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(Courtesy photo) The 2011 revival of "Beavis and Butt-head" could not recapture the '90s magic.
Scott D. Pierce: Nine TV shows that should’ve been allowed to die

By Scott D. Pierce

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Dec 12 2013 11:10 am • Last Updated Dec 12 2013 09:44 pm

After a couple of years of rumors and conflicting reports, it seems that we finally have a definitive answer abut the possibility of theatrical follow-up to the "Friday Night Lights" TV series.

There won’t be one.

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Not because "Friday Night Lights" wasn’t good. It was great. I’d argue that the 2006-11 series about a high-school football coach, his family, his players and the town they lived in was one of the great TV series of all time.

And it had a fantastic finale that tied up loose ends but let us know that life was going to go on for all the characters we’d fallen in love with.

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I shed a tear or two.

There’s nothing harder than creating the perfect series finale for a beloved TV show, and this was one of the best ever.

Why would you want to mess with that? Why risk the legacy of a great TV show with what could easily turn out to be a disappointing sequel?

That’s happened before. For every "Battlestar Galactica," "Doctor Who," "Firefly" and "Futurama," all of which were worth reviving, there are multiple examples of good shows that should have left well enough alone. Here are nine of the worst examples of good shows that should not have been exhumed:

9. "The Arsenio Hall Show" (1989-94) » The original, late-night party was hip and happenin’. The current revival is a pale shadow of its former self.

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8 "The Monkees" (1966-68) » You can’t catch lightning in a bottle twice. A 1987 syndicated show stunk.

7. "Beavis and Butt-head" (1992-97) » What was pop-culture gold in the ’90s just looked lame in 2011.

6. "Ironside" (1967-74) » The original series ran almost 200 episodes. This fall’s reboot ran four. Which was three too many.

5. "Gilligan’s Island" (1964-67) » The original had a cheesy charm. Three TV movies (in ’78, ’79 and ’81) were bad. One was titled "Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island." ’Nuff said.

4. The Brady Bunch (1969-74) » "A Very Brady Christmas" was keen, and the first of the theatrical movies was swell. But the second movie, the variety show, "The Bradys," "The Brady Brides" — all awful.

3. "Get Smart" (1965-70) » "The Nude Bomb" and the 1989 TV movie were not good. Nor was the Steve Carrell-Anne Hathaway reboot. But they were masterpieces compared with the abomination that was the 1995 sequel series starring Andy Dick.

2. "Arrested Development" (2003-2006) » It was never a hit, but this show had a cult following and sold a lot of DVDs. The Netflix revival wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t up to the original.

1. "M*A*S*H" (1972-83) » More than 120 million Americans tuned in to the "M*A*S*H" finale; all were disappointed by the ill-begotten sequel "After-M*A*S*H."

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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