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Ten TV Shows That Went To Rerun Heaven Way Too Soon by Jim Sutherland

TOP CAT - 1961-1962
This cartoon came out in the early 60s just after The Flintstones proved that a prime time cartoon could work. Top Cat was funnier-a wisecracking Sgt. Bilko-like cat who ran con games in a NY back alley with the help of 5 buddies under the watchful eye of Officer Dibble of the NYPD.
How could it miss?

But it did because TV only needed one prime time cartoon and The Flintstones came first. Ask the geniuses in TV land-this was a brilliant show. Yeah we still miss those funny cats.

CAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU? - 1961-1963
A New York cop show from the early 60s. This was a sitcom that should have lived a long, happy life-how could you possibly miss with Herman and Grandpa Munster playing NYPD cops with room temperature IQs? It was an early retirement from the force-ratings were lukewarm after the first season. That took Car 54 over a big cliff into a fiery landing because funny network TV cop shows have a short shelf life even in 2010.

Goodbye Herman, goodbye Grandpa-see you a few years later in The Munsters.

F TROOP - 1965-1967
This 60s Western comedy took an arrow in the throat after only a few seasons. It was pricey to film and going to color in the second season caused the bean counters to take it down hard and fast. Better than average ratings wasn't enough of a Calvary charge to save this Western comedy classic.

Too bad - it was a great show, but the geniuses in charge of finances refused to circle the wagons for Corporal Agarn, Sgt. O'Rourke and Roaring Chicken.

NIGHT GALLERY - 1970-1973
Rod Serling said goodbye to television in the early 70s with this horror anthology-they treated Rod like crap but he still brought his A-game. That wasn't enough. Rod Serling could read a grocery list and scare the liver out of you but as usual...the chuckleheads that run TV knew better. They took away any real power behind the scenes and, in a real life horror story; he became a pale imitation of the power guy Rod Serling from the classic TV era so...they sent him to the real Twilight Zone after only a few seasons.

We're not talking about the last 21st Century version of this show. We're talking about the classic Darren McGavin early 70s version. The one where he played the chicken hearted big city reporter who drove a piece of crap car. McGavin liked the basic premise behind Kolchak, but he bucked at the "monster of the week" format. That, and lukewarm ratings gave both network and actor common ground to drive a stake through the heart of this highly underrated TV series. This show was fantastic but once it died, they shouldn't have made it undead in that horrible 2005 version. That was true terror.

BUFFALO BILL - 1983-1984
This mid 70s show had Dabney Coleman playing arguably the most obnoxious TV personality in the history of TV. The problem was that people were actively turning the channel on Bob because they weren't smart enough to see the obvious...he was just a TV character. TV execs folded the tent and Buffalo Bob ended up looking for work. Yet another black day in television history and a sad comment on the IQ of the average viewer-Buffalo Bill was just too good for mainstream TV.
THE JOB - 2001-2002

The Job shared a very similar pattern to Buffalo Bill with a negative lead character and viewers that were a little dim. Dennis Leary played a cynical, burned out NYPD police detective with substance abuse problems-this kind of role seems to come far too easy for Dennis. Could be that he's a great method actor or he's had a lot of on the "job" training. Either way they cancelled the crap out of this show way too soon. As Leary would say, "those @#$%ing morons". The Job was a great show but anti-hero lead guys don't seem to click with the average TV sit-com fan. People with room temperature IQs just don't get it.

They canceled this show and yet they allowed evil crap like Gilmore Girls to choke off intelligent thought. This proves one thing- there is no God. This "Muppets in the dirty world of show biz" was just not PC enough, maybe the TV guys cater to the lowest form of life, maybe the new owners (Disney) wanted more wholesome kiddy fare-whatever the reason, we lost the funniest puppets since Kermit the Frog got drunk at the Emmys.

ACTION - 1999-2000

This was about a failed Hollywood producer trying to get back in the game who acted like a Hollywood producer-loud, obnoxious and egocentric while trying to survive in a bloody game. Action pulled no punches in its treatment of Hollywood. It was funny, insightful and accurate, but it never got great ratings-it didn't work, but a few years later Entourage did. Go figure.

This show shouldn't have been as funny as it was for one reason- Andy Richter. But it was because it offered a look inside and out of a man's mind. Everything he said, did or thought was shown as part of the storyline. Something like this can crash and burn pretty fast if it's badly handled. The woods are full of TV shows that suck at subtle, but this show was really well written and truly funny-a death sentence in network TV. And... unfortunately Mr. Richter didn't control the universe-unfunny TV execs did.

Jim Sutherland is a co-founder of - dedicated to the average guy in the old car world.

We also like to take on non-car issues on a regular basis on our daily blog because it makes us look a lot smarter than we really are. Plus you can insult a car guy about his taste in music or movies but never hack on his car-those guys always have tire irons handy. It's fun, it's occasionally controversial and it draws women into the site-we're like an automotive beer commercial. We need the women in the picture to make it interesting. But we're still going to talk about 57 Chevys and vintage Mustangs. .
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