why was this show cancelled?

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Post by msclrules » Apr 5th 2004, 2:23 pm

i don't think "dancing in the dark" was such a good episode, but i think that "guns and gossip" will definitely be great!

questions: is ricky the one that shot the gun in school? how do angela's parents react when they find out about the rumor about angela and jordan?
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Re: Roswell was also another fav.

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 6th 2004, 3:34 pm

Amber wrote:I wish MSCL would have at least completed the entire season and finished a story line. Also wasn't ROSWELL and MSCL writen by JASON Katims.
As far as BF was concerned, episode 19 was the last episode of the season and they wrote it as the season finale. They left it as a cliffhanger, as many other shows do in the season finales. It is very common for new shows to have an atypical number of episodes in their first season, whether because they are midseason replacements or because the network has only ordered a certain number of episodes. Not every show necessarily has 22 episodes per season.

And yes, Jason Katims was also a writer and producer for Roswell. You can view more info about him here.
msclrules wrote:questions: is ricky the one that shot the gun in school? how do angela's parents react when they find out about the rumor about angela and jordan?
For info on Guns & Gossip you can read the discussion thread, the transcript, or the TWOP recap.
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Post by wicked » Oct 5th 2004, 7:11 pm

ya know I never knew calire danes didn't want to do another season. well I kinda understand her point. Still it makes me sad.

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Feb 5th 2005, 5:22 am

A "My So-Called Life" mention where I expected it the least.

http://www.eonline.com/Gossip/Kristin/A ... 50205.html
"I'd say there's a damn good chance [season] six is happening," Edward Herrmann (grandpa Gilmore) told me. "That is the plan we've heard. As for whether it goes to the full seven--Lauren and Alexis have seven-year contracts--I suspect it will, if the ratings are anything like they are this season."

Now, you fans caught that, right? Lauren Graham (Lorelai) and Alexis Bledel (Rory) are committed to the series for two more seasons, so Alexis wanted to make something perfectly clear: "They always make it seem like the actors have something to do with that, with how long the show goes on, but they don't," she explained. "We have no control, ever. My So-Called Life did not end because Claire Danes didn't want to do it anymore. It ended for some other reason." Lauren also chimed in, thanking Alexis for that reference from "the late '80s" just before fessing up to the fact that she borrowed Alexis' So-Called DVD and still hasn't returned it! Check back for their adorable real-life interaction in an upcoming video clip.
Again, "the last 80's"!? --- I hope that was a joke.
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Post by Greybird » Feb 5th 2005, 10:51 am

I'd say two working actresses would know the score, and how it is played.

Steve Joyner of OLS certainly didn't when he net.fumed about Claire Danes' supposed malevolence. I'm surprised at how part of me still hasn't truly forgiven him for that, after nearly a decade now.

Danes' not wanting to return -- for physical reasons, career reasons, any and all reasons -- was one datum. Ratings were another one. P.R. fallout from enforcing a contract on a minor (actually, on her parents) was yet another. Production costs -- in that pre-"reality"-show era -- were another.

It was ABC's decision all along, as to what data they would weight and by how much. If they wanted to compel the principal cast's return, they had every legal right to do so -- and to insist on either performance or compensation.

Everyone knew that if any of the principal cast members had walked out on a renewed show, they'd have been blackballed in the industry. A then-16-year-old would not have been exempt.

"MSCL" was the pioneer with arrows in its back. It made later shows of the likes of "Gilmore Girls" (and "Dawson's Creek," "Felicity," ad infinitum, sometimes ad nauseum) possible in the first place. Those, sometimes, are the tragic breaks.
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WHY NOT...

Post by dancebythelightofthemoon » Feb 18th 2005, 3:17 am

...have 22 episodes like any regular 1 hour tv show?

Claire Danes is a great actress. I can't believe she just didn't do the show and do movies at the same time.

I look at Sarah Michelle Gellar and what Buffy did for her and she's also having a great movie career. It might have been cancelled but it lasted. Best show ever IMHO 8)

Yeah there are may be different circumstances but it all boils down to the audience. WE LOVED IT!....but we did not receive enough.... :cry:
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Post by SanDeE* » Feb 18th 2005, 10:19 am

dancebythelightofthemoon wrote:...have 22 episodes like any regular 1 hour tv show?
I don't know if this is correct, but I think that it was cancelled before they had the chance to tape a full season of episodes.
Claire Danes is a great actress. I can't believe she just didn't do the show and do movies at the same time.
I don't know how old Sarah Michelle Gellar was when they started Buffy, but Claire Danes was only 13 when they started filming MSCL. There are laws about how many hours a day minors can work. I'm sure the main reason MSCL was cancelled was due to low ratings, not Claire Danes wanting to do movies instead. It's not that cut & dry.
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Post by dancebythelightofthemoon » Feb 18th 2005, 4:47 pm

Ok...so we can all agree that if this show aired today it would be very successful? --it wouldn't be the same IMHO if it didn't have that 90's look...it's so much more appealing to me :?
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Feb 18th 2005, 5:09 pm

Kristin wrote:
dancebythelightofthemoon wrote:...have 22 episodes like any regular 1 hour tv show?
I don't know if this is correct, but I think that it was cancelled before they had the chance to tape a full season of episodes.
Not every regular one hour show has 22 episodes per season. Some have more (Star Trek: The Next Generation usually had 26, BH 90210 usually had around 30), some have less (Roswell's last season had 18, Felicity's third season had 17).

Unlike a regular show where the writers know that the show will air for a full season from September through May, MSCL was a different situation. Winnie Holzman explained that they didn't have any season-long story arcs planned from the very beginning; rather, they wrote however many episodes ABC ordered at a time which made for spurts of episodes.

Excerpts from the MSCL Bible:
The pilot for the show was shot in January of 1993, and shown to The Powers That Be in April.

In early May of 1993, the call from up above came down: ABC had reserved 6 slots for hour long series in its fall lineup, and MSCL would not be one of them.

Their show hadn't made the first cut, but there was a chance that it could be brought in as a mid-season replacement. ABC's option on the show would run out in December. Zwick and Herskovitz spent the Summer of 1993 waiting for further word. Finally, on 7 October, 1993, ABC green-lighted 7 more episodes. But production couldn't resume until January of 1994, so there was little chance of MSCL airing any time before March.

[After the show premiered in August], Showing their faith in MSCL, ABC ordered six more episodes, the first of which aired on 27 October, 1994. The network later ordered four additional episodes, bringing the total to 19 episodes, just 4 under a complete season.
Claire Danes is a great actress. I can't believe she just didn't do the show and do movies at the same time.
I don't know how old Sarah Michelle Gellar was when they started Buffy, but Claire Danes was only 13 when they started filming MSCL. There are laws about how many hours a day minors can work.

SMG was 19 when BtVS began so she was able to work adult hours. Claire, on the other hand, was subject to child labor laws when filming MSCL because she was 13-15 during the show's run.

From the SAG website:
Maximum hours for entertainment-related employment: No minor may be employed in the entertainment industry for more than 8 hours in one 24-hour day or 48 hours in one week, or before 5 a.m. or after 10 p.m. on any day preceding a school day; a minor may work hours authorized during any evening preceding a non-school day until 12:30 a.m. "School day" is defined as any day in which the minor is required to attend school for 240 minutes or more.

Twelve hours must elapse between the minor's dismissal time and the time of call on the following day. If the minor's regular school starts less than 12 hours after the dismissal time, the minor must be schooled the following day at the employer's place of business.

Work hours for minors: 9 - 16 years: permitted at work place for maximum of 9 hours, consisting of not more than 5 hours of work and at least 3 hours of schooling when the minor's school is in session, and 1 hour of rest and recreation; work may be increased to 7 hours when the minor's school is not in session, with 1 hour of rest and recreation

All time spent in make-up or hairdressing in the minor's home with the assistance of other persons employed in connection therewith, must be counted as work time. No make-up person or hairdresser may work on the minor at home before 8:30 a.m. Twelve (12) hours must elapse between the time the minor is dismissed one day and the time make-up or hairdressing begins on the following day.

All time spent in traveling from a studio to a location or from a location to a studio must count as part of the working day of a minor.


The maximum number of hours a minor can work it a sum total, not per project so it would have been impossible for Claire Danes to do MSCL and movies simultaneously. The fact that Claire was so young and could only work so many hours forced the writers to write more scenes with the other characters (without Angela being present). Lisa Wilhoit and Devon Gummersall were the only other main cast members who were minors when filming began.
I'm sure the main reason MSCL was cancelled was due to low ratings, not Claire Danes wanting to do movies instead. It's not that cut & dry.
It was a combination of both. The ratings were low so the show was on the bubble. When Claire went to Bedford Falls and told them that she wanted to leave the show, that was enough (in conjunction with the low ratings) to cancel the show. On the bonus disc, they said that no one wanted to get into a public fight with a teenage actress by forcing her to stay, and they didn't want to do the show without her.
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Post by dancebythelightofthemoon » Feb 18th 2005, 5:55 pm

thanks for the 411 candygirl.

well MSCL was authentic in a sense that the characters LOOKED their age.
Danes 13, playing a 15 year old. Where as, Gellar 19, playing a 16 year old (BtVS.)

It still funny to see 29 year old actors play teenage roles :roll: :P
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Feb 18th 2005, 7:11 pm

Funny you should mention the age thing, especially in conjunction with SMG. When she played Kendall Hart on All My Children, the character was supposed to be 23. SMG was almost 16 when she began the role.

I do understand why shows prefer to hire actors who are legally adults in order to avoid all the child labor law problems, but it drives me crazy when they hire people who are obviously nowhere near high school aged (Gabrielle Carteris and Ian Ziering on 90210!). It's pretty bad when the entire cast is supposed to be the same age but there is a 12 year difference in the actors' ages.

One of the things I like about Desperate Housewives is that they hired actresses who are really in their 40s to play women who are in their 40s - unlike the movie Alexander where you are supposed to believe that Angelina Jolie is old enough to be Colin Farrell's mother when in reality she is less than a year older than he is. Riiiggghhhht.
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Post by dancebythelightofthemoon » Feb 19th 2005, 4:14 am

HAAAH---don't even start with Alexander......"The world is yooourrz!"---i've never seen the film, yet--but i hear her accent changes throughout :P

I just finished watching a MSCL marathon from Life Of Brian earlier today and up to Weekend. That weekend episode just gives you those chuckles from beginning to end. I've only cried to Strangers In The House, So-Called Angels and Betrayal.
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Post by CanyonCrow » Apr 4th 2005, 2:58 pm

Why was the show cancelled? Simple:

Because the execs at ABC, like every other company, think that MONEY is the most important thing in the world. Low ratings= no one watching commercials. If people don't watch the commericals, they won't be suckered into buing useless products. Since the amount of people watching MSCL didn't equal the amount of people that watch crap shows like Friends or Cheers, they pulled the plug, despite the fact that thousands and maybe millions of people had/have a special connection with My So-Called Life. Things like that make me ashamed to be a part of the human race.

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Re: Re:

Post by scjoyner » Oct 29th 2007, 8:45 am

TomSpeed wrote:People who fought to save the show, Operation Life Support, didn't know that she wanted to quit.
Obsolutely incorrect. OLS, as early as January 1995, was intimately aware that Claire (actually her mother and then agent, Mike Lazzo) wanted to quit the show. In fact, Steve Joyner was pilloried by many for stating that fact on May 17, 1995.

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Re: Re:

Post by Jody Barsch* » Oct 29th 2007, 7:49 pm

scjoyner wrote:In fact, Steve Joyner was pilloried by many for stating that fact on May 17, 1995.
Wow, totally new word to me! I broke out my OED: To attack or ridicule publicly. Awesome. (Not that it happened, but the word itself.)
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