The Top 10 Worst TV Network Decisions

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Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show was one of the funniest, most original shows on TV yet NBC publicly fired Conan just months into his run. Taking the Tonight Show away from Conan O'Brien, and therefore the world, was one of NBC's biggest mistakes ever... but as we all know, TV is FULL of dumb moves. Sometimes network execs think they know it all, but as these decisions prove, that may not be the case. In the some of these cases, the network looked really bad after making one of these moves. Whether the networks ever acknowledged the mistakes or not, these are the worst decisions by TV execs.

So what are the worst network TV decisions? Here's a list of the biggest blunders in the history of network television of all time, at least those to date.

Note: items 5-7 have one thing in common.
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  1. 1
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    A Hitler Sitcom

    Yes, you read that right, there was a Hitler sitcom produced on British television back in 1990 called "Heil Honey, I'm Home." The plot? The regular household lives of a fictionalized Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun living next door to a Jewish couple, Arny and Rosa Goldenstein.

    Comedy gold right? Apparently the time was just not right to watch Hitler engage in comic hijinks just yet because the show was canceled after airing just one episode.
  2. 2

    Canceling Star Trek

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    No, this isn't a nerd-love entry. It was actually a bad business decision.

    Way back in 1966 NBC debuted a little show called Star Trek. When it was just in its second season, the network was already talking about canceling it. With an outpouring of support from fans, NBC decided to keep the show for a third season but felt that moving it to the "Friday Night Death Slot" would be best. In protest, the show's creator and visionary Gene Roddenberry left the show and was replaced. The quality of the show took a sudden plummet and Star Trek was subsequently canceled all-together. Never to be heard from again...

    ...Except for the fact that Roddenberry eventually helped spawn one of the largest movie franchises of all time along with one of the largest television franchises ever with four shows, "Next Generation," "Voyager," "Deep Space Nine," and "Enterprise" that were all produced by NBC's rival CBS.

    Probably shouldn't have moved that time slot, huh?
  3. 3
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    Or just spinoffs in general.

    This one was particularly offensive, though, given how actually good the original show was. Yes, even worse than Joey.

    "MASH" was one of television's most popular and successful shows spanning eleven seasons. Its final episode is still the most watched episode of television in history, attracting an astronomical 125 million viewers ("Seinfeld" only attracted 76 million viewers). Spinoff? OF COURSE!

    Naturally, CBS decided that, given the show's popularity, a spin-off show would be just as popular. Don't remember "After MASH" and the wacky adventures of Colonel Potter, Klinger and Father Mulcahy? Don't worry, neither does anyone else, because it was quietly swept under the rug after two seasons.
  4. 4

    Canceling Family Guy

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    First airing after the Superbowl, the first few episodes of Family Guy garnered so much fan buzz that the episodes were being quoted nation-wide within a matter of days.

    This didn't stop Fox from canceling it right away because of its irreverent and inappropriate content and lack of viewership.

    Today, Family Guy is a multi-million dollar franchise and dominates Fox's Sunday nights. With the Simpsons as now the only non-Seth MacFarlane (creator of Family Guy) owned property on Sunday primetime, Fox would have had to jump off a bridge if another network had gotten the (dirty) joke.
  5. 5
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    The following is a transcript from a CBS executive meeting:

    Executive #1: "Boy we're not doing so well with our programming, are we?"

    Executive #2: "No we're certainly not. We need to do something quick."

    Executive #1: "Hey, did you ever see those commercials with that talking baby? What was his name?"

    Executive #2: "You mean Baby Bob?"

    Executive #1: "Yeah, that's it! Boy, wouldn't it be great to have a show like that? I mean, it's a f**king baby that talks!"

    And so it was that CBS decided to air a show that centered around a talking baby. It didn't last long.
  6. 6

    Cavemen

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    Not to be outdone, the following is a transcript from an ABC executive meeting:



    Executive #1: "Boy we're not doing so well with our programming, are we?"



    Executive #2: "No we're certainly not. We need to do something quick."



    Executive #1: "Hey, have you seen those Geico commercials with the weird looking men getting offended? What are they called?"



    Executive #2: "You mean Cavemen?"



    Executive #1: "Yeah, that's it! Boy wouldn't it be great to have a show with those guys? I mean they're f**king cavemen that can talk!"



    And so it was that ABC decided to air a show that centered around talking cavemen. It didn't last long.
  7. 7

    Knight Rider

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    Not to be outdone, the following is a transcript from an NBC executive meeting:

    Executive #1: "Boy we're not doing so well with our programming, are we?"

    Executive #2: "No, we're certainly not. We need to do something quick."

    Executive #1: "Hey, remember how we used to have a popular show about a talking car?"

    Executive #2: "You mean Knight Rider?"

    Executive #1: "Yeah, that's it! Boy, wouldn't it be great to have a show like that again? I mean it was a f**king car that talks!"

    And so it was that ALL THREE OF THE MAJOR NETWORKS made idiotic shows about s**t that shouldn't talk but does. NBC did it last.
  8. 8

    ABC Says No to CSI - CBS Wins

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    Anthony Zuicker pitched CSI, currently one of the most regularly watched and loved shows on television, to ABC. Due to budgetary reasons, they weren't willing to take the chance, so they passed on it. CSI has made CBS networks over $5.8 billion and has made Anthony Zuicker, creator, so rich that he's even named his production company "Dare to Pass" Productions.

    "If you pass on a project it may end up somewhere else. I'm daring them to pass."

    - Anthony Zuicker

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