Historical events might make incredible television, but it often makes sense to wait until enough time has passed to reflect on events. Here are several TV shows based on real stories that were made way, way too soon.
Pam & Tommy (2022)
They probably could have waited until at least one member of Mötley Crüe was dead.
Critics from law enforcement agencies felt this show would have been better if postponed indefinitely.
Everyone Survived 9/11 (2001)
The rush to capitalize on the events of Sept. 11 led to this tasteless and highly inaccurate dramatization.
The Chicago Murder Spree Of 2024 (2024)
This feels cynical, even for Netflix.
Free Harvey (2018)
An NBC show proclaiming the blanket innocence of Harvey Weinstein was, perhaps, premature.
Creators should have at least waited until more of the nation’s fentanyl high had worn off allowing for a deeper appreciation of the show.
It is still unclear what the long-term effects of radiation exposure are.
John Adams (2008)
Not enough time had passed between the making of this series and the film Sideways for audiences to stop seeing Paul Giamatti as the pinot noir guy.
Hurried to the airwaves before humanity even understood everything about the universe.
The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (2016)
This was widely criticized for being released before the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman had been solved.
Mad Men (2007)
Though fictional, many of the characters were portrayals of real people who are still drunk.
Suddenly Sadam (2006)
Critics thought the multicam sitcom about the Iraqi leader’s life was a bit too lighthearted, premiering only a month after his killing.
JFK Autopsy Spectacular (1963)
Mere moments after the death of the president, upstart network ABC announced they would cover the autopsy of former president John F. Kennedy live.
The West Wing (1999)
The U.S. presidency as an institution was actually still ongoing when this Aaron Sorkin drama premiered.
Guantanamo Games (2002)
The short-lived game show where Guantanamo Bay inmates were forced to compete in a series of obstacle courses for a chance at freedom was criticized as “cruel” and “an obvious human rights violation.”
May 10, 1957 (1957)
CBS started producing this show on May 11, 1957, a decision that was widely viewed as insensitive at the time and only looks worse in hindsight.
El Chapo (2017)
The show’s creators didn’t even realize that everyone in the closing credits is now a target for when El Chapo inevitably escapes again.
The Crown (2016)
At least wait until the Queen dies to try and analyze her life story.