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 The first season of a television show can make or break the series. Writers face the challenge of capturing the audience's attention without an established grasp on what the show is all about.

These are a few of the series that rose above and beyond this challenge, even if their first season was also their last. 

Twin Peaks

Hailed as the ultimate "gone before its time" show, the first season of Twin Peaks created a cult of die hard fans while also somehow getting canceled. The murder mystery followed detectives investigating the homicide of the town's homecoming queen. Showtime recently ordered a nine-episode season, written by the show's original creators Mark Frost and David Lynch, to air in 2017.

Freaks and Geeks

Yet another gone-too-sooner, the first season of Freaks & Geeks launched the careers of many of today's superstars like James Franco, Seth Rogan and Jason Segal. Since it's untimely cancellation, Freaks & Geeks has grown into one of the most beloved television shows of the past 20 years. 

Veronica Mars

High school student and private investigator Veronica Mars learned her inquisitive ways from her father, County Sheriff Keith Mars. The murder of her best friend prompts Veronica to take on the investigation herself. After a successful stint as her town's stand-in detective, Veronica finds herself with a new job opportunity: chief investigator at her high school. 

Prison Break 

The actual prison break of Prison Break occurred in one of the most thrilling first seasons of television history. Determined to break his younger bro out of prison, Michael Scofield devises an ingenious plot to bust him out, delivering a season chock full of alliances and betrayal. The show's quality took a dip a few seasons later, but the first season still holds up.


With a stacked cast of familiar faces and a thrilling plot, season one of Homeland gave viewers an exciting look at the inner workings of the CIA and Homeland security. Breakout star Damian Lewis took home a well deserved Emmy for his portrayal of Nicholas Brodi, a Marine turned terrorist following eight years in captivity in Iraq. 

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