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Single-Season Fox Dramas From The '90s That Burned Bright And Met An Early End

February 28, 2020 6.5k votes 1.3k voters 44.7k views17 items

List RulesVote up the one-season wonders that deserved a second go-round.

If there's one thing Fox was known for in the 1990s and early '00s, it's that no series was safe from cancellation, no matter how good or beloved it was. If you don't believe that statement, wander over to your favorite social media platform and see what the average person thinks of Firefly, Futurama, or any of the dozens of other hit series that got the network ax prematurely.

Sci-fi and comedy weren't the only genres on the chopping block; dramas were also targeted for early termination, and there were plenty to choose from, thanks to the network's push to match the success of shows like Melrose Place. These canceled Fox TV shows were axed after only one season, and there are still fans who haven't gotten over the loss.

Check out the list of canceled shows that Fox decided didn't need to continue, and see if any of your favorites bring back those feelings of anger and sadness at seeing them get cut.

  • Photo: Fox

    What Was The Setup? The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. was a Western series starring Bruce Campbell as the eponymous hero. While the show was billed as a Western, it used elements of science fiction and steampunk throughout with numerous jokes and humorous situations. Brisco County Jr. is a bounty hunter who is joined by Julius Carry, another bounty hunter. Christian Clemenson rounded out the cast as the stick-in-the-mud attorney.

    How Long Did It Last? 27 episodes

    Why Did It Fail? The show managed to build a decent fanbase and it was lauded by critics. Despite this, the series began dropping in the ratings toward the end of the season, so Fox opted to cancel it without a second season. One of the biggest hurdles the series had to overcome was an overall disinterest in the Western motif. Prior to the series, the only successful resurgence was 1992's Unforgiven, but even that film was less about the Western setting than it was about the characters.

     

    • Actors: Bruce Campbell, Julius Carry, Christian Clemenson
    • Premiered: 1993
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    What Was The Setup? Space: Above and Beyond was a sci-fi drama set in the years 2063 and 2064. The series focused on members of the USMC Space Aviator Cavalry 58th Squadron "Wildcards." The show takes place on the USS Saratoga, a space carrier.

    How Long Did It Last? 23 episodes

    Why Did It Fail? Fox had high ambitions for the series when it gave producers the green light, as there were five seasons planned from the beginning. Ultimately, it suffered from low ratings, and was canceled after only one season. At the time, it was up against space-themed sci-fi series such as Babylon 5 and Star Trek: Voyager, which made it hard to compete.

    • Actors: James Morrison, Joel de la Fuente, Kristen Cloke, Lanei Chapman, Tucker Smallwood
    • Premiered: 1995
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  • Photo: Fox

    What Was The Setup? Roar is a fantasy adventure drama series starring Heath Ledger as a young Irishman in the fifth century. His goal: rid his lands of the invading Roman armies by uniting the Celtic clans.

    How Long Did It Last? 13 total episodes (5 unaired)

    Why Did It Fail? Roar may have had a young Heath Ledger at its helm, but the series didn't manage to make much of a dent in the ratings. In some ways, it may have been doomed from the start, seeing as Fox set it up to premiere outside its fall lineup. Typically, Fox does this with series the network is trying out, and if they do well, they get moved to the following year's fall lineup with a primetime slot. That didn't happen for Roar. Fox canceled it after only eight of the 13 produced episodes aired. The remaining five episodes were broadcast three years later.

    • Actors: Heath Ledger, John Saint Ryan, Vera Farmiga
    • Premiered: 1997
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  • Photo: Fox

    What Was The Setup? The Visitor starred John Corbett as a man who was abducted by aliens half a century ago, but managed to escape and return to Earth, though he hasn't aged since being captured in the Bermuda Triangle during WWII. He uses his knowledge and skills from his time with the aliens to help improve life for the people of the world via his ability to heal and bring people back to life.

    How Long Did It Last? 13 episodes

    Why Did It Fail? The Visitor may have been the victim of being ahead of its time. The series was released alongside a parallel web series, which was the first of its kind. The web series featured interweaving storylines with different characters, but didn't come out at a time when most viewers could stream it effectively. Aspects of The Visitor likely influenced The 4400, which has a similar plot.

     

    • Actors: John Corbett, Lola Glaudini, Steve Railsback, Leon Rippy, Grand L. Bush
    • Premiered: 1997
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