Don Draper's been away for 17 months, but he's got nothing on Basil Fawlty
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"The Game" (20 months)
"The Game": The CW canceled the "Girlfriends" spin-off in May of 2009, as the fifth-place network decided to get out of the sitcom business (and like the WB before it, out of the diversity business as well). BET was airing the show in repeats, and decided to order a batch of new episodes, which began airing in January of 2011. The move paid off big-time, as the first episode was watched by 7.7 million viewers, by far its biggest audience ever.