25 Of The Best TV Shows That Were Canceled Too Early

Posted by , Updated on December 27, 2016

Can you name a TV show that was canceled way too early? Some TV shows are immediately embraced by the masses for the magic that they are and run for five seasons or more, being allowed to complete their story arcs (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, How I Met Your Mother, etc). And then there are shows that are well made, clever, and yet get pulled from the air prematurely. Sometimes it’s due to a lack of ratings, sometimes a network sets them up to fail (Fox, we’re looking at you). Here’s a list of 25 Of The Best TV Shows That Were Canceled Too Early.

25

Firefly (2002). Firefly was a pretty clever show about cowboys in space. With nifty one liners and good character development, Firefly could have been the next Buffy, but it fell prey to Fox changing it's schedule around sports, and airing episodes out of order. Not sure what you thought would happen there, Fox.

fireflySource: (my heart &) www.imdb.com Image Source: http://quotesgram.com/firefly-tv-show-quotes/
24

Pushing Daisies (2007-2009) was a show about a Ned (played be Lee Pace), who made pies, and also could bring dead things back to life by touching them. If he touched them again, they would die and stay dead. He brought back a girl, and fell in love with her. Oops. It was heartwarming, clever, and quaint and super saturated with dream like color, so of course it was cancelled. Worth watching, if only for Lee Pace's eyebrows and Kristin Chenoweth's...everything. What killed this amazing show? Basically, the writer's strike. Thanks guys!

pushingdaisiesSource: www.businessinsider.com Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tsmall/3669822289

Oh and IT WON SEVEN EMMYS. Argh! It’s so good…*snif*

23

My So-Called Life (1994-1995) was a show about a 15 year old girl dealing with being 15. Young Claire Danes and Jared Leto are amazing, and if you've ever missed the 90s', a few episodes will satisfy that nostalgia craving.

myso-calledlifeSource: http://www.imdb.com/ Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89186997@N00/2253067547
22

About A Boy (2014-2015) was a show based on the movie starring Hugh Grant which was based on a book of the same name (which was a reference to a Nirvana song). The show starred David Walton as a songwritter/playboy and Minnie Driver as the single mother who moves in next door with her son.

About a boy tv seriesSource: http://tvline.com/ Image Source: www.imdb.com
21

Dead Like Me (2003-2004) was about a girl who died and became a reaper. The show dealt with death via comedy, and did it so well that five years after cancellation, there was a direct to dvd movie made for fans to tie up loose ends.

dead-like-meSource: http://www.businessinsider.com Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dead-like-me.svg

20

Veronica Mars (2004-2007) was so popular among fans that a kickstarter was launched to raise funds for a movie and the goal was met within 10 hours. Set in a fictional town in California, the show stared Kristen Bell and followed the life of Veronica through high school and college as she worked as a private investigator. The Veronica Mars movie was released in 2014.

veronica_mars_2004_logoSource: https://en.wikipedia.org Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Veronica_Mars_2004_logo.svg
19

The Brady Brides (1981) was exactly what it sounded like - Marsha and Jan grew up and got married, but were too poor to each afford their own house, so Marsha, Jan, and their husbands lived together! Wacky hijinks ensued! It was awful. But it was the kind of nostalgic awful you wanted more of. *coughcoughfullerhousecough*

the_brady_brides_opening_screenshotSource: http://tvline.com/ Image Source: http://bradybunch.wikia.com/wiki/The_Brady_Brides
18

Selfie (2014) was a newer spin on the classic My Fair Lady tale, and it had some majorly talented star power - Karen Gillian and Cho - but ultimately suffered from, well, a really terrible name that failed to inspire any interest whatsoever.

selfie_abc_logoSource: http://tvline.com/ Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selfie_(TV_series)
17

Witches of East End (2013-2014) was a show about beautiful, powerful, dark haired women who had a bunch of family drama and also did magic. It was totally addictive, and left us way too soon.

witchesofeastendSource: http://tvline.com/ Image Source: https://vimeo.com/116861100
16

Apparently casting Lee Pace in a show created by Bryan Fuller unleashes a curse, and that curse is that there will be an amazing show that is a bit too intelligent or weird for the masses, and thus it will end way too soon. Such was the case with Pushing Daisies, such was the case with it's predecessor, Wonderfalls (2004). Pace didn't star in Wonderfalls, he was in a supporting role. Caroline Dhavernas starred as a sarcastic, frustrated 20 something girl who uses her Ivy League degree to work in a souvenir shop in Niagara Falls when fake (plastic) animals start talking to her.

wonderfallsSource: http://tvtropes.org/ Image Source: https://www.marriottonthefalls.com/blog/2014/10/27/remembering-wonderfalls
15

Deadwood (2004) was an HBO show that was cancelled as it was about to go into production for it's 4th season, and it left a LOT of loose ends hanging. Fans of the western had hoped that those ends would be tied up in 1 or 2 made for tv movies, but those dreams never came to fruition.

deadwood_titleimageSource: http://www.tvguide.com/ Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Deadwood_titleimage.jpg

It’s hard to believe that HBO would cancel Deadwood, but the most shocking show cancellation is yet to come.

14

Moonlight (2007) was campy vampire soap-opera-esque prime time mystery at it's greatest, and sadly, it was not appreciated for what it was - a show about a sexy vampire private detective and the cute blond he falls for under the moonlight in LA. It was cancelled, but we somehow got like sixteen Twilight movies, and those vampires hated themselves and sparkled. Thanks Hollywood.

moonlightSource: http://www.imdb.com/ Image Source: https://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Moonlight/70180071
13

V (2009-2011) was a remake, sort of. In the mid 1980s' there were two miniseries, and a short lived show, and in 2009 the new show was an attempt to take that story - earth's first meeting with extra terrestrials, who are super advanced and come in peace but (shock!) not really - and remake it. It worked for two seasons and then was cancelled due to low ratings.

v_2009_intertitleSource: http://www.denofgeek.com/ Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:V_2009_Intertitle.png
12

Terra Nova (2011) was about Time Travel and Dinosaurs, and we're still not quite sure how it all ended up going so very, very wrong (yes we are. It cost a fortune to make) . Definitely a situation where if a show had been given another season to really find it's groove, it could've been something truly special.

terranovalogoSource: http://www.tvguide.com/ Image Source: http://terranova.wikia.com/wiki/Terra_Nova_(TV_series)
11

Undeclared (2001-2002) was a show brought to us by Judd Apatow, who also brought us "Freaks and Geeks". The show was about college freshman, and the recently divorced dad of one who decides to hang out with them. It received much critical acclaim, but suffered from poor ratings.

undeclared_intertitleSource:http://www.cheatsheet.com/ Image Source:
10

Better Off Ted was a show in the same vein as The Office, but darker and definitely a sit-com as opposed to a documentary style. It was hilarious, particularly to those who have survived the grind of corporate America. Worth watching for Portia de Rossi alone.

betterofftedSource: http://www.popmatters.com/ Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Better_Off_Ted
9

Terriers (2010) somehow managed to be one of the lowest rated shows in FX's history, but received a Metascore of 75 and got a 94% on the Tomatometer at rotten tomatoes. What that basically means is that nearly everyone who saw the show loved it, just...not a lot of people saw it. A former cop/recovering alcoholic and his ex-con best friend start up an unlicensed detective agency and generally attempt to avoid other adult responsibilities.

terriers_2010_intertitleSource:http://www.cheatsheet.com/ Image Source: Season 1, Episode 3: "Change Partners" Original broadcast: September 22, 2010 on FX (Fair use)

Check the license on this please, I got it off wikipedia but it still said it was tm?

8

Arrested Development (2003-2006) was cancelled after just three seasons yet retains one of the biggest cult followings of any modern tv show (seriously, the fans rival Firefly's fans). It was brought back in 2013 for a fourth season via the magic of Netflix. The original run of the show won six Primetime Emmys and a golden globe. After the fourth season on Netflix, there was supposedly going to be a film, or a fifth season, or both. But neither have come to fruition, so who knows?

arrested_developmentSource: https://en.wikipedia.org Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrested_Development_(TV_series)
7

Jericho (2006 - 2008) was a show about what happens to people in a small town after nuclear war devastates most of the US. It was initially cancelled after the first season due to low ratings, but there was such an uproar from fans that the network reluctantly made a second season of only 7 episodes that premiered in early 2008. The story now lives on in comic book form

jerichoSource: http://www.moviestalk.com/ Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jericho.tvseries.jpg
6

Revolution (2012-2014) was brought to us by the same mind that gave us Supernatural - Eric Kripke - and J.J. Abrams. The show is about a family trying to survive in a world post - electricity. Fifteen years prior there was a great blackout and it was permanent, and the people of earth were, by and large, not prepared to return to a pre industrial revolution way of life.

revolution_logoSource: http://www.imdb.com/ Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Southland-logo.png
5

Southland (2009) was a cop drama about a rookie and his experienced partner in LA. It was killed by NBC after one season, but resurrected on TNT for another four seasons. Sometimes when the big networks don't get magical ratings overnight, they pull the plug on some really good shows. Their loss.

southland-logoSource: http://www.imdb.com/ Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Southland-logo.png
4

The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (2009-2010) was full of drama from the start, and it was all off screen. O'Brien had been doing Late Night with Conan O'Brien for over a decade and a half, and Jay Leno had been doing The Tonight Show, which aired an hour earlier. Leno attempted to move on to bigger and better things, so O'Brien took over. Then when bigger and better things didn't pan out for Leno, O'Brien was sent packing and Leno was given back his spot, until The Tonight show was taken over by Jimmy Fallon in 2014. Comedy is subjective, some people preferred O'Brien, some Leno, but most people can agree that O'Brien was treated quite poorly by the network. It's worth noting that O'Brien's version of The Tonight show got 4 Emmy nominations in it's 7 month run.

tonightwithconanSource:https://en.wikipedia.org/ image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rkolsen/3614113013
3

Star Trek (1966-1969) - the original series about cowboys in space - only lasted three seasons. 11 movies and five other (longer running) series later (and another set to start in January of 2017, Star Trek: Discovery), we're thinking the studio made the wrong call, here.

star_trek_title_lettersSource:http://www.moviestalk.com/ Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Star_trek_title_letters.jpg
2

Futurama (1999-2002 on Fox, 2006-2008, direct to DVD movies made by Cartoon Network, 2010-2014, Comedy Central). Futurama follows Phillip J Fry, a pizza delivery boy who finds himself cryogenically frozen on New Year's Eve 1999, only to wake up in the 31st century where he becomes... a delivery boy. The show is funny, wickedly clever and heart wrenching (when was the last time an adult half hour cartoon show made you cry? Just watch Jurassic Bark) and honestly, we're hoping that Netflix picks it up because there will NEVER be enough Futurama. Even in 2016 the first season is still eeriliy relevant.

futurama_1999_logoSource & image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futurama
1

Freaks & Geeks (1999-2000) was a show about high school misfits in the 1980s'. One sibling was a freak, the other was a geek. It boasted a cast of actors that would later come to be household names - John Francis Daley, James Franco, Seth Rogen & Jason Segel - yet was cancelled after only 12 episodes aired, though 18 had been filmed.

freaks_and_geeksSource & Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freaks_and_Geeks
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