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Sunday, August 29, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Canceled shows: The dearly, or merely, departed

By Kay McFadden
Seattle Times television critic

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When it comes to launching shows, the percentages do not favor victory.

The cancellation list below recaps what befell most of the dramas and sitcoms unveiled with great fanfare last season. Some older series also were laid to rest in the graveyard of dashed TV dreams.

As in life, television's great paradox is that while nobody knows exactly what creates success, it's easy to dissect failure.

All the same, we offer a few categorical reminders:

Couldn't live up to the big ad campaign: "Coupling" (NBC); "Tarzan" (The WB); "Skin" (Fox); "Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital" (ABC).

Outstayed their appeal: "The Practice" (ABC); "The District," "Becker" (CBS); "Ed" (NBC); "The Parkers" (UPN).

Never had much appeal: "The Lyon's Den," "Miss Match," (NBC); "Jake 2.0," "Game Over," (UPN); "The Handler," "Century City," "The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.," "Hack" (CBS); "10-8," "Threat Matrix," "Line of Fire," "The D.A.," "L.A. Dragnet" (ABC).

Never should have aired: "The Mullets" (UPN); "The Help" (The WB); "The Stones" (CBS); "Luis" (Fox); "Good Morning, Miami" (NBC); "The Big House" (ABC).

Proved the limited value of Internet fan campaigns: "Angel" (The WB); "Life with Bonnie" (ABC); "The Guardian" (CBS).

Dabney Coleman, left, Simon Baker and Alan Rosenberg in "The Guardian," among the canceled shows that proved the limited value of Internet fan campaigns.
Proved the limited value of TV critic raves: "Boomtown" (NBC); "Karen Sisco" (ABC); "Wonderfalls" (Fox).

Proved comedy's not dead, just comatose: "Cracking Up," "Wanda at Large," "A Minute with Stan Hooper" (Fox); "Whoopi," "Happy Family," "The Tracy Morgan Show" (NBC); "Rock Me Baby" (UPN); "Like Family," "All About the Andersons," "Run of the House," "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment" (The WB); "It's All Relative," "Married to the Kellys," "I'm With Her" (ABC).

The few, the proud, the honorably discharged: "Frasier" and "Friends" (NBC).

Kay McFadden:

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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