Destined to Fail: The Biggest Showkillers of the New Fall 2012 Season
Friday, August 31, 2012
Some actors have all the luck, and others don't. Every year there are a
number of new shows that fail, and sadly for some actors, they always
seem to wind up in them.
These elite few are known as showkillers, actors whose mere presence in a
TV show makes it destined for failure. It might not actually be their
fault, but through some cosmic joke, these actors continually get
Of course showkillers can eventually land a hit based on the "If at first you don't succeed" rule. Look at Alex O'Loughlin. He bombed in Moonlight and Three Rivers, but CBS insisted on trying to make him a star and finally, with Hawaii Five-0, he broke the curse.
For the fall 2012 season, there are four notable showkillers, actors who've appeared in at least three failed TV shows. And worse, two of them are now combining their showkiller powers on the same show.
Here's a look at the top four showkillers of the new season, who may or may not add another series to their death lists.
New Show: Elementary
Killed Shows: Prime Suspect, Canterbury's Law, The Book of Daniel
Quinn started ominously in the very controversial The Book of Daniel about a priest addicted to painkillers. It only lasted four episodes before NBC yanked it from the airwaves. His bad luck continued with the legal drama Canterbury's Law which only produced six episodes and was canceled due to the writers' strike.
And last season he had a third show die as Prime Suspect failed to catch on. This year, however, he's on CBS with a strong crime procedural that just might break his showkilling ways.
New Show: Vegas
Killed Shows: Terra Nova, Life on Mars, In Justice, The Agency
O'Mara joined the cast of the CBS drama The Agency in season 2, and that's when it was canceled. He then moved on to a leading role in In Justice, a boilerplate legal drama on ABC that was axed after 13 episodes.
More recently O'Mara has failed as a lead in two strange shows with a sci-fi twist: ABC's time-traveling cop drama Life on Mars and FOX's time-traveling dinosaur drama Terra Nova.
This year O'Mara is traveling in time once again to the 1960s for a Dennis Quaid-led police drama. Either O'Mara will kill his third period piece in a row, or the move from lead to supporting player will finally give him a win.
New Show: Animal Practice
Killed Shows: Better with You, Privileged, Welcome to the Captain
Garcia-Swisher is an unusual case because she had a rather successful sitcom (Reba) and THEN became a showkiller. Welcome to the Captain was a forgettable mid-season CBS comedy that only lasted five episodes. Privileged was a bomb on the CW, and then she returned to sitcoms to kill ABC's Better with You, which tanked despite airing between two very successful comedies, The Middle and Modern Family.
Since Welcome to the Captain debuted in 2008 and Better with You premiered in 2010, it seems Garcia-Swisher is like a serial showkiller, taking out a new sitcom every two years. So she's right on schedule with Animal Practice.
New Show: Animal Practice
Killed Shows: Mad Love, Sons of Tucson, Reaper, Invasion, That Was Then, Dead Last
Uh-oh, not only does Animal Practice already have serial showkiller Joanna Garcia-Swisher, but it also has the biggest showkiller of them all, Tyler Labine. That's a double whammy.
By my count Labine has killed six shows, assuming you count Reaper, which technically got two seasons, but was still woefully short-lived. He has killed sitcoms (Mad Love and Sons of Tucson) and sci-fi shows. That Was Then was a time-travel ABC drama that only lasted two episodes and Dead Last was a WB drama about a band that sees ghosts, and it only lasted nine episodes. His other killed show was the alien drama Invasion.
That's a ton of failure in Labine's wake (a real tragedy since he's quite entertaining), and when combined with Garcia-Swisher, Animal Practice seems destined to be his seventh dead show. Maybe eighth time's a charm?
(Image courtesy of CBS/NBC)