Fox recently made some pretty drastic announcements in terms of their 2011-2012 TV lineup. They announced that five shows (including fan favorite Lie To Me) have been cancelled. And if you are at all familiar with Fox’s track record when it comes to broadcasting “quality” content, the shows that they cancelled should come as no surprise. Not because they were bad, but because they were too good.
The shows that Fox cancelled include Human Target (an action-drama), Traffic Light (a romantic comedy), Lie to Me (a crime drama), Breaking In (an office-place comedy), and the Chicago Code (another crime drama). No doubt these 5 relatively clever scripted shows were canceled to make room in Fox’s lineup for more mediocre reality shows about singing teens and celebrity couples.
I will admit that some of these cancellations have room for justification. Traffic Light is a half-hearted attempt to recreate the success of other comedies about young singles such as Friends and Seinfeld. The comedic writing just didn’t quite cut it and the show–despite its funny moments–never managed to gain a large enough of a fan base.
And the cancellation of Breaking In (a so-so attempt to recreate the workplace comedic genius of The Office) is also somewhat justifiable. In my opinion TV has been waiting for a good Christian Slater vehicle, I’m just not sure this was it. The show definitely needed more time to develop the characters. Then maybe…
But with Lie to Me, I think that Fox flat out got it wrong. Lie to Me is a dramatic series about a psychologist who is–in essence–a human lie detector. He can read clues in a person’s face, body and voice–very helpful when trying to identify liars in a criminal investigation. This could be such a good show if it was just given time to develop. Tim Roth is a great Cal Lightman, and is really believable in the character. His, second in command, Kelli Williams is perfect as his sidekick and really plays off of Roth’s character and personality well.
Overall, the acting in Lie to Me is very good and the characters are believable and have great chemistry together. The plots of some episodes were a little shaky, but I think that would have worked itself out in the next couple of months if given the time to grow.
Too bad Fox, you got it wrong on this one. Lie to Me could have been a great show.