#FlashbackFriday to 10 Terrible Scripted Summer TV Shows

There was a time, long before Peak TV, when broadcast networks all but closed up shop in the summer, forgoing any original programming for a slate of wall-to-wall reruns. As the 1990s drew to a close, and cable TV began to encroach on their turf, execs at the broadcast networks decided it was time to put a little effort into their summer schedules — effort on little. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox (and later The WB) began debuting a handful of scripted shows during the summer months… but only show that were clearly deemed not good enough to make it on the air during the regular season. Today, we take a fond look back at some of those subpar summer TV pioneers — or should we say sacrificial lambs thrown to the hot-weather slaughter?

Roar (Fox, 1997)

A pre 10 Things I Hate About You Heath Ledger starred in this period drama about an Irish warrior fighting to rid his homeland of invading romans. (Premiered July 14, 1997)

(Photo: Alamy)

Holding the Baby (Fox, 1998)

This American remake of a British series starred Jennifer Westfeldt as a grad student hired by a single dad (Jon Patrick Walker) to be a nanny to his infant son. (Premiered August 23, 1998)

(Photo: Everett Collection)

Young Americans (The WB, 2000)

Ostensibly a spinoff of Dawson’s Creek, this soap about boarding school boys and the girls who love them (including Rodney Scott, Katherine Moennig, Mark Famiglietti, Kate Bosworth and Ian Somerhalder) was overshadowed by its invasive Coca-Cola sponsorship and subsequent product placement. (Premiered July 12, 2000)

(Photo: Everett Collection)

The Beast (ABC, 2001)

Rather than turning to cable news during the summer months, ABC hoped viewers would get hooked on this drama about a LA-based news network (starring Wendy Crewson, Naveen Andrews, April Grace, Elizabeth Mitchell, Frank Langella, Jason Gedrick, Peter Reigert and Harriet Sansom Harris). They did not, and the show was canceled after six episodes. (Premeired June 21, 2001)

(Photo: Everett Collection)

She Spies (NBC, 2002)

To be fair, this action series about female criminals-turned-government-agents (Natasha Henstridge, Kristen Miller and Natashia Williams) was always headed for syndication, but NBC did air four episodes during its primetime schedule in an effort to seduce viewers. (Premiered July 12, 2002)

(Photo: MGM TV)

Summerland (The WB, 2004)

Full House star Lori Loughlin co-created and starred in this family drama about a clothing designer who helps raise her orphaned niece and nephew. (Premiered June 1, 2004)

(Photo: Everertt Collection)

Quintuplets (Fox, 2004)

After his short-lived (but much funnier) Fox show Andy Richter Controls the Universe was canceled, the comedian returned for this forgettable summer show about parents raising 5 teenagers. (Premiered June 16, 2004)

(Photo: Everett Collection)

Vanished (Fox, 2007)

Queer as Folk star Gale Harold starred in this conspiracy-filled kidnapping thriller, which saw its order cut from 22 to 13 episodes after disappointing ratings. (Premiered August 21, 2007)

(Photo: Everett Collection)

Hidden Palms (The CW, 2007)

The CW network was only 8 months old when it premiered this Kevin Williamson drama about roubled teens (includingTaylor Handley and Amber Heard) in Palm Springs. Coincidentally, the show lasted just 8 episodes. (Premeired May 30, 2007)

(Photo: Everett Collection)

Swingtown (CBS, 2008)

By far the best of the bad shows on this list, this ’70s set relationship drama had a great cast (including Molly Parker, Jack Davenport, Grant Show and Lana Parrilla), but it never really stood a chance on CBS, home of the crime procedural. (Premiered June 5, 2008)

(Photo: Getty Images)