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SciFi On TV: The Shows We Lost This Season – Part 2

Continuing Ed Left’s look at the genre series leaving the air

Last time out, I spent a little time talking about “Defying Gravity,” “Eastwick,” “Dollhouse” and “The Ghost Whisperer.” Each being a genre show that left the air in the 2009-10 season.

Today I continue my look at the dearly departed.

“FlashForward” started out strong. Its pilot episode was cinematic. It outlined the goals for the series, and was set at a good pace. After viewing it, I thought it was an easy winner. Then the second episode was released.

The show immediately fell into the trap of a limited concept. They started stretching it out. I admit when you have 20-plus episodes to fill, you sometimes have to go slow. But nothing of note appeared to happen in those early episodes. And that is when you need something to happen.

Then they had an extended break in the middle of the season. This can only work if you have strong ratings, and it’s never a good idea for a freshman series. And it showed here. When the show reappeared, a large chunk of its audience didn’t.

I have always felt some concepts, while good, aren’t suited for a continuing series, but better as a mini or limited series. This show was one of them.

Alas poor “Heroes,” you started great. One of the few hits for NBC in recent years, it got mired down in its characters. I did an entire column on Heroes here so I won’t go into great detail. But I will say I will miss what this series could have been, but won’t miss what it became.

I had high hopes for “Legend of the Seeker.” I remember the days of first-run syndication and how it was filled with sci-fi and fantasy shows such as “Earth: Final Conflict,” “Hercules,” “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Andromeda.” I wanted “Seeker” to bring back those days, and perhaps open up syndication to more series like it.

But alas, t’was not to be. Tribune Co. was looking for larger ratings than the show earned. And when they did not appear, they decided not to pick up a third season. The producers tried in vain to find other stations in those markets, but couldn’t make it happen.

Even Syfy took a look at the series and decided it was too expensive compared to the ratings they thought they could get. In September 2009, Syfy did air a marathon of Season 1 episodes, which received poor ratings. But in defense of “Seeker,” there wasn’t any real marketing behind it.

So without a cable outlet, or stations airing the show in the top markets, there was no choice to end the show. I have to admit I will miss my weekly fix of Bridget Regan.

And last, but certainly not least, I talk about “Lost.” Of all the shows to leave the air this season, this show can be considered a success. It lasted six years, and ended when the producers wanted to end it.

It set the standard for genre programming on a broadcast network, and has spawned several pale imitators. None of these “successors” to “Lost” have managed to remain on the air.

The final season of the show took a strange turn with the “flash sideways.” There were weeks were I thought the sideway was more interesting than the island story. I can’t say I liked the resolution to the sideway story, but it makes sense. I’m not sure why so many people across the Internet were confused.

This show had many fine actors, and I hope they manage to find work on future genre shows.

That’s it for the 2009-10 wrap up. While the shows discussed might not have been keepers, they all had their moments. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the shows we lost this season.

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Could they be a Rut-ro! Shaggy
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