Friday, October 01, 2010

RETRO FRIDAY: Move over, 'Lone Star,' here are primetime's one-run wonders

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Was it the curse of David Keith that killed "Lone Star"?

I joke, of course. Sort of. But Keith now gets the dubious distinction of starring in two of the shortest-lived series in primetime TV history.

Keith, of course, starred in this year's critically acclaimed Fox drama "Lone Star," which just got yanked after two dismal weeks on the air.

Keith played an elder con man, showing his grown son the tricks of the trade, on "Lone Star."

But in 1979, Keith played another kind of sleaze -- one of the collegiate variety -- on "Co-Ed Fever," a show so terrible that it was canceled after one episode.

-- It was the height of the "Animal House" craze, and all the networks suddenly needed their own TV take on co-ed life. CBS' "Co-Ed Fever" debuted with a "special preview" on Feb. 4, 1979 -- but fell so flat that the Eye network let that "preview" also be its post-mortem.

-- Pity "Emily's Reasons Why Not." It had a charming star in Heather Graham, lot of marketing and pedigree as a best-selling book. But this tame "Sex and the City" clone didn't have viewers. Or support from the network, which couldn't wait to cancel it. "Emily" debuted and ended on Monday, Jan. 9, 2006.

-- Brian Bosworth. Starring in an action TV show for Fox. "Lawless" ran for just one episode in 1997. But that's one episode more than should have ever seen the light of day.


--CBS' controversial Steven Bochco comedy "Public Morals" caught plenty of grief from affiliates and watchdog groups for its language. I imagine Bochco's language was even more salty after the Eye informed him that they were canceling the show after a single airing (Oct. 30, 1996).

-- Glenn Frey definitely had a case of the "smuggler's blues" after his CBS actioner "South of Sunset" went south -- or headed into the sunset, depending on which horrid pun you'd prefer -- after just one episode. The heat wasn't on "South of Sunset" (see what I did there!), which was pulled after its October 27, 1993, debut.

--"Quarterlife": Good enough for the Internet. Not quite ready for broadcast. NBC scrapped its plans to run this web series on TV -- and idea borne out of the writers' strike, when the nets were looking for content -- after a single airing on Feb. 26, 2008.

Unscripted series getting the boot after one seg included ABC's "Dotcomedy" (Dec. 8, 2000); Fox's "Osbournes Reloaded" (March 31, 2009); Fox's "The Rich List" (Nov. 1, 2006); CBS' "Secret Talents of the Stars" (April 8, 2008); and CBS' "The Will" (Jan. 8, 2005).

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