewers each episode, the Fox network canceled the series after eleven of the fourteen produced episodes were aired. Despite its short life on air, DVD sales were strong due to large fan support and campaigns. Even after winning an Emmy award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series, the life of Firefly was not to be resurrected.
It was only thanks to the post-airing success of the show that led Joss Whedon and Universal Pictures to create Serenity, the sequel film to Firefly. Since then, the stories of Captain Mal Reynolds and his crew have lived on in comics, role-playing games, and in the hearts of fans worldwide.
So, yes, I truly believe that Firefly deserves a chance to live on an alternate network or platform. The actors of the series had agreed that they would love the ability to resume their roles and continue where Serenity left off, and let me tell you, this nerd would like to see that more than anything.
So, what shows – one season wonders, or shows that lasted for several seasons – would you want to see renewed? You’ve seen Jenna’s choices, so please leave your answer in the comments, and – who knows – maybe they’ll be picked up in the future to give us more adventures in our favorite worlds and stories. We can only hope.