Lost to time: The TV shows with missing episodes you’ll never see
The concept of the “lost episode” is something that with time has been, well, lost. Generation Z no doubt struggles to relate to the idea of lost TV show episodes, having grown up in a world where everything you see is backlogged and exists on the internet forever.
During the golden days of broadcast television & ratings, lost TV show episodes would fall from the hands of people behind the scenes regularly. Some of TV’s most beloved shows would be revealed to have a gap in their flourished history to the great dismay of fans across the globe.
One can only wonder how & why certain TV shows could end up with lost episodes. It’s always been customary for networks to archive their broadcast history and make sure no lost TV shows would end up in the void. However, these archives only began at a certain point after networks got off the ground, leaving lost TV shows in the shuffle.
Back in the day, people just weren’t as concerned with having carbon copies of their content as we are in the era of the iCloud. Even 1968’s second Super Bowl has been lost, no doubt igniting the horror of obsessed dads everywhere. Moreover, some of the most beloved TV shows of all time have lost episodes, and fanatics will be sullen to know they can never say they’ve seen it all.
Jeopardy was on everybody’s minds the past year when the king of game show hosts Alex Trebek left us for the big final round in the sky this past November. But our love for Alex Trebek only underscored our love for one of the greatest trivia game shows of all time, and the show’s been accruing superfans since Jeopardy started back in the 60s.
Jeopardy came into the world back in 1964. Hard to believe for most contemporary fans of the series, Jeopardy began way before Alex Trebek’s famous mustache became news-worthy material. Trebek only joined the series in 1984, twenty years after the show had begun broadcast.
The original incarnation of Jeopardy was hosted by Art Fleming and started airing at noon on NBC. Unfortunately for Flemming’s legacy & diehard Jeopardy fans, the entire first year of the game show has been lost, and we’ll never really know how the magic of Jeopardy first came to us.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
The meddling kids & crime-sniffing dog we’ve come to know & love came to us in their purest manifestation in 1969 with the premiere of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The 70s classic cartoon has re-ran for decades since Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!’s debut and created a brand new generation of fans as the years rolled on.
Fandom for Scooby-Doo can be extreme, as we can see with the cavalcade of merchandise the show has produced, as well as with sightings of D.I.Y. mystery machines in towns across the U.S. Google it!
Fans will be devastated to learn that all but one of the first season episodes are lost, as well as eight episodes of season 2. The people behind the show have physical copies of the episodes, but time has worn them to unviewable condition, making for a big pile of tapes of lost TV shows.
One of the most significant childhood TV shows of all time for many, Sesame Street has made countless memories for people across the globe. Superfans of the show can count (one ah two ah ha ha) every episode from their childhood, and continue to rack up their watch count with their own kids.
However, Sesame Street has some lost TV shows of its own. Sixty episodes of the original kids show have been lost to us, including one that debuts Oscar the Grouch’s pet worm, Slimy 😭. We’ll never know just how Slimy came into the world, but we will always put respect on their name.