When Bad Shows Happen to Good People

'Bette'
This Bette Midler sitcom featured the title diva, Tony winner Joanna Gleason, and, yes, a very young Lindsay Lohan. Still, this clunker didn't even make it through its entire first season.
'Commander in Chief'
Oscar winner Geena Davis starring as the first female president and Donald Sutherland as her first husband seemed like a capitol idea (get it?), but a change of show runners and behind-the-scenes messiness doomed this series after two quick seasons.
'The Dana Carvey Show'
It turns out that the former 'SNL' star wasn't a ready to be a prime time player — his sketch show only lasted one season in 1996. But props for his co-stars, like the yet-to-make-it comedians Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert. Plus, the head writer was a funny man named Louis CK.
'Deadline'
This prestige drama eventually suffocated under the weight of its own casting. That's what happens when you put Oliver Platt, Bebe Neuwirth, Lili Taylor, and Hope Davis in the same newsroom.
'Encore, Encore'
As talented as he is, Nathan Lane has never been able to make a sitcom work. He even had an assist from Joan Plowright in this show about an outsized opera singer, but it was curtains after a few episodes.
'Footballers' Wives'
This remake of the trashy British soap with the same name (but a different sport) assembled one of the best casts ever: Lucy Lawless, Gabrielle Union, Eddie Cibrian, and James Van Der Beek. Too bad it never made it past the pilot because of ABC's potential conflicts with the NFL.
'Joey'
Say what you will about this illegitimate 'Friends' spawn, but with well-liked actors like Matt LeBlanc and the still under-used Drea de Matteo, it should have been much better than it was.
'Kath and Kim'
Molly Shannon and Selma Blair? Yes! Playing a wacky mother and daughter? Yes! Remade from the Aussie classic? Yes! How did this aborted NBC effort turn into such a huge pile of no, no, no?
'LAX'
Any reason to have Heather Locklear or Blair Underwood on TV is a good one, espeically if they're together. Scratch that, any idea to have Heather and Blair on TV is a good one as long as it has nothing to do with an airport. Seriously? An airport.
'Lipstick Jungle'
Brooke Shields, Kim Raver, and Lindsay Price as post-'Sex and the City' ladies trying to have it all in New York should have worked, but just never clicked. Or was that 'Cashmere Mafia'? I still get them confused.
'Love Monkey'
Why can't someone give Tom Cavanagh a job? And while they're at it, how about always-a-best-friend-never-a-lead Judy Greer? Or Jason Priestley? How about them all together? Well, not in this short-lived show about men behaving badly — something else that people will actually watch.
'Luck'
This HBO drama not only had Nick Nolte and Dustin Hoffman in front of the camera, it had David Milch and Michael Mann behind the scenes. But this thing was more deadly than a horse breaking its leg, which happened so often the show was axed before its day at the races was even over.
'Ringer'
Sarah Michelle Gellar, please come back and do television. Just not a show that is this complicated. Or boring. Or with twins.
'Running Wilde'
The only good thing about this Will Arnett and Keri Russell show about an insane millionaire and his hippie girlfriend getting canceled is that it freed up Arnett up for the brilliant 'Up All Night.' Can't we find somewhere for poor Keri? She won't cut the hair this time!
'Smith'
Ray Liotta, Simon Baker, and Jonny Lee Miller have all stolen our hearts (as did Virginia Madsen), but they weren't so hot as this gang of thieves back in 2006.
'The Good Guys'
Oh Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks, you both deserve so much better than this ridiculous Fox buddy comedy. Actually, everyone deserves better than this.
'The Return of Jezebel James'
Parker Posey has needed her own TV show since the mid '90s. Same with Lauren Ambrose. But this abomination about an uptight sister trying to convince her younger sister to carry her baby was just wrong in every way imaginable, starting with the title.
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