Ten TV Shows That Went To Rerun
Heaven Way Too Soon by Jim Sutherland
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
KOLCHAK NIGHT STALKER - 1974-1975 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
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.
THE BUNNY 2002 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
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.
RICHTER CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE - 2002-2003 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.