Everyone’s experienced the crushing sorrow of seeing a favorite new TV series cancelled just when things were getting interesting. Networks pick up a handful of new shows each season and just when you’re getting enthused, the show goes the way of the dodo. But wait, there’s light on the horizon! Netflix has recently announced that it is ordering new episodes of favorite shows that were canceled in their prime. Specifically, they’ve already ordered more episodes of the hit show Arrested Development and have approached CBS Television Studios to resurrect the post apocalyptic fan favorite Jericho, cancelled back in 2008.
In light of the power of Netflix and the fans at home voting with their online accounts, it begs the question: what other shows should receive consideration for new seasons? Let’s look at a few sci-fi, fantasy or fandom shows cancelled far before their prime that should be considered for internet resurrection.
1.) Pushing Daisies
Bryan Fuller can’t seem to get any luck. Not only did his gorgeous little show Wonderfalls get axed by Fox after only four episodes (the rest of the thirteen episode season did get released but it’s hard to find), but he couldn’t catch a break with Pushing Daisies either. This quirky ABC comedy about a pie maker who can bring people back to life with a touch was cute, bright, and chock full of star power (like Anna Friel, Chi McBride and the incomparable Kristin Chenoweth). One day maybe one of Fuller’s shows might not get cut off before it should have, but Pushing Daisies is one of those shows that was mourned when it was killed too soon.
2.) Dark Angel
This might have been a case of a show that would have benefited from coming out just a few years later. The star vehicle for Jessica Alba’s career, Dark Angel’s grungy futuristic world of genetically engineered super soldiers seems tailor made for today’s Hunger Games-flooded market of dystopian futures and kick-butt female heroines. With an eclectic cast and a slinky, powerful yet vulnerable heroine, it was a shame that this show, like so many others, fell prey to the Fox curse. Could it come back? Well, Jessica Alba is way past this show but the world itself could use some revamping and come back stronger than ever.
3.) Dead Like Me
Here’s another tragedy of Bryan Fuller’s lost gems. The idea of a Grim Reaper being an 18-year-old Ellen Muth who died in a freak accident was adorable enough. Having her boss be Mandy Patinkin made Dead Like Me an awesome little show that could. It had a better run than some of the others, lasting 29 episodes on Showtime before it got the ax, but this show had so much fun and heartfelt potential. Sure, some of the characters could use some updating but a resurrection of this show would be a fun edition to the supernatural shows out there right now.
This was one of the saddest tales: a foul-mouthed cowboy series, a single creator, and the other project that tempted him away. David Milch created the gritty Deadwood for HBO to critical acclaim, then went ahead and wanted to bring about John From Cincinnati for HBO, too. Since everything costs money, HBO asked him which one he wanted to go with and, sadly, he picked John. That show tanked pretty quickly and fans of the western wondered what Milch was thinking. Still, if HBO had some spare cash and fans could vote, I bet seeing another season of Deadwood would make fans sit up and take notice.
And speaking of HBO shows that never finished, let’s talk about Carnivale. Carnivale spent two seasons building up an intense story of the epic struggle of good against evil in the early 20th century. Clancy Brown and Nick Stahl put in intense performances as Brother Justin and Ben Hawkins, the lynchpins of a brilliant cast whose show was canceled far too soon — and without any plot resolution! This is another Twin Peaks situation, where fans have chomped at the bit wondering just what would have happened between the carnies and Brother Justin. If Jericho could get another season, then a vote has to be given to this lush world getting a second chance at life.
This is the no-brainer of the list. Fox’s tragic mishandling of Firefly from day one relegated the show to horrid timeslot shuffles and brutal episode shuffles that made the first season set to fail. The Browncoat nation would rise up in support of the resurrection in a second and have been lobbying since the show went off the air to get Fox and Joss Whedon to make more Firefly. That fan swell brought about the big screen resurrection of the series in the film Serenity and has supported its continuing adventures in comic book form. Now, with Joss Whedon having proved with The Avengers that he can print money for Hollywood, the chances of seeing more Firefly in the future might be good. That is, if Whedon can be tempted away from his upcoming Dr. Horrible project and the great Marvel machine. And if the cast can be tempted away from their various current projects.
I think honorable mentions for resurrected shows would go to Twin Peaks, Joan of Arcadia, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Freaks and Geeks, Rubicon, seaQuest DSV, Brimstone, and The Tick. For every one mentioned here, there are a dozen that might be forgotten, so sound off! What would you like to see come back from the dead?
Meanwhile, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Jericho. Well done to Netflix for giving great shows the chance to shine once more.
Shoshana Kessock is a comics fan, photographer, game developer, LARPer and all around geek girl. She’s the creator of Phoenix Outlaw Productions and ReImaginedReality.com