Firefly. Freakylinks. The Lone Gunmen. Harsh Realm. Drive.

These were all good, great, or extremely promising shows, needing only some time and kind attention to find the right audience, but they all had the same misfortune: They ran on Fox. Fox occasionally does try. They gave Arrested Development more than its share of chances, and they brought back the ho-hum Family Guy due to strong DVD sales. When Family Guy returned they did a joke in which they listed every show that Fox had launched and canceled during their "hiatus," a pretty impressive list of junk.

What's happening to the networks, as they desperately try to recreate the popularity of season long mystery shows like Heroes and Lost is that as they launch and cancel under-performing series they teach the audience that they can't actually trust that there will ever be a resolution, and therefore an audience will be wary about watching. I didn't like Vanished, but what was the resolution? People invested in that show now know not to trust Fox and it's dangling mysteries. I've known this for years. Harsh Realm left it's character in an unexplained virtual reality, Freakylinks never explained what happened to the lead character's family, and now Drive will never explain its mysteries.

Even when the producer is cool, and explains it all for free in a press release, it's still unsatisfying. Check out the Wikipedia entry for the canceled John Doe (starring Dominic Purcell of Prison Break.) There you can read all about the three different concepts for the overall explanation of the series and its eventual resolution.

The FCC is at it again, claiming that they can regulate TV violence. Instead of this semi annual waste of time and assault on the first amendment the FCC should propose a bill to congress mandating that every series launched by a major network and then canceled should be given a minimum one hour wrap-up episode that will satisfactorily explain the mysteries of the show.

This important bill, if passed, would have had profound effects on many people. Tom Hobbes could have escaped from the Harsh Realm, the Freakylinks.com website could have reported on what happened to Derek Barnes twin brother Adam, and Drive would have been allowed to race past the finish line.