Our ongoing look back at sci fi / fantasy TV shows that were cancelled way too soon or pilots that never made it to series.
For a very brief six weeks in early 1993, this enjoyable little series about misfit-yet-tough-as-nails space rangers defending the galactic frontier appeared on CBS’s Prime Time schedule. It definitely served a healthy portion of cheese with its sci fi and borrowed liberally from other genre sources, but it also didn’t take itself too seriously and was just good fun. But even though original sci fi shows were thriving in the syndication market at that time (and would shortly take a big step forward with the arrivals of Babylon 5 and Star Trek: Deep Space 9 that same year), the Big 3 broadcast networks (FOX hadn’t quite become a force yet) had little tolerance for the genre. Space Rangers was definitely out of place on the broadcast net Prime Time schedule and it didn’t help that CBS cast it to the Wednesday 8 PM EST hour where they had struggled for years. The series was cancelled shortly after its debut and only six total episodes were produced. Interestingly, though, it was well received internationally and that eventually resulted in all six of its episodes getting released on VHS (link provided to the Wikipedia entry for those younger viewers unfamiliar with that term) making it one of the first short-lived TV shows to get a full release on home video. And just recently the show finally made it to DVD in the States, so those who missed it can get a look at this failed flirtation with space opera from the broadcast networks that deserved better than the short run it received. (You can read more about the series at this link)
Aired: CBS, 1993, 1 Season Totaling 6 Episodes
Starring: Jeff Kaake, Jack McGee, Marjorie Monaghan, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Clint Howard, Linda Hunt
Created By: Pen Densham
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