2013 looks like it’s going to be another great year for TV shows, but I just wanted to pay a little tribute to some of the show’s we lost this year. Some had a long and happy lives before coming to a peaceful rest. Some were cruelly taken from us too early… And some announce their retirement.
Gone, but not forgotten
Let’s start with those TV shows which came to a natural end. One of the biggest being ‘House‘. After a glorious 8 years and 8 seasons, Doctor Gregory House decided it was time to hang up his cane, as House and Wilson sailed (well… biked) off into the sunset together. A consistently brilliant drama, House starred Hugh Laurie as the curmudgeonly, Sherlock-esque, Head of Diagnostics at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital. Over the years he’s been shot, institutionalised, and put in prison after crashing a car through the front of his ex-girlfriend (and also boss)’s house. It’s a great example of a show that knows it’s better to quit while you’re ahead.
Also coming to a natural end this year was Merlin – The story of the birth of Camelot, the rise of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and Arthur’s relationship with a young Merlin, in a land where magic is outlawed. Although it seems there was some discussion of a 6th series, in the end, the producers decided they had told the story arc they set out to tell (albeit with a bit of a shove from Auntie Beeb). Personally, I’d rather they ended it here, than having it drag on through one more run (probably with a reduced budget), and die with a whimper rather than a roar.
Other long running show’s concluding in 2012 where Desperate Housewives, which drew to a close after 8 seasons; One Tree Hill, which ended after 9 seasons; CSI:Miami, which saw Horatio and his team solve their final season of murders, and of course, our beloved ‘Chuck‘, which came to a close after 5 seasons in January 2012.
Taken before their time
There are 2 shows we get asked about, repeatedly, even now… When is ‘The Secret Circle, Season 2’ coming, and when is ‘Ringer, Season 2’ coming?.. Sadly, neither will happen. Personally I struggled a bit to get into ‘The Secret Circle’, but I know it had a lot of fans out there. However, the show’s poor ratings in the US coupled with the expense of the locations and special effects, saw it killed off. Ringer on the other hand I loved. Unfortunately, the thing I loved about it was also a major contributor to its downfall. Ringer had a highly complex plot, and was one of those shows that would be nearly impossible to jump into halfway through, meaning it was very hard to pick up viewers along the way. Despite being nominated for (and winning) a host of awards, The CW just couldn’t make the numbers work, and it was canned.
Another real loss in 2012 was Terra Nova. An out and out sci-fi show… with dinosaurs! Really you wonder how this could ever have gone wrong! It was a lovely concept. People from the year 2149 sent back to the Cretaceous period to escape the life-threatening pollution covering the Earth. Yes, some of the individual stories could have doe with a bit of work, and yes, some of the dialog was a little cheesy, but I really think it could have taken off in a 2nd season. Although it ended in 2011, Fox delayed the cancellation decision till March 2012, but after weighing up the cost of production against their financial return, like it’s CGI dinosaur co-stars, it went into extinction.
I also want to give a couple of other honorable mentions. First to the (hello to) Jason Isaac’s drama – Awake. A high concept cop drama about a man who loses his wife… or son… in a car crash. He goes to sleep and wakes up in one reality where his wife survived. Then sleeps again, to wake in a reality where his son survived. However, clues in one reality seem to connect to solving crimes in another, and Isaac’s cop character has no idea which reality is real, and which is a dream… And no desire to find out, as losing either would mean losing someone he loves.
The last show in the ‘taken too soon’ category is J. J. Abrams Alcatraz. Once again, a nice concept – In 1963, Alcatraz closed. Not because of unsafe working conditions, as the government would have you believe, but because 256 inmates and 46 guards simply vanished. The problems start to arise, when the inmates start to show up again in 2012 to cause havoc on an unsuspecting San Francisco. Federal agent Emerson Hauser, puts a team together to track them down… Except it appears Hauser knows more than he’s letting on about the disappearances too… Unfortunately, when it’s viewing figures dropping to below half what they were when it premiered, Fox struggled to justify keeping Alcatraz open, and it closed it’s doors once again.
Your time is up… in 2013
This last set of shows are still currently on air, but the announce has been made that they are not long for this world…
First up, Dexter. It was actually announced in 2011 that the lovable serial killer would get 2 more seasons before his murdering spree comes to a close. But 2013 will see Dexter slice up his last victim in the US, although that may mean it’s 2014 before we see it here…
Next, 2012 saw them announce that we’ll finally find out how Ted met his kid’s mother, as How I Met Your Mother comes to a close after 9 seasons. It was touch and go as to whether their would be a season 9, with Jason Segel in particular wanting to move on to new projects, but an agreement was finally reached in Dec 2012 to do one more season. All the cast have done pretty well. Segel is starring in movies (Forgetting Sarah Marshal, Despicable Me, The Muppets), as is the lovely Cobie Smulders (Avengers Assemble). Josh Radnor made his film directorial debut in 2012 with the critically acclaimed happythankyoumoreplease. Neil Patrick Harris is having great success with various character voice work, and i’m hoping Joss manages to fit Dr Horrible 2 into his busy schedule, which is due to film in Spring this year. And of course, the lovely Alyson Hannigan returned to the American Pie franchise last year, and had another little girl with her husband Alexis Denisof.
The off-the-wall comedy 30 Rock broadcasts it’s final show in America in 2013, as will the US version of The Office. Spartacus also bows out this year with ‘War of the Dammed‘ and Weeds takes it’s last puff after 8 seasons. Treme ends it’s run after a brief 4 seasons, and the gang from Leverage, who already pulled their last caper in the US on Christmas Day, will end their run in the UK in 2013 with season 5.
A final special mention goes to Fringe, which broadcast’s it’s final episode in January this year. It’s been a wonderful, glorious ride, with such a superb twisty/turny plot, that morphed from a ‘monster of the week’ show into one of the best scripted, and most involved sci-fi tv shows ever made. Brilliantly acted, wonderfully quirky, and never afraid to take a risk. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to Fox for sticking by it, and giving Fringe a final season to conclude the story properly. I salute you for that.
More TV to come in 2013
So that’s the round up of 2012 cancelled tv shows. Whilst i’m sad to see some of them go, it’s not like we’re short of new and returning shows to fill the void. Arrow will be returning to Sky1 in Jan, and will very likely be back for a 2nd season later in the year. Once Upon A Time returns to Channel 5 sometime soon, as does Person Of Interest. Continuum will be returning to Syfy UK at some point this year, and of course, we have the 2nd half of Doctor Who season 7 to come on BBC1 as well. As for new shows, there’s The Following, Primeval: New World, Revolution, DaVinci’s Demons, Nashville, and Vegas. Not forgetting the return of old favourites such as Game Of Thrones, Supernatural and Falling Skies,
Those are just a few of the shows to look forward to, but if you want to see the full list, click here to view the UK TV premiere dates page.