Some shows end before their time for a number of reasons. Maybe they didn’t have a big enough audience, maybe they were cancelled because of some background power play, or maybe they were just ahead of their time. Here are the 10 TV shows that were cancelled too soon.
10. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
One good thing came out of this cancellation: without it we ay never have had the treat of Lena Heady as Cersei Lannister. That’s where the good news ends as Terminator: TSC, was the last time that the franchise had even a tiny bit of quality. Proving that Sarah Connor is Terminator’s greatest character wasn’t enough to get the show renewed for a third series.
9. Happy Endings
Happy Endings was on for three anarchic seasons but struggled to find an audience despite its brilliant cast and Meta humour. The problem was that the show was advertised as something much less interesting than it actually was, which was only a slightly nicer Chicago version of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and despite critical acclaim the show bowed out with much of the hijinks left untold.
8. The Fades
This small British show, which starred Ian De Caestecker, of Agents of Shield fame, was an ambitious tale of good and evil, but with the great British humour that set it apart from more generic genre fare. Alas it was cancelled after one season by the BBC; that is in spite of the fact that the show won a BAFTA the night before its cancellation was announced.
7. Freaks and Geeks
Considering how much of the cast went on to have successful careers, Judd Apatitow and Paul Feig’s high school comedy only lasted one season. Any show that has a cast like Seth Rogen, Linda Cardinelli, James Franco, and Jason Siegel, would be too big to fail these days.
6. The Unusual’s
It’s hard to believe, what with the success of both Fargo and Legion that this Noah Hawley show failed to find an audience. Starring Jeremy Renner, The Unusual’s was dramedy that focused on the weirder aspects of being a cop in the city. Despite its star power, The Unusual’s only lasted one season.
Considering how popular comic book shows are these days it surprising that Constantine, one of the most popular characters in comic book history, only lasted one series. Despite the perfect casting of Matt Ryan as John Constantine, and a first series that gradually found its voice, it was too expensive to make without a high audience share to back it up. Still the character did go in to make an appearance on Arrow so there still could be life in the old charlatan yet.
Yes, Angel did get five seasons, but it was the manner that it got cancelled that is the issue here. Nowadays no one would just cancel a Joss Whedon show, but despite critical acclaim and a large fan base, the network decided to pull the plug on the vampire with a soul, meaning that the show only had a handful of episodes in which to finish the story. Which they did, brilliantly.
3. Pushing Daisies
Bryan Fuller is a hugely respected figure in today’s TV landscape, what with his upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and bring Star Trek back to its rightful place on the small screen. It wasn’t always this way as his brilliantly original TV show Pushing Daisies got canned after two excellent seasons. With the success of the similarly styled A Series of Unfortunate Events, maybe Pushing Daisies was made at the wrong time.
Usually Firefly would top this list, maybe after 15 years the wound isn’t so fresh. It still hurts though, and Joss Whedon’s sci-fi western remains one of the best cancelled series of all time, with its great characters led by Nathan Fillion’s Mal Reynolds.
Hannibal is one of the best shows of the last ten years, easily up there with the likes of Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. Which makes it all the harder to accept that Bryan Fuller’s adaptation of Red Dragon was cancelled because it was made by the wrong network. The fact that it lasted three seasons on NBC is remarkable, but it feels like a cable network like HBO, Showtime, or AMC could have given the show a better shot.