The rise of cable and FOX in the 1990s meant a new era of experimentation in television, but not all experiments work out. Here are 10 shows that may have been too weird for their time.
Short-lived Fox series Profit starred Adrian Pasdar as a corporate climber from an abusive family. It was way too morally complex for the 1996 audience and only lasted 8 episodes.
9. The Ben Stiller Show
Ben Stiller’s 1992 sketch show pushed a ton of envelopes that the TV audience just wasn’t comfortable with at the time.
8. Cop Rock
Steven Bochco’s musical police drama got a lot of jeers when it debuted in 1990, but now with shows like Glee and Nashville it doesn’t seem so weird.
7. Nowhere Man
Bruce Greenwood played a photographer who has his entire identity erased in this conspiracy-heavy FOX drama.
6. The Idiot Box
Produced by Alex Winter (Bill from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure), this absurd MTV sketch show only had six episodes made.
5. Lois & Clark
Superhero TV shows are big business again with Arrow, Gotham, and many others getting solid ratings. But none of them would exist without the 1993 live-action Superman series.
4. American Gothic
Produced by Sam Raimi, this 1995 series nailed the small-town horror thing, but CBS for some reason aired it out of order and it didn’t find an audience.
3. Young Americans
This 2000 WB show was supposed to premiere in 1999, so it made the list. Ostensibly a Dawson’s Creek spin-off, it was a remarkably class-conscious teen drama that got canned after 8 episodes.
2. Freaks & Geeks
Judd Apatow’s brilliant take on suburbia laid the groundwork for the entire generation of comedy that followed it.
1. Twin Peaks
Well, duh – David Lynch’s surreal murder mystery was so ahead of its time that it’s actually coming back 25 years later.