TV shows can be canceled for lots of normal reasons. Maybe people aren’t watching the TV show or maybe the lead actor is a total sleeze. However, these TV shows were canceled for the most bizarre reasons.
Before the iconic 1988 movie The Naked Gun, there was its somewhat less-iconic but still brilliant television ancestor, Police Squad! Like Naked Gun and its two follow-up films, the show was a parody of 1960s police dramas starring the late Leslie Nielsen as the hilariously deadpan detective Frank Drebin. The humor was fast-paced and often visual, which is a pretty great formula for an audience sitting in darkened movie theater watching a big screen. It didn’t seem to work so well for the more distractible television audiences of the early ’80s, however.
When asked about the reason behind the decision to cancel Police Squad!, network executive Tony Thomopoulos famously said the show was canceled because, quote, “the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it.” A TV show you had to watch? Weird, right? What he meant, of course, was that the jokes moved so quickly that a casual viewer might miss something if they were having conversations, eating dinner, or doing anything else other than paying attention to the rapid-fire gags. That didn’t didn’t stop critics from relentlessly dunking on his reasoning, though TV Guide even went so far as to call his statement, quote, “the most stupid reason a network ever gave for ending a series.” Considering some other reasons you’re about to hear, that’s saying something.
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Police Squad! | 0:12
Batman ’66 | 1:30
Firefly | 2:58
Harry’s Law | 4:34
Tower Prep | 5:48
Adventure TIme | 7:21
Dallas | 8:33
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