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'Life' is over

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  May 4, 2009 04:36 PM

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No big surprise here. NBC has officially cancelled the wry Damian Lewis cop series. It's too bad, because "Life" had a lot of promise. But the network gave the show two seasons, and it never caught on, and the scripts were uneven -- even while Lewis was consistently excellent. That's the way TV works, alas.

Meanwhile, NBC is still pondering the fates of "Chuck," "My Name Is Earl," "Medium," and "Law & Order," while it has renewed "Heroes," "Parks and Recreation," "Southland," "Friday Night Lights," "30 Rock," "The Office," "The Biggest Loser," "Celebrity Apprentice," and "Law & Order: SVU" (with or without Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, who are currently holding out for raises).

Also, NBC is planning to bring back the Thursday prime time version of "Weekend Update" from "Saturday Night Live" that it ran last fall, before the presidential election. "SNL" alums and current NBC stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are both expected to show up as guests.

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70 comments so far...
  1. Bring back Chuck!

    Posted by Jim MacLeod May 4, 09 05:15 PM
  1. Damn I liked Life. And SVU without Merloni and Hargitay would not be worth watching.

    Posted by fifity8th May 4, 09 05:28 PM
  1. I will miss "Life" and the very talented Damian Lewis. NBC switched nights too often at the beginning of the series, then would not run enough episodes in a row to allow a fan base to grow. It was well written and well acted, a show for grown-ups.

    Posted by Marie May 4, 09 05:34 PM
  1. Life should move to USA

    Posted by bbiii May 4, 09 05:43 PM
  1. I agree Life was a very well written and acted show, Damian Lewis was amazing. My problem this season was the odd story lines they used to get around his partner's real life pregnancy. The same thing happened with How I Met Your Mother this season, I was so distracted by Lilli and then Robin's bellies I could hardly pay attention to the show.

    Posted by Lakitu14 May 4, 09 05:46 PM
  1. It's misleading to say that the stars of SVU are "holding out" that implies they have a contract and are sitting out until they get more money, when in fact their contracts are up and they are negotiating together for a raise.

    Posted by jt May 4, 09 05:48 PM
  1. "Life" is worth renewing! Every quality show gets the axe!

    Posted by nan2mlp May 4, 09 05:50 PM
  1. I'm sad that this show is over. It was a great cop show and a lot better than any of the CSI's or Law and Order's. It gave you more to think about, was funny and I thought the characters were great.

    Posted by Gigglesjcg May 4, 09 06:06 PM
  1. "Do you have a box for my kumquat?"

    Posted by gernn May 4, 09 06:08 PM
  1. I

    Posted by Matt May 4, 09 06:12 PM
  1. Life was never terribly compelling to me. But Chuck, that's another story.
    $5 footlongs, baby!

    Posted by Sean May 4, 09 06:12 PM

    I liked Life, but thankfully the season finale, now the series finale, answered much of the series long mysteries. Now Damian Lewis can find a new project with which to impress.

    Posted by Kate May 4, 09 06:19 PM
  1. I Love my name is Earl. Am I the only one?

    Posted by pn May 4, 09 06:29 PM
  1. Hope Chuck is renewed but in a deifferent time slot where it will be watched reather than DVR'd or watched in streaming vid. Law & Order is aways fresh with a twist. Another fav. Wife likes Medium. Earl was fun but jumped the shark when Earl went to jail and we haven't watched it since.

    Posted by Otis May 4, 09 06:46 PM
  1. I hope they bring back Chuck and Medium. Both are favorites of mine!

    Posted by Lissa May 4, 09 06:47 PM
  1. this is a real bummer. i loved this show. i was hoping that nbc might move it over to USA for next season. it would have fit perfectly in their "characters welcome" lineup. also, a big thank you to the writers for seeing the writing on the wall and giving the series a satisfying conclusion.

    Posted by Carl May 4, 09 06:54 PM
  1. Chuck is so much fun....hope they bring it back for another run.

    Posted by carole May 4, 09 07:19 PM
  1. So annoying. What are we going to add to the lineup, ANOTHER STUPID REALITY JOKE SHOW? I am so sick of TV not being worth anything anymore. It used to be fun to watch shows that were quality. I remember the days of Laverne and Shirley following Happy Days, and that was in the 70's. But the 90's and now are just a wasteland of gameshows that are ridiculous and shows like Dancing with the Stars, Survivor and all that junk. I only watch NESN for the baseball, and TLC and the History Channel other than PBS. Network TV is done.

    Posted by jessie1234 May 4, 09 07:31 PM
  1. I really liked Life...anytime a good show comes on they get rid of it. Please bring it back!

    Posted by Debbie May 4, 09 07:41 PM
  1. Chuck is great and should defiantly be brought back. Parks and recreations on the the other hand is awful which was a big disapointment

    Posted by Matt May 4, 09 07:44 PM
  1. Life was good until the last few shows. I hated the twists to get his partner out of the picture because she was pregnant. I never watched Chuck after the first episode. I can't stand Medium. I wish Patricia Arquette would get braces! I'm so excited that Friday night lights will be back for two more seasons! And Southland has been terrific so far.

    Posted by cleareyesfullheart May 4, 09 08:07 PM
  1. Chuck!! it's the best and needs to stay for next year

    Posted by Tom May 4, 09 08:17 PM
  1. Life - we need more whimsey. Paging USA!

    Posted by Helen May 4, 09 08:31 PM
  1. LOVE Medium! They can't cancel it. Chuck, Life and Medium, all "different" shows....Seems like mainstream can't handle too much with an edge. Wouldn't want to offend anyone who sits in a box labeled "typical cop/lawyer show" or, god forbid, the genius's who enjoy "reality" television. Yeah, cater to those winners.

    Posted by redsox4eva May 4, 09 08:40 PM
  1. Save CHUCK!

    Posted by Vin May 4, 09 08:46 PM
  1. Keep Chuck!!!!
    "Parks & Rec"???? Really?!? It's a comic wreck.

    Posted by Chuck rules May 4, 09 09:10 PM
  1. One of the reasons I hoped Life would be back was because they had to change thing around the second part of the season to accommodate the actress who played Reese's pregnancy so the last 6 episodes were out of whack hiding her away and getting a replacement. It's like it was a different show when she was gone.

    The writing was on the wall though when they rewrote the season finale to wrap stuff up and not have a cliffhanger.

    Posted by fifty8th May 4, 09 09:11 PM
  1. Life is my favorite show. Please somebody, pick it up and I'll watch your station.
    Don't get rid of a fabulous show.

    Posted by dana beth May 4, 09 09:49 PM
  1. NBC does this to me every few years. They hype a show and then after a year or so they pull the rug right out from under me. I hate them

    Posted by matt May 4, 09 09:54 PM
  1. GET A LIFE!

    Posted by masswatchdog May 4, 09 10:27 PM
  1. Bring back My Name Is Earl!

    Posted by Kevin May 4, 09 10:45 PM
  1. Bring back Chuck

    Posted by TJ May 4, 09 10:46 PM
  1. Life was a great show. Very well written. Much better than that mind numbing reality crap. Please move it to USA and keep it on a regular night.

    Posted by LucicRocks May 4, 09 11:22 PM
  1. I'm going to miss Life. If Chuck gets cancelled I will officially not watch anything on NBC. Life and Chuck were my two favorite shows and now that life is gone...

    Posted by Steffanie May 5, 09 12:19 AM
  1. I can't believe they would renew the awful Celebrity Apprentice and consider not renewing Medium. I don't know what Medium's ratings are, but that's possibly my favorite show of all time, and I will be so sad when it ends, which will hopefully not be for a while.

    Posted by Chris May 5, 09 03:13 AM
  1. What a shame!! No more Charlie and Ted ... Life became a "must-watch" in our house and we just love the Charlie Crews character. Hopefully we'll be seeing Damian Lewis in another great series real soon! He was awesome in Band of Brother and delivered another likable (lovable) character in Life. Hats off to Lewis!!

    Posted by Judith May 5, 09 06:18 AM
  1. they should bring Life back as a series of TV movies. One or two a year that could help clear up the central mystery and still provide quirky cases.

    Posted by Bill Fitz May 5, 09 08:21 AM
  1. The Life you can hold on to is not the true Life.

    I'm sad to see the show go. I looked forward to every episode.

    Posted by G Zachariah White May 5, 09 08:32 AM
  1. I am mourning the loss of "Life". Such a well-written, articulate, quirky, funny, serious, intense show certainly deserves better treatment than it has received. Please USA, add Charlie Crews to your list of "Characters Welcome." All of us frustrated, former NBC watchers will gladly click over to you. Damian Lewis has changed the angst-driven detective genre forever! Thank you Mr. Lewis for your genius. Look forward to seeing new things from you, if USA doesn't pick up Life.

    Posted by Nanette King May 5, 09 08:39 AM
  1. A 'Bring back Life' campaign has been started.

    Go to and tweet #bringbacklife and also tweet to @USA_Network that it will be a perfect fit for their network.

    Posted by Ryanne May 5, 09 01:41 PM
  1. This is why I honestly don't watch 'new, quirky' network shows. Because the networks never stand by them. I watch a few standard hits like The Office and 30 Rock and SVU, other than that I'm watching cable shows since they're more interesting and have more longevity in general. Network tv's new shows are just doomed for either disappointment or cancellation, the end. There's always an instant where I go 'oh wow that sounds really unique abc' and then I come to my senses, realize it'll be canceled the second I get into it, and don't even watch. I'm always right too. Networks keep garbage like According to Jim, but won't stand by actual decent shows, AND THEY NEVER WILL. Too risky for them.

    Posted by jill May 5, 09 04:00 PM
  1. I have already emailed NBC but want to post my thoughts here as well. Are the NBC Execs nuts!!!?!?!?! Are they all 12 - 22 year old morons? They must be, to think that their audience really wants 5 nights a week, in prime time, of Jay Leno!!! Please, I never watched him on The Tonight Show and guess what, I won't be watching his "new" show. And don't even get me started on the so-called 'reality' shows - any INTELLIGENT person knows that they are anything BUT reality. All they do is teach the audience that it's okay to give voice to their anger and engage in totally unsociable behavior. I know I'm not the only one out here that is sick to death of the garbage that is now called "entertainment! Not that they care, but they've lost another audience member. Thank God for TNT, USA and Fox or I would cancel Cable and go the the library and book stores for good reading material!!

    Posted by Cynthia Trammell May 6, 09 06:37 AM
  1. A 'Bring back Life' campaign has been started.

    Go to and tweet #bringbacklife and also tweet to @USA_Network that it will be a perfect fit for their network.

    Posted by Rosa May 6, 09 09:34 AM
  1. The pace and tone of LIfe made it my favorite late night show. Intelligent, witty and engaging.. this is terribly news :(

    Posted by Joseph Maloney May 6, 09 05:25 PM
  1. NBC should save a lot of time and just let me watch all of their new shows before they put them on TV. If I like the show they will know to not put money into it. If I hate the show then NBC will think they will make millions on it. NBC you have disappointed me for the last time. I don't know why I gave you another chance with Life. You have made me a fool for the last time.

    Posted by NBC Hater May 7, 09 06:38 AM
  1. Move Life to USA! I hope they don't introduce more reality crap shows. Also Save Chuck!

    And SVU without Stabler and Benson would be unwatchable

    Posted by Carl May 8, 09 12:24 AM
  1. Not only did NBC cancel one of my favorites, Life, but it is making us wait for news on Chuck. How mean can one network be?? I suppose I shouldn't expect anything else from a network that puts all of it's eggs in the Howie Mandel/Jay Leno basket. I suppose I will read more now that so much TV time is full of it. Maybe USA will hear our pleas and adopt our favorite detective pairing, Crews and Reese!

    Posted by erika May 9, 09 08:07 PM
  1. GOD!! now theres nothing on tv to fullfil my pupils. damn i hate nbc.

    Posted by Helen May 9, 09 10:13 PM
  1. Save Earl and Chuck! They are both great fun shows filled with originality and excitement. Plus Earl needs to finish his list!

    Posted by Jason May 10, 09 02:39 AM

    Posted by SALDUS May 11, 09 03:03 PM
  1. NBC move Life to USA if you don't want it. They have better shows anyway so it will be a good fit.

    Posted by Greg May 12, 09 12:42 AM
  1. I think its kind of stupid even after a week has gone by that they cancel this brilliantly made show. Just goes to show that NBC doesn't know how to keep their viewers. I hope USA network picks up life it'll be a real shame to see this show be gone forever. It just open a new door in its finale...its needs season 3 to be told!

    Posted by YG May 13, 09 04:17 PM
  1. the people at NBC have decided to end this great and wonderful show. If you are like me and you love this show then just go here
    to try and save it and bring it to USA were they say characters are welcomed. please re post the link were you can

    Posted by Lover Of Life May 14, 09 12:07 PM
  1. Life, Chuck & Medium - GREAT Shows.
    Earl, Office, 30 Rocks - Suck

    Posted by Stephan May 14, 09 11:57 PM
  1. Bring Life back or I ditch NBC entirely. You don't go around canceling outstanding, well liked shows unless you want to kill your network because people WILL stop watching, like myself and many others have said.

    Posted by Brian May 17, 09 03:21 PM
  1. I daresay Life was the only NBC show I watched over the last two years. But the call here for USA to pick it up seems problematical to me. It ain't a 'character' show, like 'Psych' or 'Monk', but it's more in the line of 'Mad Men'- as it has a unique spin on what it means to be a cop. So, my vote is for Bravo to pick it up.

    Posted by Wade Smith May 18, 09 09:56 AM
  1. I know the Boston Globe had nothing to do with the cancelation of Life, but, it only ran for a season and a half. (Stupid writers strike) Damn good show..... Look forward to the next project of Damian Lewis......

    Posted by Jeremy May 19, 09 06:18 PM
  1. I LOVED Life! It just makes me sick that they are canceling it. While Heroes, which I liked in the beginning, has become so outrageous that if I do watch it is simply to make fun of it. Go figure. Maybe some other smart network will see Life's potential and pick it up.

    Posted by AmberT May 19, 09 07:30 PM
  1. BRING BACK LIFE! Pisssss off NBC for cancelling this show. I loved the character dynamics. No need to watch NBC EVER!

    Posted by vanessa May 22, 09 03:08 PM
  1. well except for sunday night football on occasion, Now that LIFE is canceled I do not have to watch NBC any more. NBC must stand for the NoBody Cares for good shows network. Maybe they should hire some CBS exec.'s to pick their programing.

    Posted by Tim Adkins May 22, 09 07:38 PM
  1. Life is such an intelligent show. Damian Lewis is wonderful, as are all the cast. It's the right mix of drama, humor, mystery and intelligence. This is yet another bad decision by NBC, much like when they cancelled "Studio 60" which was by far one of their more intelligent pieces of work.
    Now aside from "intelligent", I abolutely LOVE "My Name is Earl". It was funny, simple but consistent.
    Both of these shows should be picked up by other networks. NBC doesn't seem to care about viewers any longer.

    Posted by Ron HIcks May 23, 09 07:39 AM
  1. I hope that USA Network will be smart and pick up this wonderfully written and fun show. It never had a chance on NBC, the whole first season was shortened by the strike and they NEVER ran any re-runs that those who missed it at first could watch again. I've recommended the show to 5 friends who all rented the first season, and now all 5 of them are/were religious watchers of the show. If USA Network wanted to test the waters, they should put the show on a weekend marathon of season 1 and see what the numbers come back as. Maybe then they could make a very well informed decision to give the show a real shot to show what it could do.

    Posted by Chris in Idaho May 28, 09 01:13 AM
  1. PLEASE NBC, MOVE LIFE TO USA! It would WORK there!

    NBC can have their precious Jay Leno 10 PM show every night, but they need to move Life to USA. I'll be more than happy to no longer tune into NBC. Life was what brought me back to NBC, and now I have no reason to stay.

    Posted by Andrea May 29, 09 10:27 AM
  1. now life is what we want

    Posted by don June 14, 09 01:58 AM
  1. I give up on NBC. I don't want to watch anything ever again. I can't believe they canceled LIFE. What a unique, engaging, well written show with excellent actors. The audience was just beginning to get attached to them. It had the potential for a long run. LIFE should move to USA.

    Posted by Skyeblu June 18, 09 11:15 PM
  1. Why do they seem to get rid of all the great shows? This is too bad.

    Posted by Wendy August 13, 09 09:22 AM

    Posted by K Lee September 17, 09 03:05 PM
  1. "Life" was the only reason I watched NBC. I guess they really enjoy being at the bottom of the network heap...

    Posted by BDJEMS October 11, 09 08:40 PM
  1. NBC = nothing but crap. You morons at nothing but crap wouldn't know a good show if it was the only damn thing on any network. Who cares about all this pseudo-reality crap. And jay leno? Puh-leez!!! New reason to start going to be early. You go from moronic comedies that assault my sense of humour (They are just so stupid there is no humour in them), to insulting my intelligence with all these "reality" shows. Gimme a break. Better yet; Let me give you one. So long "nothing but crap". I'd rather watch the History channel. At least I know where they stand. For now at least.

    Posted by bd187 October 12, 09 07:46 AM
  1. Is there any way to bring back "Life?" It is a very intertaing show and I never missed an episode. And "Eli Stone."

    Posted by Victoria M. Wingate November 21, 09 03:39 AM

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