ABC have scheduled the two unshown episodes of The Forgotten for back-to-back broadcast on the evening of Saturday, July 3rd. They’re called Designer Jane and Living Doe.
I was off the show and in development on another project when the news of cancellation came through, but I saw how the episode order was rejigged so that creator Mark Friedman could give closure to the series-long arc involving the missing daughter of lead character Alex Donovan.
I’m glad that happened. And I’m glad the unaired episodes will get a screening. It’s only fair to the audience.
It’s easy to forget that even when a show doesn’t perform to a network’s satisfaction, by any human or historical measure its audience is still enormous. In a statistic that I’ve just made up, more people watched one episode of The Forgotten (or Pushing Daisies, or Eli Stone, to name two other shows cancelled with episodes unbroadcast) than saw Victorian superstar Sir Henry Irving perform in his lifetime. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dodgy. But swap Henry Irving for Edmund Kean and I’ll stand my ground.
Most showrunners have a destination in mind so that they can, when the writing’s on the wall, plan some kind of closure for their creation. But there are those where it seems that the showrunner deliberately does a bad job in order to spite the network.
Life exited with grace, spoiled only a little by the fact that Sarah Shahi’s pregnancy prevented her from playing a greater role in the last few episodes. Pushing Daises bowed out with warmth and charm, when we eventually got to see the finale.
But Deadwood? If that’s how you say goodbye, I’d rather you didn’t bother.