Cancelled Before They Hit the Air

A lot of this year’s new shows won’t make it to a second season. They should count themselves lucky—these shows were scrapped after they were announced, produced, and promoted by their respective networks.

Cancelled before they even aired.


This big-budget adventure series was supposed to air on Fox sometime during the 2014-15 season, and was seen by the TV press as a network TV attempt to make something akin to the sweeping fantasy drama of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Created by movie producer Travis Beacham, it was set in ancient Egypt and was about a master thief forced to work as the Pharaoh’s right-hand man. Fox programming chief Kevin Reilly ordered the program, but as soon as he stepped down in the summer of 2015, other Fox executives canceled Hieroglyph after only one episode had been filmed—which never aired.

Us & Them

American remakes of British shows are a constant: The Office, Three’s Company, and Sanford and Son are just three examples. In 2013, Fox announced a stateside take on Gavin & Stacey. Created by and co-starring a pre-talk show-hosting James Corden, it was about a couple in a long-distance Internet relationship who decide to meet in real life, and their disapproving circle of friends. Called Us & Them, it starred Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel as the couple. For some reason, Fox cut its initial 13-episode order to six episodes…then to none at all.


This show starring Craig T. Nelson as a college football coach ended a long run on ABC in 1997, and was revived by NBC in 2015. But it never came to, pardon the pun, pass. The network was so confident that it would be a hit that it didn’t require the producers to make a pilot episode before agreeing to order a 13-episode series. They probably should have, because internal production problems led the show to fall apart before a single episode could be produced.

Bill and Martha

Part of CBS’s fall schedule in 1964 was a new comedy starring movie stars William Bendix and Martha Raye moving to TV for the first time. (They played a married couple.) Just weeks after it was announced in early 1964, CBS pulled the show. Reason: Bendix was in poor health, and the network would rather not air the show than air it only to have him die mid-production. Bendix was livid and sued the network for more than $2 million. The case was settled for an undisclosed sum…right before Bendix died in December 1964.