One-series wonders

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Brock
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One-series wonders

Post by Brock »

I mentioned L for Lester in another thread, but can you think of other examples of programmes that had one successful series and were never heard of again? (The only other one that comes to mind at the moment is Whoops Apocalypse, but it would have been a bit difficult to come up with a sequel to that one!) I'm excluding series that were conceived as a one-off, of course.

SgtPepper
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by SgtPepper »

I'm not sure if Timeslip fits or not. But I'm mentioning it anyway because that's what I do. :-)

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Juswuh
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Juswuh »

If a show's successful there'd have to be a very strong reason not to do a second series. The most likely one would be a star unwilling or unable to do it.(Apparently there would have been more than one series of Strange Report, but the producers wanted to move the whole production to the US and Anthony Quayle and Anneke Wills declined to go.)

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Simon Coward
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Post by Simon Coward »

Filthy Rich & Catflap, where a second season was announced on air, but didn't happen.
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Paul Hayes
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Paul Hayes »

There was the TV version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I believe didn't get a second series due to a dispute over who should be the producer.

Richard Bignell
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Richard Bignell »

I was always rather sad that the BBC's Paradox got cancelled after the first series. I thought it was rather good and the termination left a lot of unanswered questions.

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Focus II
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Focus II »

"If You See God, Tell Him" ran for only four episodes.

I think some ITV programmes were abandoned during the 1979 strike, ATV's "Tropic" and STV(?)'s "Charles Endell Esq" are two that come to mind.

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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Brock »

Focus II wrote:"If You See God, Tell Him" ran for only four episodes.
That's a good one, although (as with Whoops Apocalypse, another Marshall/Renwick creation) I rather suspect it was intended as a one-off.
I think some ITV programmes were abandoned during the 1979 strike, ATV's "Tropic" and STV(?)'s "Charles Endell Esq" are two that come to mind.
It's a matter of opinion of course, but I thought Tropic was awful. The general consensus seems to be that they used the strike as an excuse to bury it.

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Ross
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Ross »

K9 and Company was a one-show wonder. The pilot got a lot of viewers, but the incoming Head of Serials (or whatever) didn't like it, so that was that.

I was sorry that Attention Scum and The Peter Serafinowicz Show didn't get second series, but I'm not sure if they were popular.

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spflog1
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by spflog1 »

There was the fairly recent example of the BBC Three series The Fades which apparently did well but alas with the wrong viewer demographic (i.e. not with teens) and was therefore cancelled after just one series.

voyager
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by voyager »

Starcops - a show with great potential left high and dry

Cole
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Cole »

spflog1 wrote:There was the fairly recent example of the BBC Three series The Fades which apparently did well but alas with the wrong viewer demographic (i.e. not with teens) and was therefore cancelled after just one series.
... and won a BAFTA for best drama series.

Rufus Sewell in Zen, was well-made and popular AFAIK, but Danny Cohen said it had to go as there were too many male detectives on TV.

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Mickey
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Post by Mickey »

Richard Bignell wrote:I was always rather sad that the BBC's Paradox got cancelled after the first series. I thought it was rather good and the termination left a lot of unanswered questions.
I'll second that. Had a re-watch recently, and enjoyed it all the more the second time around. Emun Elliott is outstanding in it, and the show itself had great promise. "Failed to find its audience", apparently. It only had five episodes! Once upon a time...

But that was once upon a time.
Cole wrote:Rufus Sewell in Zen, was well-made and popular AFAIK, but Danny Cohen said it had to go as there were too many male detectives on TV.
Yes, that was a shame. He's not wrong, mind, but even so. Should have kept "Paradox" going. That was a female detective!

To the list I'll add CBBC's rather intriguing "Powers", some twelve years ago.

videoking
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by videoking »

I would have liked the Beeb to make another series of Star Cops.....ok now I'm going to run for cover.

Mark
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Post by Mark »

videoking wrote:I would have liked the Beeb to make another series of Star Cops.....ok now I'm going to run for cover.
You don't have to do that, there are plenty who would agree with you, including me!

No series of "K9 And Company" still annoys me to this day.

...And although it wasn't a hit, I thought it was a huge shame there wasn't another series of "Moonbase 3".
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Brock
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Brock »

Brock wrote:(The only other one that comes to mind at the moment is Whoops Apocalypse, but it would have been a bit difficult to come up with a sequel to that one!)
I've just sat down and watched the whole thing over again, for the first time since the original broadcast. All I can say is that it suddenly seems horribly relevant again.

Duncan
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Duncan »

videoking wrote:I would have liked the Beeb to make another series of Star Cops.....ok now I'm going to run for cover.
Why? I'm not aware there's ever been any negative consensus re Star Cops

I'd have liked more Crime Traveller and Moon & Son

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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Private Frazer »

It would have been great to have another series of Star Cops. Cancelling after one series arguably happens more nowadays - Dickensian and Cuffs (both getting 4 million viewers so quite successful ) etc.
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Post by Brock »

I'd like to nominate Stuff the White Rabbit, a 1997 programme of close-up magic presented by John Lenahan and broadcast at midnight on Friday/Saturday on BBC2 (except for the last programme, which went out at the even more absurd time of 12.50am). If it had been given a decent slot I have no doubt that it would have been very popular, but unsurprisingly it died the death.

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Ross
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Ross »

videoking wrote:I would have liked the Beeb to make another series of Star Cops.....ok now I'm going to run for cover.
I'd have liked that, as well as for them to have finished the first series. Terrific show.

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Re: One-series wonders

Post by voyager »

Duncan wrote:
videoking wrote:I would have liked the Beeb to make another series of Star Cops.....ok now I'm going to run for cover.
Why? I'm not aware there's ever been any negative consensus re Star Cops

I'd have liked more Crime Traveller and Moon & Son
Agreed Crime Traveller was an interesting one. I think they had to decide between that and Bugs and opted for Bugs.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Spiny Norman »

The Caesars. While I, Claudius had killed off its title role, The Caesars could have gone on: Messalina, Claudius, Agrippina, Nero, plenty of interesting types up ahead.
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Cole
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Cole »

I'm not sure if it counts as I'm not really aware at how successful it was, but it still irks that Andrew Marshall's Strange was cancelled after only one series (and the compulsory cliff-hanger). I loved that; it was bags of fun, but IIRC was knocked around the schedules and, bearing in mind the supernatural nature of the stories, was shown in the summer months which didn't help.

When a show is cancelled in such a manner, especially by the BBC, they always trot out the "we are very proud of insert cancelled programme's name" line. Clearly, often in the case that they're not proud enough.

Mark Wright
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Mark Wright »

I can remember checking the Radio Times each week for news of a second series of The Day Today. Someone eventually wrote in with RT replying, “Good news, yes there will be a new series of The Day Today next year.” Hopes were dashed the following week in a correction, with RT explaining they’d mistaken TDT for Martyn Lewis’ quizzical yawn-fest Today’s The Day. I suppose that Brasseye was TDT’s spiritual successor (also one series and a special) but, in hindsight, it’s probably for the best that neither outstayed their welcome.

Thinking about the spin-off Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge, it’s fairly obvious that it was deliberately devised as a one-series vehicle, descending as it did towards a definite final edition. Quite a brave decision to potentially throw away any chance of a follow-up if the show proves successful, though of course Partridge continues to thrive. Are there any other examples of shows with story arcs or plots that are terminal by design, only ever meant to last one series?

I wonder what today’s commissioners would make of being told, “Yeah, we only want to make this one series, we’ve killed off all the characters by episode six, so there’s absolutely no chance of another.”

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Post by Brock »

Mark Wright wrote:I can remember checking the Radio Times each week for news of a second series of The Day Today. Someone eventually wrote in with RT replying, “Good news, yes there will be a new series of The Day Today next year.” Hopes were dashed the following week in a correction, with RT explaining they’d mistaken TDT for Martyn Lewis’ quizzical yawn-fest Today’s The Day.
Oh, I remember that RT blunder well! The Day Today is a great example of what I was thinking of (although you could argue that it was actually the third series of Radio 4's On the Hour).
Thinking about the spin-off Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge, it’s fairly obvious that it was deliberately devised as a one-series vehicle, descending as it did towards a definite final edition. Quite a brave decision to potentially throw away any chance of a follow-up if the show proves successful, though of course Partridge continues to thrive.
Again, one series on radio and one on television, but it was certainly devised with a finite life.
Are there any other examples of shows with story arcs or plots that are terminal by design, only ever meant to last one series?
Well I've mentioned Whoops Apocalypse a couple of times - although I've remembered that it came back as a film with a substantially different plot, which I never saw.
I wonder what today’s commissioners would make of being told, “Yeah, we only want to make this one series, we’ve killed off all the characters by episode six, so there’s absolutely no chance of another.”
This is what I always assumed about The Black Adder - I thought it was devised with no prospect of a sequel, and how wrong I was! But we've already had that discussion.

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Paul Hayes
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Paul Hayes »

Mark Wright wrote:Thinking about the spin-off Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge, it’s fairly obvious that it was deliberately devised as a one-series vehicle, descending as it did towards a definite final edition.
I don't know if it quite counts, though, as even though there was only one series, there was the Christmas special the following year, so the series wasn't quite the end.

Bodie
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by Bodie »

Brock wrote:I mentioned L for Lestercan you think of other examples of programmes that had one successful series and were never heard of again?
As HHG and FR&C have already been mentioned, I'll have to go with "An Actor's Life for Me" with John Gordon Sinclair. I don't know how successful it was but I'm very glad it's finally made it out on DVD. I wish there was more of it, and I wish I could get hold of the radio episodes (though I don't suppose it's on top of any lists as BBC Physical Media).

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The Black Nun
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by The Black Nun »

Dirk Gently. Hilariously witty and strange and much better than Sherlock. I was gutted when they abandoned it.

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Re: One-series wonders

Post by prisoner5 »

Loved "Police Squad" not sure why they didn't do more? was it poor ratings?

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David Boothroyd
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Re: One-series wonders

Post by David Boothroyd »

prisoner5 wrote:Loved "Police Squad" not sure why they didn't do more? was it poor ratings?
It was famously cancelled because you actually had to pay attention to it if you wanted to get all the jokes.

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