7 TV Shows That Looked So Good, But Were So Bad

There are plenty of TV shows that look bad from trailer to premiere, and it ends up being that way. Some shows seem pointless and turn out to be gold on TV. And then there are those shows that looked so good but were so bad. These multi-episode series didn’t make the cut, whether it was production issues bogged down by good writing or a lack of originality.

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It’s no secret that audiences and critics tend to disagree on the assessment of stories that make it across the TV screen, with shows like Separate together (Jenna Fisher and Oliver Hudson) scoring as low as 38% with critics and 82% with fans over two seasons. As to which side demonstrates the show’s exact depiction, that’s up for debate. Here, these shows teased us with suspense, casts, and scripted storylines that aimed too high and failed miserably.

‘Cats from Hell’


A good return to the CW of the mid-2000s, Hellcats only went through one season with Disney’s favorite generation and starlets failing to live up to the standards set by its competitors, vampire diaries, which was created the same year. Centered around a college cheerleading squad, Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale brought in a fanbase that grew in the Bring it on age and were ready for a series to bring the same energy.

The show lacked originality and continued the superficial image of the cheerleading world that real cheerleading athletes maintain it is not. Making its way to viewers the same fall season, The Vampire Diaries exploded, Hellcats couldn’t rule the viewership and demographics to survive more than one season, with an audience scoring a measly 44%.


“Scream: The TV Series”


Premiere in 2015, a few years later Cry 4 landed in the middle of the road with fans and critics, Scream: The TV Series attempted to bridge the gap between the teens of the 90s/2000s and the teens of late 2010, which is what the last film attempted. The series premiered for the first two seasons on MTV with a confusing intertwined plot following the same principle as the original films.

The show maintained its meta-awareness of the horror genre, and in doing so, ranked higher in its second season than it did in the first. The third season was a complete reboot, killing off established characters and bringing in a whole new cast and plot, ditching previous seasons. The new season aired on VH1 in 2019, with Queen Latifah executive production. Overall, the series has proven to be a hot mess in its attempts to weave a real web to rival the original while getting caught up in a production mess.

“Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders”


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Network TV struggles here, proving that spinoffs are rarely a good idea. While the CBS original Criminal minds didn’t make the best impression on critics in its first season, it gained popularity and a loyal fan base to back it for 15 seasons (season 16 is currently in the works via Paramount+). CBS attempted another spinoff with Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.

Surviving only two seasons, the series takes the premise of the original International to solve crimes involving American victims. Based on its alleged xenophobic undertones, critics and audiences turned away from the series. Appearances of original characters like Rossi (Joe Mantegna) and Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) were not enough to restart or redirect the show.

‘Cowboy Bebop’


The highly anticipated live-action version of the iconic animated series failed to wow viewers or critics. Featuring John Cho like Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Chakir like Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, they team up as a group of bounty hunters taking on the galaxy’s most dangerous criminals for a prize. The Original 1998 Animated Series Only Lasted One Season by Show Director by Shinichiro Watanabe belief that the masterpiece only needed to be told in 26 episodes.

Netflix’s live-action version aired in November 2021 and had ten episodes. Score a dismal 46% with Rotten Tomatoes reviews and 59% with audiences compared to the original’s 100% critic score and 96% audience score. Despite the hype and the promise, the streaming giant announced that it would be canceling the series approximately three weeks after its premiere.


NBC Hannibal fans gained a new spark when news broke that CBS was launching a show dedicated to Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds). The NBC series devoted to Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) before his capture stops featuring Clarice and Thesilenceofthelambs plot. Unfortunately, the CBS take would disappoint in its first season, with the potential for a thin-to-zero second.

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When it aired, the series had lower ratings, with Rotten Tomatoes reviewers rating it at 40%. Since the season aired on Paramount+ the numbers have been higher, but the general consensus being that the show is too bland and played it safe with such a large amount of by Thomas Harris source material. Hannibal fans can only share the disappointment of seeing something so beautiful to rekindle their love for the characters and the story, only to see it wiped out by a bad plot.

“The First Lady”

Michelle Pfeiffer in The First Lady
Picture via Showtime

With such hype resulting from the highly anticipated portrayals of the actors and the cinematic personification of the great ladies of history, The first lady hooked the audience. The Showtime Original premiered last weekend, and early reviews haven’t been good. Television has managed to handle biopics like the American crime Narrative anthology series, but it appears in the eyes of early streamers and critics; It’s not one of them.

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Hollywood leading ladies love Viola Davis as michelle obama, Michelle Pfeffer as betty fordand Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelthistoric television fans rank the show lower with a score of 38% against critics at 37% at the time of writing. Despite the powerful cast and rich historical material, The first lady fails to live up to the bar set by the real-life women it portrays, creating a shallow window into the world of America’s first ladies. The first wave of reviews will be difficult for the creator Aaron Cooley to bounce back.

‘dr. Ken’

Ken Jeong in Dr Ken
Picture via ABC

Its loyal fans are somehow carrying the show into a second season, Dr Ken comes as one of the lowest rated TV shows. Achieve a staggering 7% review score from Rotten TomatoesABC’s comedy series featuring Ken Jeong failed to merge his comedic timing with his actual medical profession. Making waves with his supporting role in The HangoverJeong fans were surprised to learn that he had a medical license and was actually a real doctor.

What seemed like a perfectly packaged deal that could last several seasons, Dr Ken was anything but. Packing as much as possible into a half-hour time slot, Jeong and the supporting cast failed to deliver on their promise and the show was canceled after the second season.

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