Question: I had not seen a letter about this, so I thought I'd send an R.I.P. to three recently canceled sci-fi shows, only one of which surprised me. I know you didn't like Journeyman and are tired of people talking about it, but people seemed to miss the fact that that show should not been compared to Quantum Leap or Life on Mars, but rather The Time Traveller's Wife. That's why the relationships took center stage, and I don't think enough has been said about the chemistry between the cast and the great Kevin McKidd. The show really hit its stride in the last few episodes, but if a show doesn't make money, it doesn't. That said, I hope TV gives McKidd a chance for another starring vehicle. The same week that Journeyman was canceled, USA Network's The Dead Zone and The 4400 also got the ax. Somebody should have put a fork in Dead Zone a long time ago. The scripts became worse and worse over the years, and the producers totally lost control of the ongoing mythology. In contrast, The 4400 had one of the most coherent and suspenseful mythologies of any sci-fi show I'd ever seen, given that writers often let the mythologies get away from them (X-Files, anyone?). While the cast and production values could be uneven, the writing and narrative arc were really outstanding, and I can't believe that it would have hurt USA to give The 4400 at least a TV movie to wrap up the plotline. Were the ratings so bad that they couldn't have done that? It seemed to have been serviceable at least, clearly not anywhere near the level of Monk, but it was one of the network's most ambitious shows and they should have given the talented writers a chance to wrap up loose ends.
Answer: Given that The 4400 was launched as a miniseries — the show's finest hours, in my opinion — it would be fitting if the series could be book-ended with a TV-movie finale, not that it's likely to happen. You'd think such an "event" could be effectively marketed and might actually draw an audience, even among lapsed viewers like me, who bailed early on in the final season (I might have eventually caught up if the show had been renewed, but that wasn't the case). Of the three shows mentioned in your R.I.P. wrap-up, I agree that The 4400 was the most memorable, despite its often uneven execution.