In the world of television, only a few shows survive. The ones that make it can get multiple seasons and awards, but there are often shows that we love that we believe shouldn’t have been canceled. We put together a list of 25 TV shows that were simply too good for cancelation, but the powers that be had other plans.
1. Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23 (2012 – 2013)
Don’t Trust The B in Apartment 23 is a comedy known for its short run on ABC between 2012 and 2013. It starred Dreama Walker as June, a woman in need of a new roommate, and Kristen Stewart as Chloe. Eventually, the two become good friends as hilarity ensues in each episode.
While the show is beloved by many online, it didn’t get enough viewers and ended up being canceled by the network in 2013.
2. Daredevil (2015)
As the first MCU show to debut on a streaming service, Daredevil marked a change in direction for Marvel Studios. It was darker and more violent than most MCU projects, showing that the MCU could be more than jokes and quips. The show follows blind lawyer Matt Murdock as he works by day but is a superhero at night.
Daredevil survived for three seasons on Netflix until it was surprisingly canceled. A revival of the show has been announced, and the character has appeared in She-Hulk on Disney Plus.
3. Hannibal (2013)
Based on novels by Thomas Harris, Hannibal follows FBI special investigator the relationship William Graham of Dr. Hannibal Lecter as Lecter tries to hide his life as a serial killer from the FBI. Critics and audiences seemed to enjoy the show, but NBC canceled it in 2015 because it lost viewers over three seasons. Since then, there have been attempts to revive the show, but nothing has come to fruition.
4. The Tick (2016)
The original The Tick comic managed to spawn an animated series and two live-action series, both of which were canceled. The most recent one aired on Amazon Prime. It follows an invincible superhero named the Tick who shows up in a new city to fight crime. He meets Arthur, who eventually becomes his sidekick. The show lasted for two seasons but was canceled in 2019 by Amazon.
5. Inside Job (2021 – 2022)
Netflix is known for canceling so many shows. One of its controversial cancellations came earlier this year with the cancellation of Inside Job. The show was an animated comedy poking fun at conspiracy theories. It was doing well for the platform, as they renewed it for another season. Netflix then reversed its decision and canceled the show this past January, proving that the platform might like canceling good shows a little too much.
6. Luke Cage (2016 – 2018)
Like Daredevil, Luke Cage was a part of the original Marvel Netflix lineup. The show followed the adventures of the invincible Luke Cage as he defended his home of Harlem, New York. It had a disappointing first season, which is a shame because the second season was so much better. It was canceled while a third season was in development. With Disney Plus now streaming it, the show could return at some point.
7. Firefly (2002 – 2003)
Joss Whedon’s Firefly was a sci-fi adventure series that aired on Fox until it was canceled due to low ratings. The show followed the crew of the Serenity as they tried to survive in the galaxy. Firefly may be the poster child for shows that were canceled too soon. It appears on every list like this, had massive fan support post-cancellation, and even received a sequel film, Serenity.
8. Revolution (2012)
NBC’s Revolution takes place in a post-apocalyptic world without electricity. The show had a strong start in terms of viewership but slightly declined by the end of the second season, which led to its cancellation. The show had an interesting premise and cast but never retained viewers.
Since Revolution never had a finale episode, it received one as a comic series from DC in 2015.
9. Almost Human (2013 – 2014)
Here we have another interesting sci-fi show canceled by Fox, Almost Human. The show follows a cop in the future who is forced to have an android as a partner. The show’s visual effects were so good it won an Emmy award for them. Unfortunately, they were costly to create.
These expensive effects, combined with low ratings, led to the show being canceled after just one season.
10. Heroes (2006 – 2010)
“Save the Cheerleader, Save the World.” This iconic tagline is what many remember from Heroes. It was a show about regular people gaining superpowers. The show did pretty well initially but stumbled once the 2007 Writer’s Strike began.
As a result, season 2 was shortened, and storylines were canceled. This ruined the show’s momentum. Eventually, people stopped tuning in. It was canceled after the fourth season.
11. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008 – 2009)
Speaking of shows affected by the 2007 Writer’s Strike, here’s Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Taking place after Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Sarah and John Connor end up traveling into the future along with a friendly Terminator named Cameron. There, the trio fights off the FBI and other terminators hunting them.
The show did well during its short first season and received a much longer season 2 but was canceled, becoming another casualty of the 2007 Writer’s Strike. The worst part of its cancellation is that it’s the best piece of Terminator media since the second film.
12. Graceland (2013 – 2015)
Graceland aired on USA Network when it slowly moved away from shows like Psych and Burn Notice. Graceland was an indicator of the direction the network was heading in. It followed the lives of undercover agents for various USA law-enforcement agencies living in a seized beach house called Graceland.
Each episode brought new drama and twists, but the show flew under the radar for most USA viewers as their attention seemed to be on shows such as Suits or White Collar.
After three seasons, the show was canceled, and there were never any demands for a revival.
13. Common Law (2012)
Common Law is a show that USA Network have loved if it aired in 2006. The show was about two cops who hated each other so much that they had to attend therapy together. It was a mix of humor, action, and drama. Sadly, it only lasted one season in 2012 despite its great premise.
14. Mindhunter (2017 – 2019)
Mindhunter was a top-rated show among critics when it premiered on Netflix. The show’s plot revolves around the early days of criminal profiling in the FBI. It received two seasons on Netflix, but after the second, the show was put on hold until second season director David Finch finished with other projects. The show never returned and was confirmed to be over by Fincher earlier this year.
15. Constantine (2014 – 2015)
Heroes wasn’t the last superhero show NBC aired. Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, Constantine premiered in 2014 and starred Matt Ryan as demon hunter John Constantine as he battles against the forces of evil. The show was canceled after it didn’t receive the viewership NBC hoped for.
Matt Ryan’s version of the character would live on as he appeared on several of the DC shows on the CW and reprised the role in DC’s animated films featuring Constantine.
16. My Name Is Earl (2005 – 2009)
It’s always disappointing when a show ends on a cliffhanger. That’s precisely what happened to My Name Is Earl. The show starred Jason Lee as Earl, a small-time crook looking to redeem himself by helping everyone he’s wronged, leading to some hilarious situations. The show was canceled after season 4 when negotiations with 20th Century Fox and NBC fell through.
17. The Get Down (2016 -2017)
At one point, The Get Down was a massive hit for Netflix. The show took place in 1970s New York and was a fictional portrayal of the rise of hip-hop music. It features a great cast, music, and narration from rapper Nas.
The show was canceled after just one season, split into two parts. It was canceled because it was too expensive to produce, with the first season costing $16 million per episode.
18. The Gifted (2017 – 2019)
The Gifted was one of Fox’s last attempts at using the X-Men IP before the company was sold to Disney. The show followed a group of mutants struggling to survive in a hostile world where the X-Men have disappeared. After a successful season 1, the show received a second season, which was less successful since it had lower ratings.
The show was ultimately canceled because of the low ratings and the Disney/Fox merger.
19. Space Ghost Coast to Coast (1993 – 2012)
Space Ghost Coast to Coast was a unique show. It featured interviews with celebrities conducted by Space Ghost, a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character from the 60s. The show became well-known for its hilarious interviews and guests. It had several runs throughout the 90s and early 2000s, but it originally ended because creator Mike Lazzo got tired of making it
20. Reaper (2007 – 2009)
The CW had many hit shows in the 2000s; unfortunately, Reaper wasn’t one of them. The show followed a man named Sam as he worked for Satan as a “Reaper,” someone who captures escaped souls. Its momentum was halted due to the 2007 Writers Strike, but it managed to air its first season and be renewed for a second. The second season was its last, and the show didn’t return despite plans to sell it to another network.
21. Southland (2009 – 2013)
Southland had the misfortune of being canceled twice. This show took a realistic look at life as a police officer working for the LAPD. It aired its first season on NBC and was canceled after it ended. It began its next season on TNT, where it received budget cuts and was canceled after just five seasons.
22. Girlfriends (2000 – 2008)
Girlfriends was a sitcom executive produced by Kelsey Grammar and followed the lives of four women: Toni, Joan, Maya, and Lynn. It lasted on UPN for six seasons before being moved to the CW due to the merging of the WB and UPN. The CW canceled the show after season 8 due to low ratings and expensive production.
The show lived on as a spinoff, The Game, whose 2021 revival was also canceled and removed from Paramount Plus recently.
23. Dollhouse (2009 – 2010)
Dollhouse from Joss Whedon featured Echo, an individual with temporary skills, also known as a “Doll” clients use for tasks such as assassinations or heists. The show follows her journey to becoming self-aware and breaking her programming. At first, many considered the show mediocre, but it got better as it went on.
However, the show was canceled due to low ratings before its second season finished airing.
24. Into the Badlands (2015 – 2019)
Into the Badlands knew how to grab your attention. With its impressive martial arts fight scenes and post-apocalyptic setting, the show should have done better than it did on AMC, home of the Walking Dead. That was not the case. Despite each season becoming progressively longer, viewers lost interest, leading to AMC canceling the show and leaving it without a finale.
25. Futurama (1999 – )
Futurama has been resurrected so much that there are a few different series finales. Matt Groening’s sitcom set on futuristic Earth has been canceled by Fox and Comedy Central since its debut in 1999. The series was supposed to have ended for good in 2013, but Hulu has recently brought it back for another season that is currently airing.