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Aquaman: 25 Wild Details About The Canceled TV Show

Aquaman just swam into theaters in his first solo movie, but over a decade ago, he could have been the main character in his own television series. In 2006, the DC comic book character was the potential face of a series for the now-defunct WB network. Writing and producing partners Alfred Gough and Miles Millar had several films under their belts when they brought Smallville to the WB in 2001. Right in the middle of the successful Superman prequel series, they began working on a concept for another superhero series, where the duo wanted to bring Aquaman to the small screen.

Justin Hartley landed the role of Arthur “A.C.” Curry, with Lou Diamond Phillips, Ving Rhames, Denise Quiñones, and Amber McDonald rounding out the main cast. Set in the fictional Florida locale of Tempest Key, the story would modernize classic Aquaman lore. The project never made it beyond the pilot presentation, and many fans were crushed by the results. However, fans did get the chance to see the pilot episode online, so this version of Aquaman wasn’t completely lost to the TV pilot graveyard. If you want more Arthur Curry after seeing Jason Momoa’s version, we’ve got Aquaman: 25 Wild Details About The Canceled TV Show for you.

25 Justin Hartley Wasn’t The Original Star

For DC fans glued to their entertainment news in 2006, they know that Justin Hartley nabbed the role of Arthur Curry. What they might not realize is that Hartley wasn’t the first choice for the role. Instead, the WB auditioned actors from across the United States, Australia, and England to find their would-be prince of Atlantis, and they originally cast Florida native Will Toale. A model who attempted to break into the acting world, Toale had a few background roles in television and movies, but he appeared more often on the stage.

Ultimately, Hartley was chosen right before the pilot started filming as producers decided to “go in a different direction” with the character.

24 The Series Could Have Starred Competition Veterans

Will Toale might have been a model, but the Aquaman that preceded him on Smallville, Alan Ritchson, was an American Idol contestant, who competed on the reality series. If Ritchson had been a contender for the pilot, he would have joined another competition veteran for the show.

Denise Quiñones, who starred as a military pilot, was a former Miss Puerto Rico and actually won Miss Universe in 2001, a few years before she was cast. Later, Quiñones returned to Puerto Rico and started working in the pageant scene, coaching on reality television shows and being on pageant judge panels.

23 Lois Lane Almost Edged Out Aquaman

When Millar and Gough began considering which DC comic book property should be brought to television screens, their focus wasn’t always on Arthur Curry. Instead, they considered a series that focused on Lois Lane.

Smallville was already in its fifth season and Lois had yet to be introduced to the mythology. A series that focused on her could have allowed for a later crossover between the two, but ultimately, Millar and Gough saw a “100 episode” potential with Aquaman and not with Ms. Lane. Of course, just a couple of years later, a Smallville spinoff called Metropolis was also considered, focusing on Lois Lane and Oliver Queen, but that one didn’t pan out either.

22 The CW Was Responsible For The Cancellation

When Aquaman’s pilot had the final touches in place in early 2006, it had just made the deadline for consideration in the 2006-2007 TV schedule. However, there was just one little problem: the series was in development for the WB, and by the time pickups for the season were announced, the WB didn’t exist anymore.

Instead, WB and UPN merged, giving birth to The CW and placing Dawn Ostroff in charge of the freshman network. Most TV insiders thought the Aquaman centered pilot was a lock for WB as buzz steadily increased until the merger actually happened, but The CW passed on the “sure thing,” much to everyone’s surprise.

21 Aquaman Could Have Been A Contender

The CW’s reasoning for not picking up Aquaman was that there were only two open spots on their fall schedule, and by deciding to renew a lot of the series that were staples for WB and UPN, it didn’t leave a lot of room for new content. What were the new shows picked up that season you ask? The Game and Runaway.

Ostroff did make mention of the series remaining a contender for a midseason slot, which meant that it had the potential to premiere in January 2007. However, when that didn’t happen (Hidden Palms got the slot and was canceled after one season), Millar and Gough made sure their star still got his shot by casting Hartley as Oliver Queen in Smallville.

20 The Pilot Filmed In Florida

Most of the series created for the WB (now CW), filmed in Vancouver. Pilot presentations aren’t yet locked into place, so producers get the freedom of a larger budget and location shoots, and for the Aquaman project, producers chose South Florida.

Though the series would have been set in Tempest Key and near the Bermuda Triangle, the pilot did not film in the Florida Keys. Instead, it filmed in various locations around Miami and Coconut Grove, Florida. Even though producers hoped to make Florida their home base, as A.C.’s abilities were dependent on being near the water, not getting to film near the ocean would have made things very difficult if the show went to series.

19 Mercy Reef Held Significance

In one version of the Aquaman comics, the title character saw himself abandoned as an infant on Mercy Reef as his royal parents believed him to be cursed. Raised by a dolphin, he survived, and that particular reef also became the final resting place of Arthur and Mera’s infant son, whom they lost in an attack from Black Manta in a more modern comic.

For the television series, Mercy Reef would have also held significance for the title character, but instead of being the place where he was abandoned, it was the location where his father found his mother washed ashore. Although being 25 minutes away from the primary setting of Tempest Key, A.C. still swam there in the pilot.

18 The Title Wasn’t Supposed To Be Aquaman

Though the pilot episode released with the title Aquaman, that wasn’t the intended title. Instead, the series was supposed to take a route similar to Smallville, with a focus on the hero before he became a costumed crusader.

With that idea in mind, much of the press referenced the series as either Tempest Key or Mercy Reef, and journalists often highlighted Mercy Reef as the working title for the series. In fact, if you search for Mercy Reef online now, you’re more likely to pull up information about the television series rather than the comic book location.

17 It Broke An iTunes Record

When the CW passed on Mercy Reef, Millar and Gough tried to find another home for it. Despite the interest, no network picked up the series, but Warner Brothers eventually found a way to get the project out.

In some countries, like Canada, the pilot aired as a TV special, and in the United States, the pilot landed on iTunes. Fans could buy the episode for $1.99 and after its release, it became the most downloaded TV episode for the company at the time, spending two weeks in the top spot. It’s still available to purchase, but it’s also getting a new home soon: It will be available on the DC Universe streaming platform in January 2019.

16 Lou Diamond Phillips Is The Nicest

Lou Diamond Phillips played the role of Tom Curry, A.C.’s father in the pilot, but fans didn’t see a lot of him beyond his discovery of a woman on Mercy Reef and his admonishing of A.C.’s exploits. However, that didn’t mean that Hartley and Phillips didn’t get to know one another on set.

When interviewed by KryptonSite, Hartley gave details about some of the actors he worked with on the pilot. He noted that all of the actors were great, but he cited Phillips in particular as “the nicest guy I’ve ever met.” It’s always good to hear that an actor is just as nice as he appears in interviews.

15 It Filmed On A Real Military Base

When many television shows feature government or military offices, set designers often have to create their own approximation of what it would look like. However, that wasn’t the case for the team behind Mercy Reef.

Instead, the film crew received permission to film on a real Air Force base in South Florida, which was called “Tempest Key Joint Training Base” in the series, and the location was actually the Homestead Air Reserve Base. The scenes involving fighter jets and military personnel were all filmed there and some real-life military members even filmed scenes to give the show a more authentic feel. Several photos of the experience were shared on the base website.

14 It Was Never A Smallville Spinoff

Residents of Tempest Key and Smallville both had roots in DC comics, but their television shows weren’t intended as part of the same universe. Critics mistakenly referenced Aquaman as a “failed spinoff” of Smallville, but in reality, Alan Ritchson nabbed the part of Aquaman on Smallville a year before the other series became a consideration.

Ritchson’s first episode of Smallville was the highest rated for season five, which prompted Millar and Gough to consider the character as the face of a new series and got WB to commission a pilot. If the pilot was part of a spinoff, it would have featured Alan Ritchson and Elena Satine, who played Mera for Smallville.

13 A Crossover Wasn’t Ruled Out

Despite the series not planned as a Smallville spinoff, Alfred Gough didn’t think a crossover between the two series was impossible. In fact, he didn’t rule out the idea in interviews.

When Gough chatted with KryptonSite in honor of Smallville’s 100th episode, he fielded a few Aquaman questions and one of those was in regards to the potential for a crossover between the two series. The interview occurred when Aquaman was still in the planning stages, so Gough remarked that it wouldn’t happen in the show’s first season, but that “down the road,” it was possible. He further explained that it was better for a show to establish itself first, and then make the decision.

12 Casting Smallville Actors

An eventual crossover with Smallville might have ended up pretty awkward for fans who keep an eye on performers as many of the cast of Mercy Reef appeared in the other series as well.

In addition to Hartley eventually becoming Smallville’s Oliver Queen, five other cast members appeared on both shows: Adrianne Palicki played a siren for Aquaman, but a proto-Supergirl for Smallville; Denise Quiñones starred as a pilot in Aquaman, but as the Angel of Vengeance in Smallville; with Rick Peters, Kenny Johnson, and Amber McDonald also having parts in both shows.

11 Rumors Of An Aquaman Movie Emerged in 2007

When the pilot stalled, the buzz around Aquaman remained, with comic book fans holding out hope for more. In fact, with the surge in purchases of the pilot from iTunes, fans speculated that the show could resurface again; after all, weirder things had happened, like UPN reviving Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Roswell after the WB canceled them years earlier.

The hit show Entourage featured an Aquaman movie as a major plot point as well. The events that unfolded in 2006 and 2007 created the perfect storm for the rumor mill as the Los Angeles Times reported that “four people familiar with the idea” said movie rights to the character had been investigated, though officially, Warner Brothers had no plans for an Aquaman movie.

10 Adrianne Palicki Was Not A Series Regular

These days, Adrianne Palicki is known for her genre cred: she wrote a comic book with her brother, became Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Mockingbird, and was almost Wonder Woman. Not long after CW passed on the Aquaman pilot, critics referenced her as a series regular for the would-be series, but that wasn’t the case.

Palicki appeared as a character named Nadia. On land, she favored a bikini, but in the water, she was a Siren with razor sharp teeth and wicked claws, and by the end of the hour, her character was neatly disposed of with a spear.

9 A.C. Would Never Be Aquaman

With the success of Smallville behind them, Millar and Gough had a pretty good plan in place for their version of Aquaman, which was that A.C. wouldn’t be Aquaman during the show’s run.

The idea was to follow the same format as Smallville: explore A.C. learning new applications of his abilities and maybe even undertaking some vigilante activities. He, however, wouldn’t don his superhero costume during the stretch of their show. They also made a point of saying that he “wouldn’t be talking to fish” or “riding a seahorse,” two iconic items from previous incarnations.

8 Nods To The Source Material

Mercy Reef provided fans with a new take on Aquaman mythology, but the creative team behind the show knew their source material and they gave nods to the comic books where they could. In addition to A.C.’s mother washing ashore at Mercy Reef, he was also called “Orin,” Aquaman’s original comic book name on more than one occasion. He also had a definite color scheme.

Like Smallville, where Clark Kent preferred wearing red and blue on a regular basis, A.C. liked the colors that made up his comic book uniform, and in the pilot episode, he almost exclusively wore orange and green.

7 Aquaman Was Faster Than Fast

The abilities that Aquaman has in the comics usually depend on the writer at that time. Most often, he can breathe and communicate under water, talk to aquatic creatures, and he’s much stronger and durable than the typical human. Some writers also make his swimming speed on par with the fastest boats.

For Mercy Reef, A.C. was even faster than that. He was able to swim as fast as an Air Force fighter jet, keeping up with it underwater as it flew above him. To put that in perspective, the fastest fighter jet in the world could travel at mach 6, so A.C. is insanely fast in the water.

6 Justin Hartley Had No Diving Experience

The pilot episode featured a lot of scenes involving swimming and fighting on water. If the show had moved forward, there would have been plenty more water where that came from as it was the nature of having a character from the underwater kingdom of Atlantis.

Despite calling himself “a good swimmer,” Hartley had no diving experience before landing the role and even did a lot of his own water work. The crew filmed close ups in a water tank, but also worked in the ocean off the coast of Florida. Hartley even borrowed air tanks from the crew and safety divers so he could stay underwater for 20 minutes at a time!

5 A.C. Was An Influencer

With Aquaman making his home in the ocean in DC Comics, it hasn’t been unusual for the importance of a clean ocean, or compassion for the creatures of the deep, to be addressed on the page. The same was true of the pilot.

One of the events in the pilot episode involves A.C.’s father bailing him out of jail. His crime? Breaking into a marine park and releasing dolphins into the wild. The prospective audience might not have gotten a taste of A.C.’s stance on the environment, but he’s certainly an advocate of marine life living free.

4 The Star Wars Comparison

Cinefantastique began as a fanzine in the 1960s before becoming a full-fledged genre magazine in the 70s. Decades later, CFQ featured a spread on the potential Aquaman-focused series, including an interview with Alfred Gough.

When comparing the attitudes of the main characters in Smallville and Mercy Reef, Gough gave fans quite the quote to consider. He told the magazine: “If Clark Kent is Luke Skywalker, then Arthur Curry has got to be Han Solo.” The idea prompted fans to consider what A.C. could get up to in the show if he was more like a criminal than a superhero.

3 Future Storylines Revealed

Despite the series being canceled before it even made it to air, there were plans in place for what would have happened. Most creators plan out a 13 episode stretch while writing their pilots in the event that they do get their series picked up, which would give them a framework for the first season.

Gough and Millar did that as well. Gough didn’t reveal all of the details, but he did tell CFQ some highlights in his 2006 interview. People disappearing into the Bermuda triangle and reappearing decades later would have been a long running arc, but there was also “stopping polluters… stories involving the military… bandits robbing cruise ships,” and more.

2 A Jaws Reference

If you’ve seen the Aquaman pilot, you know there’s a minor plot point as A.C. doesn’t pull his weight around the dive shop and bar. In fact, his business partner (and best friend) decides to sell his boat. The fact that she technically owns part of the boat gives you a little background on their friendship, but it also places a Jaws Easter egg front and center.

If you didn’t catch the reference at the beginning of the episode, you’ll notice during the subsequent scenes that the name of the boat is The Quint, which was named after Robert Shaw’s shark- hunting character in Jaws. It’s a nice nod to another piece of ocean-related media.

1 Justin Hartley Got Over The Cancellation Quickly

Other actors might allow themselves to wallow when their pilot doesn’t get picked up, but not Justin Hartley. Hartley didn’t give himself time to get upset about the vanishing project as he jumped right into looking for his next opportunity.

He explained to KryptonSite: “I got over it pretty quickly, not because it didn’t sting, but because of this business, you deal with situations like that a lot, and if you take the time to feel sorry for yourself, the people who are nipping at your heels are going to pass you…” It’s a philosophy that’s worked out for Hartley so far. He’s now one of the stars of the critical darling This Is Us.

Did this list make you wish for an Aquaman TV series? Are you going to check out the pilot online? Let us know what you think in the comments.



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2018-12-24 02:12:41

13 Canceled Finale Twists That Would’ve Hurt Shows (And 7 That Would’ve Saved Them)

One of the main things that separates television series from movies is TV’s season-based structure. Even when a show has an overall ongoing plot, the pacing is designed so that things ramp up over the course of a season, reaching a climax with the finale. It didn’t take long after the innovation of this structure for writers to discover that finales should have some sort of unexpected twist that either keeps viewers hungry for the next season, or leaves them with mouth agape over the surprise(s) that wrapped up the entire series.

Needless to say, it’s not easy coming up with a great finale twist. Writers have to walk a fine line between surprising viewers in a compelling way, and a twist just for the sake of a twist. People can often spot the latter from a mile away, and cry foul at what they feel was a cop-out, intentionally controversial twist. Those cheap twists are just one of many ways of framing a finale that hopefully get weeded out by cooler heads, though it doesn’t always work out that way.

In the following examples, we have divided up planned but scrapped twists into two categories: ones that they were right to nix, and ones that they would’ve been better off sticking with. In some cases, the canceled twists were actually shot before they were changed, and you can watch them online or in DVD special features and make the call yourself as to whether the correct decision was made.

Here are 13 Canceled Finale Twists That Would’ve Hurt Shows (And 7 That Would’ve Saved Them).

20 Hurt: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

One of the reasons why Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is so popular is the many ways that it broke with convention– being set in a space station rather than the Enterprise or another single starship, adopting cast members from another series (TNG), and having the first black captain.

It’s that last point that comes into play here, as it led to contention over DS9‘s planned twist. It was originally intended that Captain Sisko wasn’t going to live to see the end of the finale, but actor Avery Brooks objected to the first black Star Trek captain being the first that doesn’t survive his series. Brooks had a good point, and it’s better for Sisko’s legacy that things didn’t play out that way.

19 Hurt: 13 Reasons Why

Based on the popular book of the same name, Netflix’s adaptation of 13 Reasons Why focused on a teenager named Hannah who takes her own life and leaves behind tapes for her classmates that explain why she made that fateful decision. The writers almost had an unexpected season finale twist that would’ve been even more earth-shaking, even for a show about such a dark topic.

The idea was floated out that the season finale reveal Hannah had in fact survived her attempt on her own life, with season two dealing with the aftermath of that. It would’ve certainly been a surprise, but it would’ve also completely betrayed the emotional heft of the show. It’s debatable whether or not having Hannah return in season two as a ghost was a great call, but having her survive would’ve definitely been worse.

18 Saved: Lost

Few finales in television history were as baffling as Lost‘s. In fact, even the most hardcore fans have trouble making much sense out of the show’s entire last season or two. Lost is definitely a case study for what happens when you try to steer such a complicated show without already having a clear road map.

In one of the more well-known abandoned finale twists ever, Lost was originally going to end with an elaborate setpiece involving Jack and the Smoke Monster (in the form of Locke) having an epic battle in the island’s referenced (but never fully explored) volcano. Fans are divided over how they feel about this planned ending, but one thing is for sure– it would’ve been much more exciting, and less obtuse, than the ending we got. Ultimately, the grand volcano battle was deemed too ambitious and expensive.

17 Hurt: The Magical Black Hole – True Detective

Like a lot of the best dramas surrounding a hard-to-solve case, there were many mystical elements hinted at in the first season of HBO’s True Detective. Sometimes those elements are revealed to be real within the fiction of a given universe. Generally speaking, however, such things are usually shown to be a misdirect of some sort, often involving a twist near the end. That is how True Detective season one wrapped up.

It almost went in the opposite direction. The original idea was to have the detectives find an actual magical black hole of sorts in the middle of the maze at the bad guys’ compound, and be sucked into it, never to be seen again. It was ultimately decided to have the show stay grounded in reality, and the magical hole was never seen instead.

16 Hurt: Anya loses her life in The Gift – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

You could probably fill an entire book with the ideas that Joss Whedon has had for his various television shows that he ended up scrapping. In order to make a show as creative and original as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there was bound to be a whole lot of shaping and cutting that had to happen in order to get the version we actually got to see.

Buffy is one of those shows where almost nobody is safe, so to speak, and even major characters can meet their end. This was almost the case with Xander’s fiancee, Anya, who was intended to meet her end during “The Gift”, the very same season finale where Xander first popped the question. Whedon and his team liked Anya and her actress too much to let her go, and we got to enjoy her until the series finale.

15 Saved: Dexter’s punishment – Dexter

Whether you actually “rooted” for Dexter’s titular character or not, it was hard to imagine any fate for him except having to pay for his many, many crimes. Even if you take the stance that he mostly took out bad people, that doesn’t change the fact that the guy needs to be locked up and kept away from society.

As we now know, that wasn’t where he ended up. Nor did he end up on the receiving end of an injection, as was the plan of Dexter’s writers. For whatever reason, Showtime wanted Dexter to survive the finale, so instead of him getting any sort of legal comeuppance, he just escapes to live on the run in the woods. It’s hard to imagine a more anticlimactic end to the show.

14 Hurt: A modern crash – Battlestar Galactica

There was no other feasible way that Battlestar Galactica could’ve wrapped up other than to have the ill-fated ship at the center of the show meet a tragic end. From the very beginning, the series had a very grim tone and a happy ending just didn’t seem to be in the cards.

However, while the Galactica crashing was in most plans for how the show could end, there was one variation that would’ve been downright weird. Creator Ronald D. Moore says that they considered a finale-ending twist that would’ve had the Galactica crash land on Earth and be discovered during our present day, buried in South America. Moore and his team realized that this had too many implications and caused too many issues with the show’s timeline and universe in trying to tie it into our own, and left the show set in an entirely separate reality.

13 Hurt: Ephram bails on the Ferris Wheel – Everwood

Here is another example of a show that didn’t know if it was just ending its season or its entire run. In this case, the creative team behind Everwood had an idea that both of those possibilities were on the table and decided to plan accordingly.

Had the season four finale just been a season-ender, the twist was going to be that Ephram never made it to his Ferris wheel reunion with Amy because he changed his mind after getting a call from his ex-girlfriend en route, leaving Amy waiting on a guy that never shows up. When the team were informed that there wouldn’t be a fifth season, they didn’t want to end the show on a sour note and so they had the Ferris wheel date go off as planned and left fans feeling satisfied with the happy ending.

12 Saved: Neither Damon nor Stefan survived – Vampire Diaries

It’s hard to know how long a show is going to be on the air. Sometimes, writers come up with a general idea for how a show is going to end, but its popularity keeps it on the air longer than expected and that causes things to change over the course of the series’ run.

That is what happened with Vampire Diaries, with co-creators Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson having to change course after losing one of the main components of their finale plans. The original ending twist was that both Damon and Stefan would meet their end in trying to jointly save Elena. Nina Dobrev leaving the show before it ended meant that we only got Stefan sacrificing himself. It definitely wasn’t as satisfying the tragic end for both brothers.

11 Hurt: The Janitor isn’t real – Scrubs

Scrubs is one of those shows that always seemed to be teetering on the brink of cancellation but had just enough fan support behind it to keep it on the air.

Fitting with the show’s theme of focusing on the imaginations of its characters, Scrubs’ wise-cracking janitor was actually conceived of as literally just a figment of J.D.’s imagination– as evidenced by J.D. being the only one to interact with him in the early episodes. This reveal was left in the writers’ back pockets in case of cancellation, but he turned out to be too good of a character to be limited in that way, and was made “real.”

10 Hurt: “Archer” is crazy – Star Trek: Enterprise

When even the person who writes a finale later refers to it as “a slap in the face,” you know you are dealing with a finale that has some issues. Star Trek: Enterprise was always one of the more troubled versions of the brand, but it still had its fans and they deserved to see the show have an ending that was actually about the show itself– not just be a glorified lost episode of TNG.

If you can believe it, the original finale twist that they didn’t end up going with would’ve likely incensed fans even more. Not only did it also tie into another Star Trek series– only this time, it would’ve been the less-liked Voyager— but it was going to insinuate that all of Enterprise was a delusion of a sick man who may or may not have been Jonathon Archer at all, being treated by Voyager’s doctor.

9 Saved: Charlie returns – Two and a Half Men

Two and a Half Men was a ratings juggernaut for years that made enough money to justify Charlie Sheen’s paycheck growing to almost $2 million per episode at its peak, but also a show that few people were willing to step up and proclaim their love for.

We won’t retread Sheen’s very messy, very public exit from the show, but suffice it to say that things were still so tense on his end that he refused an offer to cameo in the show’s finale. Him making a surprise appearance at the end that poked fun at his real-life troubles would’ve been much funnier than how the show actually ended– with a piano falling on series creator Chuck Lorre.

8 Hurt: Carrie ends up with Petrovsky – Sex and the City

Although series creator Darren Star has said he isn’t fond of the original ending where Carrie ends up with Mr. Big in the Sex and the City series finale, it’s the ending we got, the ending most of us loved, and the ending that paved the way for the first, awesome Sex and the City movie– the lest said about the sequel, the better.

We have to imagine that Star would’ve hated one of the original planned twists even more: the one where it would’ve ended with Carrie announcing to her friends her engagement to Alexandr Petrovsky, the ballet dancer who was even more selfish that Big.

7 Hurt: Dawson and Joey get back together – Dawson’s Creek

While the romance between Dawson and Joey dominated the earliest seasons of Dawson’s Creek, the time that the characters actually spent in a relationship together was fairly brief in the grand scheme of the show’s six seasons. Their long and brief courtship was eventually replaced with Joey and Pacey getting together, setting off something of a Team Dawson vs. Team Pacey dynamic among Dawson’s Creek fans for whom should win Joey’s heart.

Most fans saw the finale’s flash-forward, where Joey ultimately chose Pacey, coming from a mile away, and it made the most sense given the events of the most recent season. The show very nearly ended with the twist that Joey had in fact reunited with Dawson for good, which would’ve certainly delighted some fans but would’ve betrayed the show as a whole.

6 Saved: “Will they live?” Cliffhanger – Castle

Unfortunately, the creative team behind TV shows don’t always know for sure if they are getting another season or not. Worse, oftentimes they have to have a season finale written and even filmed with the possibility that a network will change its mind and decide it is actually a series finale.

This was the case with ABC crime dramedy Castle, with the writers believing they had a ninth season on the way, but being later told that wasn’t the case. As such, season eight was to end with a finale that was ambiguous about the fates of its two main characters. While open-ended series finales aren’t always popular, it would’ve at least been better than the cheesy, tacked-on ending that was added to Castle‘s finale; a flash-forward to Castle and Kate married with children.

5 Hurt: Dick steals Mary – 3rd Rock From The Sun

3rd Rock From the Sun hearkened back to the days of silly, extremely gimmicky sitcom premises like Gilligan’s Island and Hogan’s Heroes. It worked, thanks in large part to the performances of the brilliantly over-the-top John Lithgow, the always-reliable Jane Curtain, and a charming up-and-comer by the name of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Nobody could’ve expected the show’s surprisingly poignant finale, where Mary changes her mind at the last minute about returning to the aliens’ home planet and Dick has to erase her memories of him entirely. It was a perfectly bittersweet ending that was almost ruined by the planned twist of having Dick return again to abduct Mary, even though she has completely forgotten about him and would’ve been scared by this alien stranger abducting her.

4 Saved: Jack sacrifices himself – 24: Live Another Day

From almost the very beginning of 24’s run, protagonist Jack Bauer was portrayed as basically a superhero who could escape and survive a dozen situations per episode that should’ve made short work of a mere mortal. Things only escalated as the show went on, with Jack was making it out of increasingly absurd situations.

That being said, both Jack and the show itself had to eventually have their luck run out, and comeback season Live Another Day is thus far the final appearance of the character. It would’ve been fitting to have Jack Bauer end his time as a glorified supersoldier with some spectacular act of self-sacrifice, and that’s what producers wanted. Ultimately, they just couldn’t go through with it, and instead left him captured instead, where he indefinitely remains.

3 Hurt: Sam Gets Sick – Cheers

Few people dispute Cheers’ standing as one of the great sitcoms of all time. It is among the few TV shows that stayed on the air for 10+ seasons, and remained a critical and ratings darling for its entire run. Like most great sitcoms– with the possible sole exception of Seinfeld— it dealt with plenty of heavy topics and had its share of more serious episodes and plotlines.

That said, there was one storyline that was deemed too dark for Cheers’ standards. The show’s sixth season was going to end with Sam finding out that one of the girls he had been with was HIV positive, prompting him to face the very real possibility that he may have the virus as well. Not sure how to find any humor whatsoever in that scenario, the writers decided to cut it.

2 Saved: Smithers shot Mr. Burns – The Simpsons

One of the biggest events in the history of The Simpsons was the season six cliffhanger, “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” A parody of Dallas’ famous stunt involving the character J.R., both the fictional townspeople of Springfield and viewers of The Simpsons were tasked with solving the mystery of who tried to take down power plant-owner Mr. Burns.

To have the perpetrator be none other than Burns’ only real friend, Smithers, would’ve been a twist for the ages, and that was the original plan. Producer James L. Brooks said that it had to be a member of the Simpson family since they are the stars of the show and all. Instead of making one of the Simpsons clan out to be a cold-blooded criminal, they cooked up a ridiculous idea where Maggie accidentally pulls the trigger– a silly conclusion that the show itself would later mock.

1 Hurt: Walter White becomes Rambo – Breaking Bad

During Breaking Bad‘s run, creator Vince Villigan often spoke of how he wasn’t sure how to end the show, and it was clearly a source of stress. While no finale is ever going to please everybody, it’s hard to find much fault in the way the show ultimately wrapped up, with one of the most acclaimed series finales in modern television.

Once Breaking Bad ended, Gilligan opened up about the various other twist endings that were bandied about, and one in particular would’ve definitely been the wrong move. This ending would’ve been something of an amplified standoff that wiped out basically the entire cast in a single, violent scene. There are few cheaper ending tropes than that, and it’s a good thing such a groundbreaking show didn’t go that route.

What twist would you have liked to see? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-12-02 08:12:56

Why Punisher & Jessica Jones Haven’t Been Canceled (Yet)

The partnership between Marvel Television and Netflix is clearly coming to an end – but why hasn’t the streaming giant already canceled The Punisher and Jessica Jones? The last two months have seen shocking news for fans of the popular Marvel Netflix streaming shows. In October, Netflix canceled Iron Fist just a month after the release of a much-improved second season. Only a week later, they also pulled the plug on Luke Cage. The latest disappointing news is the cancellation of the Marvel Netflix flagship series, Daredevil.

It’s clear that the relationship between Marvel and Netflix has deteriorated over the last year or so. Although Netflix is notoriously shy of revealing viewing figures, third-party analytics have suggested that audiences are tuning out of these shows. What’s more, it’s believed the cancellation of Luke Cage was due to major creative differences between the partners; there were reports of “behind-the-scenes turmoil” that even led Netflix to call for a change in that series’s creative regime. The cancellation of Daredevil is symbolic, suggesting that the age of Marvel Netflix is drawing to a close.

Related: EXCLUSIVE: Agents of SHIELD Is More Popular Than Any Marvel Netflix Show

There are still two Marvel Netflix shows that haven’t been canceled yet, though; Jessica Jones and The Punisher. At this stage, it’s safe to say that it’s only a matter of time before Netflix shut these last two series down as well, but for now they’re holding off. There’s a simple enough reason; production has already been completed on The Punisher season 2, and Jessica Jones season 3 is currently being filmed. Netflix has already invested money in both shows, which are expected to drop in 2019. Presumably The Punisher will be released early in the year, with Jessica Jones towards the middle or end. Given Daredevil was known to be one of the stronger-performing brands from the Marvel Netflix slate, it’s safe to assume that these will be the final seasons of their respective series.

Looking beyond 2019, what does the future have in store for DaredevilLuke CageIron FistJessica Jones, and The Punisher? It’s doubtful that these shows would transition easily to the Disney Plus streaming service, given they’re hardly PG-13 in tone and style. What’s more, when they canceled Daredevil, Netflix took the time to remind everyone that they permanently own the distribution rights to every season so far. “The three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come,” the streaming giant pointed out. That said, there’s nothing to stop Marvel trying to sell seasons to another network, and they may even be well-suited to Hulu, which Disney reportedly plan to stream more mature content on going forward.

All this is sad news for Marvel Netflix fans, but at least there are still two more seasons to look forward to next year.

More: Marvel TV Is More Successful Than You Think – And We Can Prove It



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Why Daredevil Was Canceled By Netflix

It’s a sad week for fans of Netflix’s Daredevil, which has become the latest Marvel TV series on the platform to be canceled. Daredevil was riding the high of a critically-acclaimed season 3, which introduced Wilson Bethel as new villain Bullseye, and the writers room was already plotting out the show’s fourth season. However, Daredevil has joined Luke Cage and Iron Fist on the pile of canceled Marvel/Netflix shows, seemingly as part of a larger decision by the streaming service to shutter its corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

With those three cancelations, and no plans for a second season of team-up miniseries The Defenders, the only Marvel/Netflix shows now remaining are The Punisher and Jessica Jones – which will almost certainly be canceled after their upcoming second and third seasons (respectively). After Luke Cage and Iron Fist were canceled, many expected that The Punisher and Jessica Jones would follow. However, the news of Netflix’s flagship Marvel show – by far the most popular of all the series – getting the chop as well came as a shock to many, especially after the highs of season 3. So, why did Netflix cancel Daredevil?

Related: Daredevil Canceled By Netflix

The Official Reason For Daredevil’s Cancelation

Before moving on to the most likely reasons why Daredevil isn’t getting a fourth season, here’s Netflix’s official statement on the decision:

“Marvel’s Daredevil will not return for a fourth season on Netflix. We are tremendously proud of the show’s last and final season and although it’s painful for the fans, we feel it best to close this chapter on a high note. We’re thankful to our partners at Marvel, showrunner Erik Oleson, the show’s writers, stellar crew and incredible cast including Charlie Cox as Daredevil himself, and we’re grateful to the fans who have supported the show over the years. While the series on Netflix has ended, the three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come, while the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel.”

So, if Netflix is to be believed, Daredevil was canceled because season 3 was just too good. While the mention of Daredevil living on in future Marvel projects might sound promising, it shouldn’t be taken as a promise of anything – especially since it’s coming from Netflix, not Marvel. That being said, Marvel TV could (in theory) produce a fourth season of Daredevil and distribute it elsewhere, since Netflix only owns the episodes produced so far, not the IP itself.

Netflix and Disney Are Growing Apart as Disney+ Approaches

Netflix and Disney (the parent company of Marvel Entertainment, which produces Daredevil) have enjoyed a partnership over the past few years, with Netflix distributing Originals like Daredevil, streaming full seasons of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after their initial airing, and acquiring a respectable library of MCU movies. However, Disney is set to launch its own streaming platform, Disney+, in 2019, and will be focusing on producing original content for that instead – like a Loki TV show and a limited series featuring Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Perhaps because of Disney’s encroaching status as direct competition for Netflix, Deadline reports that “relations between Netflix and the Jeph Loeb run Marvel TV have become… strained.” The decision to cancel Daredevil definitely seems to have come out of left field for Marvel TV, as Daredevil‘s co-executive producer Sam Ernst tweeted:

“Man, so weird to be in the Daredevil writers room today, getting the news that we’re canceled. On the walls were an entire season 4 laid out – and it was so f***g cool. So many moments we wanted the fans to see… Sigh, this business.”

So, in many ways Daredevil‘s cancelation wasn’t really anything to do with the show itself or its performance, but is simply part of an unfortunate bigger picture. That being said, Netflix’s decision might have been averted were it not for the declining returns of its Marvel shows.

Related: Daredevil Season 3’s Ending Explained

Daredevil’s Viewership Has Been Declining

Although Daredevil season 3 may have returned to the heights of its stellar debut season, the viewership numbers don’t necessarily reflect that. In the interim three years, Daredevil season 2 was released and was seen by many as a decline in quality, with its focus split between the introduction of the Punisher and Matt Murdock’s rekindled relationship with old flame Elektra. Daredevil’s next appearance was in the team-up series The Defenders, which was also of considerably lesser quality. Netflix was also flooded with four more Marvel shows – Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Punisher – in quick succession, making it harder for viewers to keep up with what was happening in this particular corner of the MCU.

Netflix doesn’t release official viewership numbers for its shows and movies, so we don’t have as accurate a picture of Daredevil‘s performance as the Nielsen ratings of traditional TV might have offered. However, industry analysts estimate that, in the first week of its release, viewership for Daredevil season 3 was down 57% from season 2. Daredevil is an expensive show to produce (around $40 million per season), so it’s not too surprising that Netflix decided to cut its losses – especially amid a dissolving partnership with Marvel TV.

More: Marvel TV Is More Successful Than You Think – And We Can Prove It

Daredevil season 1-3 are available on Netflix.




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DC’s Titans Has The Perfect Response To Deadpool 2’s ‘So Dark’ Dig

Deadpool 2 claimed DC properties are “so dark,” and now it’s DC Universe’s Titans series that is responding. One of the criticisms that the DCEU has received in recent years is the dark nature of their movies. The grounded take was built by Zack Snyder off the success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, but audiences didn’t respond in the same way. Many believe they’ve lost sight of who these characters are, and a darker approach is sticking with DC as they launch a digital service full of original content. They aren’t even shying away from it, as the first trailer for Titans showed Robin brutally beating criminals and saying, “F*** Batman.”

Even though this is the style DC has operated with recently, other superhero movies have gone in the opposite direction. This is especially true with Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool franchise, which has repeatedly made DC the butt of his jokes. This continued in Deadpool 2 when, following a jab at dubstep from Cable (Josh Brolin), the Merc with a Mouth says, “You’re so dark. Are you sure you’re not from the DC Universe?”

Related: Jason Todd’s Robin Confirms Titan’s Place in DC Timeline

Well, DC Universe is finally responding to Deadpool’s comments by using them in the latest promo for Titans. The video starts by quoting D. Pool’s remark, referring to him as an American philosopher (even though he’s Canadian). It then shows a montage of the violence that Robin (Brenton Thwaites) will be dishing out to criminals and cops alike, before saying “Suck it, Mr. Pool.” They do sign the statement “with love” but then immediately show Dick Grayson smashing a guy in the face as blood splatters on a nearby window.

This is a pretty great response on the part of Titans, as they’re embracing Deadpool’s concern instead of turning away from it. This also makes Titans the latest DC entity to mock Deadpool. The recently released trailer for the animated Harley Quinn series commented on Marvel’s canceled Deadpool animated series from Donald Glover. Warner Bros. even responded to Deadpool 2‘s post-credits scene where Deadpool travels through time to assassinate Ryan Reynolds before he could star in Green Lantern, but it was Reynolds who got the last laugh.

Even though DC has received criticism for the approach, it is one they are changing. Wonder Woman was the first true sign of this, and the reception only further encouraged Warner Bros. to meddle with Justice League‘s tone, just as they did with Suicide SquadAquaman looks to be a giant, fun adventure film based on the new extended trailer. There’s also Shazam! coming out next year, which made it abundantly clear in its first trailer what tone it’s going for. DC will still have some darker properties like Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker and maybe Birds of Prey, but the future appears to be more balanced, tonally, even if Titans will stay in a darker one to start.

More: Every Trailer Released at New York Comic Con 2018

Titans season 1 premieres Friday, October 12, on DC Universe.

Source: Titans





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2018-10-08 02:10:09 – Cooper Hood

15 Sitcoms That Became Massive Hits (And 15 That Completely Flopped)

There are many forms of entertainment, but television is one of the most popular. Watching TV has been a popular pastime ever since the television was created in 1927. Programs can often bring families together or can even give people an escape from reality while they binge-watch their new favorite show. People used to have to pay for cable to watch their favorite shows, but now, watching TV is easier than ever with the mass amount of streaming services that have become available, such as Hulu and Netflix.

Some of the best shows are even exclusive to streaming services such as these. Even YouTube has expanded to include TV shows that come in a variety of genres. Needless to say, there is now a seemingly endless amount of programming that will entertain anybody and everybody.

Much like movies, there are a wide variety of TV shows and genres to pick from. TV networks seem to come out with a variety of different shows each year including sitcoms. While a network might release a few different sitcoms each year, a lot of them seem to flop and be forever forgotten by viewers. Other sitcoms stick around for several years resulting in many seasons worth of laughs.

Some of these shows have stuck around longer than they probably should have, but others were so terrible that they were canceled after only one season.

 Here are the 15 Sitcoms That Became Massive Hits (And 15 That Completely Flopped). 

30 Massive Hit: The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory may have not launched any of the main actors acting careers, but the show certainly boosted them into the spotlight. The Big Bang Theory came on the air in 2007 thanks to creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. The show centers around a group of geeky and socially awkward friends who hang out with a waitress named Penny.

The show has become incredibly popular during its twelve seasons on the air, with many celebrities making cameos on the show.

The Big Bang Theory became so popular that it even received a spinoff about a young Sheldon Cooper.

29 Flopped: Caveman

The Cavemen were a popular marketing image used by the auto insurance company GEICO starting in 2004. While people don’t see a lot of the Cavemen anymore, they used to be incredibly popular. ABC thought they were so popular that they should launch a sitcom featuring the GEICO Cavemen.

The show was a massive failure with viewers and critics and was therefore canceled after one season. Thirteen episodes were created for the first season; however, only six of them aired in the U.S. Caveman was such a flop that it didn’t even get a DVD release to try and make some money back. 

28 Massive Hit: Friends

Friends was a massive win for NBC and ran for ten years from 1994 to 2004. The show just follows the lives of six friends living in Manhattan, but many people loved the idea of the show.

Friends was, and still is, adored by fans and critics. The show even landed the #24 spot on the Writers Guild of America West’s 101 Best Written TV Series. The sitcom did a lot for all of the actors involved in the series, but is often considered a turning point for Jennifer Aniston’s career. 

27 Flopped: Ferris Bueller

John Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off starring Matthew Broderick was a hit back in 1986. Fans still love the movie to this day and even launched a “Ferris Fest” in Chicago to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie. While the film was successful, the TV series was not.

The show titled Ferris Bueller followed Ferris and his friends’ everyday life at high school. What made the first movie fun was that Ferris wasn’t in school, but NBC apparently didn’t get that since they picked up the series in the ‘90s. The show didn’t bring back any of the original cast members and ended after one season. 

26 Massive Hit: That ‘70s Show

When That ‘70s Show first came on the air, there was no guarantee that the show would succeed. The show starred primarily new young actors, with little to no acting experience. That ‘70s Show was even the very first acting job for Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, and Laura Prepon. Thankfully, the risk paid off for Fox and became a massive hit.

The series lasted for eight seasons from 1998 to 2006. Besides, Kutcher, Grace, and Prepon, the show also starred Mila Kunis, Danny Masterson, and Wilmer Valderrama. The cast did a phenomenal job for a total of 200 episodes, and then went on to have even more enriching careers in Hollywood. 

25 Flopped: That ‘80s Show

While That ‘70s Show was a massive hit, the success could not be repeated for That ‘80s Show. Even when Fox was still broadcasting new episodes of That ‘70s Show, they created a show about the ‘80s in 2002.

The show isn’t a direct sequel to the first show and the only way it connects to That ‘70s Show is that the main character, Corey Howard, is supposed to be Eric Forman’s cousin.

The show was created because of the popularity of That ‘70s Show, but people just weren’t interested in another show about a different decade. 

24 Massive Hit: The Office

The original The Office debuted on the BBC in 2001 and only stuck around for two seasons and a Christmas special. The concept for the show, however, was adapted eight different times for countries across the world.

One of the more popular versions of The Office came in 2005. The show starred Steve Carell as Michael Scott and John Krasinski as Jim Halpert. These two men have probably had the biggest career after the show ended, but the entire cast made a memorable group of characters that kept fans laughing for nine seasons. 

23 Flopped: George

George Foreman may be known for his impressive boxing career or even the famous George Foreman Grill, but he also got his own TV show in the ‘90s. The show ran for ten episodes, only nine of which actually ended up on the air. The show starred Foreman as a retired boxer who took care of troubled kids after school.

While Foreman’s show may have flopped, there is no doubt denying he was an impressive boxer especially since he won a gold medal in the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics. 

22 Massive Hit: How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother was a romantic comedy that aired on CBS from 2005 to 2014. The show centered around Ted Mosby, who would narrate the adventures that led up to him meeting his wife.

Apart from Ted, played by Josh Radnor, the series had several other memorable characters played by Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alyson Hannigan. While the majority of the series was met with critical acclaim, the final two seasons are often criticized for the way it wrapped up the show. A spinoff titled How I Met Your Dad or How I Met Your Father have been in development before, but the spinoff has had some trouble taking off. 

21 Flopped: 1600 Penn

NBC has had some hits over the years, but 1600 Penn was not one of them. The series was about a dysfunctional family who lived in the White House with their father.

Bill Pullman played the President of the United States starring alongside with Josh Gad, Jenna Elfman, and Martha MacIsaac. The show ultimately didn’t do well with critics who slammed the show for having too many sitcom stereotypes and being a failed parody attempt of The West Wing. The show was canceled after one season and people aren’t really begging NBC to bring it back. 

20 Massive Hit: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

There has always been an abundance of cop dramas on TV, but not as many cop sitcoms. Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars the singer of the comedy band The Lonely Island Andy Samberg, as well as Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, and Stephanie Beatriz.

In May, Fox decided to cancel the show, but the very next day, NBC picked it up and renewed it for a sixth season.

So far, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has won two Golden Globes, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and has been nominated for several other awards.

19 Flopped: Dads

The show Dads was created by Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild and premiered on Fox in 2013. Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi starred as two video game developers whose fathers move in with them. Not only was the show canceled after only one season, but it also got ripped apart by critics.

The series became known for depending on offensive gags to get laughs and having an array of unlikable characters. Along with Green and Ribisi, Brenda Song and Vanessa Lachey had recurring roles on the show.

18 Massive Hit: Modern Family

Modern Family is about three different families living in Los Angeles. Much like The Office, Modern Family was created as a mockumentary type sitcom. The series was created in 2009 and is still running on ABC. The show has won an impressive 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, which is partly because of the incredible cast.

Actors such as Ed O’Neil, Sofía Vergara, Ty Burrell, and Eric Stonestreet are some of the many talented people in the cast. While the series has been a massive hit so far, there are rumors that the show could be ending after season 10. 

17 Flopped: My Big Fat Greek Life

It isn’t every day that a romantic comedy will spawn its own TV show, but it certainly happens. My Big Fat Greek Wedding came out in 2002 and starred Nia Vardalos and John Corbett.

The movie revolved around the struggles that Vardalos’ character Toula had by marrying someone who wasn’t Greek. The TV series took place after the first film and starred Vardalos, but Corbett did not return. At first, the series had incredible ratings, but by the second episode, people had started to tune out, which led to CBS canceling the show. 

16 Massive Hit: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was created by Rob McElhenney in 2005 and is currently still running on FXX. The comedy is about five friends who run an Irish Bar in Philadelphia. McElhenney stars in the show alongside fellow comedians Charlie Day, Danny Devito, Kaitlin Olson, and Glenn Howerton. The show began with low ratings, which is why FX forced the show to add a big name actor.

Devito was added to the cast and they haven’t looked back since. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has received critical acclaim since the beginning, and now thirteen seasons later, it has become one of the longest-running live action comedies ever. 

15 Flopped: Joey

Many fans were disappointed to see Friends go off the air in 2004. While most of the cast moved on to other acting roles, one friend stuck around to try and get more laughs for NBC.

After Friends ended, Matt LeBlanc played Joey Tribbiani in the spinoff show titled Joey.

The show saw Joey move on with his life and try to make it big in Hollywood as an actor. The show couldn’t live up to the success that NBC saw with the first series and it was ultimately canceled after two seasons. 

14 Massive Hit: Arrested Development 

Arrested Development has been bringing on the laughs ever since the first episode aired in 2003. The show originally ran for three seasons on Fox but was then later picked up by Netflix. Netflix released season four in 2013 and the first half of season five this year.

The show truly has an ensemble cast, including actors Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, and Will Arnett. Tony Hale and David Cross also have the fan-favorite roles of Buster Bluth and Tobias Fünke. The entire series can be found on Netflix. 

13 Flopped: Bad Judge

While shows like Judge Judy or The People’s Court may be hilarious already, NBC set out to make an actual sitcom about a judge in 2014.

Kate Walsh stars as Judge Rebecca Wright, who works at the Los Angeles County Circuit Court by day, but is a party animal by night. NBC canceled the show before the season had even gotten halfway through, although the rest of the series came on the air as planned. Most people gave the show negative reviews, mainly criticizing Walsh’s performance and the fact that the show just wasn’t funny. 

12 Massive Hit: Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation, or simply Parks and Rec., was a massive hit for a couple different reasons. Not only was the show a sitcom, but it doubled as political satire and a mockumentary.

The show ran for a total of seven seasons, but for many people, that wasn’t enough. Parks and Rec. had an incredible cast and memorable characters that only got more hilarious as the series continued. This show most notably included Chris Pratt who has recently blown up in Hollywood, starring in many massive summer blockbusters. 

11 Flopped: Mulaney

John Mulaney is no doubt a funny guy. He is a stand-up comedian and even wrote on Saturday Night Live; however, the sitcom he created in 2014 couldn’t grab people’s attention. The show starred Mulaney himself as a comedian in New York. However, people were concerned about the show before it even came on the air.

The show had an obvious resemblance to Seinfeld and concerns were solidified when the show premiered. With Mulaney doing poorly with critics and with not a lot of people tuning in, the show was canceled after only one season.

10 Massive Hit: Community

Community’s premise centers on Jeff Winger, who is a lawyer who lied about having a bachelor’s degree and is forced to attend a community college. Community lasted for six seasons, five of which aired on NBC and the last on Yahoo! Screen.

The show became a massive hit not just because of the impressive writing team, but because of its cast.

Veteran comedian Chevy Chase stars in the show alongside actors like Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, and Donald Glover. The show also succeeded by parodying several television and movie clichés. 

9 Flopped: Rob

Some actors have a certain time in the spotlight before they fall out of it completely. Fans have seen this happen with Adam Sandler, despite his attempt to stay relevant, and also with his friend and co-worker Rob Schneider.

Schneider attempted to make a sitcom back in 2012 simply titled Rob and CBS actually picked it up. The show focused on Rob, a former bachelor who works as a landscape architect with OCD and who recently got married. Rob was canceled after eight episodes once the show was flooded with horrible reviews pointing out the show’s use of Mexican stereotypes and the weak supporting cast. 

8 Massive Hit: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Before Will Smith was a massive Hollywood star, he starred in a show on NBC called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show was a huge hit and spawned a total of six seasons and 148 episodes. Will Smith starred as a fictionalized version of himself who goes to live with his Aunt and Uncle in Bel-Air after he gets into one little fight and his mom gets scared. We all know how the rest of the story goes.

Besides Smith, the show is known for the talented cast members, the unique story, and the wide range of celebrity cameos.

7 Flopped: AfterMASH

After the show M*A*S*H ended, CBS came out with AfterMASH. Adequately titled, AfterMASH centered around Colonel Potter, Sergeant Klinger, and Father Mulch who end up in a veteran’s hospital after the Korean War ended.

While M*A*S*H did quite well for the eleven seasons it was on the air, AfterMASH only lasted two seasons before getting canceled. AfterMASH just couldn’t capture what made the first show great, but that didn’t stop CBS from trying again. The TV network would try again in 1984 with WALTER, but thankfully that show didn’t even get picked up. 

6 Massive Hit: The Middle

The Middle was just an average show about a lower middle-class family, yet it still became a massive hit. The series was created by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, who previously worked on shows like Roseanne and Murphy Brown.

The show was praised for accurately capturing the lives of a middle-class family while still delivering a hilarious story and unique characters. The Middle lasted for nine seasons before going off the air this year. While the show might be over, a spinoff revolving around Eden Sher’s character Sue Heck is currently in the works. 

5 Flopped: Angel From Hell

Those who don’t remember the sitcom Angel From Hell will be forgiven since the show wasn’t really anything to write home about. In the show Angel From Hell, Jane Lynch stars as a guardian angel for a girl named Allison, who was played by Maggie Lawson.

The show came after Lynch starred in the massively popular Glee, yet Angel From Hell didn’t get as big of a fan base.

The show was canceled by CBS after only five episodes at the beginning of 2016. While CBS didn’t initially air the remaining eight episodes, the rest of the season was released starting in July 2016. 

4 Massive Hit: Two and a Half Men

Even though Two and a Half Men often got mixed reviews, it was still a massive hit for CBS. The show ran for twelve seasons before going off the air, but the show started with Jon Cryer, Charlie Sheen, and a young Angus T. Jones.

There was a lot of drama surrounding the show, especially after Sheen’s crazed antics, but the show continued never the less. After a feud with show co-creator Chuck Lorre, Sheen was replaced on the show with Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher stayed on for the rest of the series until the show ended in 2015. 

3 Flopped: I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Another one of Fox’s TV shows that flopped was called I Hate My Teenage Daughter. The show was about a pair of moms, played by Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran, who began to notice that their daughters were turning into the kind of teenagers who had bullied them in high school.

The show began its thirteen episode run in November 2011 and ended it in May 2012. After Fox decided to cancel the show, the remaining six episodes were never released in the U.S., but based on viewership, nobody was really watching anyway.

2 Massive Hit: Seinfeld

Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the show Seinfeld began in 1989 and lasted for nine seasons. The show was about a fictionalized version of Jerry Seinfeld who lived in New York and spent time with his friends. The show is often called one of the greatest sitcoms ever made and even landed the #2 spot on the Writers Guild of America West’s 101 Best Written TV Series.

Many shows have since tried to copy Seinfeld’s success, but none have been as original as this NBC hit. 

1 Flopped: My Mother the Car

As strange as it sounds, My Mother the Car was an actual sitcom back in the ‘60s. The show follows David Crabtree, who purchases a car that happens to be a reincarnation of his mother who passed away.

The show aired on NBC and starred Dick Van Dyke’s little brother Jerry, but even the Van Dyke gene couldn’t save the show. My Mother the Car was as strange as it was horrible, and not very many people cared for the show. NBC decided to cancel the program after just one season. 

Are there any other sitcoms that should have made the list? Sound off in the comments!



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2018-10-07 04:10:06 – Christopher Fiduccia

Hillary Clinton’s Madam Secretary Cameo, New Details Revealed

Hillary Clinton will be appearing on an upcoming episode of Madam Secretary, and details have been released ahead of the season 5 premiere. The CBS political drama stars Téa Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst who assumes the position of Secretary of State following the mysterious death of her predecessor. The series, which is executive produced by Lori McCreary, has drawn generally positive reviews and has commented on many of the real-life issues facing the U.S. government.

Though Leoni’s Secretary McCord has been compared to Clinton, the 2016 presidential candidate has not appeared on the series before now. Madeleine Albright, who held the position of Secretary of State under Clinton’s husband’s administration, appeared in a season 2 episode of the series. It was first announced in July that Albright, Clinton, and another former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, would make an appearance in this episode. Now, just days before the premiere, some insight into what went on behind-the-scenes has been shared.

Related: ‘Madam Secretary’ Series Premiere Review

TVLine reports that, during a set visit last month, McCreary and stars Keith Carradine and Erich Bergen revealed what it was like to have Clinton and the other former Secretaries of State on set. McCreary recalls that the politicians were giving with their “time and energy,” adding “it was really an honor that they would spend their time with us.” Carradine, who stars on the show as U.S. President Dalton, shared a funny moment with Clinton, in which she referred to him as “Mr. President.” In fact, he says that all of the Secretaries of State referred to him as such, noting their “spirit of play” on set.

But possibly the most intriguing anecdote comes from Bergen, who plays Blake Moran, personal assistant to Secretary McCord. Bergen has a background in musical theater, which also happens to be a passion of Clinton’s. While chatting with the politician on set, Bergen learned that she knew of his role in the show Waitress, and told him she “was a big fan of Smash,” a musical drama that aired on NBC and was canceled after just two seasons.

Though this is Clinton’s first time on this particular show, it’s not her first time playing a version of herself on T. In fact, it’s not even her first time this year. In the first episode of the revival of Murphy Brown, Clinton shared a moment with the eponymous journalist, making a joke about her emails. The episode also featured a fake Twitter conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump. And, in 2016, Clinton made a brief appearance on Broad City, taking a selfie with Abbi and Ilana at her campaign headquarters in New York.

More: Murphy Brown Revival Premiere Includes Hillary Clinton Cameo

Madam Secretary season 5 premieres on Sunday, October 7 on CBS.

Source: TVLine



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2018-10-05 06:10:30 – Becca Bleznak

15 Canceled Superhero Movies That Almost Happened (And 5 That Still Could)

Superhero movies have taken Hollywood and the world at large by storm. There’s no denying that superhero movies are making most of the big money at the box office. Avengers: Infinity War earned over $2 billion at the worldwide box office this year and Black Panther earned a staggering $1 billion. Deadpool, with only two movies released, has already become a billion dollar franchise. Such was the case with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise too. Indeed, even back when superhero movies weren’t Hollywood’s favorite type of films, the genre flourished with movies like Spider-Man 3 and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, the latter of which also earned over one billion dollars.

So, we can’t blame Hollywood for trying to make even more superhero films, since, on average, they tend to make a lot of money. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Alas, as optimistic as that might sound, more often than not, though, despite the studio’s best interest, these superhero movies end up being shelved or outright canceled for many different reasons.

That’s why when we hear that a new superhero movie is in production, it’s better to take such news with a grain of salt, as the worst could and might actually happen– as we are about to explore soon. Nevertheless, while a superhero flick can get canceled at any time, that doesn’t mean that we should lose all hope. Indeed, axed projects have being resurrected before, though, for some reason, we tend to not hear much about said resurrections.

Without further ado, here are 15 Canceled Superhero Movies That Almost Happened (And 5 That Still Could).

20 Canceled: Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies defined a generation of fans and comic book movie lovers. With Tobey Maguire donning the mantle, Spider-Man became an even bigger icon thanks to his portrayal on the silver screen. The first movie gave us a pretty decent rendition of the character, as well as a solid characterization of the Green Goblin. Spider-Man 2 exceeded expectations, becoming one of the best superhero films in the genre.

Unfortunately, though, the momentum came to a halt when Raimi was practically forced to include Venom in Spider-Man 3. This mere inclusion completely capsized the film, making it convoluted and at times nonsensical. Thus, the next installment, Spider-Man 4, was canceled. Despite being axed, certain aspects of Spider-Man 4 made its way to Spider-Man: Homecoming, like the Vulture.

19 Canceled: Justice League Mortal

Back before Warner Bros. created the DC Extended Universe, a Justice League movie was in development with director George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) at the helm of the project. This was way back in 2009. Even though Christopher Nolan was already taking the comic book world by storm with his Batman films, this Justice League film was going to have a very different Batman.

Indeed, the cast included Armie Hammer as the Gotham City hero, Common as Green Lantern, Anton Yelchin as the Flash, Hugh Keays-Burne as Martian Manhunter, D.J. Cotrona as Superman, and Megan Gale as Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, circumstances like the 2008 Writers’ Guild Strike and production costs prevented the film from happening.

18 Canceled: X-Men Origins: Magneto

There was a time when the X-Men franchise was highly profitable and extremely loved by fans and the general audience. So great was the hype that Fox announced it was going to develop several “origins” spinoffs to expand their X-Men cinematic universe.

Fox decided to give Wolverine and Magneto the prequel treatment.

Both X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men Origins: Magneto were in development around the same time, but it was the Wolverine film that hit theaters first. While it’s not known why Fox abandoned the project and the “origins” format, the Magneto film eventually evolved into Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was not well-received by critics and fans, so perhaps that’s one reason why Fox felt it was time to shelve the Magneto origins film.

17 Could Happen: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy brought new light to the MCU when it released in 2014. An unexpected hit, the film introduced us to a cool, new group of heroes that are now as beloved as the Avengers. Of course, a sequel was inevitable and in 2017 Marvel Studios released Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. That film was even more successful than the first. It only seemed right for another sequel to happen, but things took a turn when old tweets from Gunn resurfaced.

Disney, the parent company of Marvel Studios, made the decision to fire Gunn amidst the controversy.

That only sparked the controversy even more and put Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in jeopardy. Nevertheless, there’s still hope for the third installment as Marvel is currently looking for a new director.

16 Canceled: Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 3

When Sony rebooted the Spider-Man franchise, it placed Andrew Garfield in the spidey suit and everyone loved him. The first Amazing Spider-Man movie captured the essence of Peter Parker handily. Fans still loved Tobey Maguire’s take on the character, but it was undeniable how perfectly Garfield embodied the famous superhero. The first movie received great praise and quickly became a fan-favorite flick, but the same can’t be said for the sequel. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 underperformed, leaving both fans and critics with unhappy faces, not to mention Sony, who felt it the most.

Alas, that was the end of the franchise.

Supposedly, The Amazing Spider-Man 3 was going to revolve around Peter’s magical blood and would’ve brought back Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy as a clone.

15 Canceled: Nicholas Cage and Tim Burton’s Superman Lives

It’s almost hard to imagine anybody else playing Clark Kent/Superman other than Henry Cavill. Even though rumor has it that Warner Bros. fired Cavill and are eyeing other actors for the role, there was once a time when the studio cast Nicholas Cage as the Kryptonian hero. Led by Tim Burton, the film was deep into production when it was sadly canceled due to another Superman film being greenlit, among other reasons.

Ironically, that other Superman film was also canceled, but one can never forget how close fans were to seeing Burton’s vision. In the film, Lex Luthor and Brainiac were going to essentially become one character. Even wilder, Cage’s Superman was supposedly going to use his soul to enter Lois Lane’s body.

14 Canceled: Silver & Black

Sony has been trying to create a Spider-Man cinematic universe ever since Marvel Studios hit the jackpot with the MCU. Plans for a Sony shared universe came about after The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but it all changed when that film flopped. Nevertheless, Sony still wanted to make a shared universe. Venom will be the first film in in Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters, or the SUMC. One other film that was announced to be in production was Silver and Black, concentrating on a superhero team-up between Black Cat and Silver Sable.

The movie was being penned by a number of writers, including Gina Prince-Bythewood, who was also going to direct the film.

The project was later axed in favor of splitting the narrative into two different films; one centering on Black Cat and the other on Silver Sable.

13 Still Could: Gambit

Fox has put the Channing Tatum-starring Gambit film into production, then on pause, and then back in production again so many times that it seems to some as if the movie will never get made. Not a single scene of Gambit has been filmed and the movie is slated to release in 2020.

The only name attached to the film so far is Channing Tatum, who will play the titular hero. Indeed, it’s not looking pretty for Gambit’s solo outing, but with the Disney-Fox deal imminent, there’s hope that the movie would at least be made for Disney’s streaming service.

12 Canceled: James Cameron’s Spider-Man

In this day and age, it’s practically impossible to disassociate cinematic Spider-Man from Tobey Maguire or Tom Holland. Maguire’s version of the character was the building block that eventually led to Holland’s near-perfect rendition of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but back in the ‘90s, things were going to take a very different turn. Titanic director James Cameron was developing a Spider-Man film. After scripts were written, with Cameron himself doing a treatment for the film, Arnold Schwarzenegger was supposed to play Doctor Octopus. Other villains were also set to appear.

Leonardo DiCaprio was reportedly in talks to star as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Today, things would be very different if Cameron was given the green light.

11 Still Could: Batgirl

The DC Extended Universe has been rocky from the start, but that hasn’t stopped Warner Bros. from developing new films. After the lackluster performances of films like Justice League and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, though, many fans suggested that Warner Bros. should just reboot the franchise. Even though DC has its share of underperforming movies, there’s no denying that Wonder Woman was one of the best films of 2017.

Indeed, it could be said that it saved the DCEU from collapsing. With the success of Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. announced that it was developing a number of female-led superhero movies. One of those films was Batgirl.

Ever since its announcement, the film has gone through various directors, including Joss Whedon, and it’s looking like we won’t be seeing the film anytime soon.

Yet, we shouldn’t lose hope as it’s looking like DC is trying to get back on track.

10 Canceled: Darren Aronofsky’s Batman Movie

Warner Bros. eventually gave the Batman property to Christopher Nolan, allowing the visionary director to reinvent the character as he wished. What we got was Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises, arguably the best superhero movie trilogy of all time. Yet, before Nolan came along, Warner Bros. had another director ready to reboot the Bat.

Coming off films like Requiem for a Dream, Darren Aronofsky was already working with Warner Bros. on the film The Fountain when he was approached for a Batman movie. This Batman film already had a script ready from comic book legend Frank Miller and Aronofsky even wanted Joaquin Phoenix, who is now ironically playing Batman’s arch-nemesis the Joker in his own film, for the lead role. Alas, the project was shelved and perhaps for the better.

9 Canceled: Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman

Today, Wonder Woman is one of the most beloved superhero films of our time. Directed by Patty Jenkins, the movie starred Gal Gadot as the Amazonian heroine during World War I. Tackling themes of diversity and humanity, the film became a success for Warner Bros. and it wasn’t long until a sequel was announced. Wonder Woman made Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins cinematic giants, but things were going to be quite different back in 2006.

Director Joss Whedon penned a Wonder Woman script that was nearly made into a movie.

Back then, that definitely seemed like a great idea, considering Whedon’s characterization of female heroes in shows like Buffy the Vampire. Looking back with 2018 lenses, though, and knowing what was in the script, perhaps Warner Bros. did the right thing in cancelling the project.

8 Still Could: Constantine 2

John Constantine is one of those characters who sounded perfect on paper, but turned out completely different on screen. At least that’s what some fans thought when Keanu Reeves played the role in 2005’s Constantine. The film, which also starred Rachel Weisz, received mixed reviews. Since the film’s release, Constantine has garnered a cult following and in 2011 talks of a sequel started to happen.

The film’s director, Francis Lawrence, expressed interest in developing an R-rated sequel, but nothing ever came about. Nevertheless, now that Warner Bros. has launched its own DC streaming service, perhaps a dark and gritty Constantine movie can still happen.

7 Canceled: Fantastic Four 2

According to director Josh Trank, he had an original idea for the Fantastic Four script, but Fox kept changing it and so, the director made a film he didn’t like. It’s totally normal for things like this to happen, especially in a blockbuster movie which tends to have lots of oversight.

The production was so troubled that Trank even went on Twitter to criticize his own movie.

There’s no doubt that 2015’s Fantastic Four is not the best superhero movie around, but its critical and financial performance was so bad that Fox completely changed its future slate of films. A sequel to Fantastic Four was planned before the original even released. This sequel was slated to hit theaters on July of 2017, but it obviously never did.

6 Canceled: Inhumans

One of the best Comic-Con presentations was when Kevin Feige revealed the movies that would make up Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Up on that list was Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 (called Part 1 and Part 2 at the time), and Inhumans.

What’s interesting is that Captain Marvel was supposed to release in 2018 and Inhumans in 2019. That all changed, though. Captain Marvel was then moved up to 2019 and Inhumans, as you might recall, was made into a TV show. The show was a critical failure, with many fans and critics calling it the worst thing Marvel has ever done.

5 Canceled: Green Arrow: Escape From Supermax

It’s a blessing and a curse that the CW’s Arrow exists. The former because it’s one of the best superhero shows around and the latter because it’s probably the reason why the film Green Arrow: Escape From Supermax was never developed. Screenwriter David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman) was going to pen the screenplay and lead the project. This was way back in 2008 when Goyer was coming off the success of The Dark Knight, which he co-wrote with Christopher and Jonathan Nolan.

Considering the era, it seemed that Goyer’s Green Arrow was going to follow the Nolan aesthetic, which was eventually what the CW did with the character.

All that’s known about Escape From Supermax is that is was going to have Oliver Queen in the infamous prison attempting to break out with the help of his rogues gallery– and Batman’s.

4 Still Could: Sony’s Sinister Six

Before Sony planned to release Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 3, the third film in the Andrew Garfield-led franchise was going to be a Sinister Six spinoff. This was actually teased by the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in a scene that secretly showed Doctor Octopus’s mechanic tentacles, among other villainous props. What led to the fall of this project was The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s lackluster performance.

Eventually, Sony decided to share Spider-Man with Marvel Studios to create Spider-Man: Homecoming. While it seems like Sony is relinquishing its prime money-making superhero to Disney, the movie studio is betting on Spidey’s rogue gallery to make the big bucks. With Sony developing a cinematic universe of their own starting with Venom, expect a new version of the Sinister Six down the line.

3 Canceled: Wachowskis’ Plastic Man starring Keanu Reeves

Writer-directors the Wachowskis entered the cinematic spotlight after their monumental film The Matrix became a massive worldwide success. This was in 1999 and there’s no doubt Warner Bros., who distributed The Matrix, was very happy. It’s not surprising that around that same time, the studio approached the Wachowskis with a Plastic Man project.

With a script written by the Wachowskis, supposedly the film would have had a scientific accident as the source of Plastic Man’s abilities.

The Wachowskis were even given the liberty to create original supervillains for the film. For unknown reasons the film never came to fruition, but after the success of Nolan’s The Dark Knight, rumor spread that the film was still on the slate with Keanu Reeves attached. Nothing ever happened.

2 Canceled: Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern sequel

Ryan Reynolds’s adventures into the superhero genre has been quite interesting. He played one of Blade’s sidekicks in Blade Trinity before taking on the role of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in 2011. Directed by Martin Campbell and produced by Greg Berlanti, the mastermind behind the Arrowverse, Green Lantern failed to impress and drastically flopped. The film almost destroyed Reynolds’s acting career, but thankfully everything turned out alright for our favorite Merc with a Mouth.

Nevertheless, before Deadpool blessed our screens and before the eventual downfall of Green Lantern, a sequel was going to happen. Green Lantern was supposed to start a new DC cinematic universe, as was teased at the end of the first film.

1 Still Could: Hit-Girl

Back in 2010 a small film by the name of Kick-Ass captivated audiences everywhere. Based on the Mark Millar comic book of the same name and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nicholas Cage and Chloe Moretz-Grace, the film became a domestic success and quickly received a cult following.

The film went on to get a sequel, but sadly Kick-Ass 2 had a rather unfortunate lackluster outing. Talks for a third installment wound down, but there’s still hope, at least, for a Hit-Girl movie. Millar is developing a series of shows and movies with Netflix, so perhaps the Hit-Girl spin-off film will find a home with the popular streaming service.

Which canceled superhero movie do you still want to see? Let us know in the comments.



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2018-09-28 05:09:43 – Carlos Rosario Gonzalez

12 Canceled Twists That Would’ve Hurt Shondaland (And 8 That Would’ve Saved It)



Shonda Rhimes has made a name for herself as the most astonishing showrunner in television.

Grey’s Anatomy is about to enter its fifteenth season. The longevity of Rhimes’ most successful show is due in large part to its surprising character demises, which allow new characters to add their stories to the series’ canon.

Scandal lived up to its name, as its leads regularly revealed horrible acts they had committed and secrets they had hidden from even their closest confidents, whether it was election rigging, covert operations, or secret affairs.

How To Get Away With Murder was filled with so many twists that it is nearly impossible to follow half of the time, and most interviews with the showrunner sound like he knows about as much about the answers to the series’ big questions as the viewer does.

Even Shondaland’s short-lived projects like The Catch, For The People, and Still Star-Crossed surprised viewers with their hidden love affairs and last-minute plot twists.

Not all of the biggest twists and turns in these series made it to air, however. Some were relegated to deleted scenes, while others were scrapped by the writers before filming even began.

These changes could have drastically altered the worlds in which Shondaland shows reside, some for the worse and other for the better.

Could Scandal’s low ratings in the final season been changed by just one plot twist? Would Grey’s Anatomy still be breaking records if just one key character had returned or new relationships had been formed?

Read on to learn the 12 Canceled Twists That Would’ve Hurt Shondaland (And 8 That Would’ve Saved It).

20 Hurt: Quinn Was the Lindberg Baby (Scandal)

Who is Quinn Perkins? That was the question that plagued fans during the summer of 2012 after Scandal’s first cliffhanger-filled finale.

While we know now that Quinn’s former life involved being unlucky enough to become collateral damage in an election-rigging plot, getting framed for an explosion that claimed the life of her ex-boyfriend, and waking up with a new identity provided to her by OPA, a writers’ roundtable revealed that even Shonda Rhimes didn’t know what Quinn’s identity would be when she wrote the season one finale.

The writers explored making Quinn the Lindberg baby, an abducted infant found deceased in 1932.

This would have been a dark revelation, even for Scandal, and a stretch, considering that the Lindberg baby was male.

They also briefly considered making her Russian, but decided against it when her “real” last name was inconveniently long.

19 Hurt: Derek Had A Teenage Daughter (Grey’s)

In the original pilot for Grey’s Anatomy, not only was Derek Shepherd married, but his secret past had the added baggage of a teenage daughter living in Seattle.

In addition to making Derek and Meredith’s one-night stand meet-cute even more messed up, this revelation would have completely changed the tone of the series moving forward for the worse.

Meredith was barely able to keep it together for her own sake for most of the series.

Adding in the potential of becoming the step-mother would have made it more difficult for our commitment-phobic heroine to choose Dr. McDreamy, and she was so irresponsible that she would’ve been a horrible role model for a teenage girl.

Meredith’s self-destructive tendencies are a part of her charm, but they wouldn’t have been quite as cute if they were negatively affecting the life of a teenager.

18 Saved: Wes Wasn’t deceased (HTGAWM)

It’s a risk to cut off your central character. Shows have done it before and succeeded — Game of Thrones being a notable example — and the star of HTGAWM is unarguably Viola Davis as Annalise Keating.

However, Wes was the viewer’s surrogate into her world and the moral compass of the show.

Showrunner Pete Nowalk changed his mind a million times when deciding who would be the body under the sheet in the middle of the third season.

It was the most surprising decision, which was entertaining at the time, but HTGAWM’s numbers have floundered since then.

The show seems to have lost its way, and Wes’s passing was the likely the catalyst.

17 Hurt: Meredith and Burke Were Going To Date (Grey’s)

It’s hard to imagine Grey’s Anatomy without its central couple, Meredith and Derek. Their names even rhyme, Mer and Der, like they were fated in the stars (or meticulously planned by the writers).

Instead, Meredith’s love interest was ultimately going to be Isaiah Washington, who played Dr. Preston Burke.

Because Ellen Pompeo is married to an African-American man, she didn’t want her love interest to also be a black man because it was too similar to her personal life.

This ended up being a lucky move for the series, as the chemistry between Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey was a major draw for viewers and Isaiah Washington eventually left the show for using a homophobic slur again T.R. Knight, who portrayed George O’Malley.

16 Hurt: If Fitz Never Knew About Olivia’s Abortion (Scandal)

Olivia Pope had an abortion because she did not want a child. A controversial and grounding element of Scandal’s episode centering around the defunding of Planned Parenthood, six months passed before Fitzgerald Grant learned that his then-girlfriend had aborted their unborn child.

Actually, those six months passed before Olivia’s pregnancy and abortion were even mentioned again onscreen, and many viewers wondered if Fitz would ever learn about Olivia’s choice.

In March of that year, Rhimes still hadn’t decided whether Fitz would learn about the abortion, asking if he really had to know because Olivia had made her own choice about her body.

When Fitz does learn about the abortion from a medical file, it allows for a powerful moment in the series where the leader implicitly reveals that he is pro-choice.

Through clever storytelling, the writers managed to include Fitz’s reaction without compromising their desire to show that Olivia had no obligation to tell Fitz about her decision.

15 Saved: If Justice Wasn’t Served In “The Lawn Chair” (Scandal)

Scandal received mixed reviews for its Michael Brown-inspired episode, in which a plotline revolving around an unarmed black teenager being taken down by a white police officer echoed the events of the 2014 shooting of Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Unlike in Ferguson, where Darren Wilson was not charged for claiming the life of Brown, Scandal’s episode showed an officer being brought to justice through due process.

Rhimes explained the “wish fulfillment” storyline as a decision to choose hope after a huge debate between the writers.

As Ava DuVernay pointed out, an episode like “The Lawn Chair” isn’t easy to create, and the effort to make it was a victory in itself.

However, critics questioned some audience members’ abilities to separate fiction from harsher truths and saw a missed opportunity to explore the mechanics of institutionalized racism and the intricacies of prejudice.

14 Hurt: Katherine Heigl Wanted To Come Back (Grey’s)

After publicly shading the writing of Grey’s Anatomy in 2008 when she withdrew from Emmy consideration, Katherine Heigl took multiple leaves of absence and quit the show in 2010 on bad terms in pursuit of a movie career.

Two years after her departure, Heigl said she wanted to return to Grey’s and Shonda Rhimes politely declined (although she would later essentially call Heigl an “a**hole” in an interview about Scandal).

In 2012, Grey’s was in its eighth season, exploring Alex Karev’s status as a social pariah for snitching on Meredith, who had altered her Alzheimer’s trial, and ending with the tragic plane crash that informed much of the emotional subtext of the next season.

Reintroducing Izzie’s character during one of the most heartbreaking plotlines of the show would’ve undermined the social dynamics that the show had finally built and deepened after losing so many of its principal cast.

Her return would have been artistically ill-advised, regardless of whether she was hard to work with or not.

13 Hurt: Scandal Originally Ended With Mellie Becoming POTUS (Scandal)

Bellamy Young, who portrays former leader Mellie Grant, revealed in an interview that Shonda Rhimes planned Scandal’s final moments to include Mellie being sworn in as POTUS.

Instead, Rhimes used the show’s final season to explore gender politics in relation to the current climate.

When Scandal began, the first black leader was in charge and the escalation of the alt-right that occurred during the 2016 election was an unthought-of nightmare for much of Scandal’s creative team.

It’s only natural that Scandal altered its plans to react to the world we now live in, even if by that time the show itself had devolved into a repetitive spy-drama.

12 Saved: Tom Was Going To Pass Away (Scandal)

Tom is kind of the worst. He seemed like a kind, loyal, and boring Secret Service agent until season three when he takes the life of the leader’s son as an undercover agent for B-613.

He thought it was a good idea to follow Rowan, then Jake, and shows that he has horrible taste in men when he starts a relationship with Cyrus Beene.

Yet, Shonda Rhimes and the Scandal writers loved him too much to cut him off during the series, even though they wrote his demise into multiple scripts.

He never seemed entirely necessary to the show, and furthering his story in season five without being committed for taking the life of of Jerry Grant Jr. doesn’t make much sense in a show that revolves around bringing people to justice.

11 Hurt: Ethan Was A Doomed Villain (The Catch)

Ethan Ward’s character arc was altered drastically after the production team developed an affinity for the actor who portrayed him, Warren Christie.

Originally the Big Bad of season two in addition to Mockingbird, Warren’s chemistry with Mireille Enos, who played his ex-fiancé Alice Vaughan, changed the course of the season.

As a villain, Ethan would have been sent to jail by Alice’s private investigation firm AVI. Instead, he tried to win back Alice while investigating his then-fiancé Gretchen’s fashion business before having his money laundered by Mockingbird and helping Margot and Tessa escape the FBI through the use of his own personal jet and airport.

Ethan’s addition to the cast deepened the love stories in The Catch by being revealed as the inspiration for Ben’s fiancé character when conning Alice and creating the Casablanca parallels in the series’ final episode.

10 Hurt: Cristina’s Father Was A Major Donor To The Hospital (Grey’s)

Cristina Yang’s relationship with her family is strained. Her mother is only seen three times in a show that has lasted for over a decade, and she is depicted as a vapid, nagging woman who just wants her successful surgeon daughter to be a stay-at-home mother.

Her father passed away with his heart in her hands when she was nine, and her step-father, Saul Rubenstein, is rarely mentioned and never shown on-screen.

It’s hard to imagine a world in which Cristina becomes embroiled in scandal and her father subsequently becomes a major donor to Seattle Grace, but before Shonda Rhimes shuffled around plotlines for the second season of Grey’s, this was almost the case.

Thankfully, Cristina is an independent woman whose success comes from hard work and ambition, not family money.

9 Saved: Callie Was Returning (Grey’s)

Jessica Capshaw, who portrayed Dr. Arizona Robbins on Grey’s, departed the show earlier this year without her ex-wife Callie Torres, disappointing fans and Shonda Rhimes, who seems open to her return at any time.

While the characters still reunited over text during Arizona’s last episode, apparently it was rival network CBS who prevented the on-screen reunion.

The actress who plays Callie, Sara Ramirez, is under contract with CBS for the show Madam Secretary.

Rhimes also wants Kate Walsh’s Dr. Addison Montgomery back on the show, which has been thwarted by Walsh’s lack of availability.

Having Callie return would have been the proper way to say goodbye to Arizona, and bringing back either beloved former cast member could have perked up fans after losing Patrick Dempsey’s character a season before.

8 Hurt: If Tessa Was An Impersonator (The Catch)

Teenaged troublemaker Tessa Riley was an important part of the second season of the short-lived Shondaland drama The Catch.

Tessa had an intimate relationship with a lieutenant at the Kensington firm and hired The Hammer to take down Margot Bishop, her biological mother, before working with Felicity to take down her own family.

She then unexpectedly betrayed Felicity and fled from the FBI with Margot.

It was a lot of deception to cram into seven episodes, but initially, Tessa was meant to have an even shorter arc on the show as a 32-year-old who was impersonating the daughter of Ben and Margot.

She would’ve been a loyal follower of Felicity and would’ve been taken down by Margot, in a turn of events that would have somehow been both more and less confusing than Tessa’s canon plotline.

7 Hurt: Laurel Shot Annalise (HTGAWM)

Showrunner and mastermind behind HTGAWM Pete Nowalk really thought that Laurel Harding shot Annalise Keating.

HTGAWM’s second season first asked the question of who shot Annalise, followed by the question of why.

Wes shot Annalise as part of an elaborate cover-up, because the characters on HTGAWM really seem to only have one hobby, but only attempted to make the shot fatal after learning that Annalise lied to him about his girlfriend Rebecca’s demise.

This chain of events makes the most sense and sets up the secondary mystery of the season regarding Wes’ family history, so altering it to make Laurel the shooter would have involved creating a more improbable explanation.

Overall, this would’ve been much less fun.

6 Saved: Cristina’s Ectopic Pregnancy was meant to be an abortion (Grey’s)

Cristina Yang did eventually have an abortion in season eight of Grey’s Anatomy. It had been discussed in Grey’s before, both with Cristina in season one and when Addison Montgomery was pregnant with Mark’s child.

By finally going through with the storyline in season eight, Shonda Rhimes was able to discuss a woman’s right to choose four years before she would revisit it in less depth on Scandal.

However, Cristina’s season one ectopic pregnancy was conceived as an abortion.

At the time, Rhimes faced push back from the studio. Seven years later, Grey’s had reached a level of success that she didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission.

It seems unreasonable that a focused doctor like Cristina would become accidentally pregnant not once, but twice. Too many characters in Shondaland suffer from accidental pregnancies when birth control is both legal and accessible.

5 Hurt: Russia Was Going To Hack Season 6’s Election (Scandal)

Scandal’s sixth season already hit close to home in its depiction of Frankie Vargas narrowly defeating Mellie Grant in its election.

The season’s subsequent storyline followed Olivia Pope realizing that the government of Russia had tampered with the US election.

The plot was abandoned after the writers learned that Russia may have actually interfered with the US.

Because the issues within our current climate have been aggravated by the sheer amount of false information circulating, fictionalizing the interference in an election for entertainment would have only made it more difficult to separate fact from fiction.

4 Saved: Original Cast Members Could Have Returned For The 300th episode (Grey’s)

Grey’s Anatomy recently celebrated its 300th episode, a feat reached by only six live action scripted series in the 21st century.

Executive producers asked multiple original cast members to return for the event and not even one made an appearance in the episode.

They tried to still incorporate them through the use of doppëlgangers in the episode paying tribute to Cristina, George, and Izzie.

However, paying tribute to these characters was just a reminder of how far the show has come since its original cast members were all onscreen, and not necessarily in a good way.

The current season wasn’t strong enough to simply reminisce on the glory days without actually revisiting any of the characters.

3 Saved: Marcus Becomes An Official (Scandal)

First introduced in “The Lawn Chair”, activist Marcus Walker was a surprising but welcome addition to OPA and Scandal during its last three seasons.

Eventually becoming a love interest actually worthy of Mellie Grant during the end of season five, he became the Press Secretary, then ran Fitz’s foundation.

A deleted scene from the final episode shows that Marcus becomes a U.S. official.

Marcus deserved the opportunity to succeed by his own merit and not due to the intervention of the Grant family, and ending the series with him using his talents as an individual and an activist to create real change would be a more respectful end for a respectable character.

2 Hurt: Cristina Was Going To Have Izzie’s Biggest Plotline (Grey’s)

Cristina’s dramatic storyline in Grey’s included her falling in love with a patient who had one foot in the grave. It’s safe to assume this patient would pass away of a stroke following a heart transplant that was put into motion when Cristina cut his LVAD wire, prompting her to quit the surgical program.

Yes, Cristina almost had the plotline that won Katherine Heigl her Emmy Award.

The chemistry between Heigl and Jeffery Dean Morgan, who portrayed Denny Duquette, led to a realistic and beautifully acted depiction of love and loss.

Cristina’s breakdown after being left at the alter by Dr. Burke is one of the most iconic scenes in the series, and would have never happened if she was dealing with the fallout from losing her fiancé during that season.

Everyone ended where they needed to be.

1 Saved: Huck Tortures and Probably claims the life of Cyrus (Scandal)

If Tom is kind of the worst, Cyrus Beene is the absolute worst. His unbridled ambition led to the dissolution of his marriage to a wonderful man who he nearly claims the life of, the demise of Amanda Tanner, the near-demise of Hollis Doyle, the impeachment of Mellie Grant, and the demise of David Rosen, the only morally stable character in the series.

At worst, he’s a serial assassin. At best, he’s a mildly unsuccessful serial assassin.

In another deleted scene from Scandal’s finale, Huck arrives at Cyrus’s home with his torture toolbox at to get justice for David, presumably taking down Cyrus in the process.

This would’ve been a more fitting end for the character than living to fight (hopefully leader) Olivia Pope another day.

Can you think of any other canceled plot twists that would’ve hurt or saved Shondaland? Let us know in the comments!





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