The fall TV season begins in earnest this week, yet for at least half of these shows, the word “fall” has a double meaning since they’ll probably be history in no time. All you need to do is look at last year’s slate of 22 shows that premiered on the broadcast networks — only 10 made the cut for a sophomore season.
In case you need a reminder of the shows that bowed — and exited almost as quickly — here’s a look back at five of the lowest lights among last fall’s premieres.
THE MUPPETS This ABC show was the one that couldn’t miss. After all, who doesn’t love Kermit and company? Unfortunately, the Muppets’ warm and Fozzie humor was tossed aside in favor of nasty plot lines about Kermit and Piggy’s breakup and the backstage antics at a talk show ruled with an iron hoof by the porcine princess.
HEROES REBORN More like “Zeros Reborn.” NBC’s reboot of its 2006-2010 adventure series “Heroes” about ordinary folk with superpowers featured a few returnees (Jack Coleman, Masi Oka) and new faces including Zachary Levi. Newsday’s Verne Gay called it “confusing” and viewers agreed: It only lasted 13 episodes.
LIMITLESS Apparently this CBS show, about an ordinary guy who develops extraordinary abilities after taking a mysterious drug, did have a limit — 22 episodes. Even the occasional appearances of executive producer Bradley Cooper, who starred in the 2011 movie that the series was based on, couldn’t draw an audience.
BLOOD & OIL ABC had high hopes that this show, about the oil boom in North Dakota, would be the new “Dallas,” and that Don Johnson as a ruthless oil baron would be the next J.R. The show’s biggest problem may have been too much oil and not enough blood.
BEST TIME EVER WITH NEIL PATRICK HARRIS The “How I Met Your Mother” star attempted to revive the variety show format, but unlike “The Ed Sullivan Show,” this NBC offering was no really big “shoe.” Bits included a karaoke segment involving Gloria Gaynor(?), a quiz show and ziplining with Reese Witherspoon. If ever a show failed to live up to its title, it was this one.