Joan of Arcadia and Other Shows that Went Off the Air Too Quickly

Every few years a show comes along that, for some reason, doesn’t see to perform as well as it should. Examples of these shows include:

• Pushing Daisies-only lasted two seasons

• Life on Mars-only aired for two very short seasons

• Smash-two seasons of musical delight

• Firefly-the Fox network only played 11 episodes, though the actors did reunite to make a movie, Serenity, which helped give fans some closure.

• Star Trek, the Original Series-CBS tried to cancel the show after two seasons, but fans convinced them to run a third season. Later, the cast reunited to make several movies

• Joan of Arcadia-Despite great critical review, the show only aired for two seasons on CBS. Most people believe it should have lasted longer.

Looking back it’s difficult to understand why some of these shows failed. The fan bases for both Star Trek and Firefly are huge. How can any show capable of having multiple conventions a year not have been a success for the networks? What people don’t understand is that while these shows seem successful now, most of the fans found the shows long after they were canceled. At the time the shows aired, they didn’t have the number of fans needed to bring in sponsors.

Other shows received critical claim, but tended to be a little to abstract for the network that aired the show. Joan of Arcadia probably would have done very well had it aired on HBO or the CW, but it’s likely that a fantasy series, that’s very loosely based on a real life historical figure, that explores a teenage relationship with God probably wasn’t a good fit for CBS viewers.

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