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Ball of Light Flickers Out: USA Cancels "The 4400" and "The Dead Zone"

Following a post made yesterday by The 4400 creator Scott Peters on a USA message board, the cabler has confirmed that it has officially canceled sci-fi dramas The 4400 and The Dead Zone.

The move comes after months of speculation about the fates of both long-lived series; the season finale of The 4400 wrapped up several seasons' worth of storylines while leaving its plot somewhat open-ended. However, this writer clearly felt that USA had seen the writing on the wall (along with the giant mural of Jordan Collier) and was putting the genre series out to pasture.

"We wish we could keep all our great shows alive forever," said USA's Jeff Wachtel, EVP of original programming. "But we feel we need to give some of our new shows a platform to grow, and it's with great sadness that we say goodbye to two shows that had a great run and helped create the resurgence of original programming on our network and on all of cable."

The Dead Zone, which wrapped its sixth season, and The 4400, which ended its fourth, aired on USA as part of a sci-fi themed Sunday night block of programming that did seem conspicuously different from its mystery dramedies like Monk, Burn Notice, and Psych.

"We've had a great time bringing you this story and submersing you in the lives of all these incredible characters," creator Scott Peters wrote in a post on USA's message board. "I wish we could go on forever, but the party has come to an end."

To the cast and crew of this underrated gem, thanks for the gripping plots, memorable characters, and unexpected twists over the last four seasons. While I might be the minority, I will definitely miss The 4400. Dare I wish that one day we'll get a two-hour telepic to wrap up the saga completely?

What's On Tonight

8 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation(CBS); Clash of the Choirs (NBC); Smallville (CW); Duel (ABC); Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (FOX)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); My Name is Earl/30 Rock (NBC); Supernatural (CW); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); Don't Forget the Lyrics (FOX)

10 pm: Without a Trace (CBS); The Office (NBC); Private Practice (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

9:30 pm: 30 Rock.

On tonight's repeat episode ("SeinfeldVision"), Liz returns from hiatus and continues to do battle with Jack, whose latest scheme involves insert clips from Seinfeld into new NBC programming; Liz deals with her feelings about breaking up with Floyd; Jenna's weight gain shocks the staff of TGS.

10 pm: The Office.

On tonight's repeat episode ("Fun Run"), Michael believes the Dunder-Mifflin Scranton offices are cursed after a freak accident in the parking lot and hosts a charity 5K run to draw attention to Meredith's rabies.


Bill said…
You're not alone. Heroes may be a lot flashier, but the 4400 was by far more challenging and more original. A movie to wrap things up would be fantastic, but I won't keep my hopes up.
Arroway said…
I'm disappointed as well. They pretty much killed Dead Zone this season with the abrupt killing of Walt, and then the rest of the season just didn't flow very well.

This reminds me of a question I've been wondering for months -- does anyone know the name of the song they played in the final scene of the last eppy of The 4400? That song captured the show perfectly, but I could never figure out what it was called/who it was by.
Unknown said…
I will sorely miss those two shows. The 4400 had some of the most creative and surprising writing, while The Dead Zone wrapped you up in both the characters' lives and the weekly stories.

The 4400 was one of the more creative sci-fi shows on TV. The writers weren't afraid to go in different directions or do surprising things with main characters.

Although I lamented Walt's death, I felt it opened up new story lines which The Dead Zone needed to stay fresh. Some of them were a bit forced (Sarah falling for Stillson), but they were enjoyable.

I was really hoping they weren't gone for good, but I'm glad they got a chance to essentially wrap up their stories. So many shows never have that opportunity.
Anonymous said…
The song at the end of 4400 was "Where Is My Mind?" by The Pixies.
Arroway said…
Thanks! I added the song to my Rhapsody library -- great song!
Anonymous said…
Now I have absolutely no reason to watch USA anymore. Whatever.
cj said…
I will severely miss both of these shows because they had such a richness to them that I enjoyed. The characters and the storylines in The 4400 were all twisted and a joy to watch. I had been a litte bit iffy about The Dead Zone lately but I was never disappointed in it. I just hope something can crop up to satisfy their vacated places.

The only good side I'm seeing is that I felt the Season 4 finale of The 4400 was just so poignant and so beautiful... and it gave us this strange, bittersweet note to end on. I couldn't imagine where the show would go from there, so I sort of enjoy that it ends on this high note - and that it seems to wrap up the Seattle chapter. Not that all the problems are solved, but the pan out onto the sign with the written in "Promise City" felt very "and this place is no longer the same". Like... an ending rather than a cliff-hanger.

I don't know, I don't think I can phrase what I mean quite right and I'm beginning to ramble so-- ahoy!
Sniff. So sad that 4400 is gone. It has always been a far superior show to Heroes. Just wish it had gotten the same recognition.
Dani In NC said…
First off, I agree with Koala. There is no reason left for me to watch USA. I am not a fan of Monk or Psych AT ALL, and the rest of the programming is reruns and old movies.

I will miss The 4400, but I am glad that the last episode felt like a finale. I don't really feel like I was left with a cliffhanger; I just wanted to see more stories with those characters.

On the other hand, The Dead Zone got old after the 4th season. After that, it felt like the writers were rotating which one of Johnny's family members was going to be put in a perilous situation. Trying to put Sara back with Johnny in the 6th season was a bit strange, too. I missed her falling for Stilson because I had given up on the show by then.

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