It could’ve been a bad pilot, it could’ve been that the audience as a whole wasn’t sharp enough to instantly recognize colossal potential, it could’ve been neglecting to bribe the right executive, but in most cases, it was probably just a roll of the dice. One could argue that the average television viewer isn’t the most keen on spotting something worth watching, so it is an astounding moment when a television show gathers both the numbers and the critical approval to survive the early episodes.
Although things have changed considerably in the past decade, it was extraordinarily difficult for worthwhile projects to ever make it past stage one of production. Most of the time it has been around, television has had a stranglehold on the entertainment/media world and advertisers and executives ran the table (thank you to the internet for taking the power out of their hands). I’m sure the history of television is littered with a great many shows with limitless possibilities that had the plug pulled for arbitrary or nonsense political reasons which should’ve had nothing to due with whether a show should be on or off the air.
Throughout the young history of television, there exist a handful of immensely ridiculous success stories that almost never happened. Whether it was dumb luck, perseverance or both, each of these shows have earned a place in the hearts of the TV-viewing public as well as a mass approval from the vast majority of the impossible-to-please critics; and yet each of them collectively had at least a moment or two of complete, absolute and utter doubt.
At this point, the following shows have etched their name in the history of television and have even gone as far as becoming a piece of Americana itself, but each and every one of them in their humble beginnings came very close to dying on the vine.