Since the 1970s, there have been seven different television series that have been set in Idaho. Despite having some big stars, all have met a similar fate by being canceled soon after their debut. After reading this, you may think that there is an Idaho television curse!
The Manhunter (September 11, 1974 - March 5, 1975)
The first television show to use Idaho as a backdrop was about a Marine, that moved back to his parents' farm after World War 1. Needing money, he became a bounty hunter. The show lasted nearly six months and 22 episodes for CBS before being canceled. It scores a 6.8/10 on IMDB. Unfortunately, CBS All Access does not stream this show. Check out the intro below.
A Year At The Top (August 5, 1977 - September 2, 1977)
This didn't live up to its title, since it didn't even last a month at the top. It starred Paul Shaffer. Yes, that Paul Shaffer from the David Letterman Show. He and a friend sold their soul to the devil's son in exchange for a year of musical success. This is a show that writer and producer Norman Lear probably leaves off of his resume that includes hits like All In The Family, One Day At A Time, The Jeffersons, and more. CBS canceled it after just five episodes. It has a 7.7/10 on IMDB.
Amazing Grace (April 1, 1995 - September 16, 1995)
It had been nearly twenty years between shows set in Idaho when Patty Duke starred in Amazing Grace. The show was set in Couer d'Alene, where Patty Duke was living at the time. She played a minister with a drug problem. Amazing Grace lasted five episodes before being canceled by NBC. It has a 4.4/10 on IMDB.
Napoleon Dynamite (January 15, 2012 - March 4, 2012)
Eight years after the movie Napoleon Dynamite hit theaters, the writers and creators of the film got together with the executive producer of The Simpsons and created this cartoon. It had many of the same actors that were in the movie. It was quickly added to Fox's Animation Domination lineup, and then it was quickly canceled after only six episodes. The entire series is currently available on Hulu. It has a 6.4/10 on IMDB.
Wayward Pines (May 14, 2015 - July 27, 2016)
For a very short time, we had two network shows based in Idaho at the same time. The longest-running of all of the Idaho-based shows was Wayward Pines. This was an M. Night Shyamalan mystery set in a fictional town. It was designed to be one season of ten episodes. After filming the project, many of the actors moved on to other things. It was a shock to the entire cast and crew when Fox picked up a second season. Because of this, first season stars Matt Dillon and Juliette Lewis were unavailable, and the second season starred Jason Patric. In total, Wayward Pines ran two seasons with ten episodes each. It has an IMDB score of 7.4/10.
The Grinder (September 29, 2015 - May 10, 2016)
An actor from Boise comes home after his law show ends. Learning about being a lawyer from playing one on TV, he decides to start practicing at his family firm. It starred Rob Lowe and Fred Savage and is the most successful Idaho show, even though it only lasted one season before Fox pulled the plug. It had a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.1/10 on IMDB. The Grinder was nominated for a People's Choice Award. Rob Lowe was nominated for both a Golden Globe and a People's Choice award for his performance.
Spinning Out (January 1, 2020)
Spinning Out is a teen ice skating drama. The lead character suffers a nasty leg injury while trying to cover up her mom's mental illness. She becomes a pairs skater and tries to reach her goal of being in the Olympics. This show might have been a big deal if Emma Roberts played the lead. Unfortunately, she dropped out before filming began and was replaced with Kaya Scodelario from the Maze Runner movies. The show also starred January Jones from Mad Men. Released all at once by Netflix on January 1, it took them until February to announce it had been canceled. It only scores a 59% on Rotten Tomatoes, but a 7.7/10 on IMDB.