It's a longstanding tradition in America for television programming to unveil new shows about this time of year, or at least, a few days or weeks from now.
This fall season is teeming with original series -- particularly scripted dramas and comedies - and there are plenty of new reality shows coming with the autumn foliage and crisp cool air, too. Most are good and should entertain audiences. Some old greats return, like Robin Williams in Crazy Ones, and some new stars will surely make the grade, too.
Unfortunately, some shows get canned before they even appear on television. Some have offered dismal pilots, and after falling like dead trees at the hands of a screaming sharp chainsaw, they never grace Television Land again.
Some don't even get out of the Hollywood series incubator. Here's a look at ten of the misfortunate ones, the shows that never will become water cooler talk the next day:
1) Pit-Bull Wars: A reality show that features vice cops from throughout the United States who "crash" pit-bull fights, usually in urban areas, but sometimes in remote rural areas, too. All scenes are taken from actual video footage captured by police organizations. Mostly, by small hidden cameras attached to undercover cops street clothes. Those bold and brazen folks who have enough balls to attend such horrid events, uninvited, unannounced, and unwelcomed. Scene after scene of bloodied, torn-up, whelping canines getting annihilated by stronger, bigger dogs of the same breed did not come out as a good fit with Prime Time viewing, unfortunately. "This was a very brutal show that might be good evidence for vice squads, or judges, attorneys, and juries that didn't eat breakfast before morning trials, but as far as an 8 o'clock slot on cable TV, its contents were just too violent and graphic," said Beatrice Graceland, a reporter for Hollywood Hell, a publication that covers the worst Hollywood nightmares, both on TV and in film.
2) Hi, We're the Watsons: A reality show featuring a middle-class family from Muncie, Ind., who do boring things all day that most people do. Betsy Watson washes a few loads of clothes before work, makes her children breakfast, then goes to a job where she is a CPA. Dad is a high school administrator, a vice principal, at a Muncie-area middle school. Two of the Watsons's four young children are in elementary school and two are in middle school. They are all good students, give their parents and teachers no problems whatsoever, and don't like rap, hip-hop, alternative, or rock music, but prefer Christian music. The Watsons are churchgoers, and although they're not rich, they're all well respected in their neighborhood. "There's no drama here. Where's the psycho-bitch alcoholic mother? Where's the father who's having affairs with three other women and even two other men? Where's the white punks on dope? These boring people don't even have a dog. They raise rabbits. This show was a loser from the get go," Graceland complains.
3) We're the Real Amish, So You English Stay Off Our Farms: This is a look at the true Amish in Lancaster County, Pa., a very religious people who are hardworking and God fearing. Four different families are featured, and sometimes even more, since the Amish philosophy of a big network of friends and family is part of the Amish way of life. All characters in the series have traditional and purist values concerning their faith and culture. "Where's the mafia thug that's got the long beard and the long machine gun? Where's the crazy Amish kids that are starting up their own punk rock band? Where's the hoodlum drug dealers and moonshine makers? Hell, nobody even smokes an occasional cigarette or cigar in this stupid series. And most of all, where's the crazy family feud where two or three families hate each other and are always causing so much drama and violence? Boring, boring, boring, even more dull than Hi, We're the Watsons," Graceland gripes.
4) Hey, We're Really Funny: A sit-com filled with one-liners, stupid jokes with even dumber punch lines, people who dress in crazy costumes, meshing in much gastronomical humor, sexual innuendo, and borderline racist attacks. The main characters live in a house together, don't work, don't go to college, don't have any friends or family who visit, and never seem to stop laughing or smiling. "Don't tell us you're funny in the title of your stupid series, Hey, We're Really Funny, show us. These people are about as funny as bored geeks skipping stones on Lake Ontario. I mean, 16 men and 17 women, all of college age, who do nothing at all but crack stupid jokes that make no sense, occasionally throwing in some one-liners that are nothing more than lame statements and questions? There're just too many characters and the house is too small. It's a three bedroom home with two baths. Where do all of these idiots sleep? They must be like firewood, stacked up on top of each other. Unfortunately, stuff like that isn't allowed even on Prime Time TV these days. Very unfunny," Graceland writes.
5) Hey, We're Really Cool: Another sit-com that's about the same as Hey, We're Really Funny, but all characters in this series are African-American and Latino while Hey, We're Really Funny has an all Caucasian cast. "This series had its moments. Believe me, sometimes these young people really were funny, but there were far too many characters, the apartment they lived in is far too small to hold over 100 people, and too much swearing and slapstick shenanigans really upset the execs. Some of the hip-hop and rap created was pretty good and a few characters got some big record deals. Anyhow, good for them, and good luck to them," Graceland said.
6) There's a New Sheriff in Town: A detective drama featuring Slim Wildearp, a lawman in a remote Montana village who goes from case to case, cracking nefarious who-done-its, episode-by-episode. "The Montana village only has five residents. It's just a crossroads, not even a village. Three residents are elderly and collect Social Security. One of the episodes had an Al-Qaeda invasion, another had a swarm of Latin American drug cartels descending on this bygone place, and yet another involved five rival Sicilian mafia organizations. Why in the hell would all these evil groups descend on a crossroads in Montana? Absurd. It should've been cast as a comedy it's so bad," Graceland said.
7) Drugs, Drugs and More Drugs: This is a series about a retired astronaut who becomes a drug czar and sells methamphetamine to young people. The series made sure viewers knew that the astronaut was not using drugs, just supplementing his income. A sordid series featuring a plethora of violence, surly double-dealing, and racial hatred of all types. "There's one thing you never want to do in Hollywood - make a retired astronaut a high-level drug dealer. Retired astronauts are held in very high regard in America. Everyone loves what they do. Why didn't they make a retired President of the United States a drug dealer? Do you get my argument? Retired astronauts get paid well, too, even after they retire. No astronaut needs to supplement his income by resorting to such an egregious thing as drug dealing. And the main character has a mustache and always has stubble on his face. Astronauts don't have mustaches. They just don't. And they never have stubble, even if they drink a lot. They're all very clean-shaven and very respectable looking. This is doom and gloom at its nadir," Graceland griped.
8) The Girl's Club: A drama series about an all-girl Indie band from Birmingham, Ala., who crash the New York City club scene and try to make it big in the music world. The women all have shaved heads, are anorexic, have very pallid complexions, and sound like a pack of junkyard dogs when they play their music. "It's too much like the real club scene and the real music business. I guess this series was geared for young people, and they're not going to stay home on a Monday night to watch this 10 o'clock series, they're going to go out to a club and see the real thing. The actors looked like they were half-past dead, their music sounded like heavy metal funeral dirges, and none of these girls had boyfriends. Were they all celibate? Who knows. Who cares. It bit the dust before a pilot was even made. And another thing, they don't even have Indie music in Alabama. It's all Southern Rock or Country. What kind of snake oil is Hollywood selling us these days?" Graceland writes.
9) Killing Ghosts in Graveyards: First off, you can't kill a ghost. They're spirits that are already dead. But in this series, a group of ghost hunters descend on some of our nation's most notoriously haunted final resting places, including Chicago's Resurrection Catholic Cemetery & Mausoleums on Archer Avenue. Along with tons of ghost hunting apparatuses, the cast also uses guns, bazookas, and homemade bombs to attack ghosts in the most violent ways. "Much of this stuff was staged. On the pilot, it was clear that a bedroom sheet was placed over a large tombstone that was shaped like a tall spire. The cast used a number of shotguns and AK-15s to blast away at this so-called ghost, and stone chips were flying around in the air. Someone threw a Molotov cocktail at this so-called ghost and the sheet went up in flames, leaving the gravestone in plain sight. They filmed this during the daylight hours. If they'd done it at night, they might have gotten away with this stunt, with poor visibility and all," Graceland writes in Hollywood Hell.
10) Haunted Highways and Byways : This series was not ridiculous or hokey like Killing Ghosts in Graveyards, but Hollywood execs decided not to run it because it was very scary and could be bad for business in some of the towns and cities where filming took place. "You want to make paranormal situations frightening, but not overdo it. Some people are intrigued by weird phenomenon like ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies, and the like, but you don't want to scare them so much that they vow never to visit your city or town. I don't want to get into the details here, since they scare the living shit out of me, and I don't want to scare myself," Graceland writes.