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Premiered: 1/19/05 to 11.3 million viewers
A young woman who might just be the daughter of Satan washes up on the beach of a seaside New Jersey town. Nope, we're not talking about Jersey Shore's Snooki, but rather, the central character (played by Elisabeth Harnois) of this dark drama from the mind of Buffy the Vampire Slayer exec producer Marti Noxon.
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Premiered: 3/31/09 to 8.4 million viewers
The First Family of Rock helped popularize the reality genre when The Osbournes became a huge hit for MTV back in 2002. But their attempt at resuscitating the variety-show category failed, as the initial episode of Osbournes: Reloaded was trimmed to just 35 minutes before it even aired, and several Fox affiliates refused to show it because of raunchy content. Fox pulled the plug on the show after its debut, despite having five additional episodes in the can.
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Premiered: 4/7/04 to 15.0 million viewers
In a brutal, one-two punch to the dignity of womankind, The Swan offered radical plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures to supposed ''ugly ducklings,'' then advanced the more ''successful'' participants into a post-makeover beauty pageant. And to up the emotional-horror quotient, contestants were banned from looking into mirrors for the duration of the program.
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Premiered: 5/19/09 to 9.6 million viewers
Episodes: 13 (and counting)
The premiere episode of Fox's hit musical comedy, which chronicles the lives of a group of misfit glee clubbers, featured riveting choral versions of Amy Winehouse's ''Rehab,'' REO Speedwagon's ''Can't Fight This Feeling,'' and Journey's ''Don't Stop Believin'.'' Has there ever been a show more suited for a post-American Idol launch than this song-and-dance happy hour?
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On The Lot
Premiered: 5/22/07 to 7.6 million viewers
On paper, it sounded like a can't-miss proposition: Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett combining forces to launch an Idol-style competition for aspiring filmmakers. But despite plenty of promotional muscle from Fox, On the Lot got off to a sluggish start following the Jordin Sparks-Blake Lewis sing-off, and continued a steady ratings decline for the remainder of the summer.
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Moment of Truth
Premiered: 1/23/08 to 23.0 million viewers
American Idol has helped launch some of Fox's trashiest game shows, but none more heinous than Moment of Truth (hosted by Mark Walberg — not to be confused with Mark Wahlberg), which required contestants to answer sensitive questions in front of friends, family members, and millions of TV viewers — while a polygraph test revealed whether they were lying. The longer the contestant told the truth, the more prize money he or she received (and the more his or her soul was ground into dust).
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Skating With Celebrities
Premiered: 1/18/06 to 18.7 million viewers
It was Dancing With the Stars, Zamboni-style! C-list celebs like Debbie Gibson, Bruce Jenner, and Diff'rent Strokes' Todd Bridges took to the ice with professional partners and attempted to spin, leap, and occasionally stumble their way to renewed career relevance. While the show never really achieved water-cooler status, it did make tabloid headlines when Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and married skating pro Lloyd Eisler took their partnership off the ice. (The couple went on to get married and have a child together after Skating With Celebrities finished its run.)
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Lie To Me
Premiered: 1/21/09 to 12.4 million viewers
Episodes: 23 (and counting)
One of the more successful post-Idol launches, Lie to Me follows brainiac psychologist Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) who helps solve mysteries through his unrivaled expertise in facial expressions and body language. The show is a safe bet to score a third-season renewal, according to our own scoopmaster Michael Ausiello.
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Life On A Stick
Premiered: 3/24/05 to 9.2 million viewers
Not even guest-starring stints by Idol alumni Ruben Studdard and Kimberly Caldwell could stop the cancellation reaper from making an early visit to this sitcom about recent high-school grads working at a mall food-court hot-dog restaurant. Interestingly enough, series stars Rachelle Lefevre and Zachary Knighton went on to achieve post-Stick success, the former as Victoria in the first two Twilight films, the latter as Dr. Bryce Varley on ABC's FlashForward.
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Premiered: 4/21/03 to 12.2 million viewers
In this reality dating show hosted by (!) Monica Lewinsky, one woman was charged with choosing a husband from 20 bachelors wearing masks over their faces. The oh-so-genius idea was that she'd focus on the potential suitors' personalities instead of their looks.
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Premiered: 3/15/06 to 13.7 million viewers
Reaper cutie Bret Harrison got his first starring role in this Chicago-set comedy as Sam Sullivan, a young professional trying to survive work and love and twentysomething life in general. Unfortunately, The Loop itself didn't survive through its second season.
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Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?
Premiered: 2/27/07 to 26.5 million viewers
Episodes: 246 combined on Fox and in first-run syndication (Recently renewed for an additional syndicated season)
Think Who Wants to Be a Millionaire minus Regis Philbin, plus Jeff Foxworthy — and with questions and lifelines ripped from elementary school.
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Premiered: 3/4/08 to 13.5 million viewers
This drama centered on John Amsterdam (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), an immortal (yet somehow not a vampire!) who (among other things) had fathered 63 children and chased down John Wilkes Booth during his 400 years on the planet. His life's quest, however, was for true love, which was the only thing that would make him mortal.
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Premiered: 3/22/06 to 16.0 million viewers
How fun does this sound? Eight surly contestants get sealed in a windowless bunker until they agree which one is going to win the $1.5 million up for grabs. Okay, yeah, maybe that doesn't actually sound like much fun at all.
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The Wedding Bells
Premiered: 3/7/07 to 12.3 million viewers
A trio of sisters — played by KaDee Strickland, Sarah Jones, and Teri Polo — inherit a wedding planning business from their parents and have to figure out how to make it work. The show never rang with viewers, however, despite boasting Ally McBeal hitmaker David E. Kelley as a producer.
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Wanda At Large
Premiered: 3/26/03 to 14.3 million viewers
Comedian Wanda Sykes mixed scripted comedy with her own outrageous brand of improv in this show about a correspondent for a Washington D.C.-based political show. It pulled in decent numbers during its post-Idol run, but plummeted in the ratings when it was moved to a Friday-night slot for its abbreviated second season.
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Premiered: 3/1/04 to 9.7 million viewers
Eden had the same producers as Fox's sudsy reality hit Paradise Hotel, and shared its basic DNA of seeing how long a bunch of pretty young things could last at a beach resort. Only seven episodes originally aired on Fox, but the series was successful overseas and eventually ran in totality, marathon-style, on Fox's cable sibling Fox Reality.
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Premiered: 3/9/04 to 11.2 million viewers
A sitcom from quirky comic scribe Mike White (Nacho Libre, Chuck & Buck, School of Rock) that starred Jason Schwartzman as a boarder of a wealthy, wacky family led by Molly Shannon and Christopher McDonald.
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Premiered: 3/1/06 to 13.6 million viewers
This short-lived sitcom followed Nate Stahlings (Josh Dean), a recent college graduate who moved back to his parents' house in small-town Missouri to try to figure out what to do with his life. Throw your hands in the air if you still remember this one! (Okay, person in the back corner of the room, you can put your hands down now.)
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My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé
Premiered: 1/19/04 to 19.6 million viewers
A high-concept, lowbrow semi-reality series in which a grade-school teacher agreed to convince her family she was marrying a total stranger in 12 days' time — with a $250,000 prize for her if none of her relatives objected. Little did she know, her ''husband''-to-be was actually an actor, instructed to behave like a boorish beast.