Tru Calling arrived on the small screen at a pivotal time for fans of genre fare in 2003.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer had just ended, so there was a desire from networks to get its most recognizable cast on new projects.
Eliza Dushku could have continued playing Buffy's onetime adversary in a planned spinoff, but instead of choosing the predictable, the actress opted to take a hard left turn to steer her career in a different direction.
The series starred Dushku as Tru Davies, a young woman who takes a job at a morgue when her internship falls through.
Yes, there's far more to the plot than that, with the unique spin that found the deceased waking up from the dead and asking her to help them.
That allowed Tru to relive the day to find out what happened to them and to try to change the events.
It was a compelling hook, and 20 years on, it's a shame the series didn't break through on a more significant level.
Airing on FOX, the numbers weren't great, but the network did give the show a fair shake by picking it up for a second season.
It's crazy because Ghost Whisperer started two years later, and despite some similarities, the Jennifer Love Hewitt drama had healthy ratings and lasted five seasons.
Unfortunately, Tru Calling concluded with several plots left in the air because of its cancellation.
Back then, networks were more cutthroat.
With higher expectations, it wasn't uncommon for shows to get canceled with several episodes in the can, never to be seen.
It's a miracle that Tru Calling lasted for 26 episodes in that climate, but it's a shame because if the series was made today for a streaming audience, it would probably reach the audience it craved when it was initially on the air.
Supernatural procedurals have their audiences, as evidenced by Ghost Whisperer's success, so I'm inclined to believe that the show could have benefited from airing on CBS.
Still, though, in this streaming-conscious world, Tru Calling could have thrived.
It's a shame that it isn't available for streaming anywhere because it's challenging to assess a show's success nowadays without those streaming metrics.
The only way to bring the show back in today's climate would be as a reboot, but it'd be nice to have it focused on someone else with Tru's powers and tip the hat to what came before.
Looking back, Tru Calling featured an impressive array of well-known names in addition to Dushku.
Where did the cast land after Tru Calling? Check it out below.
Eliza Dushku - Tru Davies
Dushku broke through for portraying Dana Tasker in the 1994 movie True Lies.
When she premiered as the lead on Tru Calling, she had come off a recurring role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
She also appeared as the character on the spinoff Angel, but her final appearance in the role was on the Buffy series finale in 2003.
Despite being approached to continue playing Faith in her own spinoff, Dushku opted to go with Tru Calling, which came up at the same time.
Tru had a lot on her shoulders throughout her two seasons on-screen.
As someone who can change the fate of the people in the morgue, she struggled to grapple with that, in addition to trying to hide the scars from her past and look after her brother, Harrison.
She also had to contend with Jason Priestley's Jack Harper, a man who tried to thwart her changing the trajectory of people's lives.
It was ... a lot. We can only hope that Tru found happiness following Tru Calling Season 2.
After her turn on Tru Calling, Dushku appeared on That '70s Show and Ugly Betty before returning to FOX with Dollhouse.
The sci-fi series lasted just two seasons and ended after 27 episodes in 2010.
In the years since, she appeared opposite Tru Calling costar Matt Bomer on White Collar, Banshee, Con Man, The League, The Big Bang Theory, and Bull.
That's a lot of great projects right there.
Shawn Reaves - Harrison
Despite his deep love for his sister, Harrison always seemed to find himself in trouble, forcing Tru to help him out.
As the series progressed, he was less frustrating and more helpful as he began understanding the gravity of how these powers affected his sister.
His storyline was left unresolved due to the series' untimely cancellation, which sucks because there was so much potential.
As for Reaves, he followed up Tru Calling with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI: Miami, Life, Sanctuary, and Almost Human.
Zach Galifianakis as Davis
As Tru's boss, Davis knew a lot about dead bodies and served as a confidante as her powers continued manifesting in strange ways.
However, that didn't mean he was being transparent with Tru -- far from it, actually.
As Tru learned, Davis knew of her mother's ability and was harboring some secrets of his own.
Many people didn't know Galafianikis was in the show, largely because he's cemented himself as a comedy actor.
He's enjoyed a stellar career in the show's aftermath, appearing in the Hangover trilogy, Due Date, What Happens in Vegas, The Campaign, and more beloved comedies.
On the small screen, he appeared in Baskets and lent his voice to shows like Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons, and American Dad.
But we'll always remember Davis, and we'd be interested in hearing whether it's a role he'd like to revisit because it was light years away from anything he's done since.
A.J. Cook as Lindsay
We now know her as the badass Jennifer "JJ" Jareau on Criminal Minds.
But back in 2003, she played Tru's best friend, Lindsay Walker.
Lindsay was connected with Harrison at one point but was written out at the end of Tru Calling Season 1 when the character moved to Europe after getting married.
Lindsay was a decent character, so it's unfortunate she was written out before her storyline got going.
Then again, had things been different, she maybe wouldn't have landed Criminal Minds after leaving. She still plays JJ all these years later. We wouldn't have it any other way.
Additional TV credits include Law & Order: SVU, Dead Like Me, and 9-1-1.
She also starred in Final Destination 2 on the big screen, aka the movie that made me terrified of flatbed trucks with trees!
Matt Bomer as Luc
Before he was conning people on White Collar, Matt Bomer was on Tru Calling as Luc.
As the season progressed, their relationship became strained because of Tru's behavior as she tried to conceal her powers. There was plenty to love about their relationship, but sadly, it wasn't meant to be.
After saving Harrison in the season finale, Tru tries to let him in on the secret about her powers, but it doesn't land well.
Luc storms off and winds up dying. It turns out that saving her brother meant Tru lost her lover... for good. It serves as a catalyst for Tru's war with Jack, but that's about it.
Bomer has enjoyed a busy career in Hollywood following his departure from the show.
He has appearances on American Horror Story, Chuck, Doom Patrol, and headlined White Collar.
More recently, he stars opposite Jonathan Bailey on Showtime's Fellow Travelers.
On the big screen, he appeared in The Boys in the Band, Walking Out, Anything, and many more. He's a busy actor.
Jessica Collins as Meredith
Meredith didn't have the best relationship with her siblings throughout her short stint on Tru Calling.
We witnessed many awkward encounters between the siblings.
Unfortunately, there was no comeback for Meredith after she was revealed to be in rehab in the second season.
Wouldn't it have been great to round up the siblings for an episode in the second season? It'd be interesting seeing what became of Meredith.
Collins followed up tru Calling with roles on Everwood, CSI, Two and a Half Men, Nip/Tuck, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, NCIS, 9-1-1, and Acapulco.
Acapulco continues on Apple TV+, so we should see more of Collins in the next season.
Benjamín Benítez as Gardez
Gardez did corpse pickups in the first half of the freshman season, but he was written out without much of a conclusion.
At the time, many believed it was because the series was focused on bringing in Jason Priestley as Jack Harper.
Sometimes on new shows, characters don't land as well as expected, and sadly, that's probably what happened with Gardez.
Benitez followed the series up with Ray Donovan, Major Crimes, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Castle.
Jason Priestley as Jack Harper
Jack was an interesting character because he served as the polar opposite of Tru.
Priestley was brought on to the show to drum up interest amid poor ratings.
Jack was interesting because he believed fate had to get its way and that Tru was changing things she shouldn't be.
It turned out that Jack had quite the past and was in cahoots with Tru's father, Richard. We loved the drama!
TV loves the enemies-to-lovers trope, even back then. The chemistry was flowing between Jack and Tru flowed in the final season, leaving us to question whether they would -- gasp -- end up together.
Priestley was, of course, best known for his work on Beverly Hills, 90210.
He returned to that universe with BH90210 in 2019.
Additional TV credits include Raising Expectations, Private Eyes, The Order, Fantasy Island, Call Me Fitz, and My Name is Earl.
Eric Christian Olsen as Jensen
Jensen is introduced as a love interest for, Tru, but their relationship changes when he dies and doesn't ask for help.
Tru then found someone else to ask for help, relived the day, and saved his life.
Unfortunately, Jensen couldn't shake the feeling that he almost died, and according to the creatives, the arc would have developed with him becoming obsessed with his near-death experience and ultimately becoming a serial killer.
He would have served as one of the people Jack told Tru about who shouldn't have been saved.
While we adore Eric, we weren't big fans of Jensen... but maybe it's because we didn't get to see the character reach his murderous potential on-screen. Boo.
The actor followed up the FOX drama with The Loop, Brothers & Sisters, Community, and NCIS: Los Angeles.
What are your thoughts on where the cast is now and if the series was ahead of its time?
Hit the comments.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.