Is there a good place for canceled shows?


Question: Do you think a streaming network could be successful whose only mission was rescuing and continuing to broadcast (or bring proper closure to) canceled series (quality only)? —Maurice

Matt Roush: As pipe dreams go, this is a noble one, but with so many impractical pitfalls I don’t even know where to start. What would you call it? The Endgame Channel? I was especially intrigued by the “quality only” qualifier, because I can testify through my mailbag that almost every show, no matter how short-lived or critically derided, has some sort of fan base. (I’m expecting a complaint about CBS axing the mediocre Happy Together any day now.) The real issue, of course, is economic. All of the moving parts, from writers and producers to cast to crew, have to align to keep a show continuing for even one more episode—see the recent Timeless finale—that it would be unfeasible to expect most canceled series to get that one last shot, even if there was a service devoted to such a thing. Miracles do happen, of course (again: see Timeless), and streamers have given series as diverse as Longmire and The Mindy Project a robust afterlife after the networks dropped them. But the reality is that TV on nearly every platform (even including streamers) is a high-risk business, and some shows just aren’t going to make it.

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