On a typical Sunday evening--exactly 53 years ago from last night--something unexpected happened. A series premiered during the Fall TV season, and NBC yanked that skein from the airwaves after only 3 eps. ''Doc Corkle'' premiered on 10/5/1952 and quickly became the first Fall TV Shorty.
It's not easy finding these shows though. Many times networks show a series of three specials, such as ''The Great American Celebrity Spelling Bee'' (Fox, 2004). They're specials, not series, and aren't included.
Sometimes a network announces that it will air a series only three times, such as ''The Colin Quinn Show'' (NBC, 2002) and ''The $25 Million Hoax'' (NBC, 2004). This is not a recent practice either. NBC aired all three eps of ''The Law'' (NBC, 1975) and ''McNaughton's Daughter'' (NBC, 1976)--both series were based on TV movies and these limited series filled small holes in NBC's Spring schedules. I don't include these series since they completed their full network runs.
Miniseries, like ''Awakening Land'' (NBC 1978) and ''Chiefs'' (CBS, 1983), were shown in three parts. These miniseries are excluded as well since they also finished their network runs.
Without further adieu, here is the list of TV series that networks aired only three times even though they planned a longer run when the first ep aired:
Some notes about a few of these series: