ByMatthew Bailey, writer at
Husband. Father. Gamer. Cinema Lover. Mix it all together, and there I am. I love all things pop-culture and coffee; but coffee is the best.
Matthew Bailey

I read an article on Moviepilot this morning about Heroes, one of my favorite TV shows that I felt was cancelled too soon. Well, this article was talking about a new Heroes show in the works, 'Heroes: Reborn', and my heart leaped into my throat I was so excited. Heroes is/was one of those shows that I religiously watched while it was on-air for 4 seasons.

Then Hell froze over and they cancelled yet another of my favorite shows.

This cancellation reminded me of the shows that I loved to watch, and has led me to post about a few that I believe can be either:


Here's how this will work. I'm going to tell you why the show is worth a second look, then tell you what I think could be done with the series.

Here goes, first up is my all-time favorite show:


I still go back and watch this on Netflix from time to time. Generally considered one of the most popular cancelled sci-fi shows. Ranked at 25 on TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever. At a period where most shows seemed to be of a cookie-cutter mold, "Firefly" entered the screen and it was witty, well written and unique. How many other Sci-Fi Westerns are there out there? The premise of the show was this:

Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.

There has always been quite a large cult following begging studios to re-sign everybody for a new season, especially after the feature movie was created, all the fans imagined the movie would re-ignite the fires of production and get a new season rolling... but it didn't. The movie didn't prove to draw in new fans, it mostly just rekindled the hopes of all the original fans.

I think it would have been great if they made a follow-up season. I loved this show more than anything, but ultimately I say:


Firefly is done. To try and resurrect it now, I'm afraid, would only taint the beauty of the original. I would love to be proved wrong, but I think that if any studio legitimately tried to resurrect the franchise it would be so tough to match the original feel. There are too many variables to try and reproduce for another season. If you can't get the entire cast back, it won't be the same show. If Whedon isn't a part of it, then it definitely won't be the same. If you try to reboot the concept with new actors, it will feel cheap because even after only 11 aired episodes in the states, I felt like I KNEW the characters, it would take a long time and a great deal of persuasion to make me believe in any other actor besides Nathan Fillion as Malcolm Reynolds, or Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb and Summer Glau as River Tam.
That was hard to admit. Next up is another of my favorite shows that I will watch episodes again and again.

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The Unit

The Unit ran for 4 seasons from 2006 - 2009, until it was finally cancelled by CBS. If you weren't one of the people who watched The Unit, I wouldn't be surprised, it wasn't overly popular with most audiences, but it was popular enough to last 4 seasons. The Unit was a military dramaction (I just made that up). It was about an ultra secret military unit, modeled after the U.S. Army Delta Force. It was a story that showed both sides of the men's life: on missions in various locales and their family life on base as well as their training on base. Thus it is a 'dramaction'. The show was led by Dennis Haysbert, you'd probably recognize his voice as the 'Allstate Insurance Guy'.

The Unit started off strong, and it had fantastic potential, but it got bogged down in the drama side. The 'home life' got too twisted and the rest just fizzled out. So my call is:


Like I said above, it had fantastic potential. Military is always something that will have a consistent audience, especially if it's done right. My gut tells me that if they rebooted it in a way that was sort of a homage to the original, say bring in 1 or 2 of the original cast and have them be trainers to teach a new group of recruits how to be "The Unit". I think that if it was done right, and focused more on the team rather than their home life (that would still be a part of the show, just not as large of a part) that it could bring a new spark to this cancellation.

Next on my list is a show that's a little more off the beaten path.

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Dead Like Me

Dead Like Me ran for two seasons on Showtime, so I wouldn't be surprised if even fewer people knew this show versus any of my others, but I think Dead Like Me, at the time, was the most original show I had seen. It was about a young girl, Georgia 'George' Lass (played by Ellen Muth - far left on the above picture) who dies in the pilot by a falling toiletseat from the deorbiting Mir Space Station. (It's a comedy if you didn't get that from the way she dies) Instead of moving on to the 'great beyond' she becomes a Grim Reaper. It's a quirky show, based around George's character. In life she was a pain in the a**, and that doesn't change in death. She doesn't like the details of being a Grim Reaper, and is always battling with her boss Rube (Mandy Patinkin - 2nd from left). Her fellow grim reapers don't care for her either. She also learns grim reapers don't even get a free ride in death, as they must hold down regular jobs along with their death duties. They have physical bodies and interact with the real world, but they don't look like their old selves, so they can't interact with their past lives.

Like I said, it had some quirky originality when it came out in 2003, but it seemed to lack a sense of something. I personally think that it was the cast, because the premise had potential, but I just couldn't really 'love' Ellen Muth's character. I think it was poor casting in her role, which ultimately led to the shows cancellation. Ultimately I'm leaning towards:


Like I said, it was a show with potential and an original premise. I think focusing less on the 'dreariness' of the George character would make a world of difference. I think it's very possible to keep a dark-comedy tone and lose some of the emotionally distant acting that was in the original show. Maybe cast a little younger and tweak the story a little so along with dealing with the issues of being a grim reaper and under the age of 20, also has to deal with the ideas of being so young and learning about life that was missed. I'm sure there's potential in that direction somewhere. You could replace Ellen Muth's 'George' with someone like:

  • AnnaSophia Robb (Soul Surfer, The Carrie Diaries)
  • Ryan Newman (Zoom, Zeke and Luther, See Dad Run)
  • Love Cameron (Mentalist, Malibu Country, Barely Lethal)
  • Hailee Steinfeld (Enders Game, True Grit, 3 Days to Kill)

I think it would be interesting to see it rebuilt and put on a normal network, not a premium channel like Showtime. You'd have to bill it towards a more general audience and then it could be a success.

So, there you have it 3 shows that are at the top of my list of shows I wish they hadn't cancelled. Keep watching my feed, and I'll have a similar list of movies that I'm going to write about.

Until next time.


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