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Horrible / Live-Action TV

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"In Beverly Hills... they don't throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows."

Sometimes, you just wonder what television executives were thinking when they greenlight shows like these and show others the door before giving them a shot at stardom. These particular programs give new meaning to the term "idiot box".

For more information, Wikipedia has its own list of stinkers, as well as a separate one for sitcoms.

Important Notes:

  1. Merely being offensive in its subject matter isn't enough to justify a work as Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there's a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this. If it has a fandom of any sort, it doesn't belong on this list.
  2. It is not a Horrible TV series just because TV Trash, Alex Meyers, anyone from or formerly associated with Channel Awesome, or any other Caustic Critic reviewed it. There needs to be independent evidence, such as actual critics (emphasis on plural) for example, to list it. (Though once it is listed, they can provide their detailed reviews.)
  3. This page is not for horrible episodes (or even seasons) of otherwise good shows. For those, see DethroningMoment.LiveActionTV and SeasonalRot.LiveActionTV.

Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order by network, then TV show name):

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Scripted Series

    ABC (United States) 
  • 2007's Cavemen stands out as one of the worst concepts for a TV show of all time - a sitcom based on characters in a TV commercial, in this case the cavemen from a series of GEICO ads. This concept already failed when CBS attempted to make a show based on the Freei Baby commercials (Baby Bob; the character was revived for a short while by Quizno's), and fans of The George Lopez Show already had a grudge against it for replacing its timeslot, but those who decided to watch it found it to somehow be even worse than it sounded on paper. The show had already run into trouble after the pilot was screened for critics: those who saw it claimed it was offensive and racist (the cavemen were an obvious stand-in for African-Americans, with the word "magger" seeing frequent use), leading to the show undergoing a significant Retool into a slacker-comedy with the original pilot never seeing the light of day on TV. This helped precisely nothing, as the program was critically savaged right from the beginning due to its weak characters (who have awful, fake Southern accents despite the series being set in California note ), bottom-of-the-barrel "humor" (the "highlight" is when a caveman is told to "keep your penis in your genus"), unnecessary sex scenes with plenty of Fan Disservice, and lame plots. To top it off, some of the offensive material from the original pilot made it into the reshot version! The bad reviews combined with dismal ratings led to only six of the 13 episodes being aired before ABC put it out of its misery, and GEICO themselves poked fun at the series in a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. The Chicago Tribune called it one of the 25 worst TV shows of all time, and TV Guide listed it in their 25 "biggest TV blunders", noting that making a sitcom based on a commercial was a terrible idea to begin with. Here's TV Trash's take on it, and here's also Hats Off Entertainment's review of the unaired pilot and the series.
  • The 2011 remake of Charlie's Angels cast aside the cheesy charm that made the original so iconic in favor of trying to copy the Darker and Edgier tone of modern action TV shows such as 24 and Burn Notice, even going so far as to throw some unnecessary torture scenes in there for good measure. All it did was make the show an inconsistent and confusing mess. There was no character development, and each episode was merely an excuse to show hot chicks walking against Stuff Blowing Up for an hour. Plots were a parade of action movie cliches, and the acting and dialogue were mediocre at best. Overall, it was an expensive flop for ABC, as the critics absolutely savaged it and audiences weren't much kinder; its first season was to last 13 episodes, but only 8 were ever aired, and in some countries the show didn't even last half that. If you're wondering why the property wasn't developed further until 2019, in a nutshell, this is why. Rowdy C tears this apart as a tie-in to 2019's theatrical outing.
  • Clerks. No, not the movie or even the animated series. In 1995, while Kevin Smith was working on Mallrats, Touchstone Television produced a pilot for a Clerks TV show. The problem was that they made it with no creative input from Smith, even rejecting his offer to write a few episodes. As a result, we're given a Cliché Storm sitcom that barely resembles the source material. The first problem was that the original movie, which was so profane that it nearly got an NC-17 rating, was toned down to be TV-14 at worst. The only things it had in common with the movie are that it starred Dante and Randall working at a convenience store and video store (which, by the way, aren't even called Quick Stop and RST Video). The pilot disregards continuity, as Dante and Veronica are still dating, despite having broken up by the end of the movie. Character derailment is also a problem, as Dante, originally the more level-headed of the two clerks, Took a Level in Dumbass so he could learn An Aesop for the episode. Randall, played here by a pre-fame Jim Breuer (who has no kind words about it), was Flanderized into a cartoonish Full House reject. Jay and Silent Bob don't appear in it. Instead, we get a Suspiciously Similar Substitute called Ray (which may or may not have been given a Take That! in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) who regularly tries stealing beer because he's underage, even though the actor looks about the same age as Dante. Kevin Smith openly disowned the show, and Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson, who both unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Dante, expressed relief that they didn't get the part. You can watch it in its entirety here.
  • Galactica 1980. This sequel/spinoff of the original Battlestar Galactica (1978) series eliminated half the cast (including Apollo, Cassiopeia, and Baltar) without explanation, and replaced them with new characters that are not even remotely memorable or likable in the slightest, then attempted to pander to audiences with insipid plots involving a group of space children named "The Super Scouts". Good actors made complete fools of themselves - especially Lorne Greene, who was stuck talking to a child prodigy named Dr. Zee (who was recast with an even worse child actor after the first three-part episode) for most of the run. It featured what could be one of the worst episodes of a science-fiction series ever made, "Spaceball", in which the Super Scouts have to win a baseball game. The creators were forced to write stories that could be marketed to young children and shoehorn environmental messages into each one, mainly since the show was broadcast at 7:30 PM - a dead zone that killed any chance for success even if it had been worth watching. The writers themselves hated it, as every morning they would chant "come on 13" in reference to the highest rating the show could get and still be canned. Glen Larson had to deal with ABC's Standards and Practices, including their demands for more children, which in turn caused an influx of stage moms (the entire sordid story must be read to be believed). Other problems with the show include bad acting and terrible special effects (especially when two of the lead characters are riding on flying motorcycles, but they're very clearly just sitting on motorcycles in front of a green screen), but the show's biggest sin? It killed off the franchise for over 20 years until a reboot made it popular again. Here's TV Trash's review of the disaster.
  • Inhumans was the pet project of controversial Marvel executive Ike Perlmutter. Unfortunately, it became the very first entry in the seemingly-untouchable Marvel Cinematic Universe to be universally despised by those that saw it. Its problems included an abrupt return to a Movie Superheroes Wear Black aesthetic (after the MCU had done so much to make comic-accurate visuals acceptable onscreen); recurring Special Effect Failures in spite of a budget reportedly larger than any other Marvel series; and most of all, some of the most shameless Protagonist-Centered Morality in recent memory: The Designated Heroes are the ruling family of an Inhuman colony on the moon, who enforce an oppressive caste system that condemns those born with less-than-flashy superpowers to backbreaking labor while the chosen few live in luxury. The Designated Villain Maximus is a victim of the caste system and wants it gone, but we're supposed to root against him because of this. Instead of giving more heroic traits to the Inhumans and/or having them acknowledge that the caste system is a bad thing, the show pins several villainous acts on Maximus; thus, Rooting for the Empire is pointless when everyone is terrible. All those weaknesses together make up for the nadir of what was already a huge Audience-Alienating Era for the comic book franchise, which only sank the property into irrelevance. Long story short, Inhumans was cancelled after one season, the Inhumans were devalued in the comics, and series also marked the beginning of the end for Marvel Television and its contributions to the MCU. The Blockbuster Buster tears it down in a 2 parter.
  • Life with Lucy. No, not I Love LucyLife with Lucy. This 1986 Lucille Ball comedy series was supposed to be a smash success, but instead became one of the biggest critical and commercial flops of the 1980s. Why? Well, ABC gave complete creative control to Ball, who was 75 years old at the time of production — a risky move because advertisers prefer viewers under 49, and the show led off the night against The Facts of Life on NBC in a timeslot that ABC had little success in. The plot, with Ball's character helping out at a California hardware store, was painfully slow and just not funny. The show finished almost dead-last in the season's rankings, and Ball was reportedly so devastated by its failure that she gave up production on any more television projects. Quite a pity, given that she died three years after the show was cancelled. As pointed out by the book What Were They Thinking? The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History, part of the reason for the series' failure is that it tried to recreate the physical stunts of I Love Lucy when Ball was in her seventies. Watching her try to do those stunts didn't so much inspire laughter as it did fear for her safety. Supposedly, the idea of incorporating slapstick was made by an executive who firmly believed that fans would want some of the classic gags I Love Lucy was known for. You can watch TV Trash reviewing the show here.
  • McGurk: A Dog's Life, a 1979 ABC half-hour "comedy" that only had the pilot aired before being cancelled. It starred Barney Martin (a.k.a. Morty Seinfeld) as a fat old dog named McGurk. All the cast wore the finest kindergarten-play-quality dog suits while a laugh track brayed over painful quips about those classic '70s topics like health food, Glen Campbell, joggers, and steel-belted radials. In an attempt to widen the demographics, the dogs next door were made "sexy" in a deeply disturbing and anatomically-improbable way. Representative dialog: "Your lips told me no-no, but there was yes-yes in your tail." The human characters were not seen and spoke in Peanuts-style gibberish. The climax featured dancing dogs and a twist that would make M. Night Shyamalan cry.
  • In The '70s, several British television programmes were successfully brought overseas to America, but Snavely was not one of them. The first of three unsuccessful American adaptations of Fawlty Towers, this pilot, which starred Harvey Korman as Henry Snavely a.k.a. Basil Fawlty minus the rudeness and Betty White as his wife Gladys, aired a grand total of once during the summer of 1978 – even before series 2 of Fawlty Towers aired on BBC2 – and it isn't hard to see why. Of its many, many flaws, it showcases one Dull Surprise after another, particularly from both Korman and White, and Unfortunate Implications arise because the writers apparently made a "Blind Idiot" Translation of Manuel into an Albanian refugee named Petro. Even when it wants to be a Shot for Shot Remake of both "The Hotel Inspectors" and "The Germans," it fails miserably, with many of the reactions being caught too late compared to the rapid-fire responses of Basil to the other characters. It currently holds a 4.4/10 on IMDB, and although it wasn't a Genre-Killer, most American adaptations of British programmes (apart from Three's a Crowd, an American version of Robin's Nest and the sequel to Three's Company) would struggle until The Office (US) in 2005. Jack Wolf, who has also critiqued Amanda's, based on the same subject, takes a strict beating at Snavely here.
  • The Tammy Grimes Show, aired on ABC in 1966, starred Grimes as an heiress with plots focusing on how much she loved to spend money. 10 episodes were produced, but only four aired, to unanimously negative reviews and weak ratings, before it was canned and replaced by a nighttime version of The Dating Game. This quick cancellation was rather unusual at the time, where series would usually get at least a 13-episode season before being pulled for low ratings note  - reportedly, ABC never wanted to air the show but was forced to by sponsor Bristol-Meyers. More details can be found here. Fun fact: one of her co-stars was Richard Sargent, the original other Darrin.
  • Turn-On was a Totally Radical sketch "comedy" program on ABC in 1969. Inspired and produced by some of the same people who made the actual hit show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, it took everything in that show and turned it up to eleven. It was canned before the premiere had finished its half-hour run, though most of the ABC stations at least let it finish running. note  It tried to be psychedelic and just the sort of thing the young 'uns would dig (something television as a medium has never been good at) and surreal (which it perhaps succeeded at too well), along with being more openly sexual than shows normally got back then (which was the reason why TV executives and censors hated the show and wanted it to die). Here's the long-lost pilot.note 
  • Work It, ABC's 2012 cross-dressing comedy about two men who pretend to be women to get jobs at a pharmaceutical company that only employs women, was critically savaged from the word "go". The writing was filled to the brim with bottom-of-the-barrel humor that failed to impress. Its attempts at gender satire lack consistency and come across as out-of-date and resentful towards women. Thankfully, it was canned after two episodes (thirteen episodes were ordered overall). It was so bad, it broke IGN's rating scale, "earning" a zero out of ten. Most other publications, such as USA Today and The A.V. Club, were just as scathing. As put in Full Frontal with Samantha Bee':
    Samantha Bee: ABC asked, "Will Bosom Buddies work in 2012"? America answered..."No."

    The ABC (Australia) 
  • Dog's Head Bay was a 1999 Australian television series about a high-flying criminal lawyer who purchases a weekender in Dog's Head Bay thinking it will become the next yuppie retreat, but fails to attract any customers. When all of his assets are seized when he becomes the subject of a police investigation, he and his family are forced to move to the Bay because the holiday house is in his wife's name and so still available. Here they are forced to socialize with the local rabble, including his wife's family, in what should have been a typical Slobs vs. Snobs plot. Instead what was produced was one of the most desperately unfunny 'sitcoms' ever seen on Australian TV. On paper, it is easy to see how this show got greenlit, as it was co-written by Australia's most prominent playwright David Williamson. However, those commissioning the show failed to consider that Williamson had never written for television before, and so had no idea how to write for the medium. Additionally, Williamson's plays are biting social commentaries overlaid with a heavy vein of Black Comedy: hardly the stuff of a light and frothy half-hour Dom Com. Over the course of one and a half to two hours, the unsympathetic characters in Williamson's dramas will gradually draw out the audience's sympathy. Crammed into a half-hour, they remain resolutely unsympathetic. The central characters are an Amoral Attorney and his Social Climber wife, while their primary foils are a shrill NIMBY and her Extreme Doormat husband. Issues would start to be explored in an episode, then be hurriedly cut short and wrapped up in time for a final 'joke', so nothing is ever resolved. A talented cast was left with nothing to do. One of the stars was Shane Withington, who later called the show "the worst piece of television in the history of Australia". Tellingly, the program has never been repeated or issued on any kind of home media.

    BBC (United Kingdom) 
  • Big Top was a hideous 2009 sitcom set in a circus. It was heavily cross-promoted by a bunch of people well aware how bad it was (in an article about sitcom writing on Radio 4, when the expert was asked to link it back to this show, she even admitted it wasn't funny) and drew criticism for being excruciatingly unfunny with lazy stock jokes (a clown… that makes children cry!) and starring a heavily Botoxed and facially immobile Amanda Holden as the main character. Its only redeeming feature was Tony Robinson somehow managing some genuine laughs with the lame material he got, and even then there are much better places to find Robinson in action. It was happily canned after one series and still frequently makes "worst sitcom" lists. Frantic Planet author and blogger Stuart Millard covers it here as part of his "Shitcoms" series.
  • Chinese Burn, a BBC3 sitcom written by and about Chinese women living in London. It was supposedly intended to break down stereotypes about Chinese people, but was full of exaggerated accents and jokes about small penises or eating dogs. Despite being aired in 2017, when the #MeToo movement was gaining traction, a character being pressured into sleeping with her boss was played for cheap laughs - not even clever Black Comedy. There was also criticism over the fact that rather than commission new work from British Chinese writers, the BBC had chosen to invest in this show whose creators were expats born and raised in Asia. Their response to the criticism was to delete all negative comments on social media. The poor reaction to the pilot resulted in its not being picked up for a full series.
  • On paper, adapting Winston Churchill's four-volume A History of the English-Speaking Peoples into the 1974-75 miniseries Churchill's People seemed like a winning formula for a big dramatic prestige project. In practice, the books focus far more on political and military minutiae than on narrative,note  forcing the writers to invent their own characters and stories to bring key moments in the history of Britain and its former colonies to life. As almost every episode had a different writer and a different director, the quality of the scripts varied hugely (with many characters speaking almost entirely in Info Dump monologues), as did the quality of the performances despite the veritable "who's who" of acting talent across the series.note  But by far the worst problem was the tiny budget (slashed as a result of the energy crisis to just £1.25 million for 26 episodes), which forced the episodes to be shot entirely on cheap studio sets, even for outdoor scenes. The result was a series that was both suffocatingly dull and embarrassingly low grade. Critics had their knives out immediately; The Sunday Telegraph described it as "a co-production disaster"note  that "not only sounds like a school's radio programme, it looks like it too," while Nancy Banks-Smith in The Guardian described it as having "little to offer us but blood, horsehair, and history. Though a hell of a lot of each." Though it was originally scheduled for Mondays at 9:25pm, rapidly plummeting audience figures (down to a pathetic 1 million by Episode 9) forced the BBC to cut their losses by putting Kojak in the time slot instead and burning off the rest of Churchill's People in a graveyard slot. It has never been repeated or released on DVD.
  • David Croft was a defining name of the 1970s comedy— Dad's Army and It Ain't Half Hot, Mum with Jimmy Perry, Are You Being Served? with Jeremy Lloyd... and, mind-bogglingly, Come Back Mrs. Noah, also with Lloyd, and also starring Mollie Sugden. The premise: 21st-century housewife Gertrude Noah tours a space station after winning a magazine competition, only for a succession of failures to launch the station into orbit with her, roving reporter Clive Cunliffe (Dad's Army's Ian Lavender), mathematicians Carstairs and Fanshaw (It Ain't Half Hot, Mum's Donald Hewlett and Michael Knowles), and light bulb changer Garstang (Joe Black) aboard to keep it running until a rescue operation can be mounted. Spoof news reports from a pre-'Allo 'Allo! Gorden Kaye opened each episode. The jokes, such as they were, were mostly recycled from the above shows, especially the more sophomoric of AYBS?'s sight gags. The outrageously strange and cheaply made props and sets did little to divert attention from the thin scripts. It lasted one series (six episodes), critics tearing it to shreds all the while. Come Back Mrs. Noah holds the dishonour of being the only non-ITV sitcom in the "20 worst British sitcoms" list (#13) in Mark Lewisohn's 2003 edition of The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy, and one of two Mollie Sugden vehicles present. It remains a fixture of assorted newspaper, magazine, and website "worst sitcom" lists, with The Daily Telegraph's Ben Lawrence ranking it the second worst British sitcom of all time in 2015. Frantic Planet author and blogger Stuart Millard posted a detailed review as part of his "Shitcoms" series.
  • In 2009, James Corden and Mathew Horne were riding high as the stars (and in Corden's case co-writer) of the critically acclaimed sitcom Gavin & Stacey. What could have gone wrong by giving them their own sketch comedy show, Horne & Corden? Everything. Sketch after sketch relied on the fact that Corden was fat and had a wobbly stomach (that was the joke), with other sketches featuring Mathew Horne as a gay war reporter who was scared of war (that was the joke) or the pair teaching school children how to draw a penis on a blackboard (that was the joke). There was absolutely no attempt to develop any situations beyond the basic premise, which left just a load of puerile references to body parts and Corden's flab. The critical hostility was overwhelming, and declining audience figures led to the second series being cancelled. Corden himself stated in retrospect that he didn't know how to write a sketch show and was not good enough to pull it off.
  • Mad About Alice, a 2004 sitcom about a divorced couple forced to work together for the sake of their young son. The show was flat, tedious and predictable, with its thoroughly obvious plot (the characters beginning to wonder whether they still had feelings for each other) being treated as something shocking and original. What pushed it over the line was the publicity hype given to the show before it aired and the decision to cast Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakston, better known for their controversial private lives than their chops as comedy actors, in the lead roles; both demonstrated no sense of comic timing or delivery. This led to widespread mockery from both viewers and the public, with all critical reviews negative, and many commentators stating that the show's only redeeming quality was the Fanservice scenes involving Holden and another actress. It was cancelled after its first season (thankfully consisting of just six episodes) and continues to make "worst TV" or "worst sitcom" lists in the UK.
  • The Melting Pot was a sitcom that aired on BBC1 in 1975... and ended the same night it premiered, joining the long list of shows canceled after one episode. The show was written by Spike Milligan, and starred him as a Pakistani illegal immigrant who tries to adjust to life in the titular district in London. Upon its premiere, the show was met with universal outrage for its Unfortunate Implicationsinvoked and at times, outright racism - however, just as many people complained that the show was just plain not funny. The show is so bad that even the executives at the BBC like to pretend it didn't exist, and it also effectively ended Milligan's career.
  • The Royal Bodyguard was a vehicle for David Jason, beloved as a star of Only Fools and Horses and Open All Hours. He played the incompetent head of security at a car park in Buckingham Palace, who saves the Queen from an assassination attempt and is promoted to royal bodyguard. The production team apparently thought that having a famous name in the lead guaranteed a hit, so they didn't bother to put any effort into the script, and ended up with an excruciatingly unfunny parade of slapstick cliches. Having Jason as the lead actually backfired, since fans of his earlier work felt that he deserved a far better show. Jason being 71 years old made it a difficult suspension of belief that he'd be hired as a bodyguard, and caused a similar problem as Life With Lucy: the wacky stunts he'd done in past roles suddenly became a lot less funny when an older person tried to do them (there's a reason Granville left most of such stunts to the younger Leroy in Still Open All Hours, the distant sequel to Open All Hours which was made after Bodyguard tanked; apparently, Jason learned from this show's mistakes). Jason himself described the show's comedy as "safe", but critics and the public were nowhere near so polite. (One critic suggested that the reason the BBC had chosen to broadcast the first episode on Boxing Day was because they knew that many viewers would be drunk.) Viewing figures dropped sharply and the show was axed after six episodes.

  • Douglas Mair's failed attempt to adapt The Railway Series - officially named The Three Railway Engines after the series' first book but commonly called The Sad Story of Henry after the only episode ever broadcast - was never recorded, but correspondence between the BBC and series author the Reverend Wilbert Awdry, a memo from the BBC Controller of Programmes calling it "pathetic", and contemporary news articles all paint a picture of a complete and utter trainwreck, never mind it making front-page news over a murder trial. It was broadcast live, and since this was 1953, the technology Mair needed to make it work with a model rail either hadn't been invented yet, was excessively complicated for a children's programme, or was too expensive. Mair simply had too much to deal with - superimposed rain (which was a plot point), live narration from a freely adapted script, and a Hornby OO-gauge model railway. Said railway was two thirds of the reason it went so wrong - the BBC clearly did not take railway modelling seriously as a hobby, as they appointed somebody who had no skill at it and later expressed regret that they didn't hire a child instead. Thus, the models moved jerkily, and some even derailed, one having to be put back on in front of the camera. With Awdry, the Railway Series editor Eric Marriott, and the latter's family watching. Announcer Noelle Middleton was forced to repeatedly go off-script to cover for the operator's mistakes. Even Awdry called them out for this in particular. The BBC postponed - and ultimately canceled - the rest of the series, as Awdry was now reluctant to have his work adapted at all. Further attempts by the BBC to televise Reverend Awdry's stories amounted to them being read on Jackanory, and it would be another 31 years until it went any further than that—this could've outright killed the legendary franchise before it could even start. Read about Mair's disaster, and other adaptation attempts, here.
  • Triangle was a 1980s soap opera set on board a ferry that sailed a "triangular" route between Felixstowe, Gothenburg and Amsterdam. It was known for horrible sets, cliché storylines and stilted dialogue that made it a subject of regular public mockery, including on The Young Ones and by Terry Wogan on his radio show. The final nail in the show's coffin was the production problems associated with filming on location at sea, such as lighting, power supply, and rough seas playing havoc with the then-new Electronic Field Production technique. note  All of these technical flaws were very apparent in the finished product; and the grim North Seas weather put paid to any hopes of glamor, instead making the ferry and surroundings look exactly as shabby as they were. The show dragged on for three years before being cancelled and was an expensive flop for the BBC, also taking down the careers of some of the cast. Triangle regularly appears in shows and articles about embarrassingly bad TV, and in 2010 was voted third worst in a poll of the worst British television shows ever; it's infamous for a scene in the first episode where Kate O'Mara sunbathes topless on the deck of the ferry, even though she's clearly freezing cold and it's raining. When even The Young Ones makes jokes about how cheap your sets' furnishings are, you know your show's in trouble.
  • In 1971, Peter Cook was riding high with his comedy show Not Only... But Also when he was offered his own vehicle with full creative control. Foolishly, he decided to do a combination chat show, sketch comedy, and music show, entitled Where Do I Sit?. The premiere had Peter interviewing S. J. Perelman, who just sat in his seat yawning while Peter couldn't think of anything to ask. An interview with Kirk Douglas featured an inebriated Peter asking Kirk "Who are you?" followed by a long, awful silence. The show also featured the unedifying sight of Peter ripping into an audience member who had complained about a sketch he had performed and phoning up a viewer at home who had pondered whether Peter was on drugs (the call took over five minutes as the person was in the bath). Peter also insisted on performing a song in each show, and he was a notoriously bad singer. The show managed to last three episodes, after which it was canned and the tapes wiped.
  • The Wright Way, a 2013 sitcom by Ben Elton that was lambasted on Twitter and widely panned by critics. The main character and much of the "comedy" were recycled from The Thin Blue Line, ignoring the fact that it was 20 years old and hadn't been well-received in itself. The premise (an uptight health and safety inspector who dictates the lives of his family and colleagues) somehow managed to both reinforce Elton's unpopular public image as a humorless, overly politically correct left-winger, and come across as a desperate attempt to pander to right-wingers who are opposed to anything more than the most basic health and safety laws. The show lurched between jokes that would have been hackneyed in Elton's 80s heyday, and cringe-inducing attempts to be modern (a character whose catchphrase was "OMG, that is SO a YouTube moment!"), the same "hilarious" monologue about chest/scrotum-waxing was repeated almost verbatim in every episode, and visual gags were handily pointed out for the viewer, just in case they didn't get it. In particular, the show was noted for its over-reliance on penis jokes and Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. No one was sorry when it was abruptly cancelled after one season.

    Canvas (Belgium) 
  • In 1989, Canvas (then known as BRTN TV2) broadcast the "philosophical" talk show Container, one of the worst of its kind. It was absolutely incomprehensible if you weren't an intellectual, and despised by intellectuals themselves for encompassing every single negative stereotype about them. Both the guests and the host barely knew what they were talking about and shared their ideas right on the spot, trying to hide their cluelessness by quoting art critics, reviewing paintings, and showing film clips, which only made the viewer feel dumber. Tellingly, critics compared the show to conversations in a café, while later ones called it an example of Reality TV. While there were plenty of shows panned for appealing to the Lowest Common Denominator on competitor VTM, which launched in February of the same year, this show was so bad that it caused many debates about whether or not a show like it should be allowed to air on television, with even those who would allow it to be shown agreeing that it was crap. It got to the point that thesis papers were written about it. It was ultimately cancelled after 10 episodes; only the very first episode survives today, because national art movement CoBrA insisted on preserving an episode as a purely historical curiosity. It can be viewed on their official website together with all the negative criticism the show received just below it.

    Cartoon Network (United States) 
  • Out of all the shoddy live-action series made for Cartoon Network's infamous CN Real block (created to try to compete with Nickelodeon and Disney Channel), many agree that its absolute low point was Dude, What Would Happen?. The premise is that its three in-your-face Totally Radical hosts are asked a question and attempt to answer it through an experiment à la MythBusters... but minus that whole "scientific process" thing. Instead of old wives' tales or questions kids might actually ask, they ponder things such as what sticks to peanut butter on an inclined surface longer (one of the tested substances was more peanut butter), if covering a piano in deflated basketballs would make it bounce, or what would happen if you popped the world's biggest zit. Instead of answering anything, they would just use the question as an excuse to do something stupid for the sake of doing something stupidnote  in the vein of MTV's Jackass, only with everything played without the slightest hint of irony or self-awareness. Despite terrible ratings and an overwhelming negative response from the viewers, Cartoon Network apparently thought that the show had potential and promoted it to the extreme — not only using the guys from the show for their Stop Bullying, Speak Out commercials and frequently having them host special network events long after the death of CN Real, but keeping Dude on the air with the same treatment for two years.
  • Out of Jimmy's Head has gone down in history as one of Cartoon Network's most hated original programs, and is considered the start of the network's Network Decay. The series, based on a CN original movie entitled Re-Animated, revolves around a teen named Jimmy Roberts, who is an Extreme Doormat constantly exploited by his friends and others at school. One day, after he somehow gets hit by a train in a public location in a Walt Disney World Expy, he has to have a Brain Transplant and it just so happens he receives the brain of the park's founder Milt Appleday — which inexplicably gives him the power to see the cartoons Appleday created, who help him through his everyday junior high life. It wasn't completely without potential... but sadly, they didn't even see the good that could come out of it. The acting is wooden, most of the characters are unlikable, the animated characters are cheaply superimposed over the scenes, and the Laugh Track is especially overused and out-of-place since the series is mostly an attempt to emulate Kid Coms like Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. The series was canned after only 20 episodes as the network used the 2007 Writers' Strike to end it without much fan anguish, and gained a hatedom the size of the Empire State Building, "earning" a 2.1 IMDb rating. Cartoon Network seem ashamed of it as well, as they never put it out on DVD outside of Re-Animated and never aired it again, with much of the series being lost media. Sadly, they didn't learn from their mistakes and this show is probably what paved the way for other later live-action "CN Real" shows like the aforementioned Dude, What Would Happen?. It doesn't help that it was directed by the same person who made Son of the Mask. Watch what The Mysterious Mr. Enter had to say about Re-Animated for what was his 150th Animated Atrocities video and then the show itself three years later. PIEGUYRULZ also discusses both Re-Animated and Out of Jimmy's Head with fellow YouTubers Cosmodore and MonstersReview here. And here's The Rowdy Reviewer's take, who was also convinced that it was a ploy by CN to sabotage their animation business as well as animation in general.

    CBC (Canada) 
  • Delilah was CBC's first primetime sitcom, airing from 1973-74. By all accounts, it was also their worst. The plot revolved around a young woman named Delilah, played by Terry Tweed, who moves into a small town from a major Canadian city and becomes the owner of a barbershop, in the process becoming the town's first female barber. The series was slammed by many in the Canadian press for being poorly-written and unfunny, most notably by Toronto Star critic Jim Bawden, who reported a total absence of laughter from the studio audience during filming of one episode. In fact, the show was one of several flops produced by CBC during the early 1970s, when the network was experiencing something of an Audience-Alienating Era due to a lack of quality control among its creative staff. In the end, Delilah was cancelled after only a single season, a rarity in those days due to Canadian content regulations requiring all Canadian networks to have a certain amount of locally-produced content.
  • Not My Department was a short-lived sitcom from 1987 that starred Harry Ditson and Shelley Peterson. The show was Canada's attempt at having their own Yes, Minister, and focused on the Department of Regional Incentive Targets, a fictional department of the Canadian government that inherits files that other departments can't be bothered to deal with. The show was criticized for being flat, excruciatingly slow-paced, unfunny, and being rife with several Unfortunate Implicationsinvoked - one in particular being a character who claims he learned French from a Quebec TV programme and attempts to use it in political meetings, instead accidentally hitting on people from across the room. There was more than just that, though: it was also known for its misogynistic treatment of female politicians, cheap shots taken at people in the government, overuse of Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness and also, despite its misogynistic and cheaply hateful content, simultaneously furthering Canada's already unpopular image at the time of being overly politically correct. The show was axed after six episodes - something that was rare for the time, as back then shows in Canada usually were to run their full seasons. The ratings started off abysmal and only got worse over time, and private affiliates were so embarrassed by it that they either threw it on in the dead of night or just couldn't even be bothered to air it.

    CBS (United States) 
  • Coming to America, based on the 1988 film of the same name, was a pilot for a proposed sitcom. It aired on the Fourth of July in 1989 on CBS as part of the network's Summer Playhouse pilot anthology series. The purposed series followed the adventures of Akeem's (Eddie Murphy's character from the film) mischievous brother, Tariq (played by Tommy Davidson) in Queens, New York. The pilot mostly excises the raunchy, satirical comedy of the film in favor of a bland and generic family sitcom formula. The character interactions feel less like a proper follow-up to Coming to America so much as it is a second rate Perfect Strangers or a proto-Family Matters, with Tariq being Steve Urkel to his landlord, Carl Mackey's Carl Winslow. If there aren't countless '80s pop culture references being shoehorned in (including Eddie Murphy's movies), or a prototypical Failure Montage of Tariq and his assistant Oha (played by Paul Bates, who reprised his role from the film) working at a diner, there are supremely uncomfortable jokes about Africans eating insects. Tommy Davidson's comedic style is lost in the shuffle, as he attempts to imitate Eddie Murphy's Pollyanish Akeem while interjecting his own high concept stage persona, complete with random impressions of Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. The pilot even has a Sentimental Music Cue, when Tariq learns about the value of hard work. A 2020 oral history of the pilot by Bonsu Thompson would pin the blame of the pilot's failure squarely on the shoulders of its showrunner and writer Ken Hecht. Hecht reportedly did not take any suggestions from the production team and wanted to make the proposed Coming to America sitcom as much like other '80s shows (such as Diff'rent Strokes and Webster) as possible. Tommy Davidson would also write that Ken Hecht came from the golden age of comedy, where he knew about the setup, joke, joke, and another joke but didn't have a feel for Eddie Murphy's style of comedy nor a feel for Black pride. Davidson added that Eddie Murphy, despite being listed as an executive producer, never visited the set.

    Comedy Network (Canada) 
  • House Party (not to be confused with the 1990 film nor the video game of the same name), was a 2008 Canadian comedy series that was mercifully short-lived and ran for just six episodes. The premise consisted of an already run-into-the-ground premise (some kid's parents go away for the weekend, so he holds a house party and trouble ensues), which was run into the ground even further. The acting was painful and elementary-level at best, the lighting was extremely poor (at times the bottom half of the frame would be much higher lit than the top), the camera work was boring, and the jokes were so painfully unfunny that at times the show was emotionally draining to watch. To give you a taste, one excruciatingly unfunny joke that happened in all six episodes was a girl going around asking everyone at the party if they wanted to try her potato chip dip. Another joke had jocks convincing the protagonist that his cat could talk. The show has been re-aired very few times since, and those re-airings were limited to dead of night airings.
  • PopCultured was a 2005 attempt to play Follow the Leader with the likes of The Colbert Report and other satirical newscast shows that were getting popular at the time. The show was hosted by stand-up comedian Elvira Kurt and the idea was to make fun of celebrity gossip headlines done as a newscast. Interesting idea, right? In theory, yes, but the execution was absolutely dreadful. For one, Kurt had zero screen presence as a host and made every "joke" in the same tone of voice, which got old very fast. Most of the "jokes" were barely anything but- they mostly consisted of Kurt reading a headline about a certain celebrity, then trash talking them. In fact, here's one of the better remembered "jokes": "Martha Stewart was seen shopping yesterday for the first time since her release from jail. Hey Martha Stewart, GO TO HELL!!!". The show also had a lot of unbearable and poorly acted "skits" from unknown wannabe Toronto comedians, and let's just say it's probably for the better they were unknown. The show was widely panned by both audiences and critics, both for its overly mean spirited and vulgar atmosphere, and for just plain not being funny. The show was also notable for being canceled after its poor ratings after one season- 2005-2008 is often considered to be the nadir of the Can Con (Canadian Content) law where 40% of content broadcast in Canada needs to be Canadian. Meaning, a Canadian show needs to be especially bad for it to only last a single season. The show also perpetuated The Comedy Network's then unpopular image as being a dumping ground for shows made solely to fulfill said law's quota. But you don't need to take our word for it- endure this full episode of the show, if you dare.

    CTV (Canada) 
  • The Trouble with Tracy is thought to have been made just to fulfill a then-financially-unsteady CTV's quota for Canadian content. There's certainly no other justification for this 130-episode 1970s sitcom, which went on for six months due to a desperate attempt by CTV to recoup their investments. Due to a severe lack of time and money, they couldn't shoot on-location, build convincing sets, or even retake scenes. The scripts were, for the most part, recycled from the 1930-45 radio series Easy Aces, with a few topical references (such as Tracy's deadbeat hippie brother) shoehorned in. The show currently has a 3.8 rating on IMDb, and this clip of the show rightfully labels it as the "Worst Sitcom Ever". People (mostly men) who do remember it at all fondly do so for the star Diane Nyland, not for any acting ability she may have had but for her revealing wardrobe (to the point that Wikipedia memorably described Tracy as being "played by Diane Nyland in a miniskirt" for many years). In that sense, the combination of hackneyed, stale sitcom plots and the female lead in skimpy clothing presage the Jiggle Show trend from later in the decade very nicely.

    Cuatro (Spain) 
  • In spite of somehow, someway, scoring cameos from the likes of Shakira and Ricky Martin, critical consensus had it that Dreamland just wasn't any good. Premiered over two years after it was finished, it featured an unoriginal story set in a summer course at a performance arts school purely as the background for a number of song and dance sequences that went by with barely any continuity or connection between them. Most reviewers agreed that, while most of these routines were solid at the very least, they took up so much time to hide the poor acting and the nonsensical plot. Critic Jesús Travieso described it as "a long and very bad music video". It's no longer available on Cuatro's website partly because of a dispute between the network and creator Frank Ariza that would end up in court years later.

    Fox (United States) 
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventuresnote , a 1992 series adapted from the 1989 movie. It spent a year in The Shelf of Movie Languishment; during that time, Alex Winter (who played Bill in the movies) went on The Arsenio Hall Show and declared, "It stinks, ladies and gentlemen". It featured wooden acting, very poor scripts, and completely unnecessary Teen Drama plots. Fox pulled it after seven episodes. Chris Moore of TV Trash stated it was "totally bogus!"
  • The Chevy Chase Show, which lasted for five fabulous weeks in 1993, is one of the most notorious failures in late night talk show history. Fox not only signed Chevy Chase to a three million dollar contract, but they went so far as to buy Hollywood's Aquarius Theater, which had previously hosted Star Search, and renamed it the Chevy Chase Theater.note  Chase got a lavish set that included a giant fish tank with live fish inside (which was reportedly very difficult to maintain). Unfortunately, the show was completely dead on arrival. It was clear from his Deer in the Headlights look during the first monologue that Chevy was way out of his depth doing a) stand-up comedy and b) hosting a show like this altogether, though he still had the nerve to spend a good chunk of it putting down David Letterman — this after the show was advertised with print ads of Chevy with Letterman's signature gap-tooth, with the tagline "Ready to Fill the Late Night Gap." The show's material was criticized for being derivative of Chevy's old shtick, with even the Weekend Update-style bits carried over from Saturday Night Live only providing a brief respite, and bizarre sketches inspired by Chevy's comedy hero Ernie Kovacs failing to generate many laughs. The interviews were excruciatingly awkward, and a visible struggle for notoriously antisocial Chevy, unless they were someone he was already friends with, like Dan Aykroyd. Supposedly, after the first episode aired, Johnny Carson personally called Chevy and said "not as easy as it looks, is it?" The show killed Fox's attempts to get in on the late night talk show game, and alongside Vegas Vacation also killed Chevy's career until Community. As a final insult, the theater went back to being the Aquarius Theater within days of the final episode. Hats Off Entertainment did a video on the subject.
  • dads. Despite the popularity of Seth Green and Brenda Song, this 2013 series filmed before a Studio Audience was a huge flop. Everyone in the series overacts horribly (leaving space between shouted lines for the canned laughter). Jokes were impressively weak, and multiple characters are nothing more than one-note stereotypes (Eli is a short guy, his father's a crotchety miserly Jew, Edna's Hispanic, etc.). IMDb users rated the series a middling 5.5, but the Metacritic audience response was much harsher (15 out of 100 from critics, and 3.7 out of 10 from users). The series was cancelled before the first season finished, and while later episodes were eventually aired online, fan response was so nonexistent that news of such things weren't posted on the episode listing on The Other Wiki or IMDb for weeks.
  • In an attempt to bring the ratings gold of MTV's The Osbournes to network TV, FOX created Osbournes: Reloaded, a Variety Show starring the first family of metal. The premiere consisted of a guy being tricked into kissing an elderly woman blindfolded, a "randomly-selected" audience member given the prize of marriage to his longtime girlfriend (they were married on-air), painfully long and unfunny sketches with little kids dressed as Ozzy and Sharon (the joke is that they swear) and Ozzy and Kelly working in fast food. The show was canned after one episode, although multiple affiliates either refused to air it or threw it on in the dead of night.
  • That '80s Show, a spin-off to the hugely popular That '70s Show that was cancelled after only one season. The show's main problem was that it had no link whatsoever to That '70s Show; none of the characters or actors were involved. note  The daring stuff that made That '70s Show so notable was absent, as were any likable and identifiable characters. It was a bland middle-of-the-road sitcom where the one-dimensional protagonists mostly made cheap and random references to 1980s pop culture. After a few episodes, Fox started changing the intended chronological order of the episodes, but it was already too late. None of the fans of That '70s Show liked it, and newcomers weren't particularly interested either. The only remotely interesting thing about this show is that three actors on it would later be seen on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Glenn Howerton note , Charlie Day note , and Brittany Daniel note . Here's Brad Jones putting himself through it. Rowdy C of TV Trash points out everything wrong here.

    Fox News (United States) 

    Galaxy (United Kingdom) 
  • Heil Honey I'm Home!: A sitcom (yes, a sitcom) about Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun living next door to a Jewish family. They apparently tried to kill the Jewish family every week, but the Jewish family remained blissfully unaware of Hitler's treachery. Ironically, this was conceived as a parody of terrible sitcoms - the pilot tries to spoof the old "my boss is coming to dinner" plot with Neville Chamberlain - but unfortunately it ended up becoming the very thing it tried to parody. Humor is almost nonexistent, the main concept's played straight, Hitler's no different than any other sitcom husband, and his attempt at a catchphrase is the incredibly stupid "I'm a very, very bad Hitler!" One of the strangest things ever seen on TV, it appealed to nobody and hasn't been aired in its entirety on network television since, although the pilot episode is readily available online. Six episodes were filmed, but only one aired. Ben Lawrence of The Daily Telegraph ranked it at #8 on his 2015 "10 worst British sitcoms ever made" list, saying "The brilliance of the title couldn't make up for the chronic bad taste of this series." Brad Jones' DVD-R Hell review of the pilot is here and TV Trash ripped it right here.

    Global (Canada) 
  • Train 48 was a horrific soap opera that ran for 318 sorry episodes from 2003-05. A very loosely-based remake of the Australian TV series Going Home (which itself was short-lived, but at least well-received), the show depicted the lives of 12 commuters from Burlington, Ontario on their way home from work in Toronto via GO Train (the main method of transport for people from small boroughs going to the city in Ontario). The show's gimmick was that it was (sort of) written, filmed, edited, and aired in the same day, like the show it's based upon. However, whereas Going Home was aired late at night, the big problem was that Train 48 was to be aired in the evening, and was also filmed on a replica GO Train. This meant that the writers could only write small portions of the episodes and had to leave the rest to the actors to improvise. This wouldn't have been a problem if it wasn't so amateurishly done and, quite frankly, painfully dull. The improvisation (if that's what it was supposed to be) was painfully obvious, and the actors completely lacked what it took to even remotely make the improv work. The show's filming on an actual train caused numerous problems, as Jittercam caused the show to be impossible to watch at times, and the actors' dialogue often got drowned out by the excruciatingly loud engines. As the show went on, it would increasingly rely on cheap Vulgar Humor and unusual plots such as a shooting and snakes getting released on the train. As if that wasn't enough, it even had blatant Product Placement for Canadian jeanswear brand Warehouse One. By far the biggest complaint among viewers was that it was never established where the train was going, which resulted in the final scene of the series showing the passengers stepping off the train in Burlington.

    The show limply dragged on for two years (likely only to fulfill CanCon laws) before abruptly being put out of its misery, and proved to be an immensely expensive flop for Global, as each episode cost $40,000 - certainly not a cheap feat for a show where each episode lasted a mere half-hour. It was mercilessly lambasted by both critics and audiences for being painfully dull, poorly written, and frequently featuring plots that went off the rails. It also found itself on the receiving end of public mockery from far superior shows such as This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Rick Mercer Report. The show consistently makes it onto "Worst Canadian Shows" lists and also did irreversible damage to the Canadian soap opera. Watch an episode here, if you dare. You could say it was a trainwreck.

    HRT (Croatia) 
  • Hit Show Marka Tolje (The Hit Show with Marko Tolja) was an unbelievable attempt to slap together a modern satire talk show. The host was a competent musician, but had no hosting experience whatsoever, nor a sufficiently sophisticated sense of humour for such a format, nor any spontaneity. As a result, the host kept asking his guests completely irrelevant and inane questions, interspersed with scripted jokes which made no sense at all in the context of the topics discussed at that moment, and which were themselves so bad that, in several cases, the audience and the guests remained silent, thinking that the punchline was yet to come. What made things even worse were occasional breaks the host took at the piano to sing supposedly funny mini-songs, but were entirely out of place. Ironically, two of the show's guests were themselves experienced show hosts, and one could feel them honestly trying to salvage something, ending up reversing the main roles, but to no avail. Another guest just gave up participating at midway point and drily commented on the host's incompetence. The show aired on a weekend prime time and was supposed to throw down the gauntlet against the other houses' prime time entertainment shows, but got cancelled after just a single episode.
  • Olujne tišine (Stormy silences) was a series depicting the 19th century intellectuals in Croatia envisioning the outline of their future independent country free from foreign control and political influences from Austria-Hungary. The overall idea, while overused in many countries and cultures already, was not necessarily bad as such, but the execution failed in each and every possible respect. The acting was incredibly pathetic and exaggerated, including speech lines no sane person would ever say, especially not in such a Stentorian manner over a meal with friends. The characters were completely artificial and thoroughly unlikeable; the viewers were led to empathize with these intellectuals struggling for the new political order, whereas they got depicted as rich, spoiled, self-absorbed blabberers, especially in comparison to the common folk at the time which had to work extremely hard to afford the most elementary living needs. The series did air to its conclusion, but got bombed even by the people close to the project. It is almost on the edge of being so bad it's good, were it not for the drivel being endless.

    ITV (United Kingdom) 
  • Albion Market was a soap opera based around a marketplace in the north west of England. It was created as a "sister show" to Coronation Street and rival to EastEnders, but the channel insisted it be referred to a "continuing drama series" as they felt it was too good to be "just" another soap. However, viewers and critics found it to be pretentious and lazy, with horrible acting and infamously cheap-looking sets. The show was criticised for casting popular actors to pull in viewers, its obvious focus on beating out EastEnders above being a good show in its own right, and having a production team who thought their past successes guaranteed a hit and thus didn't put any effort in. On top of everything else, it had the problem that one of its two weekly episodes was broadcast in a so-called "graveyard slot", while the other aired opposite the hugely successful Open All Hours. It launched at the time of Coronation Street's 25th anniversary, and the chairman of its production company Granada predicted that Albion Market would still be running a further 25 years later. In fact it haemorrhaged viewers, was savaged by critics, and ended just a year later.
  • London Weekend Television's Bottle Boys is one of the most universally reviled sitcoms in British TV history, landing squarely at the bottom of the list of the 20 worst ever British sitcoms in The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy by Mark Lewisohn, who wrote, "ITV sitcoms had often plumbed the depths, but this was the limit," while The Daily Telegraph critic Ben Lawrence described it as "wretched" in 2015 as he named it the worst British sitcom ever made. It starred Robin Askwith as football-and-sex-mad milkman Dave Deacon (a role originally intended for Jim Davidson at a time when he was already appearing in the equally dire Up the Elephant and Round the Castle); though Askwith was no stranger to the Awful British Sex Comedy after playing the lead role in the genre's signature series, the Confessions of a... films, he still looked thoroughly embarrassed to be saddled with dialogue that revolved around dated and unfunny racial, ethnic, and especially gender stereotypes and Double Entendres so obvious they could be seen approaching from whole episodes away, while Richard Davies as his Welsh stereotype boss often looked downright furious at his lines. One episode involved Deacon meeting then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (played by an impersonator), and even the most left-wing TV critics said it almost made them feel sorry for Thatcher. Critics, audiences, and ITV comedy executives despised it, while series creator Vince Powell - whose most famous works include 1970s controversy magnets Love Thy Neighbour and Mind Your Language - pointedly omitted all mention of Bottle Boys in his autobiography. It plodded along for 13 episodes across two series in 1984-85, and has never been released on DVD. Frantic Planet blogger Stuart Millard reviewed it in detail in the second entry of his "Shitcoms" series.
  • Britain is typically known for creating good shows that received inferior remakes in the U.S., but it's also been known to happen the other way around. Case in point: Days Like These, an inexcusable remake of That '70s Show. Every episode had the exact same plot and situations as the episode of its US counterpart before it, but rewritten so that it fits the British setting and characters, and they just couldn't nail it. The jokes very seldom made sense and at times were downright awkward, the pacing was hideous, the staging and blocking were depressing to watch, and the whole thing just ended up being one giant trainwreck. The show had a total of 13 episodes, but only 10 were ever aired in the initial run (all 13 were eventually shown), and a good lesson was learned with regards to the difference between American and British senses of humor, ending the idea of British remakes of American works as a whole. The Golden Girls, Married... with Children, Mad About You, Good Times and Who's the Boss?, among others, were also translated as Brighton Belles, Married For Life, Loved By You, The Fosters and The Upper Hand. With the exception of the last-named, none of them worked.note 
  • Though it was one of the more divisive sitcoms of the 1970s, there's no denying that London Weekend Television's On the Buses has a considerable fanbase to this day. The same cannot be said of its ill-conceived and ill-received spinoff, Don't Drink the Water, which ran for two series and 13 episodes in 1974-75. The premise for the series was that bus inspector Cyril "Blakey" Blake (Stephen Lewis) had taken early retirement and moved to the Costa del Sol with his sister Dorothy (Pat Coombs), only to find that their tower block is badly constructed and is losing its sea view to another block of flats currently under development. The flimsy set was matched only by the flimsy scripts, which served to highlight that the stiff-backed Blakey only worked as a character when he had "Lovable Rogues" like On the Buses' Stan Butler and Jack Harper to play off. The "jokes" mostly revolved around Blakey's fractious and often xenophobic confrontations with the locals (most of whom were one-dimensional stereotypes) and the other tenants in his block, while Dorothy complained endlessly about how she wished she'd never left England. Derek Griffiths as building superintendent Carlos looked especially embarrassed throughout. Contemporary TV critics, many of whom already detested On the Buses, were even more unkind to Don't Drink the Water, and this time critical disdain was matched by audience apathy. Mark Lewisohn described it as "one of the most excruciatingly poor ITV sitcoms of them all" and "honoured" the series at #6 on the list of the 20 worst British sitcoms in The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy. It only managed to get a DVD release by piggybacking on box sets of On the Buses.
  • Hardwicke House, a 1987 sitcom set in an anarchic comprehensive school with a headmaster played by Roy Kinnear, received so many viewer complaints that it was pulled after just two episodes (the cancellation happened so quickly that the TV Times still had a listing and featured article for the third episode). It was designed to compete with The Young Ones and received a lot of hype before it aired, with a second series commissioned before the first had even been broadcast. (An episode guest-starring Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall, who at that time were at the height of their fame with The Young Ones, and might actually have brought in more viewers, never saw the light of day.) Some of the viewer backlash was due to Values Dissonance; people were outraged at the portrayal of schoolkids swearing and attacking teachers, while today swearing is a common problem in schools and news reports of violence against teachers are not rare. However, just as many people complained that the show simply wasn't funny, and particular anger was directed at its jokes about pedophilia and Teacher/Student Romance. To avoid potential controversy over racism, the writers had already changed one planned character (an incompetent teacher on a foreign exchange, whose original school will not take him back) to make him Icelandic instead of from an African country. The channel promised to screen the remaining episodes in a later viewing slot, but never did, and then had to pay the cast for the second series even though it would never be made. Media watchdog the Independent Broadcasting Authority later ordered the tapes to be wiped so that the show couldn't resurface or be sold abroad, although it was later revealed that the channel did not comply and were still offering Hardwicke House for sale. Ben Lawrence of The Daily Telegraph ranked it #9 on his "10 worst British sitcoms ever made" list in 2015.
  • Jimmy Perry proved several times over that he was never as successful writing sitcoms without David Croft as he was writing them with Croft, and perhaps the nadir of his "solo career" was the ill-fated 1989 London Weekend Television sitcom High Street Blues, co-written with Robin Carr. The premise involves a hypermarket chain trying to force a buyout of four High Street shops (a cobbler, a florist, a wool seller, and a junk merchant) currently occupying the land on which they want to build a new branch. Critics and audiences found it completely devoid of humour or entertainment - what few jokes there were in the scripts fell flatter than a pancake - and Perry later admitted that he only pitched the series to LWT because he badly needed the money, and felt it was one of the worst attempts at a sitcom ever devised, saying "there was nothing the actors could do with it." It lasted for a single series of six episodes, after which Perry re-teamed with Croft for the far more popular You Rang, M'Lord?; High Street Blues, meanwhile, ranks at #11 on the "20 worst British sitcoms" list in the 2003 edition of The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy by Mark Lewisohn, who described the series as "pitiful" and the laughs as "woefully thin on the ground."
  • The 1972 London Weekend Television sitcom In for a Penny was, improbably, written by Upstairs Downstairs creators John Hawkesworth and John Whitney and starred Benny Hill Show straight man Bob Todd as long-serving gentleman's lavatory attendant Dan (as in "Dan, Dan, the lavatory man"), whose place of employ was in the basement of the local Town Hall. The scripts were crass and retrograde even by the standards of the day, with a seemingly endless supply of Toilet Humour and racist jokes at the expense of Dan's Pakistani co-worker Ali (played by Greco-Armenian actor Kevork Malikyan). It ran for a single series of six episodes and has never been re-run or released on home video. Mark Lewisohn flushed it down to the #4 spot on his "20 worst British sitcoms" list in The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy, in which he described it as "one of the worst sitcoms ever" and "real bog-standard stuff".
  • The Nineteenth Hole was a 1989 Sitcom based at a golf club. On paper the combination of writer Johnny Speight (Till Death Us Do Part) and star Eric Sykes was a winner, but in practice it looked as if Speight had forgotten how to write jokes and Sykes had forgotten how to perform. The series was dismally unfunny and cancelled after only seven episodes, and some stations buried the last few in a graveyard slot.
  • Odd Man Out showed that it wasn't just Mollie Sugden who foundered in projects taken up to pass the time between series of Are You Being Served?; this 1977 sitcom from Thames Television starred John Inman as Neville Sutcliffe, a Blackpool chip shop owner who inherits half a share in a Littlehampton rock factory from his long-lost father (the other half going to his half-sister Dorothy, played by Josephine Tewson). The series relied even more heavily than AYBS? on exchanges that implied (without ever actually saying) that Inman's character was gay, exemplified by the unmemorable Catchphrase "How's your rock, cock?". Critics were outraged by the lowbrow "seaside postcard" humour (starting with the titles, which opened with a stylised seaside postcard drawing of Inman astride a large multicoloured stick of rock), leading Odd Man Out to be axed after a single seven-episode series; today, the innuendo seems rather tame, if badly dated, and the series' main crime is being painfully laugh-free. Odd Man Out was ranked the third worst British sitcom ever made in 2015 by The Daily Telegraph's Ben Lawrence (who described it as "terrible") and is one of two John Inman vehicles to land with a thud on the "20 worst British sitcoms" list in the 2003 edition of Mark Lewisohn's The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy, at #5 (the other, 1981's Take a Letter, Mr Jones,note  fared slightly better at #17); the accompanying review said, "In the form of seaside rock ... this series had 'appalling' running all the way through it."note  Here's an episode so you can see how bad it was.
  • Audiences have always been divided regarding the merits of British comedy duo Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball, but even their fans have trouble defending their lone sitcom, the 1991 Yorkshire Television series Plaza Patrol, which caused their already declining popularity to nosedive. The dynamic of their sketch and live performances mostly revolved around Ball being well-meaning but dim-witted and incompetent, all to the ever-dwindling patience of the marginally more competent Cannon, but writers Richard Lewis and Louis Robinson seemed to have no idea how to translate that into a sitcom, casting them as inept nighttime security guards in the Margaret Thatcher shopping precinct in Leeds, in which they spent most episodes in a single room with a bank of CCTV monitors having excruciatingly unfunny conversations about biscuits, the generation gap, class conflicts, and mother-in-law jokes. It lasted a single series of six episodes and has never been re-run or released on home video. In the 2003 edition of The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy, Mark Lewisohn ranked it #3 on his "20 worst British sitcoms" list, describing it as "woefully predictable stuff", and wondering "Even allowing for variations in public taste, how did ITV bosses think the public would wear it?" Frantic Planet author and blogger Stuart Millard wrote a more detailed review of Plaza Patrol as part of his "Shitcoms" series.
  • Most of the more successful sitcoms co-written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft were based on their personal experiences - serving in the Home Guard (Dad's Army), performing in a wartime Concert Party (It Ain't Half Hot, Mum), working at Butlins Holiday Camp (Hi-de-Hi!)... but Perry admitted that he knew nothing about the subject of one of his solo writing efforts, the horrendous 1979 Thames Television sitcom Room Service, which follows the misadventures of Charles Spooner (Bryan Pringle), the tyrannical head of room service at a five-star hotel, and his thoroughly incompetent staff. Unfavourable comparisons to Fawlty Towers inevitably followed (not helped by Series 2 of Fawlty Towers airing in the same year), with Spooner described as Basil Fawlty but without the likeability (and Basil was hardly cuddly to begin with), while one of his underlings, Fedros (Michael Petrovitch), was an attempt at a Manuel-like Funny Foreigner also divested of likeability.note  "I deserved everything I got," Perry later lamented. It was savaged by critics, while audiences tuned out in droves, leading it to be cancelled after a single series of seven episodes. Mark Lewisohn ranked it #10 on the list of the 20 worst British sitcoms in The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy, while BFI Screenonline columnist John Oliver (no, not that one) said Room Service and fellow Perry solo effort High Street Blues "remain contenders for the title of worst British sitcom".
  • Sam's Game, a vehicle for TV presenter Davina McCall. Reviews included "It's like a British Friends, only without Jennifer Aniston or any laughs" and "It says a lot about the state of TV comedy today when a joke about someone being sick in the cutlery drawer is considered so hilarious it is thrown up a number of times". The show was a parade of trite cliches about young single people — playing on McCall's success as the presenter of a popular dating show called Streetmate. Unlike Streetmate, Sam's Game flopped with both critics and the public and was swiftly canned after one series. McCall did receive some praise for her acting.
  • The 1973 Yorkshire Television sitcom Sir Yellow finished at #20 on the list of the 20 worst British sitcoms of all time in Mark Lewisohn's The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy, in which, "emulating the level of wit to which this series climbed," it was described as "joust awful". It starred Jimmy Edwards as the title character, a lazy, cowardly mediaeval knight more interested in wine, women,note  and song than in the traditional heroics of a knight, in which pursuits he was "assisted" by a pre-It Ain't Half Hot, Mum Melvyn Hayes as his squire, Gregory. Contemporary critics were merciless; the plots were deemed hackneyed, the jokes unfunny (particularly its ham-fisted attempts at blending modern references into the historical setting), and the actors - Edwards most of all - utterly miscast. Originally scheduled for Friday at 7pm, by the third episode (of six) it was buried in a graveyard slot at 12:05am on Sunday. The series, which Ben Lawrence of The Daily Telegraph ranked #5 on his 2015 "10 worst British sitcoms ever made" list, has never been re-run or released on DVD.note 
  • Thames Television's 1984 sitcom Tripper's Day starred Leonard Rossiter as Norman Tripper, a supermarket manager from Oop North who is transferred to a London branch and has to deal with a stock bunch of lazy and/or incompetent employees. The series was deemed unworthy of Rossiter's comic talents by critics and ignored by audiences, though it has gained a modest following in the years since. Rossiter's untimely death between the air dates of the second and third episodes (of six) did not stop Thames from trying again with a new lead actor; thus was born Slinger's Day, starring Bruce Forsyth as Tripper's successor, Cecil Slinger. Not only was everything critics hated about Tripper's Day - the tired overreliance on sustained misunderstandings, the cardboard characters, the low budget set - still present, but Forsyth, whose strengths as an entertainer included quickfire improvisation and audience asides, simply didn't have the acting chops to carry a scripted series as he stumbled over his own lines and was often seen mouthing along with the other actors' lines. Critics were even more savage this time around, and Slinger's Day trudged along for twelve episodes across two series from 1986-87 before the plug was pulled. Forsyth, clearly recognising his limits, never appeared in another scripted series. Mark Lewisohn ranked Slinger's Day (jointly with Tripper's Day) at #12 on his list of the 20 worst British sitcoms in the 2003 version of The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy, saying "the laughs were obtained more cheaply than [Forsyth's] store's bargain bin items." Frantic Planet blogger Stuart Millard has more to say in his "Shitcoms" profile of the series.
  • London Weekend Television's 1991 sitcom Trouble in Mind starred Richard O'Sullivan as Adam Charlesworth, a psychiatrist whose wife Julia (Susan Penhaligon), after their two children have grown up and moved out, has started a landscape gardening business and has been forced to stop taking birth control pills, leaving Adam facing the prospect of a vasectomy. If that doesn't sound like an interesting premise for a sitcom, its execution was even worse, with the scripts so flat and laugh-free that audiences largely ignored it, leading it to be shunted from its initial time slot of 7:15pm on Sunday to later in the evening and then, in what was then a rare move for British television, having the plug pulled after six of its nine episodes and burning off the other three in a graveyard slot several months later. O'Sullivan retired from acting not long after, giving the series the unfortunate distinction of being his last starring role. Mark Lewisohn described Trouble in Mind as "profoundly weak and lifeless" and "relentlessly middle-class and middle of the road", putting it at #18 on the "20 worst British sitcoms" list in The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy.
  • Up the Elephant and Round the Castle, a 1983-85 Thames Television sitcom starring Jim Davidson as Cockney chappie Jim London who has to deal with a host of problems after he inherits a house, is another dishonourable mention on Mark Lewisohn's "20 worst British sitcoms" list from The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy (ranked #19) and The Daily Telegraph critic Ben Lawrence's "10 worst British sitcoms ever made" list (ranked #7). It was criticised as dated, insensitive (one recurring element involved squatters moving in, a contentious political issue at the time due to the then-current housing crisis), and unfunny - much of the "humour" was based around its excruciatingly poor attempts to emulate the Awful British Sex Comedy. Although it got a later sequel in Home James!, that show took a completely new premise (the character getting a job as a business executive's chauffeur) and had little connection to its predecessor. Although thankfully largely forgotten, Up the Elephant ... is still remembered with little enough fondness that several efforts at DVD release have floundered due to a lack of demand. Its only virtue was its catchy credits theme, a honky-tonk piano instrumental composed by Keith Emerson. David Thewlis made an early appearance as a mugger in one episode, while another episode featured an early appearance by Marina Sirtis as an Eastern European immigrant. Frantic Planet author and blogger Stuart Millard goes into more detail in his first "Shitcoms" review.
  • The 1972-75 London Weekend Television sitcom Romany Jones, which starred Dad's Army's James Beck as a professional layabout named Bert Jones who indulges his inner gypsy by moving with his wife to a caravan site in a field,note  was never a critical darling, but the LWT brass somehow got the notion the Joneses' neighbours, Wally and Lil Briggs (Arthur Mullard and Queenie Watts), could hold their own in a spinoff. The result was Yus, My Dear, which ran for 19 episodes across two series in 1976 and was even more critically reviled than its parent series; Mark Lewisohn branded it "one of the most excruciating sitcoms of all time, a real black spot on [writers Ronald] Wolfe and [Ronald] Chesney's CV" and ranked it #2 on the "20 worst British sitcoms" list in The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy (while Romany Jones, described by Lewisohn as "appalling", landed at #9), and Ben Lawrence of The Daily Telegraph ranked it at #6 on his "10 worst British sitcoms ever made" list in 2015. The new series found Wally and Lil living in a council house, and the hackneyed, laugh-free plots revolved around Wally's ne'er-do-well brother Benny (a pre-EastEnders Mike Reid) - never mentioned in the previous series - moving in and repeatedly conning the dim-witted Wally out of the wages from his bricklaying job, inevitably leading to Lil finding out and unleashing hell on both of them, while the crass behaviour that had nauseated critics in Romany Jones returned in abundance in Yus, My Dear, typified by a scene in which Wally eats a sandwich while taking a bath. Most Britons born after 1975 (and some born before then) already struggle to understand how Arthur Mullard became a TV fixture, but even his fans find little to defend in Yus, My Dear.

    Mediaset (Italy) 
  • Dalla Vostra Parte ("On Your Side") was a political talk show that, like the title suggests, promised to side on the part of the citizens, with live reports and interviews. However, after a few episodes the show's host, Maurizio Delpietro, decided that pandering to alt-right ideologies and silencing whatever competent guests they interview was a better idea than mediating between the two opposing parts, sort of like Wally George or Morton Downey, Jr. without any of the Kayfabe. In fact, every single episode was a string of loud-voiced and slanderous insults geared towards left-wing politicians, Communists, immigrants, homosexuals, Muslims, racial minorities, and everyone who dared to disagree with the hosts. The ones that weren't silenced were those who blame everything from violence to rapes, theft, or just existing on the above categories, or think that social progress is "destroying" Italy. The editors of the show didn't even bother checking their news sources, instead cherry-picking statistics that confirmed their racist beliefs and spreading fake news taken from unreliable websites. Over time, the program was increasingly lambasted for its brazenly racist, possibly even fascist contents, and for encouraging violence against their designated strawmen. With the network renovation in 2018, the show was canceled with no one mourning it. Sadly, it was replaced by an almost identical show called Fuori Dal Coro ("A Different Voice", literally "Out of the Choir"), where the only change is the host, Mario Giordano, who has the amazing ability to be irritating in everything, including his whiny, high-pitched, almost feminine voice.
  • Radio Belva ("Radio Beast") was the first TV product made by Italian radio shock jocks Giuseppe Cruciani and David Parenzo. It stands out as a glorious example of Laser-Guided Karma. To elaborate: the hosts had invited Vittorio Sgarbi, an art critic infamous for his volatile personality and obscene language, to the premiere, clearly hoping for a fight to ensue in order to boost ratings. It backfired immediately when Sgarbi started ranting, since he went much beyond his already-high standards of profanity. The quarrel went out of control and eventually involved Paolo Villaggio (creator of the Fantozzi saga) who, at the time, was already very old and frail, not to mention that this would be one of his last appearances on TV before his death in 2017. At some point, the camera was pointed on only a telephone to avoid showing the ongoing fight, which almost certainly turned away anyone who was watching this just to see how bad the trainwreck would get. Sgarbi wanted to make the program close and he succeeded: the network immediately cancelled the show. Oh, and the ratings didn't even reach 3%.

    MTV (United States) 
  • Fans of the classic British comedy series The Inbetweeners absolutely refuse to acknowledge its truly godawful 2012 US remake, and with good reason. Even if one ignores the fact it's a remake and views it as its own show, it is still a horrendously unfunny show in its own right. The four main characters have been completely butchered (Jay, for example, is now an overweight Jonah Hill wannabe) and lack what made them so charming in the original show, coupled with poor casting choices and bad acting, but the show's biggest sin is the humor, which not only feels more watered down, low-brow and PG compared to that of the show it's remaking, but most of the jokes have been recycled from the original show, only more Americanized and dumbed-down, and even then, they still don't translate very well in an American show. Not even American audiences liked the remake, as it was cancelled after only 13 episodes. LUMBARDI made a good video about the remake and why it was so awful.

    Much (Canada) 
  • The Totally Untrue History of... was a 2007 "comedy" show that mocked celebrities by, as the title suggested, telling fake stories about them. The show even managed to fail in that regard: the jokes were horribly unfunny and often mean-spirited (even more than Video on Trial ever did), the editing of archive footage of celebrities was painfully obvious, and the sketches in the middle of the episodes were only worse. The show was mercifully buried after six episodes, and nobody was sorry when it was put out of its misery.

    NBC (United States) 
  • Chip and Pepper's Cartoon Madness. Not to be confused with Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Cartoon Madness was an affront to animation with its badly-animated surfer bulldogs pasted against the kind of computer-rendered animation you'd expect from the early 1990s. Starring a pair of jeans designers, it was like a bloody collision between a bad Flash cartoon and a computer science student's D- project, which was then intercut with some lesser-known (and far older) Hanna-Barbera cartoons in the middle (despite it being produced by DiC Entertainment). Then the two dogs enter reality, and somehow this transforms them into two aggressively Totally Radical Surfer Dudes With Attitude. The live-action segments take place in "The Chillin' Shack", a set ripped off from Pee-Wee's Playhouse except with a crowd full of cheering kids in sunglasses who clearly don't want to be there, a butler(?) with a crappy Russian(?) accent, and hands sticking out of the walls which they high-five with whenever they pass them, but pay no attention to for the rest of the show. And then there's the editing, which makes it look almost like something from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!... except for real. At times, it resembled a YouTube Poop. View an episode here if you dare.
  • The American remake of Coupling, which lasted only four episodes in 2003. Every episode was a rewritten version of the original UK source material, the actors were bland and forgettable, and the fact that Coupling itself was just a British tweaking of Friends didn't help. Entertainment Weekly named it one of the 25 biggest bombs, People gave it 1 star out of 4, and its and IMDb ratings are in the 4 or below range. According to The Other Wiki, then-NBC head Jeff Zucker would later say that the show "just sucked", and that BBC America pulled a Take That! by promoting reruns of the corresponding UK episodes so viewers could see just how bad it was. Watch TV Trash tear it apart here.
  • Emeril. No, not Emeril Live - the sitcom. The show revolved around Emeril Lagasse doing his cooking show, only far less entertaining than the real-life ones he was known for. Emeril went home to his generic sitcom family, had generic sitcom problems with said family, and uttered very unfunny jokes for 30 minutes every episode. All of this wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for two things: First off, the writers had a habit of shoving completely unrelated political topics into episodes. For instance, the pilot episode goes on a tangent involving women's body image and the way they're portrayed in the media. Second, and most annoyingly, everybody adores Emeril in the show - people constantly compliment his "genius", fans are always lining up for autographs, and he's always shown standing up to those evil television execs. The series only made it through eight episodes before being cancelled due to low viewership and terrible critical reception. This was the first of several missteps in Emeril's now-troubled career. Sadly, it was also the last starring role for costar Robert Urich, who would die of cancer in 2002.
    • The show was originally slated to premiere on September 11, 2001. However, it was pushed back in favor of the more important news coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon that same day. Hence, if one has knowledge of this atrocity of a TV program, two common 9/11 jokes are that A) the news coverage was much better to watch, and B) Osama bin Laden was just trying to save us from having to see it. Bojack Horseman subtly referenced it, with Wanda hearing about Emeril for the first time (in 2015, after a 30-year coma) and considering giving him a sitcom - fitting the Running Gag that her ideas tend to be cliché or already proven failures.
  • Pink Lady and Jeff, perhaps the worst TV Variety Show ever produced, was the brainchild of NBC exec Fred Silverman, and was helmed by legendary TV producers Sid and Marty Krofft (who had also given us The Brady Bunch Hour, in addition to all those trippy kids' shows such as H.R. Pufnstuf). The show was intended to be a star vehicle for the Japanese singing duo Pink Lady, consisting of singers Mitsuyo "Mie" Nemoto and Keiko "Kei" Masuda, who were paired with comedian Jeff Altman. The only problem? Neither member of Pink Lady could speak a single word of English, and they had to learn all their lines phonetically. This led to one of the biggest trainwrecks in the history of television, and is often named as the exact moment when the variety show stopped being relevant in American television.

    Despite the singing talent of the ladies, who sang a few tunes in their native tongue (without subtitles), the show only lasted six episodes - the last of which didn't even air. Pink Lady was continuing its tour during filming, so between that and the language barrier we saw much more of Jeff... whose material wasn't good enough to hold things together. This show was so bad that Saturday Night Live mocked it with a cold opening sketch titled "Pink Lady and Carl" on May 10, 1980, over a month after its cancellation. The Agony Booth did a detailed run-down of the entire series with tons of screencaps from the official DVD - including the unaired sixth episode, which manages to make the first five look tame and actually serves as a fitting closer.

    Netflix (Internet Streaming) 
  • ReBoot: The Guardian Code note  was chewed out almost immediately by fans of the original series for abandoning the series' original Inside a Computer System premise, storyline (which ended on a massive cliffhanger) and medium (the original was one of the earliest all CGI cartoons on TV) in favour of a hackneyed Toku-esque live action/CGI hybrid reminiscent of VR Troopers, Code Lyoko, and Rainmaker's own Zixx, where four high school students are enlisted by an AI to defend Cyberspace from a hacker known as the Sourcerer and Megabyte, a Big Bad who was Demoted to Dragon, though to the show's credit he is portrayed fairly well and his actor does do a great impression of the late Tony Jay. A good chunk of the series' dialogue is stock phrases, the visuals are lacking and blatantly derivative of other properties such as Star Trek, Iron Man, and TRON: Legacy, and there are blatant continuity errors between the original and this series. Rainmaker Entertainment had been teasing a ReBoot revival for a decade and test footage resembled more the original; when investors weren't impressed the show went into Development Hell and was eventually reworked into what was aired, rumors that Rainmaker's president Michael Hefferon effectively took over production and ran the crew roughshod didn't help its case- it was even discovered that Hefferon, in a pure display of egotism, named the main protagonist after his son. Adding insult to injury, the Netflix "Season 1"note  finale has more characters from the original series, but not only reverts them back to their initial appearance, completely ignoring four seasons worth of storytelling in favor of an attempted appeal to nostalgia, but depicts the User, a never-seen real-world human being who was a mysterious force to the Programs, as a middle-aged Basement-Dweller fanboy, an inexplicable insult to the original series' fanbase in the wake of all the criticism The Guardian Code received.

    Network 10 (Australia) 
  • The sketch show Skit Happens was advertised as "a classic return to Aussie sketch comedy", which as the pilot demonstrated hadn't fallen out of fashion by accident. The series received near-universal disapproval, with complaints ranging from the jokes being toothless (yes, we know that "peanuts" and "penis" sound similar), to incomprehensible (a repairman dry-humping a fridge) to outright insensitive (a parody of The Good Doctor that doubled down big-time on the Hollywood Autism). The latter in particular was considered the biggest deal-breaker, with many on the spectrum finding the jokes about autistic people to be mean-spirited and ignorant. Naturally Skit Happens didn't get a full series, ironically being axed in favor of another Aussie sketch comedy Kinne.

    Nickelodeon (United States) 
  • Awesomeness TV was Nickelodeon's attempt at creating their own version of Incredible Crew (already critically contentious in its own right and lasting only a single season), except Awesomeness TV had its own major issues, especially as the "unskippable YouTube-playlist in 22 minutes" format it had meant a lot more skits that clunked than hit. The hosts weren't remotely engaging (Daniella Monet from Victorious seemed to only be there to fulfill her contract to the network and couldn't do much with the material), and had a cheery "putting on a show" mentality which seemed cloying to the audience. Smosh hosted an episode, but didn't feel like their regular selves, for instance. The amateurish quality of the skits didn't help much at all, with those that weren't recycled from the YouTube channel the series was based on feeling more mean-spirited than funny note  and the characters having few redeeming characteristics. The jokes are poorly written note  and the Laugh Track never shuts up, not even at the worst jokes. It was horrible enough to score a 1.0 out of 10 for a whole year on before getting brought up to a slightly less painful 3.1, and IMDb had no less hate for the show. Unfortunately for Nick (and Daniella) they signed a two-season contract where they had to fulfill the airing deal before the network could finally abandon their disastrous run of DreamWorks shows, but not before somehow getting Lia Marie Johnson’s skit character Terry the Tomboy a 90-minute TV-film that was dumped on one of Nick's weekday holidays.
  • While it might have seemed like a good idea at the time to give the then-most subscribed YouTube personalitynote  his own sitcom, Fred: The Show ended up being a huge disaster. While Fred might have been palatable to a number of people in three-minute increments, his artificially high-pitched voice, obnoxious close-ups and Bratty Half-Pint attitude quickly become insufferable over the course of a thirteen-minute episode, or worse yet, three TV movies. The writing didn't help, putting Fred in cliché high school stories rife with stereotypical characters played by bad actors (who look far too old to play middle schoolers)... and that's just the rare occasion the show even had a sensible plot besides Fred running around screaming. Even considering those who enjoyed the webseries, the television pacing ruins the Rapid-Fire Comedy that made Fred so popular online. The pilot movie received a resounding 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie also received a 1.9 on IMDb, with its two sequels getting a 2.4 and a 2, respectively, and the show itself receiving a 1.6 and sits comfortably at #3 of the website's list of the worst-rated TV shows. Watch I Hate Everything and ralphthemoviemaker rip the TV movies apart here. Watch Mojo ranked it as the #2 worst TV show ever here, Pan Pizza included it on his Top 10 Worst Nickelodeon Moments and Controversies, and PhantomStrider labelled it as both the worst Nickelodeon show ever and the worst sitcom ever. Lucas Cruikshank even made a video reacting to the show with much regret. The show killed the YouTube channel as well, with much of the channel's popularity imploding after the show aired.
  • Nickelodeon's action programming block, Nick Studio 10, was almost universally and passionately loathed. Presented as live, it had multiple instant replays and cameras of stunts which suggested otherwise. The sketches by themselves are already dreadfully unfunny and the block hosts were only able to do so much with the material given, but by far the most infamous reason that so few people like it is because they randomly interrupted other shows with "Important Public Service Announcements" note  that boil down to little more than the same random sort of antics you would expect to see on a 10-year-old boy's Roblox account.

    Viewers were annoyed by this practice, and the block had several different petitions calling for its cancellation: a search for it on Google will bring up its Wikipedia page and, from there, nothing but loathing for it. The network quickly gave up on having a Twitter account for the show (one alleged to be "real" was clearly a racist parody), while they gave up on their Facebook outside of one brave social media manager a few months later; it finally ended after Labor Day 2013 with a quiet cancellation after the Summer break. It spawned an entire series of rants done by The Archfiend. Pan Pizza also references this in his Top 10 Worst Nickelodeon Moments and Controversies.

    Nine Network (Australia) 
  • Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos was a 1992 one-off comedy special and spin-off of Australia's Funniest Home Video Shownote  that featured Doug Mulray as its host. Although its content was beyond what would be shown on, say, American television, it probably wouldn't have sparked controversy had the late Kerry Packer, then-owner of the Nine Network, not viewed bits of it at a dinner, called the network, and angrily yelled at them to "Get that shit off the air!" Within minutes, it cut to an Ad Bumper stating the rest of the program couldn't be shown for "technical reasons" and it was cancelled midway through its first episode to make way for reruns of Cheers. note  On August 28, 2008, the special was rebroadcast for the first time in 16 years alongside monologues from Bert Newton, and when Australian viewers tuned in they could easily see why Mr. Packer flipped his lid: Mulray made unfunny quips over clips of kangaroos getting their testicles twisted by children, animals mating in public, people performing sexual activities in front of the camera, Mulray talking about "bosoms", and a naked man falling out of a shower. A truly one-joke premise, it's astounding how it ever wound up being aired at all, let alone being preempted in the middle of its broadcast, and much of the crew who were associated with the special were fired after the controversy.
    Bert Newton: Anybody still watching back then in 1992 who wasn't scandalized by the smut was expecting more of the same. Instead, they got that announcement about "technical difficulties" which you heard, which was true! It's technically very difficult to keep a show on air... with Mr. Packer on the phone yelling at you.
  • Ben Elton Live from Planet Earth, a live Australian stand-up/sketch-comedy/variety show starring comedian Ben Elton. It was intended as something of a comeback for Elton, who'd been absent from the comedy scene for a while. It was also intended as a flagship for the Nine Network. Unfortunately, the material was dated, ineptly presented, and largely unfunny; it impressed almost no one. During the premiere, viewing figures dropped from 805,000 at the start (it was scheduled to start after Top Gear in primetime) to 233,000 by the end, with about 200,000 people dropping out every 15 minutes... and if the reaction on Twitter and other social networking sites was anything to go by, most of those who hung around watched solely to rip it to shreds. Critics were by and large no more generous: typical reviews took the lines "an early contender for worst show of the year" or "a screaming, embarrassing failure". It lasted three weeks, shedding even more viewers, before being cancelled. One of the worst sections of the whole thing was Girl Flat, a sitcom in which Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Lily Allen, and Amy Winehouse share a flat. It comes off like every line was ripped from crappy YouTube comments - apparently, the writers thought that a famous woman saying "vagina" was the funniest thing to grace our planet.
  • The Mick Molloy Show (1998): Sensing that they needed to take an edgier, younger approach to entertainment into the 21st century, the Nine Network axed its long running Hey Hey It's Saturday and as a potential Saturday night replacement gave former “D-Generation” member and comedy writer Mick Molloy his own program. However Nine may have had some regrets when Molloy’s opening monologue on the first episode had him seen to be urinating on the set (an act that led many viewers to assume he actually was drunk on set, rather than just feigning drunkenness), and the same episode featured footage of a contestant vomiting at a beer-drinking competition. The show also featured 'Mini-Mick', a parody of Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movies, whose Catchphrase was "Blow it out your arse!" and was generally a more vulgar version of Mick, often yelling obscenities at people. Viewers were unimpressed, and even though Nine took the unusual step of committing to twenty episodes without seeing a pilot, only eight went to air.
  • Monster House (2008), which combined scripted situation comedy with (supposedly) unscripted reality TV elements, was met with angry phone calls from the general public and was almost cancelled during its airing. It survived one more episode before being cancelled. The remaining eight episodes were shown later that year during the Olympic Games when it was a foregone conclusion that Nine would lose to Seven in the ratings. In the extremely unlikely event that it's ever shown again, the most notable thing about it will probably be that it featured a then-relatively-little-known Rebel Wilson.

    NRK (Norway) 
  • Despite its high budget and talented cast, the military comedy Herfra til Haglemoen ("From Here to Haglemoen") fell flat thanks to its boring humour. Critics gave scathing reviews, and general audiences weren't any kinder. Four episodes were filmed, but the series was Cut Short after three due to its horrible reception.

    Paramount Network (United States) 
  • Heathers is a modernized adaptation of the Cult Classic film of the same name (as well as the equally Cult musical). The series has the same premise, but includes a Setting Update that turns the titular Girl Posse into a group of marginalized people. A set-up with potential, but instead of making the Heathers popular for similar reasons as the original (wealth, status, attractiveness), the "Peathers" (Paramount Heathers) are popular because they are marginalized, which sends all sorts of Unfortunate Implicationsinvoked. Not only does the series appeal to nobody, since every side of the political spectrum believes it was created to appeal to the other, it also has mostly bad actingnote , a really poor understanding of the original movie and modern culture in generalnote  and barely any likable characters, along with being consistently postponed due to the scenes of gun violence during a period of frequent mass shootings in the United States. Sarah Z points out every flaw of the show here. For a bit of trivia, Brett Cooper, who played recurring character Brianna "Trailer" Parker, would go on to become a right-wing commentator for outlets such as PragerU and the Daily Wire — one can only hope she would prefer her new job over being associated with such a show.

    RAI (Italy) 
  • In most cases with the venerable Eurovision Song Contest, it's difficult to call any edition outright "bad," or blame all the problems on one party. What you can do is call out an edition for being below-par in terms of organization. Maybe the hosts stink. Maybe the graphics and set design are bad. Maybe (in the case of pre-1999 editions) the orchestra is unprepared. The only edition that checks off all three of these is the 1991 contest, organized by Italy's public broadcaster RAI. In spite of being a longtime participant at the time, note  Eurovision had never been a major priority in Italy compared to the local Sanremo Song Festival, the long-running, prestigious competition that attracted Italy's top music talent and actually preceded (and directly inspired) Eurovision by six years. As such, RAI was at a loss when they unexpectedly took victory in 1990, and the entire show wound up being a Troubled Production to the highest degree.
    • The set was a shambles and hastily put together at Cinecitta Studios, right on the outskirts of Rome. The most charitable thing to be said about it was that it at least looked like a decent Hollywood Studios attraction lobby at Disney World, but you could hardly call it a suitable set for an international contest with millions of viewers.
    • While the songs were generally on a strong level, several were butchered by the ill-prepared orchestra. Most infamously, Greece's dramatic ballad "I anoixi" by Sophia Vossou was completely derailed by a horrifically out-of-tune saxophone solo. According to Greek conductor Haris Andreadis, the original saxophone player (who handled the song fine in rehearsals) was let go right before the show due to asking for too much money, and the replacement never even rehearsed the song prior to the live broadcast.
    • The pacing was the most sluggish of any contest before or since, not helped by the most infamous hosts to ever grace the stage, Toto Cutugno and Gigliola Cinquetti. The duo were picked for their prominence as Italian musicians and for being Italy's two Eurovision champions, but their chemistry was limited and their skills in Eurovision's two main languages (English and French) were virtually non-existent. Gigliola came off mildly better than Toto though, who compensated for his limited language skills by acting like a goofball through the whole show. The combination of an extended opening dance sequence and performances of both hosts' winning entries meant it took nearly fifteen minutes before the first act took the stage (sixteen if you count the postcard), the postcards - each almost a minute long of contestants singing popular songs - were a combined forty-five minutes long, and the excruciating voting sequence was an hour by itself due to Toto and Gigliola constantly screwing up while announcing the scores, which for some reason were announced in Italian as well as the standard English and French (a practice not usually made in other contests).
  • In 2015, Sorci Verdi ("Green Mice") graced the Italian screens for five episodes between October and November. Its premise was a late night show starring rapper J-Ax, but it did what every late night show shouldn't do: the satirical skits were very cheap and predictable shots at politics and television, intermixed with bad musical numbers and awkward interviews with VIPs and various showmen. It ultimately felt like a 90-minute advertisement for other rappers and friends of J-Ax. Today, it's remembered as a television failure that drew very little attention.

    RCTV (Venezuela) 
  • De oro puro ("Of Pure Gold"), a Venezuelan Soap Opera which, despite its high production values, was unspeakably awful. The plot seemed to be a Love Triangle between a girl with Psychic Powers and Easy Amnesia, a man with a Mysterious Past, and the Wandering Jew, who's female and apparently mother of the heroine (Jesus damned her from the cross and all). There was also a Mad Scientist with a lab with jar people growing up, and numerous supernatural elements. At least, that's about as much sense as could be made. RCTV placed it in the timeslot previously occupied by the long-lasting, successful, social-themed soap Por Estas Calles, causing a cultural shock that obviously didn't help it at all. When the ratings sank, they tried to attract people by airing segments in which the whole cast and a respected character actress who wasn't even in the production recapped and explained the convoluted plot and backstory; this backfired when people realized that, if the creators had to explain the story, the viewers won't get much from watching it. When it was obvious that the show couldn't be saved, they edited the final chapters to compress them so they could finish the emission sooner, hacking off the resolution of its plot points and alienating the few souls who did invest their time watching it. The parody by Radio Rochela note  was arguably better. This show's failure ruined the reputation of its writer, the late Julio César Mármol (a usually-competent play and scriptwriter, who had written huge successes like Estefanía, La Dueña, and El Desprecio), contributed to the ratings downfall of RCTV during a good chunk of The '90s, and killed the then-budding practice of fully filming a soap before broadcasting (usually, Latin soaps first film a 20-episode buffer and then film day-to-day so they can adjust the plot according to ratings and character reception). This soap had been completed before the premiere, meaning that nobody could step in and set the show right once it was clear how bad it was. All of the above measures were meant to try to recoup any losses, and because RCTV produced it they were obligated to broadcast the full run. An archived version of the RCTV International website shows that the description of this soap was deliberately more obtuse and poetic than the rest of their shows.

    RTE (Ireland) 
  • The Big Bow Wow, based around a group of 20-something friends who hang out at the titular club, was an attempt to create a drama somewhere between Friends, Skins, and This Life. It came across more like a tourism ad for Dublin, trying to portray a lifestyle of partying around the clock in "designer pubs" as representative of the lives of ordinary young people. The show went down very poorly with viewers and critics alike, who mocked its weak storylines, horrible writing, and pretentiousness. It relied on drug use to create "edgy" storylines, but used a fictional drug (because the writers didn't want to be seen to condone drug abuse) - then turned the whole thing into a heavy-handed and amateurish Drugs Are Bad message. One memorable scene, portrayed in all seriousness, involved a drug dealer going into a record store where a shop assistant directs someone to the blues section for Miles Davis. A real record store employee would know Miles Davis belongs in jazz, so the dealer knows this one must be a cop! The creative team were so certain of the show being renewed that they went out to the Caribbean to begin writing the second series, yet the reception was so poor that it was canned after just six (out of a planned 13) episodes. The channel even condensed some episodes together (so poorly that you could still hear the opening/ending music where the credits should've played) just to get it off the air as soon as possible.
  • The English Class was a sitcom that used the same premise as Mind Your Language (a group of recently-arrived immigrants take a night school class to improve their English). The difference was that Mind Your Language was made in the 1970s while The English Class aired in 2007, and yet the latter managed to be even more dated and politically insensitive than the former. It received an instantly negative response from critics and the public. Viewers resented their TV license money being spent on the show (which received a high budget from the channel - most of the cash apparently pocketed by the production company, since the show itself looked so cheap), and it provoked such a backlash that RTÉ quickly removed all clips of it from their official YouTube channel. Criticisms included its poor attempts to imitate The Office (UK), its portrayal of Eastern Europeans, and much of its "comedy" being based around sexual harassment. The final nail in the show's coffin was when an episode where a student's murder was Played for Laughs aired shortly after the real life case of a murdered foreign student in Galway, leading to calls to pull The English Class from the air. RTE wisely didn't renew it for another series.
  • Extra! Extra! Read All About It was supposed to be a comedy set in a newspaper office. The TV announcer introduced the first episode as "a new drama", leaving viewers confused at the show's abundance of canned laughter, some of which made it very difficult to hear the dialogue. What could be heard was painfully unfunny, and the show was plagued with bizarre, pointless moments such as the whole cast breaking out into a musical number for no apparent reason. More than one critic called it the worst Irish comedy ever, and it didn't survive past its first series.
  • The Roaring Twenties, a 2008 sitcom pilot based around four young people in Dublin sharing an apartment. The show was created by two young graduates fresh out of film school, who received a large budget from the channel to make the show - and their inexperience was very apparent in the finished product. Despite their ambitious plans for such hijinks as "a wacky German in underpants", "a sexy goth lady called Vixen" (portrayed by Katie McGrath in the pilot), and a character with superpowers, the show was hated by both audiences and critics. The reaction was so unanimously negative that it wasn't commissioned for a full series. It may have harmed the career of leading lady Amy Kirwan, who was slated at that time as a future star but (aside from a recurring soap opera role) hasn't done anything major since.
  • Gerry Ryan enjoyed a long career as a beloved radio and TV presenter, but his mid-90s variety show Ryantown certainly wasn't loved half so much. The show took place in a set designed to look like Gerry Ryan's living room, where guest stars would drop in and TV clips would be played to the audience. A running gag was Ryan having a disobedient dog, infamous for an episode where it buried its nose in the crotch of a woman singing on the show, and wouldn't let go. This was about as entertaining as the show got. It was described by critics in terms such as "dog's dinner" - and that was one of the more favourable reviews. Ryan himself called it "the worst television experience I've ever had in my entire life" and claimed in his autobiography that he'd personally asked the channel to cancel it halfway through its run. Ryantown continues to be widely derided in Ireland and is likely to be part of the reason why Ryan never found the level of success on TV that he had as a radio host.
  • The Spike, a 1978 serial set in a tough high school in Dublin, received negative press and reviews from the first episode. One critic wrote that RTE had finally "found the magic formula for successful comedy" - but the show was intended to be a serious, hard-hitting drama. It became infamous for briefly showing a naked model in an art class, which caused a flood of complaints. The chairman of the League of Decency actually had a heart attack while calling the newspapers to complain about the scene. After this, the show was abruptly Cut Short halfway through its run (hours before the next episode was due to air - amid further controversy, since the episode was to have portrayed a schoolboy being involved in terrorism), and the remaining episodes never saw the light of day. It still remains a subject of public mockery in discussions of Irish TV.
  • Stew, a sketch show attempting to be an Irish version of The Fast Show. Unfortunately, it was utterly awful to watch. The jokes were just childish and awkward. Notably, it had a recurring sketch of a Bollywood Nerd who was trying to push his daughter into a high-powered career (not even a specific one) from a very young age which was very awkward to watch. Bizarrely, in spite of multiple complaints from viewers, RTE gave it two seasons. Yet, they canned The Blizzard Of Odd at roughly the same time.
  • Upwardly Mobile was a sitcom about a Lower-Class Lout couple who win the lottery, move to an exclusive area of Dublin, and clash with their neighbours - a very similar premise to The Beverly Hillbillies. It got off to a poor start when its theme song (inadvertently containing a phrase which refers to something rather rude in Cockney rhyming slang) caused a minor press scandal, and from there it was all downhill. Despite heavy promotion, Upwardly Mobile was unfunny, lazy, and poorly written, and became unpopular with both viewers and critics. It dragged on for three years before finally being cancelled, and was a frequent target of public mockery and criticism of RTE. Especial criticism was aimed at the fact that RTE invested so much in this show, yet had rejected Father Ted and forced it to go to Channel 4 in the UK.

    RTL (Germany) 
  • Hilfe, meine Familie spinnt ("Help, My Family is Crazy"), a German remake of Married... with Children that aired for only a single season in 1993. The show's failure lay in its botched attempt to recreate the source material frame by frame, to the point that even the looks and gestures of the cast had to match the originals. The result of such slavish adherence to the source material was that no attempt was ever made to adjust the humour or plots to their new cultural surroundings. Adding to the show's problems was the fact that Married... with Children had already been exported the year prior to great success, airing daily in the afternoon while Hilfe, meine Familie spinnt aired once a week in the evening on the exact same network. Add some translation issues into the mix, and you've got a recipe for disaster. Christian Richter of called it "probably the most colourless comedy series on German television," while ranked it at #1 in their list of seven worst German comedy series.

    Sat. 1 (Germany) 

    Sky One (United Kingdom) 
  • In 2008, prolific British media personality Noel Edmonds decided to return to his bread and butter of live, light entertainment with Noel's HQ on Sky1. Billed by Sky and Edmonds as "inspiring", and set up to be a more serious show than his past ventures in the genre, most of the show consisted of interviews and segments showcasing and surprising good Samaritans and people in need with sponsored trips, renovations, etc. The rest of the show contained more of a political skew, with Edmonds frequently speaking of bureaucracy, "overregulation", "red tape", "health and safety" policiesnote  and a "broken Britain".note  Despite much of the show being played off as serious, there are awkward moments of Mood Whiplash when the show veers towards the more comedic antics associated with Edmonds' prior shows (such as Noel's House Party): the recurring segment "Noel's News" involved Edmonds and Carole Malone going over headlines involving Loony Laws as apparent examples of such "overregulation" (i.e. "person fined for using the wrong-coloured bags for garbage disposal"). But then the final story will inevitably cause Edmonds to declare a "Bonkers Britain" — which results in a song and dance number with a cast of costumed extras and Keith Chegwin flooding onto the stage, followed by a comedy bit between Chegwin and Edmonds. In the pilot, this resulted in Noel's News being sandwiched between an interview with a father whose child was killed in a stabbing, and a bit involving Cheggers dressed as a dumpster. The bit was not mentioned again ... until the segment was done twice more throughout the episode with different costumes (albeit with the last one using it as a setup for a final, on-location Noel's News report). Despite this, in a later episode, Edmonds went on a notable tirade against a town council who wouldn't allow a soldier (who had lost both of their legs after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan) planning permission for a wheelchair-friendly bungalow, taking particular offense to their press officer not wanting to speak with an "entertainment" show (a categorization to which he disagreed), demanding they be fired, and revealing that he had been donating his pay for the show to a charitable trust. Critics were not too kind to HQ; Charlie Brooker agreed that most of the show was well-intentioned, but that the remainder evoked Network and I'm Alan Partridge more than anything. With a change in management at the channel, Noel's HQ was cancelled after five episodes.

    Syndication (United States) 
  • Club Mario was a repackaged version of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! with the live-action segments (which involved Mario and Luigi, played by Captain Lou Albano and Danny Wells, respectively) replaced by two aggressively Totally Radical Surfer Dudes with Attitude. Worse, the live-action segments have nothing to do with Mario or the cartoons except for some stock footage in the intro and a brief summary of the episode in question. A quick edit and dub and the so-called "Club Mario" could be used for anything. For a while, there was even a rumor going around that the Club Mario segments were so horrible that DiC Entertainment ordered every single copy of them to be destroyed; this was eventually debunked when some streaming services (like Netflix) put up the Club Mario version of "The Unzappables". They were, however, abandoned after one season and the original Albano/Wells segments were restored. Here's RetroNausea TV's take on it, and here's Platypus Comix's article about the segments.
  • The Magic Hour, a 1998 talk show hosted by basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson, didn't take long to become a byword for "terrible TV". Magic's incompetence at hosting made him the butt of ridicule for many, most notably Howard Stern (who was invited to be a guest on the show and proceeded to ask Magic inappropriate questions about his sexual history). Magic's sidekick, comedian Craig Shoemaker, was fired after publicly calling the show "an absolute nightmare." The show was canceled after three months, costing the syndicator millions of dollars. It ranked #26 in What Were They Thinking? The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History.
  • Peppermint Park is a cautionary tale in what happens when you try to do your own Sesame Street without understanding what made Sesame Street work in the first place. Primarily a DTV series of half-hour long videos (that aired on a few local TV stations and then never again, for a multitude of reasons), the show tries to take a number of pages out of Sesame Street's book to the point of being a borderline (if not outright) mockbuster. It's got the puppets, it's got the educational content, it's got the songs, it's even got a similar name... but everything about Peppermint Park is executed in a way that's not only botched horribly, but also often downright terrifying in some cases. The majority of the songs are lazily written and unmemorable at best, what special effects there are are cheap and poor even for the time, and the educational content is either severely lacking or not entertaining to learn about at all. What the series is most infamous for, though, are the puppets. The majority of the puppets are all very poorly constructed and look like they stepped out of someone's nightmares with their human-looking-but-not-quite-human-enough rubber-y appearances, bizarre designs and voices, and manic-looking eyes. The show in general feels almost like a Creepypasta between the bottom-of-the-barrel budget appearance and sound of dang near everything it throws at you, something not helped by the fact that the series was lost for many years and was only ever released on VHS. It haunts the nightmares of everyone who was subjected to it as a kid and is seen as a blatantly incompetent attempt to out-sesame Sesame Street by everyone else.
  • As a response to the popularity of Power Rangers and in advance of a film version, Fox Kids imported Gerry Anderson's British Supermarionation classic Thunderbirds, but not without some changes: 13 of the original Thunderbirds episodes were hacked into a half-hour format (with space opened for commercials), re-titled, and dubbed over with new voices note . It didn't last long, but then the distributor had the bright idea to create Turbocharged Thunderbirds for UPN, which took the aforementioned Fox episodes and butchered them further: the Tracy family fought supervillains, the action took place in "Thunderworld", and the family took orders from a pair of Large Ham live-action teenagers called the "Hack Masters" who lived inside of Thunderbird 5 (renamed "Hacker Command"... but really, who cares) and called Jeff Tracy "Mr. T" (WHAT THE HELL, FOOL!?). Worst of all, the original dialogue was edited out completely and replaced with "ironic post-modern" jokes. Anderson was outraged when he found out what had been done to his creation (going on to call it "the most diabolical thing [he] had ever seen in [his] life"), and threatened to sue unless his name was removed from the credits (which they were, rather awkwardly - his name was blurred out in the closing credits, and then-wife Sylvia was the only one credited). The series only lasted one season, and when the rights to Thunderbirds reverted to Anderson he reportedly ordered all copies of Turbocharged Thunderbirds destroyed.

    TV 2 (Norway) 
  • Sett på maken ("Look At That!") was a botched attempt to make a Norwegian version of the British satirical puppet show Spitting Image. Unlike its inspiration, Sett på maken was very poorly received by audiences and critics alike, to the point where the second episode (of the 12 that had been filmed) was scrapped hours before it was supposed to be aired. The series was intended to return after a few weeks, but nothing ever materialized, dooming it to One-Episode Wonder status.
  • The low-budget, hopelessly amateurish Sommerfugl ("Butterfly") was a soap about two siblings growing up in Oslo in 1995. With the exception of the two leads, practically every actor was an amateur who wanted to get on TV. These casting choices led to some... strange performances. Both of the leads understood that the show was bad — one of them correctly predicted that it would be panned, and the other pointed out that trying to make 12 episodes in 35 days wasn't a great idea. Today, the series is only remembered for being terrible and having terrible working conditions on set. The failure of Sommerfugl and the aforementioned Sett på maken led to the bankruptcy of Litteris Production.

    TVE (Spain) 
  • Clearly not having learned a thing from the failure of his earlier Dreamland, TVE greenlit another Frank Ariza project, El Continental. General consensus among critics was that this show wasted an almost-All-Star Cast in a shoddy Peaky Blinders knockoff, that at times even seems to have an identity crisis, also attempting to pass off as a feminist fable, a Western or a mafia story. Among other reasons why the series was panned, we could cite its inability to properly present its characters, its complete disregard for historical accuracy, or the poor writing and directing.

    TV Norge (Norway) 
  • Bare Brita Show ("Just Brita Show") was a talkshow hosted by the normally-competent Brita Møystad Engseth, who was trying to make a comeback. The humour was dated and predictable, and there was a really boring segment featuring a dancing dog. Critics panned the show, and ratings were disappointing — especially after the 32% drop in viewership between the first episode and the second. The show was put out of its misery before it could get a third.

    UPN (United States) 
  • The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer (the "P" isn't silent), a short-lived (and extremely low-rated) UPN sitcom, one of the network's worst such series aimed towards African-Americans, that aired four episodes out of the nine produced overall in October 1998. It starred Chi McBride as the titular character, a black English nobleman in the mid-19th century who is kidnapped and sent to America on a slave ship, then becomes a valet to Abraham Lincoln, who is portrayed as a sex-obsessed buffoon. All the other inhabitants of the White House are portrayed as hopelessly dumb. This show became notorious for being the subject of protests by African-American groups against its whimsical, flippant portrayal of slavery. Because of this controversy, the original pilot episode, where Desmond becomes Lincoln's butler and attempts to return to England, was never broadcast. It was so poorly received, it was even advertised with the tagline "Critics hate it." The show would have been forgotten if not for various references on Clerks: The Animated Series - and many people nearly had a Double Take after finding out that, yes, it actually was real. Brad Jones did a review of this series for his DVD-R Hell series, and TV Trash reviewed it here.

    USA Network (United States) 
  • Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills (no, Dragon Ball Z Abridged fans, they did not make this up), notable for being one of two Power Rangers imitators that weren't adaptations of existing tokusatsu shows (the far-superior The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg was the other; helped by the fact that it, like the American side of Power Rangers, was actually produced by Saban Entertainment). This is the show's one positive, and it is squandered almost immediately. The show was a zero-budget affair that managed to look even cheaper than its Japanese inspirations (a vibe not helped by being shot on videotape). The acting was subpar even by the genre's standards note , the characters unlikable, one-note stereotypes (in another show, oily rich kid Gordon would probably be a recurring antagonist), and the plots horribly repetitive (especially when it came to the Big Bad's Monster of the Week schemes and over the course of 40 episodes, there were only nine or ten different monsters used, leading to some monsters showing up multiple times). Moreover, much of the show focused heavily on harshly criticizing and outright insulting the tokusatsu genre and showing how the creators thought such a show should be done. The biggest sin may be the fight scenes - the bread and butter of any Sentai-wannabe series. Between the beyond-obvious use of Stunt Doubles when our heroes "transformed", the use of melee weapons solely as Family-Friendly Firearms and the horrible, repetitive fight choreography, the fight scenes turned TTAFFBH from "forgettably bad" to "how the hell did this last a full season?!" bad. The over-the-top performance by the late Ed Gilbert as Emperor Gorganus is usually entertaining, but not enough to redeem the other things mentioned above. TV Trash tears into it here, MarzGurl has more to say about it here, and TJ Omega blasts the show and all of its shameless ripoffery here. ToyGalaxy's video (in fitting with the channel's theme) is more about the production history of the show than about the quality (or lack thereof) of same. (Though that and DBZ Abridged do get mentioned).

TV Movies/Specials

    ABC (United States) 
  • Killdozer! (no relation to the 2004 incident) is an In Name Only 1974 adaptation of a novella by sci-fi legend Theodore Sturgeon, which oddly enough also got a far more faithful comic book adaptation the same year, about a bulldozer possessed by an evil spirit. It jettisons everything that made the story interesting, most of all the WW2 setting and interplay between the characters as they try to survive and figure out how to stop the bulldozer, and being on TV with the budget to match means there's not even any interesting kills to look forward to. The end result is that a premise you'd have to imagine could turn out something goofily fun even just by accident somehow becomes one of the most boring things you'll ever see, with listless performances backed by utterly pedestrian direction, and the bulldozer itself strictly limited to things they could actually get one to do since this was the time before CGI. While the title has understandably gone down in cult movie infamy, there's a reason you've never heard of anything else from it. This blog post/review by genre historian John Kenneth Muir goes into more detail about everything wrong with the film. Phelous has a blast making fun of it here.
  • Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House was a made-for-TV sequel to the theatrical series, intended to be a Pilot Movie for a TV series, with none of the predecessors' cast. The "kid sees bad guys that adults can't see" had been overused by then (including 3, though that one was decent), and your head will explode if you try to connect this film with the first two. Kevin's a year younger than in the second movie; Buzz is five years younger; the McCallisters divorced and the dad is dating a rich woman; and Marv's played by French Stewart, who looks absolutely nothing like Daniel Stern. Oh, and for those watching the Home Alone series for the traps - 4 failed there as well. There's three traps, and two of them are built into the house. Yeah. A dumbwaiter and a revolving wall? Not ingenious. Thankfully, it bombed in the ratings, killing off any chance that audiences would be subjected to Kevin's antics on a weekly basis. Despite the failure of this movie, however, it didn't stop them from making two more installments, Home Alone: The Holiday Heist and Home Sweet Home Alone. The former, while mediocre at best, was still noticeably better than this one. The latter, on the other hand, ended up going over even more poorly; more on that in the live-action film section. The Hardcore Kid gave it a scathing review. Best of the Worst (with guest star Macaulay Culkin) absolutely hated it. Rob Boor of Cinematic Venom reviewed the film twice (once in 2009, and again eight years later). The Nostalgia Critic reluctantly reviewed it here.

    Asia TV (Various) 
  • During the holy month of Ramadan in 2021, a "prank" show named Tannab Raslan aired on Asia TV in Iraq. For many people outside of Iraq wondering what kind of pranks were even aired in the first place... well, let's just say their entire show revolved around famous Iraqi celebrities, namely actresses and soccer players, being invited to a "charity event" before it becomes hostage to a (staged) ambush of actors playing an Islamic terrorist group. It doesn't take a genius to know that Iraq has been involved with many wars and terrorist attacks revolving around groups like al-Qaeda and the Daesh (known internationally as ISIS) since the late 20th century, meaning something like this really isn't something that should be taken lightly there. It doesn't help matters when considering that everything from the fake weapons and stunt explosions to the fake suicide vests worn by the acting "terrorists" to the "rescue" of the celebrities and other people involved with this by the Iraqi armed forces (also played by actors themselves in the show) made people think an actual attack was happening there. Combine that with multiple cameras showing the genuine fear the guests had when being involved with this situation they were in, and it's no wonder why viewers in Iraq were completely outraged by this show. Needless to say, the outrage did lead to its eventual shutdown on May 5, 2021, one week before the holy month ended. Despite the forced shutdown, the show's host, Raslan Haddad, claimed the decision was unjust since he felt they were celebrating the heroism of Iraq's security forces and that the participants involved had no objections to being on the show. However, the timing of it airing months before Afghanistan was taken over by the Taliban later that year makes this show feel a whole lot worse now than it did even back then.

    BBC (United Kingdom) 
  • Doctor Who is a truly massive franchise where virtually everything is in Broken Base territory, but even with all the bickering amongst the fanbase, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone unwilling to head into the TARDIS and EX-TER-MIN-ATE! these "special" episodes out of existence.
    • The 30th-Anniversary Special "Dimensions in Time", which is considered definitively the lowest the show could possibly sink. This one needs to be understood in context: As the show was canned a few years before, fans were excited to get any new TV canon and instead got something so embarrassingly bad that everyone immediately felt stupid about liking the show. The story is a completely nonsensical crossover with EastEnders — for no particular reason, other than it was dirt-cheap to film - with various past Doctors and companions morphing into each other for no reason. There are terrifying floating CGI heads of the posthumous Doctors. The only good thing is Kate O'Mara camping her way through her awful dialogue as much as possible.
    • The 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor", was a resounding success, acclaimed for its high-stakes action, emotional depth, wonderful character moments and terrific performances all round. How should a public broadcaster celebrate after an hour and a half of some of the finest television they have to offer? However you answer that question, Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty objectively shows how not to do it. Broadcast right after "The Day of the Doctor" aired, it was remembered by all who saw it as a tooth-grindingly cringeworthy debacle. The programme's failure was down to several factors. A host of former companions from both the classic and revived series were present, but precious few were given anything to do, and they were later wasted in a patronising "elimination game" (quote: "Sit down if you didn't say, 'What is it, Doctor?'") that understandably caused Mark Gatiss to lose his temper. The presenters appeared uninterested and slightly drunk at times, with their questioning coming across as disrespectful to the people who contributed to the show's enduring legacy. One particularly uncomfortable moment saw one of the presenters mishearing a fan's opinion that the episode was "very moving" as "dirty movie" and condescendingly trying to make a joke out of it, giving the fan no opportunity to correct him. However, the absolute nadir of the whole thing came with the baffling decision to have a live link-up with One Direction, which had no justification beyond the fact that the band had also declared 23 November to be "1D Day". Having not seen "The Day of the Doctor" themselves, the band couldn't provide any meaningful input, and myriad technical problems prevented the segment from lasting for more than a few minutes. Steven Moffat's reaction to this (hunched forward with his head in his hands) came to symbolise the embarrassing car crash that unfolded over an excruciating hour.

    Discovery Channel (United States) 
  • Eaten Alive, which was broadcast in 2014, was ostensibly supposed to be about wildlife author Paul Rosolie's expedition into the Peruvian Amazon to locate a giant green anaconda named "Chumana". It instead became widely promoted by the network for a planned stunt, in which Paul was going to be swallowed whole by the anaconda using a suit designed for the task. The network heavily promoted this part of the special, which caused immense controversy with animal rights activists who feared for the snake's safety and those who called it blatant sensationalism. When it premiered, the 4.1 million people who tuned in to watch it found that three-quarters of the documentary was about the expedition to find the snake (spoiler: he didn't). When the special finally got to the part where Paul was supposed to be eaten by an anaconda (not Chumana, but a different one), Paul called the stunt off as he was constricted by the snake due to safety concerns, at which point the program ended. note  Critics savaged both the special and the network itself for engaging in false advertising, as much of the promotional material indicated that Paul would get swallowed by the snake, with at least one review comparing it to the similarly infamously anticlimactic The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault. On social media, the entire special was compared to clickbait and similarly bitten into. The special became the subject of widespread mockery of the Discovery Channel and only further reinforced the perception that it was knee-deep in Network Decay. One reviewer actually noted that everything before the aforementioned stunt was "much more dramatic and much better than it needed to be".

    Fox (United States) 
  • The Brady Bunch in the White House, a 2002 Made-for-TV second sequel to The Brady Bunch Movie. The film, in which Mike Brady ends up as President of the US via a contrivance pileup and selects wife Carol as his VP, lacked nearly all of the charm and fun of the first two movies and tried to fill that void with jarringly out-of-place sexual and scatological humor - including one gag involving Secret Service agents openly ogling Marcia's (still-underage) butt. Even when the film tried to emulate the previous ones' Fish out of Temporal Water humor, it tried to play things as straight sight gags rather than playing up the anachronistic nature of the characters' actions (and onlookers' confusion at same), and the Bradys came across as actively stupid here rather than merely oblivious. The film has an IMDb score of 3.3 and Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 17%.
  • Generation X, a low-budget, poorly-conceived TV movie based on the comic book of the same name. It starred Matt Frewer as a villainous ad exec that uses his mind control device to cause mass flatulence at a board meeting. The '90s, ladies and gentlemen. You can read more about it at #1 on this list.

    Hallmark Channel (United States) 
  • Shark Swarm, a movie which clocks in at 164 minutes despite not having enough content for half that. While it's already difficult to have a gore-filled horror film on the Hallmark Channel, the movie itself does nothing to prove that such a crazy concept can work. The story is full of Plot Holes (the big one being that nobody in this small town notices when so many people suddenly go missing) and bloats the runtime with irrelevant subplots about uninteresting characters. The movie takes itself far too seriously, throwing in an Anvilicious Green Aesop, and worst of all, the actual shark attacks, the things people expect to see in a movie with this title, are lame. They just alternate between shots of unnamed extras thrashing about and shots of the same CG sharks (with the camera zooming in and out instead of actual attacking), with almost no variety. The only time a shark actually bites someone on-camera lasts only half a second! The movie does try toward the end to use the terror caused by shark attacks to set up a Heartwarming Moment, but by that point it's too little too late. The excessive length and total failure as a monster movie have put it past redemption. Matt Murray of Corn Pone Flicks wrote an entertaining review of the film.

    KDOC-TV (United States) 
  • On December 31, 2012, local Los Angeles (well, technically Orange County) independent station KDOC decided to air a New Year's Eve special hosted by Jamie Kennedy. That was only the tip of the iceberg for what The A.V. Club dubbed the "Jamie Kennedy Falling Apart At The Seams New Year's Eve 2013 Spectacular", as the world found out after Patton Oswalt tweeted about it: there were awkward glitches and dead air, the beginning of an interview with Shannon Elizabeth accidentally started with a shot of Kennedy moping about onstage, hot mics picked up strange discussions peppered with F-bombs from the host and crew, racist sketches where Jamie Kennedy played a Mayan (while dressed like a stereotypical Native American, no less) who went to the Commerce Casino to try to regain his people's lost gold, while a potentially drunk Macy Gray and an uncensored(!) Bone Thugs-n-Harmony serenaded the audience celebrating the arrival of the year 1999. Even worse, they managed to botch up the most important part of a New Year's special by having Kennedy not able to find the clock for the countdown, and counted down ten seconds late. At the end of the show, Kennedy proclaimed that he would "see you in 2024!" and that the show was ending in a fight. On cue, a fight broke out onstage during the (silent) credits. It has to be seen to be believed (though given how desperately KDOC seems to want to consign this to the memory hole, you may have to make do with Nathan Rabin's account for the AV Club). Kennedy has since claimed that the entire thing was meant to be that bad.

    Lifetime (United States) 
  • Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B is a 2014 biopic that was troubled from the start. Although talented actress Zendaya was initially to star as the late singer, the casting choice was criticized due to how little she resembled her. After failing to get in contact with Aaliyah's family for their guidance/approval (as well as her own concerns about the production), she dropped out and was replaced by Alexandra Shipp, who also garnered complaints over her own casting. The premiere was among one of the highest-rated for the network, but it was of the hate-watching variety. Critics and fans alike blasted the acting, the weak script, the many inaccuracies about her life, the absence of Aaliyah's music save for a few covers due to her family denying the rights to it and most disturbingly, how much the controversial 1994 relationship/marriage between her and R. Kelly was romanticized. In addition to receiving scathing reviews from publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, MsMojo placed the film at #1 for their list of "Worst Made-for-TV Celebrity Biopics".
  • Britney Ever After is a 2017 biopic of pop singer Britney Spears. It was critically panned for its weak script filled with numerous inaccuracies and events that were either speculation or exaggerations, terrible casting and acting (particularly that of Natasha Bassett, who barely resembles the singer and, according to MsMojo, portrayed Spears "like she's in a Saturday Night Live skit"), poor production values, and none of her hit songs due to gaining neither Spears' involvement nor her blessing. Billboard criticized it for having "too many missing pieces'', it currently holds a 2.6 rating on IMDb and the aforementioned MsMojo ranked it as #2 on their list of "Worst Made-for-TV Celebrity Biopics".
  • The Brittany Murphy Story is a biopic about the life of the late Brittany Murphy. The film was a massive failure with both audiences and critics due to glossing over most of the actress' career, if not straight-up getting events wrong,note  its melodrama that wouldn't pass in a soap opera, atrocious acting, poor makeup and, worst of all, the actress who plays Murphy (Amanda Fuller of Last Man Standing fame) looks nothing like her.
  • Destination: Infestation is an unbearably awful 2007 Follow the Leader-type TV movie that was made to cash in on the Snakes on a Plane B-movie craze: this time there's ants instead of snakes. There's a total of 10 minutes of these bugs in the film, most of it consisting of short shots of the swarms and one very lame attack scene that comes off as if the writers forgot about the movie's concept. Though it's a Canadian production, there are a lot of geographical errors (for one, WestJet doesn't travel to Colombia) and there's also an insane amount of Plot Holes. Bad acting abounds and awful CGI too. The funniest thing about this whole fiasco? It premiered on Lifetime, the same channel that airs such gems as Cyber Seduction and Someone Else's Child.
  • Social Nightmare, a 2013 effort from The Asylum about an A-student who's getting ready to go to college when someone starts posting inappropriate pictures of her that she sent to her boyfriend, putting offensive updates on other people's pages, and generally trying hard to ruin her life. It's filled with ridiculous plot points (the guy our heroine goes to for help decides to try and rape her just because), terrible dialogue, the worst Foreshadowing in history, and a villain so blindingly obvious that the Blu-ray actually has the movie's name changed to Mother. The wrap-up is wholly unbelievable and filled with Mood Whiplash - whatever Kirsten Prout (the daughter), Chloe Bridges (her best friend, also targeted), and Daryl Hannah (the daughter's mother) got paid for this, it wasn't enough.

    NBC (United States) 
  • A Little Piece of Heaven, a 1991 Made-for-TV Movie advertised as a family-friendly Christmas film. It is any of those things In Name Only. Directed by Mimi Leder, it stars Kirk CameronSound familiar?  as Will Loomis, trying to take care of his adoptive family's pig farm in addition to his Inspirationally Disadvantaged sister (played by Jenny Robertson) after the death of the grandparents that adopted him, but it proves to be too much for one person. Its heavy-handed themes of abuse and psychological torture are the least of its problems—the Designated Villains (law enforcement) are dumb as a bag of hammers, plot points are forgotten as soon as they're introduced, and Will himself gets off easy for everything, with the plot bending over backwards to make him in the right. It didn't garner much critical reception, if any, and only has a measly 3.5 rating on IMDb and a 29% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and would have likely stayed almost completely unknown had The Cinema Snob not reviewed it. You can watch his review here, where he displays utter shock and horror to see that this was actually aired on TV, even hypothesizing it started out as a thriller before becoming this.
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure. This "sequel" is often considered by even hardcore fans of the National Lampoon's Vacation series to be one of the worst sources of sequelitis ever. The idea is that Cousin Eddie is the main character, and his boss fires him but sends him and his family on a vacation of the South Pacific, where things predictably go wrong. It abuses every single "stranded on an island" cliche in the book and often resorts to recycled slapstick gags from the first movie which somehow manage to be completely boring this time around. Despite taking place sometime after Vegas Vacation, the children inexplicably haven't aged, and trying to connect this to the film canon will practically cause your head to explode.

    The film will ruin everything you love about the first movie, and is one of the most poorly-received TV movies from NBC, which also ended the tradition of TV film from NBC for a time until The Sound of Music Live! became a ratings hit and spawned more TV specials in the same ilk. Even more baffling, it's not even a sequel to Christmas Vacation but rather the first film in the whole series, Vacation (for example, the original Audrey, Dana Barron, reprises her role). And even the cameo from Eric Idle as the accident-prone Englishman from European Vacation failed to please fans. MikeJ, ''TV Trash'', and Best of the Worst had nothing but contempt for the movie.

    ProSieben (Germany) 
  • In 2008, German television channel ProSieben produced a horror movie "parody" called Halloween Horror Hostel. Imagine Seltzer and Friedberg doing even less researching than usual, then go a bit further, and there we are. Just to give you a hint about how bad this movie is, it begins with a few people sitting in a car while the radio talks about a hockey player called Michael Myers gone missing. You sure you don't mean Jason? What follows are thousands of references and toilet humor. Just like a ______ Movie, except even cheaper. The best/worst part is the Overly-Long Gag of one dude who thought he was invisible or something like that, walking veeeerrryyy slowly around with a pillow in front of his head.

    Showtime (United States) 

    Syfy (United States) 
  • Highlander: The Source, a Sci-Fi Channel original film/miniseries that has almost nothing to do with the rest of the Highlander franchise and completely alters the fundamental premise of the series with "The Source", which is apparently the source of immortality (you'd think they'd have mentioned that before) and (if allowed into what passes for continuity) retcons the way Immortals have functioned for the entire series. It also seems to be out to distance itself from the Highlander TV franchise as much as possible, killing Joe Dawson, and possibly Methos, and breaking Duncan's iconic katana. The driving force of the plot is a Romantic Plot Tumor which results in a Gainax Ending. The villain's not intimidating, the fight choreography's terrible, and a lot of plot elements don't make sense. You know it belongs here when Highlander II: The Quickening, fellow Horrible entry and the previous all-time go-to example of a bad sequel, is compared favorably to this. Spoony expounds further.
  • Earthsea takes Adaptation Decay to ridiculous new heights by poorly compressing two lengthy books into less than three hours (give Tales from Earthsea this, at least it mostly only adapted The Farthest Shore while bringing in some elements from the first two books and Tehanu); changing the original contemplative tone of the books into a more generic High Fantasy action story; whitewashes every single dark-skinned character (pretty much everyone except for Tenar) except for Oglion, who is turned into a Token Magical Negro (ironically, the single major white character in the books, Tenar, was race lifted into an Asian), and has the usual Syfy shoddy production values and writing. Unfortunately, the series is just too dull and boring to be So Bad, It's Good like many of Syfy's original productions. The series was so awful that the original author Ursula K. Le Guin had nothing good to say about it, and she actually liked the divisive Tales from Earthsea decently (albeit still disappointed) after separating it from her works. All in all, Earthsea is a butchered adaptation that would most likely make people let down by Tales from Earthsea look back more fondly on Goro Miyazaki's shot at adapting the books.

    VH 1 (United States) 
  • Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story: a cheap, made-for-TV biopic from 2004 that paints a very messy portrait of the King of Pop (the man himself even released a statement denouncing it). Barely any of the characters looked like who they were portraying - including Flex Alexander's awful performance (read: impersonation) of Jackson, cringeworthy, overdramatic, and repetitive dialog, shaky camerawork, awkward cuts to actual news footage, inaccurate and exaggerated portrayals (especially Elizabeth Taylor), and a sappy monologue about love. Even worse? As it was an unauthorized biography, it couldn't use any of Jackson's actual music, meaning that one of the greatest performers who ever lived is stuck dancing to royalty-free stock music.

  • 2014's Arachnicide attempts to make a Syfy-esque B-Movie, but just falls flat. Despite being Italian, it's dubbed in English with horrendous ADR. The film barely features the spiders, mostly focusing on cliched military stuff, and when they do appear the CG looks worse than a PS1 game. The villains' plan makes no sense, as they want to eliminate the heroes for busting their drug ring, so they set giant spiders on them instead of planting a bomb or something. Worst of all, the spiders are killed in a Deus ex Machina, and the drug lords vanish from the movie. All in all, Arachnicide stands out as one of the worst Giant Spider movies ever made.
  • Paparazzi Princess: The Paris Hilton Story. This docudrama/biopic/whatever you want to call it of the 2006 Paris Hilton court case is often considered to be distasteful, disgraceful, and largely inaccurate. Paris, Nicole, and Nicky are played by people who look nothing like them, but that's the least of the film's worries - they are horribly wooden and seem to have the personalities of department store mannequins. The film is often very obviously low-budget, with awful cinematography and a soundtrack of original music because they couldn't get the rights to existing music. The resulting music is just sad. Furthermore, the film can't even decide if it wants to be a depiction of Paris' party girl lifestyle or her legal issues, and towards the end it tries to depict her jail time as the most depressing event in human history, portraying her as someone who needs medical attention (there's even a scene of her going for electroshock therapy). The film was blasted by the Hilton family themselves, aired on the station it premiered only once, and it destroyed a lot of the careers of the actors involved (including Amber Hay, who played Paris; Sara Canning (Nicky) and Chelan Simmons (Lindsay Lohan) were a lot more fortunate).