10/07/14 by Rennie Detore
The fall television started a few weeks ago, and this time of year typically is shrouded with optimism mixed with anxiety and hopefulness, specifically the networks sitting back and watching to see what shows register with audiences.
They'll be plenty of winners but most likely more losers as cracking the ratings code for a new series often is quite difficult. Developing a consistent audience and having a network give a show a long enough leash to establish a following isn't a combination you see a lot of in today's fickle and short lived list of television shows that started in September with high hopes and barely lasted beyond the initial set of end credits.
Take Seinfeld, arguably the most popular and well received show in the history of television. This show was on the brink of being canceled since its ratings weren't all that impressive at first glance, and most network "experts" branded the show about nothing barely worth watching.
Nearly 10 years after those reviews and everyone associated with Seinfeld is both wildly wealthy and pinpointed as a genius. The show itself is lauded as groundbreaking and historical in its presentation, story telling and writing.
And to think, it barely made past the first season.
Seinfeld is one of the few shows that held its own for its entire run and felt like it ended just at the right time. It was a remarkable show, and after nine seasons ended on its own terms. Some shows that are equally fantastic don't get that kind of sendoff.
In some instances, shows that are popular seem destined for years of success, only to fall by the wayside for seemingly no reason. Simply put, they left us too soon and, of course, wanting more.
1. Deadwood: This wild west show was one of HBO's finest in the same vein as "The Sopranos," "Sex in the City," and "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and had an entire pay cable television audience enthralled and hanging on every curse word you could think of, and then the show vanished without much reason or cause. Deadwood maybe didn't win the battle that was its run on HBO but the war is theirs as fans won't let the network forget that this show took a dirt nap far too soon.
2. Freaks and Geeks: Realistic, raw and funny, the show was set in high school and told stories that just about every teenager, past or present, could relate to on some level. Everyone knew (or was) a geek just as much as they stared at (or joined) the freaks in school. No matter which side of the fence you were on, there was no split decision on Freaks and Geeks. Everyone who watched the show loved it but was saddled with the "cult following" tag line, which is certain death for sitcoms.
3. Twin Peaks: Two seasons, which weren't nearly enough for the rabid fan base that begged for more from creators David Lynch and Mark Frost. Twin Peaks, much like the aforementioned shows, wasn't necessarily beloved by critics but wasn't totally panned either. Of course years after the show left the airwaves in 1991, critics changed their tune (which happens a lot) and called Twin Peaks one of the best shows of all times. Absence from audiences made hearts grow much fonder as the show is set to return in 2016 on Showtime.
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