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Paul Raven

Stars who didn't conquer TV

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Just about every season, a movie star/actor, Broadway identity or all round entertainer makes the leap to TV.

 

Sometimes it works, sometimes not...

 

Can we compile a list of performers who tried TV , but for whatever reason, didnt make a go of it.

 

I'll start with Bette Midler who tried a CBS sitcom 'Bette' in 2000. It garnered a lot of publicity but died after 16 episodes.

 

Charlton Heston finally agreed to a series with "The Colbys" after a 30 year plus movie career but the show limped along for 2 low rated seasons.

 

Looking forward to your contrributions!

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Vincent Gardenia did well as far as guest spots on tv but when he recurred on All In The Family as Frank Lorenzo, he grew tired of having to sit around all week waiting to go on. He asked to be written out.

Genevieve Bujold was Captain Janeway on ST: Voyager for about a day when she realized she couldn't do it.

And from the original Star Trek pilot would be Jeffrey Hunter (Captain Pike), whose then-wife convinced him a tv series (and a scifi one at that) would be beneath him. When they encapsulated the unseen pilot into a 2-parter in Kirk's time, they hired another actor to play the-now disfigured Pike.

 

Edited by applcin

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4 minutes ago, amybrickwallace said:

Richard Dreyfuss had his own CBS drama in 2001 or so. I don't think it lasted a whole season.

The Education of Max Bickford did make it to 22 episodes. I guess since it was on Sundays at 8, they were willing to wait before lowering the ax.

 

What crashed and burned in the fall of 2001 was Danny, starring Daniel Stern. Two episodes (at 8:30 Friday, after Ellen's short-lived comeback sitcom) and out.

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1 minute ago, Franko said:

The Education of Max Bickford did make it to 22 episodes. I guess since it was on Sundays at 8, they were willing to wait before lowering the ax.

 

OK, thanks for clarifying. To my knowledge, he never tried TV again (to date).

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Richard Dreyfuss did try again, w/ "Your Family or Mine," on TBS.  But the network cancelled it after 10 episodes.

16 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

I'll start with Bette Midler who tried a CBS sitcom 'Bette' in 2000. It garnered a lot of publicity but died after 16 episodes.

 

IMO, a sitcom w/ Bette Midler was never going to work for the simple reason that her "Divine Miss M" persona is too brassy for the networks.  If her show had been done on cable, single-camera, and maybe a little more like "The Comeback" or "The Larry Sanders Show," I think it would taken off in a big way.

 

Here's one for the list: Dolly Parton.  Neither of her variety shows lasted more than a season, I think; and the pilot she did some years ago -- something to do w/ an angel visiting a family on Earth? -- wasn't picked up.

Edited by Khan

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Stockard Channing (apart from a recurring role as First lady in The west Wing... she had three sitcoms.. 2 in the late 70s/early 80s, and one in the mid 2000s that bombed).

 

kristen Chenoweth (she was the best part of Pushing Daisies.. but that show barely lasted two seasons.. her first lead sitcom in 2000/2001 bombed.. and GCB also didn't do well.. but only because of the time slot and the miscasting of the lead character).

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Here's another name: Woody Allen.  "Crisis in Six Scenes" was sooooooo awful.  I couldn't finish the FIRST episode, let alone the other five.  Given the ever-declining quality of his movies, though, I shouldn't have been too surprised.

 

And "The George Carlin Show" -- oh my God -- I, too, was ready to kill Sam Simon by the time FOX yanked it off the air.

 

One more: Richard Pryor.  "The Richard Pryor Show" ran for four episodes, and as far as I know, Pryor never tried another regular TV gig in ANY genre ever again.

17 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

kristen Chenoweth (she was the best part of Pushing Daisies.. but that show barely lasted two seasons.. her first lead sitcom in 2000/2001 bombed.. and GCB also didn't do well.. but only because of the time slot and the miscasting of the lead character).

 

I'm sure she's a sweet gal IRL, but I think there are times when her chipmunk-like personality can be a bit much for the average TV viewer to take.  She really does need to stick to theatre and cabaret.

Edited by Khan

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Bonnie Hunt (Davis Rules, The Building, The Bonnie Hunt Show, and Life with Bonnie.. which lasted two seasons and netted her a post cancellation emmy nom.)

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32 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

Bonnie Hunt (Davis Rules, The Building, The Bonnie Hunt Show, and Life with Bonnie.. which lasted two seasons and netted her a post cancellation emmy nom.)

You know, I never really GOT Bonnie Hunt as a kid. I never understood what was so special about her. Jeff Jarvis from TV Guide stanned for her something hard.

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The main thing I remember about Bette was the awful publicity surrounding it - I think her husband (on the show) blasted her to the press. The sad part is it didn't take much for me to believe the worst surrounding her...

 

In the early '70s, the networks were getting desperate, so they gave a ton of aged-out film stars their own shows. Jimmy Stewart, Glenn Ford, Henry Fonda. Shirley Maclaine. None of these ran past a season (and Shirley's World became a bit of an infamous bomb)

 

Nathan Lane had his own sitcom several times over, but the one that came after he'd had film success must have stung him when it flopped.

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Kristen Chenoweth makes my cells die, and I don't know why she always seems over-tanned.

 

I had no idea Richard Dreyfuss, who I loved, had a second sitcom.

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Madeline Kahn had a quite few unsuccessful attempts of leading her own TV show. She eventually was successful with the '96 Cosby show but unfortunately she passed away during that show's third season and the show went into decline after her passing. 

 

I remember Alicia Silverstone had some TV show that ended up D.O.A in the early 2000's, I can't recall the name of it at this point for the life of me. 

 

I remember Dolly Parton's 1987 TV show and her album released that year were both considered a a disaster in the press at the time, I believe it fell hand and hand. 

 

The cancellation of Evening Shade by CBS in 1994 was just bizarre to me as it was one of CBS' highest rated sitcoms but I think they blamed it on Burt Reyonlds' salary. 

6 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

 

 

Nathan Lane had his own sitcom several times over, but the one that came after he'd had film success must have stung him when it flopped.

 

Was that the awful Charlie Lawrence one? I remember watching the premiere episode and it was dreadul, I think CBS ended up burning the rest of the episodes off during that summer. 

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