5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

Moderators: Scott Sebring, Ben Bentley

User avatar
Progress Pigment
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:12 pm

5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by Progress Pigment »

Maybe the story is overstating, but I saw that great close-up of West in the cowl & clicked the link! Everyone here knows the "ABC destroyed the Batcave" story, but I love seeing Batman get some press.

Image

http://www.looper.com/7669/shows-cancel ... t-mistake/
Next week, the Dynamic Duo meets the Clock King!
CADA
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:30 pm

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by CADA »

Hi I always think about it how Batman would have been on NBC I know season 3 wasn't that great but for me no matter how bad any series became I still would have loved a 4th season for example I would have loved the same for Lost in Space,Knight Rider,Happy Days and so on because there would have been more episodes for me the more the better now granted other's feel differen't saying the longer the serial runs the more worst it becomes however for me i still would have loved it.
User avatar
dell
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:12 am

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by dell »

Sloppy writing in the article. They said Batman was on for just two seasons. To quote that other great thinker from the 60's, "For shame, for shame, for shame."
dell
User avatar
Ben Bentley
Moderator
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:31 pm

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by Ben Bentley »

dell wrote:Sloppy writing in the article. They said Batman was on for just two seasons."
Sloppy is indeed the right word.

As we've discussed here on the board before, the "NBC story" is for the most part urban-myth that has been blown out of proportion over the years. It certainly has not been substantiated any further than quotes gathered decades after the fact. Unfortunately it sits on a dusty pile of well meant recollections from people involved in the show, (Adam and Burt included) that over time have been skewed, elaborated and generally deviate from the facts available, some more blatantly than other.

That's not to say telephone conversations couldn't perhaps have happened, but Dozier was far too meticulous in his archiving of correspondences and paper work during the time-frame that these so called talks would have had to have taken place to have neglected something so significant to the show's future. Certainly nothing anywhere near a formal or serious discussion between ABC/Dozier/NBC is indicated to.

For those interested, here is one of the better threads that looks into the 4th Season NBC Myth: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3556
User avatar
AndyFish
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:42 am

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by AndyFish »

What Ben said.
And paraphrasing Michael Scott on the office-- "Do you want just some really good pizza, or ALL you can eat kind of bad pizza?"

I'm on for a smaller amount of really good pizza.

I'm on the other side-- I wish some of these shows ended sooner. Once they jump the shark it's a merciful death and I don't care how much I love the characters when the steam runs out pull the plug.

There are a handful of shows that knew when to go-- Dick Van Dyke, Hogan's Heroes, Mary Tyler Moore-- and then there are the shows that should have gone on-- Kolchak, The Night Stalker would come to mind, Ellery Queen with Jim Hutton, but the vast majority overstay their welcome. I watched Happy Days as a kid, and even then knew it was over when Ron Howard left (and even slightly before)-- everything past that was painful to watch.

There's too much good to watch to waste on bad.

And yes, this article is really badly written. Sad what passes for journalism on the internet.
User avatar
SprangFan
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:34 am

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by SprangFan »

Almost every example cited in that article wouldn't qualify as an "idiotic mistake." You could argue some of those fans didn't deserve to be canceled, but nothing comes down to an "oops" moment.

On the whole, I think a show is better off to be canceled "too soon" (and thus maybe go on to "cult fave" status) than to hang around long enough to become an embarrassment. I love "The Six Million Dollar Man" but it should've gone two years before it finally did. "X-Files" went from un-missable to unwatchable and stayed on anyway. I recently was watching MeTV and saw the episode where Ritchie comes back to "Happy Days" (only to say goodbye, for good) and realized that I'd never seen it before, because by the time it aired, I'd already given up on the show several years earlier. That show is pretty much the poster child for "stayed on too long" (and it really is the genesis of the "Jump The Shark" phrase).

Canceling "Batman" was a mercy killing, let's face it. You can only get so much mileage out of one joke.

Andy, I thought I was the only person in the world who remembered Jim Hutton's "Ellery Queen"! It made so much of an impression, despite its short life, that to this day whenever I see David Wayne as The Mad Hatter, I still think, "Hey, it's Ellery Queen's dad!"

As big a fan as I am of Kolchak, though, I don't know that it could've made it much longer. The "monster of the week" schtick was getting pretty wobbly by the end. It would take "The X-Files" to find a way to make it work long-term, by alternating with continuity-dense "conspiracy" episodes. Although in the end, that ended up a bloated mess, too.

Best bet is probably to go in with an exit strategy and stick to it. Like Abrams claimed to do with "Lost." (And that one belly-flopped in the end, as well!)
Image
User avatar
AndyFish
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:42 am

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by AndyFish »

With Kolchak I go with the thought of continuing having read the unproduced scripts which were actually quite good. Had McGavin been given producer credit and responsibilities I think the show could have gotten away from the Monster of the Week format.

The Ellery Queen show was created by the same duo who came up with Columbo. I think the breaking the fourth wall format was too strange for viewers at the time. It's on Hulu so it's been fun watching them again.
User avatar
Dr. Shimel
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:14 am

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by Dr. Shimel »

Unless NBC was prepared to give the show a first season budget, then it's better that nothing was done. From some of the information that's gone around (urban myth or not), it doesn't appear that was going to be the case, with talk of Chief O'Hara AND Robin :?: possibly being axed.

Of course, the mention of Happy Days recalls that they're the reason the overused term "jumping the shark" entered the TV lexicon.
User avatar
Progress Pigment
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:12 pm

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by Progress Pigment »

I sort of love that "Batman" is represented as a fantastic show killed before it's time from stupidity (although it certainly was killed by greed, budget cuts and stupidity -- but much earlier), after years of being hated as a travesty of the "DARK" (oh so DARK) batman character. Not accurate? The public's/comic fan-boys take on "Batman" hasn't been accurate for over 40 years! That fake story was basically a valentine to the series. The show has taken back a heck of a lot of ground. I never expected to see this level of love for the series in my lifetime & I ain't that old. Much less in West & Ward's. Just enjoy it.
Next week, the Dynamic Duo meets the Clock King!
User avatar
SprangFan
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:34 am

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by SprangFan »

I don't know, I think it's always a bad thing for myth, hearsay and conjecture to be reported as "fact" even when the untruths do swing in your favor. I agree it's kind of cool that the general sentiment for "Batman" has gone from "biased against" to "biased in favor" but in the end no one is well served by sloppy "history."

Andy, I think what hurt Night Stalker in the long run was the implausibility of all those monsters crossing paths with the same lowly reporter in one town. It's like Jessica Fletcher winding up at the scene of a murder every time she leaves the house; sooner or later you'd think people would stop inviting her places! With the X-Files at least there was a reason the agents always met monsters; it was their job. And their beat was a lot bigger than Chicago.

That said, the show will always be near the top of my list, and McGavin was never less than excellent in everything he did.
Image
Gorshin Romero
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:14 pm

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by Gorshin Romero »

Re: Darren McGavin. My wife is significantly younger than I am, so I introduce her to a lot of older shows, with mixed success. Some time ago, we were watching "The Cheney Vase" from Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and my wife recognized Darren McGavin, but couldn't quite place him. She asked me "Who is that actor? He looks familiar." I told her it was Darren McGavin and the name did not ring a bell for her, so I mentioned that he was a character actor and probably most famous for playing Kolchak the Night Stalker. She still had no idea who he was. Then the light bulb went off in my head and I said "He played the father in 'A Christmas Story' and that's where you probably recognize him from."

BINGO!

Funny how I associated him with "The Night Stalker" and SHE associated him with "A Christmas Story."
CADA
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:30 pm

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by CADA »

Hi Dr. Shimel wasn't it ABC that was going to get rid of Robin and Chief O'Hara because I Remember reading that ABC was thinking of doing a Batman Season 4 but they Said that in order to help the Budget they needed to get rid of Robin/O' Hara plus making Batgirl Batman's full time partner but when Adam West and William Dozier heard this they said no way that's when ABC Cancelled Batman.
User avatar
Progress Pigment
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:12 pm

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by Progress Pigment »

I may be wrong, but I think the idea was to rotate Robin & Batgirl, and yes, drop O'Hara. Which looking at how big the cast was for a thirty-minute show, I can see. Imagine if William Shatner, a confirmed camera hog, had been Batman -- :) -- he would not have stood for it! By season 3 the Gordon/O'Hara banter was wearing thin anyway. I cringed at every Begorra. And we hardly ever got to see Batman and Gordon interacting alone, as we had in "The Riddler's False Notion". (At last, the fabulous batcave!") If they had given Gordon a more serious demeanor like in most of season 1, that could've been a great move. I don't know that Adam would have been too displeased. And from what I've read, Burt had never been a favorite of the crew.
Next week, the Dynamic Duo meets the Clock King!
User avatar
SprangFan
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:34 am

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by SprangFan »

Shatner had a bigger supporting cast on Star Trek than Adam did on Batman. Of course if you ask them, he shoved them all out of their scenes, but still. On the other hand, I do think he was conscious enough of his image to balk at spending the lion's share of his screen time with a mask covering half his face. In fact, Adam might be the only actor to ever be so "okay" with it. Guy Williams didn't spend nearly as much time in his Zorro mask, George Reeves only had to contend with a pair of (lens-less) glasses and these days it seems all the movie superheroes have it written into their contracts that they need their masks removed/lost/torn off whenever possible.

I actually don't think it's unreasonable to have suggested giving Batman rotating partners in Batgirl and Robin. It's really awkward trying to cram so many people into a 30-minute show (less with commercials) and this might have helped. What really would have helped would have been a ground-up retooling of the whole show, but that's one of those darned-if-you-do, darned-if-you-don't situations. Changes might bring in new energy, but they might also turn off your remaining loyal viewers, some of whom just want to see the same thing over and over.
Image
User avatar
AndyFish
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:42 am

Re: 5 TV shows canceled due to an idiotic mistake

Post by AndyFish »

I was hoping that the Batman '66 Comic could have been a sort of Season 4-- and while some of it was pretty good, and no slight to Jeff Parker and the other writers, I wish they had put Mark Waid on it-- of course he'd have to be working for DC in the first place-- but he's a guy who "gets" what makes things work-- a very hard thing to do when you're revamping something. Mark's work is full of successes- you need only look at Daredevil or Archie to see successful takes on pre-existing projects.

I think with the actual show however, it was MUCH more than just the network and viewers tiring of it-- I think the actors were too. I think they hung up their capes at the right time.
Post Reply