Five TV Shows That Were Ahead of Their Time

arrested development

Sometimes people just aren’t ready for great TV. It comes along, is super awesome, and in spite of that, people just don’t watch it. Next thing you know, the show gets canceled, and suddenly, everyone realizes it was the best thing ever. That is how you know a TV show was ahead of its time. They say all good things must end, but some good things end way too early.

Freaks and Geeks

If this show was on now, with the star talent involved, everyone would watch it. I mean, come on? James Franco and Seth Rogen? On a weekly show? Yeah, this show was a bit too smart and too advanced for people to get behind it. Now it is a cult classic, but deserved to be so much more.

My So-Called Life

Another high school show that was just a bit too mature for the world. The thing is, everyone who watched it, loved it. Something about showing teens and thinking, feeling people just scares away the masses who want 90210 perfection.

Arrested Development

I know it came back, but come on, that’s only because Netflix is brilliant. The reality is, no one watched this awesome show, and it got canceled well before it deserved to. Yes, we have it back, but I am still bitter. You don’t get over a loss that easily.

Twin Peaks

A surreal murder mystery from the greatest director of the surreal, David Lynch? Yeah, the world was clearly not ready. Now, years later, you can see the effect this show had on people, but at the time, everyone just called it weird. It did spawn a live action movie, but it didn’t quite tie up the show how people had hoped.


One of the funniest shows on 80’s TV, and yet, no one actually saw it. I swear, you could run this show now, exactly how it was in the 80’s, and it would be a certifiable hit. It’s Dirty Harry meets The Naked Gun, and was side splitting from start to finish. Of course, that finish came early because no one was watching it.

Okay, so those are my choices. What TV shows do you think were way ahead of their time? Take to the comments and let us know.

[Photo via Stuart C. Wilson/Stringer]

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  • maxxybrod

    Where can one watch this so called wonderful show “Sledgehammer?”

    • Rasheed

      Complete series is available for around $20

      • Rasheed

        Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, etc.

  • John Ramos

    Sledgehammer was pretty good…. another show you didn’t mention that was good as well was Undeclared….. oh, and Firefly.

  • Glenn Dallas

    So many others. Profit. Andy Richter Controls the Universe. Brimstone. (Fox was great about finding new ideas, but never great with PUSHING them properly.)

    • Sneak

      Agreed. Profit was definitely ahead of its time.

    • Nastee

      I was just about to post about Profit! Glad others know it and rate it as well.

  • Rasheed

    The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, Legend (with Richard Dean Anderson and John DeLancie), The Zeta Project

  • Ong Francis

    Sledgehammer was the best. I watched it during the original tv run in the 80’s. Firefly ( of course ) is the poster boy of this list. Undeclared. Community ( not cancelled but ahead of it’s time). Wonderfalls , Pushing Daisies and Dead like me. Enlightened.

  • Sneak

    Sledge Hammer! was one of the funniest shows of the 80s? Wrong! It was absolutely THE funniest show of the decade by far. Good on you for mentioning it though. Peace.

  • Paulita Gilberto

    “Sledgehammer” was the hardest show to find, I almost always stumbled on it accidentally because ABC kept moving it around, at one point putting it up against the well established “Cosby Show.” After it went off, whenever the Baltimore Orioles had a game delay, they would put episodes of “Sledgehammer” on. I’m so happy I got the whole thing on DVD. I rereat there often. I also liked “Alien Nation” that had elements of the same kind of humor as “Sledgehammer.” Way before it’s time also.

  • Mark

    Over There. A one hour drama about soldiers in Iraq. A good show but it came out at a time when most Americans weren’t ready to look honestly and objectively at the war in Iraq. If it had come out three years later (after the Hurt Locker), it would have been much more widely accepted.