Editors Note: This is part two of “Canceled!” a two-part article breaking down this year’s TV show cancellations. Click here for part one.
FOX (The gold standard for lowering the bar.)
Hole In The Wall – Ending after eighteen episodes, final episode on 3/15/2009. Okay, it’s a giant wall with a hole in it that contestants have to jump through as the wall moves toward them. Fox stole the idea of course. Only the Japanese could come up with something so simple and yet so entertaining. Problem is the novelty wears off after the first couple episodes. So it should come as no surprise that this puppy was canceled after just eighteen episodes. My guess is Fox execs would admit even they didn’t see this as anything more than a one-trick pony to drive ratings for one season. Viewed in this light, maybe this show was successful after all. One downside: it did spawn that annoying anti-smoking ad where the kid steps through the moving holes in the wall until he sees the one for a smoking pose. Ouch, that stings, doesn’t it smokers?
MADtv – Ending after fourteen seasons, final episode on 5/16/2009. When Saturday Night Live was wallowing in the mediocrity of Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz in the late 90’s and early 00’s, MADtv remained consistently irreverent, funny and far more willing to ruffle feathers. In my opinion, SNL — though experiencing a revival — has never really regained that irreverence that it lost upon becoming THE sketch comedy show. It’s an institution that stays within a certain set of boundaries. At times, it is still good but it will never be great again. Also, SNL, please stop forcing Andy Samberg upon us. His name may sound like Adam Sandler’s but Sandler he ain’t. As for MADtv, it had fallen off in recent years due to the departure of many of its key players throughout the 00’s but I will miss it.