HERC takes us on a journey through time back to the Fall 2006-2007 season and a few of his favorite shows that failed to make it to the 2007-2008 season. Here are four of his favorite "failures":
The first casualty of the season starred Ray Liotta, Jonny Lee Miller (became Eli Stone and now Sherlock Holmes in this fall's Elementary) and Simon Baker (who went on to be The Mentalist). It was a complex and enthralling story about a gang of thieves and the normal lives they led between heists. Also starred Virginia Madsen as gang leader Liotta's wife.
Maybe it was another show whose title was too ambiguous or maybe it was it's timeslot on Tuesday nights at 9PM against Boston Legal and Law & Order: SVU. For whatever reason, it was cancelled after three episodes aired and replaced with 3 lbs. which was also cancelled after just three airings. The remaining four episodes of Smith that had been filmed ("in the can" is the industry term) were put online and at various digital retailers.
The Knights Of Prosperity
From the producers of HERC's beloved Ed, Knights went through several title and schedule changes before it eventually aired as a mid-season replacement in January 2007. Donal Logue and Sofia Vergara (yes, she was funny before Modern Family!) were HERC's favorites out of a terrific, diverse cast and the show was actually vaguely similar to Smith in theme: each week, the Knights rose above their menial day jobs and planned, then pulled a caper.
It aired for nine episodes before getting pulled, then cancelled, in favor of reruns of According To Jim. Two additional "in the can" episodes aired six months later and then two weeks after that the final two episodes aired.
This show originally premiered in March 2006 so it wasn't really a part of the class of 2006-2007 but it only lasted 7 for episodes and was surprisingly renewed for a second season but those episodes didn't air until the Summer of 2007. HERC is calling it a "technicality" and featuring it as a one season show based on heinous scheduling and total number of episodes produced.
Bret Harrison chose to star in this series rather than continue on That 70s Show as an ersatz "Eric Forman" character named "Charlie Richardson" and his character was killed off at the beginning of what turned out to be the final season. Harrison always seems to play the same character and HERC sees more than a little of himself in the roles Harrison has portrayed: "Brad" on Grounded For Life (with Donal Logue), "Sam" on The Loop, "Sam" (again) on The Reaper and most recently, "Cameron" on Breaking In. The rest of the cast is top drawer as well, including Mimi Rogers, Eric Christian Olsen, Joy Osmanski and Phillip Baker Hall.
Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip
From the pen of one of HERC's favorite scribes, Aaron Sorkin, Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip starred Matthew Perry and Brad Whitford as show runners of a late night comedy sketch show. HERC's only problem with the casting was Amanda Peet in whatever her role was - she was unbelievable and not in the good way.
Also debuting on NBC's fall schedule in 2006-2007? A little comedy called 30 Rock which was essentially the same thing, only in a half-hour comedy format and set on the East Coast. While the two shows were not in direct competition and were indeed on the same network, Studio 60 got better ratings than 30 Rock that Fall yet was cancelled because it was more expensive to produce. 30 Rock blossomed after that awkward first year and, the following season, went on to win the first of three consecutive Emmys as Outstanding Comedy Series. It's seventh and final season airs this Fall.