Beyond the TV Grave: Surface

Welcome to the latest installment of Beyond the TV Grave, which focuses on shows that were canceled after airing no less than 5 episodes and no more than 50.

Written by Henrique Suan


During a routine submersible dive in the North Pacific Ocean, California oceanographer Laura Daughtery (Lake Bell) is attacked by an unknown life-form that appears out of a field of craters on the ocean's floor. Miles Barnett (Carter Jenkins), a 14-year old North Carolina teenager, finds himself face to face with the strange sea creature after falling off his wakeboard during a nighttime outing with his friends. Meanwhile, Richard Connelly (Jay R. Ferguson), a Louisiana man on a fishing trip, loses his brother in a suspicious diving accident when a creature drags him to the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. All around the world, strange things are occurring in the world's oceans.


Surface was one of NBC's first attempts to find a new Lost that at the time was in its second season, where it was taking over all of America. Unfortunately, Surface ended up being wronged because of the network's high expectations. Airing Mondays at 8 pm, it opened with a decent average of 11 million viewers. It was not the most watched show of fall 2005, but it managed to build a loyal following until it went on hiatus too soon for the Olympics. When it came back, it dropped to 7 million of viewers and happily climbed to a 9.1 in the ratings. NBC ordered a full season that was shortened to 15 episodes, and thus there were rumors of a possible end in the first season. Executives in 2006 revealed that perhaps Surface would return for a second season after seeing a surge, but it wasn't enough. It was canceled in May with a cliffhanger, and a campaign took place at the time by fans to bring it back. There were even rumors of a possible ending on the DVD release that unfortunately did not happen, as well as a possible sale to the Sci-fi channel (Syfy) that for budget reasons did not pick up the second season.


Honestly, Surface could have become something really big. It wasn't a copy of Lost, and it was in development at the same time. The series was going strong and could become that kind of show that was part of childhood and evolve into a certain period like Stranger Things, Primeval, and Once Upon a Time. All it needed was more love from the network and a bigger investment.

The show could explore a lot about the ocean and its depths. It could create and recreate stories in a world dominated by water full of sea monsters, just like The Walking Dead did with zombies. The story was heading towards immense potential that unfortunately was not realized. Just as Lost became Lost, Surface could have bcome Surface.

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