Now that "Made in Jersey" has become the first canceled show of the season, many will reflect on what probably went wrong. Though only two episodes aired, "Made in Jersey" can take peace in knowing that it wasn't the quickest show to ever receive the ax. Here is a look at three television shows that were canceled after just one episode.
"W*A*L*T*E*R" (CBS, 1984)Most people know of "M*A*S*H" and its infamous spin-off "AfterMASH," but few probably know that another spin-off involving Radar (Gary Burghoff) was also created in 1984, though it had a more blink-and-you-missed-it type of history. The plot centered on Radar, now called by his first name Walter, and his adventures as a new member of the St. Louis Police Force. OK, so technically it was a spin-off of a spin-off, since Burghoff had appeared in a few episodes of "AfterMASH" to set up the pilot for "W*A*L*T*E*R," but that really isn't the point. What really makes this one memorable is that it not only got one airing on CBS, but thanks to the 1984 Democratic National Convention, "W*A*L*T*E*R" only got to air in the Eastern and Central time zones, possibly making it the quickest cancellation in history (perhaps only behind 1969's "Turn-on," which had a varied run time that was reportedly cut 11 minutes before the show finished its first episode to being cut after five minutes.)
"South of Sunset" (CBS, 1993)Many musicians jump into acting, and while some do very well on television (Reba McIntyre comes to mind with "Reba"), others are not quite as successful. Take Glen Frey, one of the founding members of The Eagles (and the reason why "Hotel California" is so popular). He had already done guest turns on shows such as "Miami Vice," and in 1993, he had a chance to star in his own detective series as Cody McMahon on "South of Sunset." However, like "W*A*L*T*E*R," the show was preempted due to some breaking news, allowing it to only air in certain time zones. Perhaps if that hadn't happened, it might have been given a second chance, but unfortunately no one watched, causing "South of Sunset" to be canceled after just one episode. For those who are curious, the remaining episodes did see the light of day on VH1.
"Jackee" (NBC, 1989)Sometimes audiences will follow a favorite character no matter where they end up. Just look at Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper) from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." However, just because you are liked on one show does not mean that people will follow you to another. Jackee Harry learned that lesson in 1989 when reported tension between her and co-star Marla Gibbs caused NBC to create "Jakee," a spin-off to "227." The plot centered around Harry's character, Sandra Clarke, as she moved to New York in order to run an upscale health spa. "Jackee" never made it past the pilot, and Harry ended up leaving "227" in the process.
What other quickly canceled shows can you remember?
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- Gary Burghoff