Can’t Jenna Elfman get a win post-Dharma & Greg? Amid her other TV flops — Courting Alex, 1600 Penn, Growing Up Fisher, and Imaginary Mary — came this CBS sitcom in which she played a woman who gets pregnant from a one night stand. So it’s like a less-successful Catastrophe, though with its 18-episode run, it’s probably the most successful show on this list.
Sony Pictures Television
After his NFL career but before his morning show career, Michael Strahan played a former football star — what a stretch! — who moves back home to Houston and clashes with his estranged brother. The sitcom lasted 13 episodes on FOX.
Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank
The Jay Leno Show
We must have blotted out the details of NBC’s clumsy shuffling of its late-night hosts. After Leno retired from The Tonight Show, NBC wooed him back by giving him a primetime slot for this (eerily similar) talk show. Amid flagging ratings, NBC tried to move The Jay Leno Show to 11:35 and Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show to 12:05. A rightfully frustrated O’Brien decamped to TBS, and Leno got his old show back.
Richard Foreman/ABC via Getty Images
Kelsey Grammer has struggled to find a foothold on television post-Frasier, as evidenced by Back to You, Boss, Partners, and The Last Tycoon, and this ABC sitcom, in which he played a businessman who has to adjust to small-town life after getting fired from his CEO job. ABC only aired five episodes of the show.
This sci-fi drama, pitched as “Grey’s Anatomy in space,” was pulled from ABC’s lineup after eight episodes with, ahem, less-than-stellar ratings. (We wonder if the logistics of zero-gravity sex were ever discussed…)
In the Motherhood
Despite an enviable cast — including Will & Grace’s Megan Mullally and Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Cheryl Hines — this sitcom about the trials and tribulations of parenting only aired five episodes before ABC gave it the boot.
Chris Vance played an unorthodox psychiatrist hellbent on helping his patients and finding his sister on this drama, of which FOX aired 13 episodes. Here’s a fun fact, though: Mental is set in Los Angeles, but it was filmed in Bogotá, Colombia.
More to Love
Ever notice how all the Bachelor contestants range from slim to slimmer? Instead of, say, opening up the ABC dating franchise to women who aren’t size-zeroes, Bachelor mastermindMike Fleiss created this FOX dating show with an all-plus-size cast. It lasted for one nine-episode season.
Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos alum Bob Saget made an ill-fated return to ABC in this sitcom, playing a family man with maddening neighbors. It lasted 14 episodes, suggesting viewers either want Saget playing Danny Tanner (see also: Fuller House) or introducing silly clips (see also: Videos After Dark).
Sit Down, Shut Up
Before Mitchell Hurwitz brought beloved comedy Arrested Development to Netflix, he recruited Arrested stars Jason Bateman and Will Arnett for this animated FOX sitcom about a gaggle of slacker high school teachers. FOX expelled it after 14 episodes.
The year 2009 was a noteworthy one for American primetime television.