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Horror TV Failures

It seems that, until fairly recently, anything with the slightest creepy vibe on mainstream tv (apart from teen-themed horror-dramas like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed) had a habit of tanking fairly quickly. Buffy, X-Files... these were the exceptions to the rule. It seems there were way too many that ended before they had a chance to really take off.

Off the top of my head?

Miracles. Dealing with God and the devil on prime time was a major leap for ABC and in spite of the creepy brilliance of the show, it was cancelled before a full season made it to screen.

American Gothic. The eerie echo of 'Someone's at the door...' still will catch my attention the minute I hear it. Gary Cole proved his worth as an actor in this far too short lived series set in America's heartland and centered on the dark secrets of a small Southern town.

Night Stalker. A recent remake of the clasc series went a little darker than the original and, while not perfect, was a good vehicle for Stuart Townsend and, like so many others, was ended without so much as a resolution in the middle of a two-part episode.

Dark Shadows, the re-boot. Ended in the middle of a story arc, this is the only work out of Hollywood that brought Ben Cross into the mainstream limelight. Vampires in prime time? Sounds good to me, but the early 90's didn't think so.

Dark Skies. NBC went a little edgy back in the day with the conspiracy themed Pretender and serial killer showcase Profiler (which, IMHO, made shows like C posble in later days!) and coupled both with a 60's era alien invaon series that didn't last as long as it's counterparts.

Invaon. Another alien themed show that begins in the aftermath of a hurricane; William Fichtner starred and it didn't last nearly as long as it might have!

Millenium. Fox (bane to Whedon fans everywhere) at least gave this a fair shake with three seasons, but was it really enough? Lance Henriksen is a horror/scifi actor favorite who had a great shot at a mainstream series, had it lasted. Secret societies, demons... honestly, what's not to love?

The Gates. This was more recent but still kind of interesting. Not quite a soap opera, not quite a supernatural thriller, stuck somewhere in between but oddly interesting, particularly the vampire aspect. (And can we please get some more Rhona Mitra on tv? She's kinda awesome)

These are the ones off the top of my head, but I know there are more. What can you think of? Is there anything you'd love to see another few episodes of?

Why do some tank so quickly, while others go on... and on... and on... until they become such caricatures of what they were originally meant to be that they become stupid and laughable? (Looking at you there, X-Files)

I think Miracles is my personal favorite. Anything dealing with religion sets off my spooky radar - but unfortunately can get the overzealous religious crowd's panties in a bunch.

Thoughts?<---Love this.
dew Monday 8/01/2011 at 11:55 PM | 79703
Hi Dew.

Yes it amazes me how now it seems that horror and paranormal are extremely popular on televion now.

What's being done different?

Off the top of my head, I can think of Kindred: The Embraced.

Though it started out as a miniseries, the death of the lead actor put and end to it.

Just like the Dark Shadows revival had the unfortunate stance of getting pre-empted for the Gulf War.
KB24 Tuesday 8/02/2011 at 04:44 AM | 79738
Poltergeist: The Legacy didn't last too long either, come to think of it.

And yet things like Tales from the Crypt, The Outer Limits, etc, had a longer shelf life. It's as though the attention span of horror fans watching televion wasn't enough for any long-term story arcs or something!

Aliens are de rigeur again and post-apocalyptic scenarios are back in fashion, so we're getting things like Falling Skies and Terra Nova (both series, I think, will be able to pin any future success on that of Lost), but heavy scifi like Fringe is still in constant danger of being cancelled and anything overtly supernatural not aimed at teens and not airing on cable networks that allow for more skin to be shown seem not to go over.

Is that indicative of the genre? Are horror fans demanding semi-skinflicks in their televion now? The Gates presented an interesting idea of the microcosm of the supernatural and even had enough reach to the tween crowd, but it still failed.

I suppose I'm just trying to make sense of it.
dew Tuesday 8/02/2011 at 12:00 PM | 79760
I'm not crazy about the character degns or the setting (I'm so over high school as the setting of a show). I'm also a little worried it'll belly-flop into the yandere pool, and the last bit of that trailer didn't really assuage that fear.

That said, I'm a little more optimistic than all of that. It's pretty much the one TV series I'm looking forward to in a season where my attention will be dominated by OVA/ONA series (Gyo, Kyousogiga) and movies (Berserk, Tibetan Dog).
ppndb Tuesday 11/29/2011 at 09:46 AM | 87620