Remember The Listener? It was one of NBC's import series over the summer, this one from Canada. The other was from the UK: Merlin. Neither of them mustered much of an audience here in the states, and while NBC allowed Merlin's first season to wrap, The Listener was yanked before it finished its run.
But despite being canceled in the US, The Listener finished its freshmen season north of the border, and was successful enough to warrant a second season in Canada, according to About.com. The question now is if that season will ever see the light of day in the US, or even those un-aired episodes form the first season. They're currently streaming the six un-aired episodes on Hulu, but that's not the same as seeing them on your television. It's an interesting new dynamic we're starting to see with these imported shows.
Merlin has already had a second season in the UK, with a third one on the way. Another Canadian import, Defying Gravity was canceled by ABC before finishing its run stateside, while Canadians got to see all 13 commissioned episodes. These shows were part of a joint-venture by US and Canadian production teams to reduce costs.
While the project hasn't borne fruit in the states yet, it has apparently resonated a bit better with Canadians, if this renewal is any indication. So the question becomes: what do you do about these shows that have new episodes airing in other countries, but were cut short in the US?
If NBC doesn't pick up another run of Merlin, there's always the chance that BBC America would bring the series over to service its American fan-base. But what if nobody wants The Listener at all? It certainly didn't perform well for NBC, but there are still fans who might appreciate being able to see the episodes they missed. Do you just throw them up on Hulu and call it a day?
I still think shows like this and Defying Gravity should have considered syndication as an option. With their lower production costs, they could have appealed directly to the US networks. As it stands, Legend of the Seeker is all alone in the once packed world of scripted syndicated series. And you still have all those former WB and UPN stations that didn't get The CW looking for programming to fill their schedules (I don't count TV One, or whatever its calling itself these days).