It’s been a bad week for fans of serial television shows; Flash Forward, Heroes and Law & Order have all been canceled. I’m sure that the people that made the decisions to cancel these shows thought that they were doing the right thing, but I just can’t see it. Let me qualify that, even if from a business perspective, the falling advertising revenues were making the shows less profitable, or even not profitable at all, they shouldn’t have been canceled like that *clicks fingers*.
The people watching these shows invest hours of their lives in them and they simply are not going to do that if the shows keep getting canceled without the stories being properly resolved. I specifically have not watched Flash Forward because I couldn’t see it surviving past one or two seasons and can say the same for Stargate Universe. The Stargate franchise is a brilliant example of the two ways in which things can go wrong, on the one hand you’ve got SG-1, where towards the end the story arcs were crippled by the seemingly constant threat of cancellation, everything felt like it was under developed so that it could be wrapped up in a couple of episodes. On the other extreme you have Atlantis, which showed no signs of death until suddenly an attempt was made to wrap everything up in a couple of episodes. In both cases, the stories and characters that viewers had invested so much time in were gone without an acceptable resolution. Television executives please note, straight to DVD movies are not an acceptable appeasement for this, even if they help to ease the pain.
I guess we’ll just have to add Heroes to the ever increasing list of awesome shows that died too soon.