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TV Shows That Failed Despite Having a Super Bowl Lead-In

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When a TV network believes in a new show and wants to get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible, they air it directly after the Super Bowl. However, not all series benefit from this advantageous position. Some are so bad, even a Super Bowl lead-in can't prevent a mid-season cancellation. Here are six shows that premiered after the big game but flopped.

1. 'Brothers and Sisters' (NBC, 12 Episodes: January 21, 1979-April 6, 1979)

Synopsis: Set at "Crandall College," Brothers and Sisters followed three cut-ups causing trouble in their fraternity. In the pilot, Zipper (one of the bros) bets his entire tuition that he can lure sorority babe Suzi Cooper into his bedroom by midnight (classic Zipper). Footage is tough to come by, but there's a short promo above.

Why the Network Thought It Would Work: Even today, studios insist on flogging Animal House's horse corpse, so it's no surprise that the networks gave it a try when the flesh was still fresh. In 1979, three separate fraternity-themed shows made it onto TV: ABC's Delta House, CBS's Co-Ed Fever, and NBC's Brothers and Sisters. All three premiered within weeks of each other, but Brothers and Sisters had the coveted time slot immediately after Super Bowl XIII.

Why It Flopped: Besides the fact that it was terrible? Market over-saturation didn't help, even though the competition wasn't exactly strong. Rival show Co-Ed Fever lasted only one episode, despite the fact that it featured a motorcycle-driving octogenarian house mother.

2. 'MacGruder and Loud' (ABC, 14 Episodes: January 20, 1985-April 30, 1985)

Synopsis: Malcolm MacGruder and Jenny Loud are tough, fast-talking L.A. cops, and the only thing they love more than arresting bad guys is kissing each other (that's because they're married). Marriage is against LAPD policy, so MacGruder and Loud have to sneak around under the suspicious Sergeant's nose. In the pilot, we see the two cops get hitched in Vegas, a scene that hints at the realistic and snappy dialogue viewers would come to expect from M&L:

MacGruder: "Can you hurry it up? She's pregnant."

Loud: "I'm not pregnant! Well, not yet..." [Looks lovingly into MacGruder's eyes]

Priest: "I now pronounce you man and wife." [Saxophone blares]

A side note: There is so much saxophone in this show. I don't know if they got a good deal on a studio musician or something, but the music whines throughout every episode.

Why the Network Thought It Would Work: It was an Aaron Spelling show, and he had a track record of producing huge hits like The Mod Squad and Charlie's Angels. It also sounded like a combination Cagney and Lacey and MacGyver, so they probably hoped viewers would get confused.

Why It Flopped: America just wasn't ready for a TV show that tackled the pressing moral and legislative issues of married police officers. The saxophone didn't help, either.

3. 'The Last Precinct' (NBC, 8 Episodes: January 26, 1986-May 30, 1986)

Synopsis: Can't get enough Police Academy? Well, what about Police Academy 2? Still want more? Then stuff your mind-hole with The Last Precinct, a comedy about misfits from a (you guessed it) police academy.

Why the Network Thought It Would Work: Police Academy worked! Police Academy 2 kind of worked? Why don't we barf this out into the world before they make a third and see if it sticks.

Why It Flopped: America was a little Policy Academy'd out by the time this Adam West-led sitcom hit the air. Even with the help of a lead-in from the most-watched Super Bowl ever featuring one of the most beloved teams of all time (the '85 Bears), The Last Precinct was doomed from the start.

4. 'Grand Slam' (CBS, 6 Episodes: January 28, 1990 – March 14, 1990)

Synopsis: Grand Slam was about Hardball and Gomez, two San Diego bounty hunters. That's all I got. It's like the show was scrubbed from the earth. The above clip, which is in Hungarian, is pretty much the only evidence of Grand Slam's existence.

Why the Network Thought It Would Work: Perhaps they considered Grand Slam a natural extension of Miami Vice, which was cancelled the previous year.

Why It Flopped: I have no idea. Frankly, the show looks awesome, even in Hungarian. I mean, Hardball and Gomez eat those peppers and—WOWZA, THOSE ARE SPICY. They can't find any water so they have to break into a woman's house and drink out of her goldfish bowl, but—uh oh!—she has a gun. Holy moly, how are Hardball and Gomez going to get out of this jam? I'd gladly watch nine seasons of Grand Slam.

5. 'The Good Life' (NBC, 13 Episodes: January 30, 1994-April 12, 1994)

Synopsis: John Caponera played John Bowman, a man who works at a lock company in Chicago, has a family, and, um, that's pretty much it. Drew Carey also works at the lock company and occasionally stops by the Bowmans' house, so there's that. Let's see, what else? Oh yeah, they have a dog.

Why the Network Thought It Would Work: NBC found success hitching their wagon to Jerry Seinfeld, so they thought they could do it again with another stand-up comedian, John Caponera.

Why It Flopped: Watch the episode above. It's like a tired sitcom trope menagerie. They Dr. Frankenstein'd the body parts and organs of a dozen other lame mid-'90s comedies and created this hideous, evil monster.

6. 'Extreme' (NBC, 7 Episodes: January 29, 1995-April 6, 1995)

Synopsis: James Brolin operates a search and rescue team in the Rockies. Judging by the intro, there is extreme rock climbing, extreme BASE jumping, extreme rafting, extreme sex, extreme helicopters, extreme snowboarding, extreme hot tubs, and extreme guitar riffs.

Why the Network Thought It Would Work: This was 1995, the era of X-Games, Reebok Pumps, Dan Cortese, and Sonic the Hedgehog. If you weren't extreme and rockin' a tight bandana while rollerblading and listening to Collective Soul, then you were worse than dirt.

Why It Flopped: Probably wasn't extreme enough.

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5 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 2
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Stranger Things seemed to come out of nowhere to become one of television's standout new series in 2016. Netflix's sometimes scary, sometimes funny, and always exciting homage to '80s pop culture was a binge-worthy phenomenon when it debuted in July 2016. Of course, the streaming giant wasn't going to wait long to bring more Stranger Things to audiences, and a second season was announced a little over a month after its debut—and Netflix just announced that we'll be getting it a few days earlier than expected. Here are five key things we know about the show's sophomore season, which kicks off on October 27.

1. WE'LL BE GETTING EVEN MORE EPISODES.

The first season of Stranger Things consisted of eight hour-long episodes, which proved to be a solid length for the story Matt and Ross Duffer wanted to tell. While season two won't increase in length dramatically, we will be getting at least one extra hour when the show returns in 2017 with nine episodes. Not much is known about any of these episodes, but we do know the titles:

"Madmax"
"The Boy Who Came Back To Life"
"The Pumpkin Patch"
"The Palace"
"The Storm"
"The Pollywog"
"The Secret Cabin"
"The Brain"
"The Lost Brother"

There's a lot of speculation about what each title means and, as usual with Stranger Things, there's probably a reason for each one.

2. THE KIDS ARE RETURNING (INCLUDING ELEVEN).

Stranger Things fans should gear up for plenty of new developments in season two, but that doesn't mean your favorite characters aren't returning. A November 4 photo sent out by the show's Twitter account revealed most of the kids from the first season will be back in 2017, including the enigmatic Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown (the #elevenisback hashtag used by series regular Finn Wolfhard should really drive the point home):

3. THE SHOW'S 1984 SETTING WILL LEAD TO A DARKER TONE.

A year will have passed between the first and second seasons of the show, allowing the Duffer brothers to catch up with a familiar cast of characters that has matured since we last saw them. With the story taking place in 1984, the brothers are looking at the pop culture zeitgeist at the time for inspiration—most notably the darker tone of blockbusters like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

"I actually really love Temple of Doom, I love that it gets a little darker and weirder from Raiders, I like that it feels very different than Raiders did," Matt Duffer told IGN. "Even though it was probably slammed at the time—obviously now people look back on it fondly, but it messed up a lot of kids, and I love that about that film—that it really traumatized some children. Not saying that we want to traumatize children, just that we want to get a little darker and weirder."

4. IT'S NOT SO MUCH A CONTINUATION AS IT IS A SEQUEL.

When you watch something like The Americans season two, it's almost impossible to catch on unless you've seen the previous episodes. Stranger Things season two will differ from the modern TV approach by being more of a sequel than a continuation of the first year. That means a more self-contained plot that doesn't leave viewers hanging at the end of nine episodes.

"There are lingering questions, but the idea with Season 2 is there's a new tension and the goal is can the characters resolve that tension by the end," Ross Duffer told IGN. "So it's going to be its own sort of complete little movie, very much in the way that Season 1 is."

Don't worry about the two seasons of Stranger Things being too similar or too different from the original, though, because when speaking with Entertainment Weekly about the influences on the show, Matt Duffer said, "I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”

5. THE PREMIERE WILL TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF HAWKINS.

Everything about the new Stranger Things episodes will be kept secret until they finally debut later this year, but we do know one thing about the premiere: It won't take place entirely in the familiar town of Hawkins, Indiana. “We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” Matt Duffer told Entertainment Weekly. “I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.”

So, should we take "a little bit outside" as literally as it sounds? You certainly can, but in that same interview, the brothers also said they're both eager to explore the Upside Down, the alternate dimension from the first season. Whether the season kicks off just a few miles away, or a few worlds away, you'll get your answer when Stranger Things's second season debuts next month.

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Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in October
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NBC - © 2012 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Netflix subscribers are already counting down the days until the premiere of the new season of Stranger Things. But, as always, in order to make room for the near-90 new titles making their way to the streaming site, some of your favorite titles—including all of 30 Rock, The Wonder Years, and Malcolm in the Middle—must go. Here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in October ... binge ‘em while you can!

October 1

30 Rock (Seasons 1-7)

A Love in Times of Selfies

Across the Universe

Barton Fink

Bella

Big Daddy

Carousel

Cradle 2 the Grave

Crafting a Nation

Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest

Daddy’s Little Girls

Dark Was the Night

David Attenborough’s Rise of the Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates (Season 1)

Day of the Kamikaze

Death Beach

Dowry Law

Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief

Friday Night Lights (Seasons 1-5)

Happy Feet

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

Hellboy

Kagemusha

Laura

Love Actually

Malcolm in the Middle (Seasons 1-7)

Max Dugan Returns

Millennium 

Million Dollar Baby

Mortal Combat

Mr. 3000

Mulholland Dr.

My Father the Hero

My Name Is Earl (Seasons 1-4)

One Tree Hill (Seasons 1-9)

Patton

Picture This

Prison Break (Seasons 1-4)

The Bernie Mac Show (Seasons 1-5)

The Shining

The Wonder Years (Seasons 1-6)

Titanic

October 19

The Cleveland Show (Seasons 1-4)

October 21

Bones (Seasons 5-11)

October 27

Lie to Me (Seasons 2-3)

Louie (Seasons 1-5)

Hot Transylvania 2

October 29

Family Guy (Seasons 9-14)

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