Scrapped TV Shows That Had Serious Potential

Although many amazing shows make their way onto television, some of the best ideas don’t always make the cut. We have a list we wish we could have seen on our screens.

In the age of countless streaming services, it feels like pretty much any show can exist. Unfortunately, reality says otherwise with major television studios leaving very promising ideas on the cutting room floor and us wondering “what if?”.

Below are just some of the promising shows we will never get to see.

A Tiger King project starring Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic

Just a few days ago, Amazon announced their scrapping of a Tiger King project starring Nicolas Cage as the now-infamous Joe Exotic. At this point, any project involving Nicolas Cage is sure to be something to behold and a part of me would’ve enjoyed watching a project like this. With a star and premise like that, I’m sure the final product would be crazy.

A The Grimleys remake starring Michael Cera

Apart from shows like The Office, American adaptations of British shows are typically difficult to land, with The Grubbs being a perfect example of such blunders. Touted by test audiences as “the worst sitcom ever produced,” the The Grimleys remake starred Randy Quaid, Carol Kane, and Michael Cera and was cancelled two days before it aired, Fox Entertainment President Gail Berman citing that the show “failed to live up to its creative potential.”

Now, a part of me thinks that, with the proper execution and input from the original show’s creator, The Grubbs could have been a successful show, much like the original. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with a show that I would have loved to watch for the possible “so bad that it’s good” factor.

A Heathers TV series

Remaking a cult-classic movie in the format of a TV series is a dangerous gamble, with so many fans of the original ready to pick apart any little difference or change. However, fans of the original Heathers weren’t given the opportunity to experience a true adaptation, as the project was cancelled in wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting. Eventually, Paramount announced that they would release the miniseries, highly edited and portions removed and did so editing the series down even further before the episodes aired.

Although an absurdly edited adaptation was released and viewed negatively by critics and fans, one could wonder how the original TV adaptation would have gone if outside circumstances and continuous setbacks had not occurred.

A CBS comedy series starring Dolly Parton

Heavens to Betsy was a half-hour comedy for CBS that starred Dolly Parton was scheduled to hit our screens. Although six episodes were filmed, none of them aired. You would think that a show with Dolly Parton would be a lucrative venture, but apparently not.

Heavens to Betsy wasn’t a total loss though, as the concept of the show was later used in the Dolly Parton movie Unlike Angel.

An American adaptation of The IT Crowd starring Joel McHale

Much like the American adaptation of The Grimleys, NBC’s adaptation of The IT Crowd was an attempt to recreate the magic of another show. What’s odd about this attempt though is that, instead of casting entirely new people, NBC’s now cancelled show included Richard Ayoade, one of the leads from the original The IT Crowd. It makes you wonder how the show would have gone if they had decided to abandon any remains of the original and cast entirely new actors and tried to make the show their own.

Although the pilot was filmed in 2007 and set to air in early 2008 (as well as available to watch on youtube), NBC moved The IT Crowd back to the 2008-2009 season and then eventually dropped it from their schedule, casting Joel McHale in the hit show Community soon after.

A Star Wars comedy series made by the Robot Chicken creators

Star Wars Detours was a comedic venture in the Star Wars series with 39 episodes completed before cancellation. As Disney bought the rights to the uber-famous franchise, Detours was shelved under the notion that the show was not the direction that Disney leadership had in mind for the Star Wars series.

Detours had the potential to really bring some levity to the Star Wars franchise and invite a slightly younger audience to the saga. Hopefully, the completed show eventually makes its way to Disney+.

A Liza Minneli reality show

Liza Minneli has quite the interesting life, so it’s no surprise there was talk of a reality show starring her and her then-husband David Gest. Although ten episodes were planned, only one was actually filmed and the rest were scrapped due to conflicts between the show’s stars and the producers.

A Garbage Pail Kids TV show

CBS had planned to air a show based on the popular parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids but, due to backlash from parental groups, the endeavour was scrapped. With how popular the Garbage Pail Kids card series is, it wouldn’t be surprising for a show like that to be popular if aired.

Although the thirteen episodes that were made did not air in the United States, they were released internationally, most notably Iceland.

About the Author

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Connnor Rose

Connor Rose is a screenwriting major at Loyola Marymount University. He is currently pursuing a career in the film industry as an actor and a screenwriter.