7 potentially awesome shows canceled before they premiered

You know how sometimes you go to Chipotle and you’re midway through having the guy build your burrito—then you realize you’ve made a terrible mistake? Maybe you should have gone for the chicken instead of the beef, or a wheat tortilla instead of flour, or perhaps you finally decide you don’t even like Chipotle in the first place. This also happens to TV executives when ordering shows.
Sometimes, even after slogging through months of development, script revisions, a pilot order, a series order, and even announcing a premiere date, executives will still stop and go: Wait, we don’t really want to air that, do we? Except instead of regretting an $8 burrito, such reversals cost millions, hugely affect the careers of dozens of people, and deny viewers a project they were publicly led to believe they’d eventually get to watch.
That’s what happened yesterday, when Fox axed its Egyptian drama seriesHieroglyph (which had been scheduled to premiere at midseason). In honor of those dead pharaohs, below we present Hieroglyph and six more examples of promising-sounding shows that were officially greenlit but axed before they premiered (not to be confused with mere pilots that are routinely not ordered to series). We’re not saying these shows would have been good — most likely they were executed poorly and tested terribly, or they almost certainly would have made it onto the air. (After all, enough truly bad shows get on the schedule.) Yet on paper, at least, each could have been something great:
1. Day One (NBC, 2010):

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