What The Eff Happened To You: Remember These Failed TV Shows?
“Ghetto,” “depraved,” “goofy,” “idiotic,” “awkward,” and “garbage” are just a few words that have been used to describe these 15 failed TV shows — and some of those adjectives have been used somewhat deservedly. Many of these series were poorly acted, badly produced, and terribly developed, and that’s why their tenure was quite short lived. Do you remember these feature failures?
Method & Red (2004)
According to Method Man, Method and Red failed because his vision was never realized. He says, the show was meant to be “ghetto and intelligent” but because of Fox network’s poor editing and decision to include a laugh track, the show ended up being ghetto and foolish. After heated exchanges between Method Man, Redman and Fox produced no agreements on the direction in which the show should take, it was scrapped partway through its first season, leaving four episodes unaired.
Cedric The Entertainer Presents (2002-2003)
Okay so this show’s failure was actually kind of sad. You could tell that Cedric had really put his heart into sketches like Cafeteria Lady, The Horny Bears, and Thug Pranks. Alright fine, it clearly wasn’t the best sketch comedy series ever done, but it did have its moments.
Not enough for Fox however, the network pulled the plug on Cedric’s series after just one season.
The Magic Hour (1998)
While critics attributed The Magic Hour’s failure to Johnson’s nervousness in front of the camera and his awkwardness with celebrity guests, Johnson himself blamed the many black celebrities who never showed support for his show, claiming “their managers and agents keep them off the black shows.”
Growing Up Gotti (2004-2005)
Long before Jersey Shore or Mob Wives, A&E network aired a reality TV series that documented the lives of Mafia daughter Victoria Gotti and her three sons Carmine, John and Frank. Like similar programming within the Italian/Guido/mob genre, the show captured the family in all of its orange-skinned, spikey-haired obnoxiousness. But unlike similar programming within this genre, Growing Up Gotti never received the viewership or critical acclaim necessary to keep it alive.
Adventures in Hollyhood (2007)
There was nothing wrong with this show besides being scripted and a tad bit over the top. But what reality TV series isn’t? Call me crazy but it was actually kind of fun to watch Three 6 Mafia members Juicy J and DJ Paul on the semi-fictional come up. At least they were interesting and had heart. Still, their show only lasted for one mini-season.
The Swan (2004)
The Swan did about as much for women’s self-esteem as a show dedicated to making “ugly” women look “beautiful” could be expected to do. So how in the world did we allow something like this on the air, and for two seasons at that?! By the end of it all, many considered The Swan to be not only a new low for Fox network – already known for its tacky programming – but a new low for TV in general.
50 Cent: The Money And The Power (2009)
In 2009, 50 Cent partnered with MTV to produce an Apprentice-style competition series that pitted 14 aspiring rap moguls against each other for a chance to win a $100,000 fiddy-funded investment. So where did this show go wrong? Probably in its concept. Instead of challenging the 14 contestants to use their cunning and intelligence, 50 Cent tasked them with shoveling horse manure, cleaning cars, running laps and getting shot with paintball guns.
Eddie Griffin: Going For Broke (2009)
For one short season, VH1 aired 6 episodes of a reality TV series that centered on Eddie Griffin and his financial drama. The tagline was “Two ex-wives, four baby mamas, eight kids and a whole family on the payroll can take a toll on a man.” But though the concept was interesting (it certainly appealed to me anyway), the show never really took off, and was eventually yanked from the air.
Harlem Heights (2009)
BET has never had much success with reality TV, and Harlem Heights is a perfect example of why: The show documented the lives of eight urban trendsetters – some of whom actually had good jobs, yet it still lacked intelligence and direction; often focusing more on meaningless relationships than issues of relevance to black youth; like the state of the economy or the poor job market. Also, the quality of the show’s production left much to be desired. Consequently, BET scrapped the series after just one season.
The Queen Latifah Show (1991-2001)
Despite interesting topics, good celebrity guests, and an enthusiastic host, The Queen Latifah Show was extremely boring. Its producers had hoped that the series could be something like a “Dear Abby for the Hip-Hop Generation,” but the poor state of daytime TV made it difficult, and after two seasons the show was axed.
In 2009, Michael Strahan produced and starred in the very short-lived Fox sitcom Brothers. The show chronicled the fictitious lives of former NFL star Michael Trainor (played by Strahan) and his wheelchair bound brother Chill as they together learned to adapt to Michael’s return home. Though certainly not the worst show idea in the world, it wasn’t well-received by viewers.
Homeboys In Outer Space (1996-1997)
If the show’s title didn’t sound like a fail, then certainly its concept should’ve: Two astronauts flying around the universe in a car-shaped spaceship piloted by a talking female computer named Loquatia… Thankfully this mess only lasted one season.
Ego Trip’s The (White) Rapper Show (2007)
If you’ve ever wondered whether it would be a good idea to pit ten white rappers against each other in an elimination-style competition to find out who would be the best, just know that it’s not. Back in 2007, ego trip and VH1 joined forces to produce such a concept, and the result was less than stellar. Yes, the series did showcase some good talent, but it was more often corny and over the top. After one season it was cut.