You may have realized a common thread in Part 1 of this year's disappointments - 3 of the 5 shows aired on NBC. This might make you realize that NBC overall has become a disappointment. They cancel the good shows and offer up new ones that stink. Beyond their Thursday night comedy hits, much of their remaining lineup is aging (Heroes, L&O, ER) and their midseason lineup looks pathetic as ever. Momma's Boys? Superstars of Dance? More Biggest Loser?
However, perhaps the biggest nail in the coffin is that NBC has pretty much waved a white flag by recently announcing that beginning next Fall Jay Leno will receive the 10PM slot every night. It's a smart business decision; Leno is cheaper than scripted shows. But NBC is also telling us that they know they can't launch a new scripted hit, so why try? Frankly, I expected more from a network that used to be "Must See".
My girly side had high hopes for this one. It seemed adorable in theory. But...the show turned out being less than inspired. It wasn't awful, but it seemed formulaic (kind of like My Name is Earl with a list of men) and overly cheesy. The inner show turmoil couldn't have helped; the show's original showrunner left due to creative differences. The Ex List survived 4 episodes.
I could have dedicated slots to each of these, but I think what they all represent is the sadness of failed fan campaigns (less so with Jericho, since the first giant campaign did get the show a few new episodes, but this only prolonged its inevitable cancellation). There was no doubt that all 3 of these shows had a ton of fans who poured in so much effort to making it known how much they loved their respective shows. The irony is...all 3 performed in their slots last year a whole lot better than many of this Fall's new shows. The Ex List had less than half the number of viewers when compared to Moonlight (same timeslot). Makes it sting even more, doesn't it?
I know I've already dedicated a whole diatribe towards NBC and its failures (and that other specific shows have also been singled out), but I saved a specific slot for Las Vegas. My complaint is not that the show was canceled; it definitely had run its course over 5 seasons. However, the show was canceled and due to strike fallout was ended on a giant, unintentional cliffhanger. A show that ran for 5 seasons deserved better, as did its fans.
This will be the most controversial of my picks, but frankly, I've found Fringe a little disappointing. I'll start by saying that it remains one of the best new shows of Fall. But...because Fringe is coming from my pretty-much-all-time-favorite TV producer - I hold it to especially high standards. Fringe has just not drawn me in from the first episode the way previous Abrams shows like Alias and Lost (both on my list of all time favorite pilots) have. The show certainly isn't bad, but for me, it has been lacking a wow factor. It's a little formulaic for my taste (mystery of the night, Massive Dynamic has the answer!, the Pattern - ooooooh), and the science is so ridiculous that it would make even an English major scoff.
What are the year's top disappointments for you?