15 Great Performers Whose TV Shows Had An Embarrassingly Short Run This Year

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15 Great Performers Whose TV Shows Had An Embarrassingly Short Run This Year

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | July 16, 2013 | Comments ()


Eddie Izzard — “Mockingbird Lane”: Not even picked up for a full run this Bryan Fuller disasterbacle aired as a “special.” After watching it, there was no mystery as to why it wasn’t given a full run. The good news? Fuller used Izzard beautifully on his much better series “Hannibal.”

Chi McBride — “Golden Boy”: Speaking of Fuller, we’re all living in a post-“Pushing Daises” world where Lee Pace has to play emo vampires and sparkly elves and Chi McBride gets this. Put out of its misery after 13 episodes.

Mamie Gummer — “Emily Owens”: If you’re not half in love with Meryl Streep’s daughter, it just means you haven’t watched enough of “The Good Wife.” And you know what, that’s a fight you and I can have on another day. This sweet, fluffy little Aly McBeal-ish show didn’t make it past the half season mark. Hopefully that means we’ll be seeing even more of Nancy Corzier.
Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 8.12.01 AM.png

Bill Pullman — “1600 Penn”: He is Lonestar, man. He is one of our favorite movie presidents. HE STOLE AMERICA’S SWEETHEART FROM PETER GALLAGHER WHILE GALLAGHER WAS SLEEPING. This show, however, was the worst.

Zeljko Ivanek — “The Mob Doctor”: Ivanek is one of my favorite “that guy” actors and had a great year at the movies with parts in Seven Psychopaths, The Bourne Legacy and Argo. Between this and “Banshee,” however, his TV credentials weren’t as stellar.

Carrie-Anne Moss — “Vegas”: “Vegas” was packed to the gills with talent and I could have easily included Dennis Quaid or Michael Chiklis on this list. But Moss is a wee bit easier on the eyes and as a Very Strong Actress Of A Certain Age, I want her to have something great to work with. This wasn’t it.

Terry O’Quinn — “666 Park Avenue”: I like moody, paranormal suspense as much as the next person but even O’Quinn as Lucifer himself wasn’t enough to keep this thing afloat.

Justin Kirk — “Animal Practice”: What an abysmal follow-up to eight strong years on “Weeds.” (“Weeds” wasn’t always strong, but Kirk was.) He deserves much better than a monkey co-star.

Phylicia Rashad — “Do No Harm”: “Do No Harm” (or, as Paul F. Tompkins likes to call it, “Doctor Face Hands”) was a complete waste of this woman’s time.

Matthew Davis — “Cult”: Okay, you know what, Davis probably doesn’t belong on this list because he is, of course, a CW actor. That being said, he was always one of my very favorite parts of “The Vampire Diaries” and one half of TV’s finest bromances. Thankfully, the show was cancelled and Alaric was able to make a reappearance at the end of this season. Show of hands who wants Ghost Alaric to come back for good?

Radha Mitchell — “Red Widow”: Mitchell who played one of my all-time favorite female movie badasses could anchor the hell out of a strong drama. This wasn’t it, but I’d like to see her keep trying.

Mikael Nyqvist — “Zero Hour”: This man is a legit star in Sweden and played the Daniel Craig role in the original Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movies. And then he had to work with Goose? I don’t think so.

Andre Braugher — “Last Resort”: Oh I so wanted this to do well. And not just because of Scott Speedman in uniform. Because Braugher is a g-d MACHINE and he doesn’t get enough work.

JK Simmons — “Family Tools”: This was a nightmare and an embarrassment for everyone concerned. But especially for JK who deserves much better.

Rachel Griffiths — “Camp”: This sitcom is being burned off over the summer. Dustin says he couldn’t even make it through the pilot. Alas, poor Brenda.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Mrs. Julien

    Could we get Braugher, Simmons, and O'Quinn a show? But not a cop show. I don't watch those.

  • Wigamer

    Oh, my lands. Anything. NBA referees? Cowboys? Dog trainers. I don't care...make it happen.

  • Maguita NYC


  • It could be called Strip/Search.

    I'll show myself out.

  • Wigamer

    This clearly has potential. And once in a while they must revisit their old stripping grounds to school the young'uns. Who all look like Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello. Two birds, baby.

  • Maguita NYC

    You my friend understand the meaning of true art and story telling.

    The P.I. Retired Strippers revisiting old stripping grounds, making sure new generation of artistes know how to properly use timeless props for their shows, such as banana hammocks and boner pumpers, examining new body glitter products, and yes solving crime.

    Can you imagine Braugher and O'Quinn on either side of a naive Matt Bomer helping him adjust said banana hammock and teaching him the old fashioned way to pump...


  • zeke_the_pig

    To Carrie-Anne Moss:

    Where'd you go?
    I miss you so.
    Feels like it's been forever,
    Since you've been gone.

    zeke the pig

  • Milkman of Doom

    I just remembered I have a raging crush on Radha Mitchell. She deserves an AMC or HBO show that kicks arse. She also deserves me making her breakfast in bed every morning.

  • Here's my pitch: J.K. Simmons, Terry O'Quinn and Andre Braugher as three retired veterans cleaning up their neighborhood from those young punk gangs.

  • Kobie

    I didn't think 1600 Penn was THAT bad.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Yeah, but...your avatar...is maybe an indication your taste is questionable?

  • Internet Commenter #6725

    I watched and liked Family Tools....but then again my whole family is in construction (personal resonance!) and I like all those actors enough that I could ignore some of the stupid stuff. How to Live With Your Parents was also pretty good. I guess my bar is set pretty low, plus I miss family comedies like these.

  • Less Lee Moore

    Laughing so hard about "Doctor Face Hands" right now.

  • PerpetualIntern


  • apsutter

    It happens to the best of them. Just think of poor John Mulaney who's show didnt get picked up.

  • DominaNefret

    Thank you.

    (p.s. I have utterly no shame in my love for that show. I think it is genuinely better than most of what is on the big four.)

  • zyzzyva

    Totally agree. If one actually watches the show, it is clear there is no shame in it.

  • Maguita NYC


  • PerpetualIntern

    Shame is yummy.

  • Gabs

    Terry O'Quinn is rocking that facial hair. Sexy beast.

  • e jerry powell

    And standing next to Vanessa Williams? It cracks foundations under whole city blocks.

  • stella

    Dude...The Vampire Diaries is awesome. Just because it's aimed at teens is no reason to disparage it.

  • okayflint


  • Sara_Tonin00

    Nyqvist is filming an indie film with Emily vander Camp or whoever from Revenge. My roommate just shot a scene with him.

  • AshBookworm

    More details, please!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    and @lessleemoore:disqus:


    Filming in NY. I think she just had 3 or 4 lines, but the scene was with Nyqvist, and she said his eyes were dreamy.

  • Less Lee Moore

    Yes, details!

  • $2786243

    TOQ is now free to report to the set of Person of Interest for a recurring major guest role.

  • Rocabarra

    Wait wait wait. Are you telling me Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton are not THE SAME MAN!? Tickle my toes and call me Nancy, I'll be damned!

  • emmalita

    They're in an evil pact with Dermot Mulroney and Dylan McDermott.

  • apsutter

    Do you ever wonder if both Bills and the 2 D's are friends in real life?

  • emmalita

    I feel like I've heard they are at least friendly acquaintances. Dylan and Dermot did an SNL sketch: Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney? And I think hte two Bills have worked together as well, though that could just be me melding two of their less memorable movies into one movie. And I'm too lazy to actually look it up.

    Fabius_Maximus - I never thought about Mathew Rhys and Julian McMahon, but you are right, they are eerily similar.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    As well as Matthew Rhys and Julian McMahon.

  • sjfromsj

    Andre Braugher is in the upcoming Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so all's not lost. Not that I have any intention at all of watching let alone remotely liking that show, but I just didn't want you to despair. He's okay...for the immediate future.

  • You know who I looooved on last resort? Nd everything else?

    Autumn reeser.

    I'm so distressed at leaving her off my Five, I might jump off of something.

    Can she be in something lasting yet?

  • Wigamer

    I would watch Andre Braugher play a tree standing in a forest. He would be the most complex, smoldery, amazing tree in that goddamn forest, I guarantee it.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I didn't even know that Phylicia Rashad still worked as an actress.

  • e jerry powell

    Well, I guess if one can call working for Tyler Perry acting, she did do For Colored Girls. And she was Clairee in the Lifetime version of Steel Magnolias, where her daughter, Condola, played Shelby.

    She also did the Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun, as well as reprising that performance in the TV version. I know, we don't count that because of Diddy, but still...

  • Maguita NYC

    I believe she's been on Broadway for decades now...

  • e jerry powell

    She's been on Broadway since she was damn near a child. She's just gone back because her sister became a director, really. And the musical version of The House of Bernarda Alba (!!!).

  • Sean

    The only of these I watched was Mockingbird Lane. 'cuz Eddie Izzard. The rest of these shows I didn't even know existed. Other than sports and the Simpsons, I have given up on network TV completely.

  • Maguita NYC

    Mikael Nyqvist - Number one reason why I refused for so long to watch AMRKA'S version of GWTDT. Noomi Rapace was a very close second.

  • lowercase_ryan

    and then you watched it and you went "huh, that was pretty damn good too."

  • Maguita NYC

    Yes and no.

    The first one holds a special place in my heart... Or rather in my horrors, for I've read the book first (Men Who Hate Women) and the original ensemble of mostly Danish actors were more spot on with the book.

    However, the American version was very well driven with not much reproach towards its actors, and I am betting the second and third movies will be much better than the originals, who were so shamelessly done. Especially The Girl Who Played With Fire, that was just shit. I agree though, the book was shit as well.

  • toblerone

    Has Maron got renewed yet? He could be #16.

    The show started off well, then had a few rocky episodes, but finished strong (especially once Nora Zehtner appeared).

    Louie it's not but it worth a second season.

  • toblerone

    *And Bunheads - Sutton Foster (but really the entire cast).

  • apsutter

    Oh shit...Bunheads was cancelled?!

  • AshBookworm

    No! Bunheads will be renewed! It will!

  • toblerone

    And where the F*ck is Kristen Ritter (and Dreama Walker) for D.T.T.B.I.A. 23? Or is she not a great performer yet?

  • JoannaRobinson

    Don't Trust The B ran for longer than a season. I wouldn't call that an "embarrassingly short" amount of time.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Shut up goblin, you don't know me!

    Ain't no sunshine without Krysten Ritter's wardrobe and I'm just lost without Luther. WHY WOULDN'T ANYONE WATCH THIS SHOW?????!!!

    Someone, hold me.

  • toblerone

    You're right. my bad.

  • MGMcD

    Hand up for Ghost Alaric as full-time cast member again!!! Oh...um...I mean, it's just a CW vampire show...not like I care...or whatever

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Make it Zombie Alaric, and I'm there.

  • Maguita NYC

    Vampire Diaries is the TV equivalent of a shame f*ck. I admit to it, promise myself to quit it. Yet always go back for more.

  • PerpetualIntern

    And it feels oh so good.

  • Maguita NYC

    *Acknowledges and hangs head in shame.

  • Michelle

    Zach Gilford was in Mob Doctor and that made me sad. I wonder if he, like Taylor Kitsch, was somehow ONLY good on FNL and will never be that good again.

    YES to the delightful Alaric/Damon bromance on The Vampire Diaries. Love everything about it.

  • AshBookworm

    Zach Gilford is an incredibly strong actor. He did so much with just the merest look on FNL. He just needs another good role. Doesn't have to be anywhere near as good as Saracen, just something decent, which The Mob Boss wasn't.

  • stella

    God he was so great on FNL

  • Michelle

    That's what I want to think about him! I just haven't yet seen it. I did watch a movie he was in, and he was OKAY, just not... Saracen.

  • AshBookworm

    He's young and good looking. He starred in a show with a devoted fanbase which critics adored. And one of the best episodes of that show (The Son) was devoted to his character.
    He will get a brilliant role again. It might take a while though. Maybe he needs a better agent.

  • cmatthews11

    1600 Penn was fantastic and was only getting better.

  • Slash

    If "1600 Penn" was the one where Jenna Elfman was the First Lady, it was actually pretty funny. I saw a couple episodes.

    And I've been watching "Zero Hour" (I guess they've been burning off the rest of the season, or maybe rerunning them for want of any new "reality" crap to air instead). It's OK. Seems kinda like "The Da Vinci Code," only without Da Vinci, plus Nazis. I dunno. It's kind of a mess. But, you know, people criss-crossing the globe, conspiracy, etc. (shrug) I'll usually give a global conspiracy-type show a chance.

  • BigBlueKY

    I give this the side eye...

  • And now I have a desperate need to watch While You Were Sleeping immediately. Pullman was a DREAMBOAT in that.

  • Anne At Large

    Mindreader. Those were my exact thoughts.

  • Nieve 'The Threadkiller Queen'

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that film, I actually cry during the wedding scene.....Don't judge me!

  • I don't want to know anyone who doesn't cry during that.

  • Nieve 'The Threadkiller Queen'

    Lets cry together Figgy, lets cry together

  • "I love your son."
    "We know!"
    "not that one...the other one."


  • Tinkerville

    My sisters and I love to quote that movie incessantly, especially by saying "these mashed potatoes are so creamy" every ten seconds over Christmas dinner. Drives my mom nuts.

  • Stephanie

    "I didn't say Cesar Romero was Spanish. I said Cesar Romero was tall."

  • Pants-are-a-must

    I love that movie for so many reasons, and even though Pullman is a big one, I'm just really still in love with the utter comedy genius that all the ensemble scenes were.

  • Yes! It's just a really, really funny movie. Come on, Joe Junior? Every time he shows up he's hilarious.

  • The Replicant Brooke

    I haven't thought about that movie in years. He WAS, wasn't he?

  • He *rocked* all that flannel.

  • Aislinn

    Shouldn't it be sparkly vampires and emo elves?

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I suppose she's not talking about Twilight or a certain twin-scimitar-wielding whiny dark elf.

  • JoannaRobinson
  • zeke_the_pig


  • JoannaRobinson
  • lowercase_ryan

    Ivanek broke my freaking heart as Ray on Damages.

  • e jerry powell

    Not nearly as badly as Gregory Malina broke his...

  • Mel C.

    One of the best performances I've ever seen (tv or otherwise).

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