Hmmm.... I was curious as to why nobody has mentioned "Firefly", but then I noticed this thread was started almost a year ago. I know the amount of a chance this show was given is up for debate, but I think a whole season would have really gotten the show in good stride.
Some shows I absolutely agree with in this thread, particularly MY SO-CALLED LIFE, ACTION and FREAKS & GEEKS.
Extra-big agreement with those who mentioned UNDECLARED and CUPID, two of my favorite series of all-time.
But my top choice for the show that never got a fair shake is MAX HEADROOM. That show proved to be ahead of it's time, with some very prescient plot ideas. After six near-perfect episodes, they tried a full season with some alterations designed to appeal to more viewers, but it only got as far as eight more episodes, one of which never made it to air.
Falcone, which was on CBS and lasted I think for 4 or 5 episodes a couple of years ago with two additional episodes that have never been aired. Jason Gedrick played an undercover cop infiltrating the mob. Not an original story, but a damn good show that CBS killed.
EZ Streets is right up there too, along with Freaks and Geeks. And I'm still pissed off at USA for dumping La Femme Nikita.
Harrumph. Naturally I don't get TechTV on my cable system. I wonder if that means I'll never see it anywhere else?
What a great show that was. I think it suffered a bit from the fact that the character of Max Headroom had already had its fifteen minutes of fame in other venues, and people had cemented in their minds the idea of Max as a frivolous character, not realizing what a serious show it was (though funny, to be sure.)
Heat Vision And Jack. Not that I think this would have lasted more than six episodes or so, even on Fox, but it would have been fun while it lasted. It was weird enough, though, that I bet Fox isn't kicking themselves despite how popular the cast is.
I just wish more people had seen the pilot at "The Other Network" or the like; I want people to know what I'm talking about when I say "Lady, he tipped me over".
Judd Apatow's shows get a lot of play on these lists, but I have to admit that I actually enjoyed his two "Other Network" shows that never made it to the air - Sick In The Head and North Hollywood - funnier than Undeclared. The North Hollywood pilot really should have been an extra on the Orange County DVD.
And one I haven't seen, but was really upset when I heard CBS hadn't picked it up, was Hugh Laurie and Liz Vassey in Dragans Of New York. Liz has been in a bunch of very good shows that died, and Hugh is a funny, funny guy.
Now, these are some shows that NEVER got a shot.