Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks: Bye Bye, Chicago Code...You're In Good Company

The fall network TV schedules aren't set to be released until next week, but the bad news has already leaked for fans of Fox's The Chicago Code, which was not renewed for a second season in spite of a mostly positive critical reception:

Answering questions from disappointed fans on Twitter, Shawn Ryan, the executive producer of "The Chicago Code," said he would try to shop his show to other networks, "but that's a long shot."

At the same time it was canceling existing shows, Fox was reportedly ordering two new sitcoms ("The New Girl," starring Zooey Deschanel, and "I Hate My Teenage Daughter," starring Jaime Pressly) and two new dramas ("Alcatraz," from the "Lost" mastermind J.J. Abrams, and "The Finder," a spin-off of "Bones").

At last those of you who haven't gotten your requisite Deschanel fix from her annoyingly twee movies can see her on the small screen as well. Meanwhile, I feel for Chicago Code fans, but given Fox's track record, the show's cancellation can hardly be seen as a shock.

And in terms of outrage, it doesn't even crack the top tier of the network's programming crimes.

You can go back almost the network's inception in 1986 to see they've never been shy about giving a series the axe before it got some steam going. For purposes of this exercise, I'm sticking with those shows that ran one season or less, with apologies to fans of Arrested Development and Millennium, both of which lasted three seasons...an eternity in FoxTime.

Werewolf (1987-88)

I didn't have a TV during the late '80s, so I have to go on the word of friends that insist this was a pretty cool show. It followed newly bitten student Eric Cord on his quest to kill the original werewolf of his bloodline ("Werewolf Zero?"). He, in turn, was pursued by a bounty hunter. Sounds a lot like The Incredible Hulk, right? And so what? That show was awesome. And fuck vampires.

The Tick (2001-02)

Don't listen to what anybody else says, The Tick was funny ("Who puts gum on a roof?"). It also wasn't owned by Fox, so they didn't go out of their way to promote the adventures of the the big blue lummox, Arthur, Captain Liberty, and Batmanuel. It was canceled after nine episodes.

I maintain it was because of the use of Comic Sans in the credits.

Andy Richter Controls the Universe (2002-03)

Conan's former sidekick got two mid-season runs for his show, but I'm still counting it (the first one was a whopping six episodes). I don't know anyone who thought this had a shot in hell, considering Fox's lousy track record with shows that don't have the words "Simpsons" or "When [x] Attack" in the title. It's a miracle AD lasted as long as it did.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar