Lone Star Shoots Itself in the Spurs


UPDATE (3:15 pm): Lone Star has been canceled. Fox will pull the show from its line-up immediately and replace it with Lie to Me; the latter will now return early, with the Season 3 premiere scheduled to air next Monday, October 4.


There's no pretty way to put this. Lone Star, which had the most critically acclaimed pilot of the fall 2010 season, is on its last leg. Viewers have been as scarce as an igloo in the Texas heat, with the premiere and last night's episode both tallying a dismal 1.6 rating in the adult demo. Actually, that 1.6 is only for the first half-hour of last night's episode. After 9:30pm, the episode dropped to a 0.9 rating... lower even than The CW's Gossip Girl.

For those who tuned in only to tune out somewhere around the halfway mark, I'll take part of the blame. I asked people to give the show a try, confident that the series would continue its upward-quality trajectory after that fantastic pilot. It didn't. I'm a huge jerk. But believe me when I say this: I couldn't have imagined such a drop off in quality between the Episodes 1 and 2.

The first half-hour of the second episode recycled much of what made the first one so great, only with much less effect. Yes, we get it. Bob Allen's a con man. He loves two women. We saw that in the first episode.

So why spend a good 25 minutes on telling us again? And that first montage from the pilot where we see Bob conning people was redone with his dad; a man who—unlike Bob—we don't trust and aren't supposed to trust. And who cons a bunch of people on the same day from the same booth at the same restaurant? I couldn't squeeze a penny out of a gullible senior citizen who's scared of aliens, but even I know that a con-marathon in the same spot is a bad way to be a grifter.

After the show finished with its 25-minute "previously on Lone Star" segment, we were treated to more screaming matches in which Bob tells his dad he "wants something more" (in case we forgot), a new bride just starting to wonder who her husband actually is, and Trammel just being more and more of an unnecessary jerk.

There's still an interesting story here that's waiting to be told, and Lone Star is currently one of the best-looking shows on television, but Bob Allen's dangerous con game needs more palpable tension if it wants to work. We didn't get that in Episode 2. And so Lone Star isn't much different from the con game that Bob is running; show us too much too soon and so plainly, and we'll simply walk away.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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R.I.P Lonestar. September 20th-September 27th 2010
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Good idea but badly put together and I don't care for the pace of the show. I want more and I believe the show would have become stale after 10 episodes anyway because it was about the relationships and not about gifting people. The show needed to be about the con first not about the romance and relationships first.
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I agree the ratings system is outdated however, the networks KNOW the ratings system is outdated but have yet to find a better replacement. I haven't seen lonestar but when I start to watch a show I give it at least half a season to reel me in...sometimes it takes a show that long to find its "sea legs" cancelling a show after 2 episodes is ridiculous. Look at how many shows that aired for 10 seasons were shifted around in time slots or even given 2 or 3 seasons of a chance before they really caught on with viewers. I think a lot of amazing shows are lost because networks are too quick to pull them.
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If you've seen one--show about a young good-looking con man with a heart of gold who is conning two different women who he truly loves while at the same time committing fraud at his father in law's company to make a lot of money to cover the scams he previously committed to rip off elderly people of their pensions even though his wife is very wealthy, and thus he is wealthy now, in what would be an honest job, except for the part where he is also marrying a different girl and BTW he has daddy issues plot line--you've seen them all. Watch White Collar.
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DMBExodus, you summed up the issue perfectly, a new rating system is desperately needed to account for every tv related advance that came along since the rating system itself. You might have all heard of these technologies they began with something called a vcr, and now computer systems tivo and dvd recorders also let you record shows to watch later. Everyone relying on the outmoded rating system needs to wake up and realize that the technology to watch a show has changed and made the ratings obsolete.
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Shame, not a bad show. Only the choice of lead actor was wrong, otherwise a very decent show.
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From the promos, I knew I'd never watch this. The idea of an unfaithful con man as the lead just repulsed me. Watching it would have meant tacitly approving of his lifestyle, since he was the alleged protagonist. If he was clearly plugged as the bad guy who would get his in the end, it would have been a different story. I'd have at least given it a shot.
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I never watched it. I just had absolutely no interest in a polygamous con man as the protagonist of a whole show.
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I watched the pilot too and really liked it.
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i watched the pilot and it was awesome. i haven't watched e02 yet but cancelling on the 2nd episode??? that's just rude.
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horrid show. critics got this one way wrong.
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Not a big surprise to me. This show was not on my "must see" list of new shows this year. I was flipping channels when the second episode aired and I saw some of it - enough to reaffirm that I was NOT interested in watching this con man go back and forth between two women that he "loves". I am not a fan of polygamy.
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I only watched the 1st episode & it wasn't that good or ground-breaking. This actor isn't that good, he's ALWAYS smiling even when he was "crying" in the car. His character doesn't seem too bright either. Sawyer was a more sympathetic conman & Don Draper is a more interesting "man with a secret." This was a show about a selfish character with zero redeeming qualities. It won't be missed.
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I liked this show, it's rare I watch a non action / cop / scifi / horror show but this one had me hooked. I'll be sad to see it go, I think it had a lot of pontential. Gutted! :-(
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I didn't watch the show but this is why people don't watch new shows (me included). I don't watch a show tell it gets a second season I'm tired of getting into shows to have them canceled after a few episodes.
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I've seen a show canceled faster, Didn't Skin only have one episode or was it two as well. It was another Fox show so go figure. I live in Canada and we have no input whatsoever in raitings and if a show survives. I know how you feel though Fox has aired and canceled many shows that were great. Dollhouse got a season. and that's it. Terminator: The Sarah Connor chronicles got a Season and a half and it was dropped. Anything at comes in mid season I don't count as a full one for the show. Let's never forget Firefly. That show was amazing and they didn't even give it a chance or even air the episodes in order. That's Fox for ya. It's funny how a show like Terminator can be "the biggest hit of the season" according to fox yet get canned at the end of the year.
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Damn! FOX you quitter. Maybe AMC or FX will pick it up
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Fox.

*shakes head*
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That is it, i am pissed. I am not saying I loved this show. But two damn episodes. This is why there are no viewers, people dont want to get invested in a show just to see it canceled, it is ridiculous. And when will they realize the ratings system is so OUTDATED. I am sick of it. I watch a lot of tv, but i can only watch one show per hour, duh, so i record everything on my computer to go back and watch it later. That is not taken in to consideration. Look at it like this: There are two shows I love on at 8 o'clock. I can only watch one live. But i have to make a decision which one to watch live and one to tape and watch later. Its not fair that the show i tape doesnt get my view in the ratings, but i do watch it, usually later that night. A new rating system is needed.
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Thanks to dumb America once again best new show of fall gets canceled first! Go ahed and watch another no-brain-needed Dancing iwth Star or police show.
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Watched it with your mom? Too bad that it got canceled. You might as well give DWTS a shot and see whats so interesting about it that 22 mil members of Neilsen family watch it. Lone Star wasnt a good show, terribly promoted, terrible acting, bad storyline, Texas.. Need I say more? It deserved to be canceled.

Oh, and Tim. I wont follow you on Twitter!
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Kinda of surprised to hear people didn't like the second episode. I thought it was good, and definitely had me hooked to keep watching.
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I haven't watched it yet, but getting canceled after 2 episodes? What is that? They had enough faith in the show to put it in the fall lineup, they already spent the money, where is the logic?
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OMG! What's wrong with you? This episode was great. Sure there was annoying sister but other than that it was pure genius. Awesome. Loved it. It was only getting better. And if ppl didn't tune in the first time they weren't going to the second time around. So don't blame the show for American's short comings.
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It's a massive shame that Lone Star got cancelled, but I guess it's understandable why Fox did it with such poor ratings. It's hardly surprising. I guess critical acclaim means very little.
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I never actually saw the series, a bit busy with some upcoming exams, but kind of surprising one of the most critically lauded shows suddenly gets canned after two episodes. Not only that but by phenomenally low ratings, with "House" as a lead-in, I mean it's no "Dancing with the Stars" But wow. Two episodes! And to think According to Jim ran for 8 years.
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I didn't care for the pilot -- didn't seem plausible to marry the blond girl. I did like the sister in the 2nd episode though, the show needed some sort of vixen and she seemed to be it -- not a big deal that it's gone, would've been much better as a multi-episode mini-series with closure to the plot.
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That kind of show wasn't for the masses, no big surprise for its canceling.
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hahahahaha. the problem with the show is that he's basically tiger woods, too morally corrupt to root for.
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I told my sister when we were watching the previews, that the guy in the photo on the right is a show killer.
It seems as if every show he's in dies.

It had potential though. It really did,
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this is fox's thing they really dont give new shows a chance, I am surprised that house, glee, fringe survived and yes their is BONES and HUMAN TARGET which I both watchedut overall I avoid fox's shows
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Granted there was a bit of a drop off in the second episode but the overall storyline still had potential.. a shame it was cancelled.
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Damn, give a show a chance...many shows take their time in unfolding the story. Hate ppl who can say that a show sucks after only 2 episodes.
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Good! The pilot was dull, predictable and there wasn't an interesting character among the entire cast.
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i never watched this show but its just a shame that they dont even give shows a chance to catch on..i wasnt into heroes or lost when they first started, but i eventually came around and loved both..
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It's a shame that it bombed this early. I love Jimmy Wolk and I was excited to watch this show until I actually watch it. I turned the channel half way through the pilot and didn't even watch the second episode. But don't feel too bad Fox, I'm not really feeling The Event either.
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This happens every time I start to watch a FOX show. CANCELED. I quit, fox.
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Going against a super hyped show like The Event is necessarily a fair shake. I really enjoyed this show.
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Stupid decision, Lone Star looked like a reasonably good show.
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Finally a FOX decision I agree with. Lone Star was dull, uninteresting, and vapid. I could over look all that if it wasn’t such a bore.
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Lone Star was not something that i would normally watch, however i enjoyed both episodes very much.

What always kills me about cancelations, is how i can nearly always easily name atleast 5 shows that deserve to be dropped before the current show. R.I.P Lonestar.
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HORRIBLE HORRIBLE! They should've tried it at a different time slot first! Switch it with Fringe.
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Wow that crazy, sad. R.I.P. Lone Star
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You can't judge a show by its pilot. Usually, at best, the pilots are there to offer a taste of what the show is like and what it could be, not necessarily what it will be. The show is slower and the edgers are rougher in a pilot and it's supposed to be. I usually wait until three episodes in to decide if this show is worth my time or not. My experience with Dollhouse echoes Lone Star's. Dollhouse's pilot, wow. Blew me away and I didn't have that super-high expectations for it. That was incredible. A wonderful episode and I thought this was the beginning of a great show. Then, episode 2 came out the next week and I was amazed by the drop in quality from the pilot. Something was wrong. Way wrong. I understood that this was actually what the show was going to be and I gave up halfway into episode 2. Lone Star should have been given more time and support than it did though because it never got a chance at all. It's just a what could have been show.
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I agree with everyone else, I've never seen a show get cancelled that fast. :/ Its a shame, the first episode was pretty good, and the second one wasn't that great but who's to say the rest of the eps would have the same quality? They should have at least given it a few more weeks before deciding it wasn't worth putting on TV. Lots of great shows, like Buffy for example, had horrible first seasons.
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the only shows that got cancelled faster i believe are the cavemen one and rosies show which both had about 200k views :P. though we all knew they'd be fail the moment we heard about them compared to a show like this which we didn't know much about.
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What a bummer. I Have not seen the 2nd episode yet but the pilot bwas better The Event, H50, and everything else I have seen this season aside from Boardwalk Empire. I was hoping for an uptick in ratings but now that it is canceled I am not even gonna bother with last nights episode.

I can't believe a show that started out so well got even worse numbers than Dollhouse, and the first 5 episodes of that show on Fox were some of the worst television of any genre I have ever seen.

I have pretty much lost what little faith I had left in my fellow human beings. I guess a if you really do give the average person a pair of NIKE's and a Big-Mac they are happier than a pig in ****. Because that is about the equivalent of what the other shows in the time-slot are. A pile of steaming offal.
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Would it have killed them to give it a chance? I thought the pilot was good, but not great and haven't watched the second one yet, but there are so many great shows that have horrible first seasons even. Getting yanked of the air after two episodes is incredible. Even Firefly couldn't do that. And they showed that out of order.
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Sweet for lie to me, too bad for lonestar, was getting hooked on this show. Hope they release the remaining episodes on dvd soon.
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the only good thing is, that lie to me is coming back earlier...
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