The Trouble with Tracy (partially found Canadian sitcom; 1970-1971)
The Trouble with Tracy was a sitcom produced by Seymour Berns for CTV in the early 1970s, starring Diane Nyland and Steve Weston. The series is often considered to be one of the biggest flops in Canadian television history, if not of television in general. It is generally believed that the series was created solely to meet the demands of Canadian content restrictions, with the production team required to produce a total of 130 episodes for the season. The resulting time and budget restrictions forced them to take such shortcuts as recycling old radio scripts, shooting virtually the entire series inside a poorly-constructed set, using a laugh track instead of a live studio audience, and keeping bloopers in the completed episodes due to insufficient time to shoot retakes. Despite the poor quality of the finished product and subsequent low ratings, CTV's shaky financial situation at the time forced them to air the entire series in order to recoup their investments. This may have had the effect of giving the series more time to be remembered than another series of similar quality would have been. Although often named one of the worst sitcoms ever produced, some critics, such as Geoff Pevere, see it as an ambitious, if ultimately unsuccessful attempt to produce a scripted series within the financial constraints frequently encountered in Canadian television production.
After its initial airing, The Trouble with Tracy was shown in repeats on several affiliated stations for a few years before seemingly disappearing off the face of the planet. It is often rumoured that the series' original masters were destroyed out of shame, a claim that is given credence by the fact that CTV has admitted to wiping some of its programs on occasion. CTV, however, denies this, claiming that the original masters were preserved for re-runs and still remain in their archives. Either way, of the 130 episodes of The Trouble with Tracy that were produced, only 4 have surfaced. Given its bad reputation, it is unlikely that the remainder of the series will ever see the light of day again.