With the recent trend of bringing back cancelled TV shows due to vocal fans, there’s no doubt that Brilliant But Cancelled should have its own loyal fanbase. Operated by NBC Universal (specifically Bravo) since June 2006, the site is a creative advertisement for its primary sponsor that offers general television infotainment, up-to-date news on axed and returning shows, and links to other online NBC subsidiaries like Outzone.
The video section is the website’s strongest adherent to its own mission statement, displaying full-length pilots of cancelled shows, like the unaired pilot of The Jake Effect – starring Jason Bateman from Arrested Development, which, coincidentally, was also brilliant but cancelled – and 1959’s Johnny Staccato, starring John Cassavetes and Elizabeth Montgomery. The other video sections include “Face to Face” – which features two-minute clips of interviews from Inside the Actors Studio – and categories that contain pilots, trailers, and webisodes for NBC’s cable channels. The written news and blog sections tend to blend into one another. Although entries from the Insider Ousider blog tend to be shorter than those for their newswire, each one delivers information about general TV happenings with the same opinionated, irreverent tone and, despite the site’s name, neither focuses exclusively on cancelled TV. The critics section provides links to reviews that cover “last night’s shows,” good and bad, NBC or not. The site’s forums and comments sections are used by visitors on a daily basis, which is surprising for a website with such a narrow, yet misguided, focus. Much like the other aspects of the site, the photo section has no relationship to cancelled TV shows, since it contains an inexplicable gallery of Oprah photos from over the years (but while inexplicable, it’s certainly entertaining).
The anonymous writers who pen the daily news items and blog posts are hilarious. This quote from an article where actress Eva Longoria rebukes accusations that her show, Desperate Housewives, is boring is just one example of the site’s well-written, deadpan humor: “’This was definitely the best work I’ve ever done in my life,’ said Longoria, whose past work includes a movie called Hustler’s Instinct and an uncredited role on The Young and the Restless.”