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As enjoyable an actress as she is, Krysten Ritter has a knack for getting attached to shortlived series. The latest of these projects is the space-based comedy Mission Control, which NBC has decided to cancel ahead of the series’ premiere. Guys, the tagline was “Houston, they are a problem.” How could it possibly have failed?
It’s disheartening news, as Mission Control sounded like a nice offbeat series for NBC to win some laughs with. Executive produced by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, with a script from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia writer David Hornsby, the workplace comedy was to be a heightened story in the vein of Anchorman. Ritter would have played a strong-willed woman in the 1960s that enters a battle of the sexes (and a race to the moon) with a macho astronaut played by Tommy Dewey (The Mindy Project). Also set to star were Leah Renee (Satisfaction) and a Better Off Ted reunion for actors Jonathan Slavin and Malcolm Barrett.
The question, said less sarcastically this time, is still how Mission Control got canned before it even had a chance to air. According to THR, a lot of it had to do with casting issues. Smallville’s Michael Rosenbaum was set to star, but he dropped out of the project soon after NBC picked it up for series. There were apparently problems finding people to fill in the rest of the supporting roles, so NBC decided to cut all ties and set it loose.
Mission Control was set to be a midseason addition to the NBC lineup, along with the final season of Parks and Rec and other new series. It seems there would still be enough time to bring this thing together before its proposed premiere date, but I have no idea what else may have been going on behind the scenes. Farrell and McKay’s production company Gary Sanchez is also behind NBC’s Bad Judge, a series that also saw its share of problems prior to debuting.
Ritter’s ABC comedy Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 had a rather rude awakening last year when ABC dumped it after a schedule switch, leaving the remaining episodes to stream online. She also starred in Veronica Mars, Gravity and a handful of pilots that never got picked up. Has there been a vast anti-Krysten Ritter conspiracy happening in TV land for the past decade?
Mission Control is hardly the first series to get prematurely cancelled this TV season. NBC was already guilty of it earlier this year when they pulled the plug on the Wizard of Oz-themed series Emerald City. Before that, Fox yanked the epic fantasy Hieroglyph from its schedule. All three of these shows sound more promising than some of the new shows that have started up. Some other network should look into Mission Control and see if it’s worth putting in their tractor beams.