The start to every TV season comes with a lot of expectations. Returning shows need to hold the same appeal that they did in previous seasons. New shows need to demonstrate why they’re special and they need to pull in leagues of viewers right from the very first episode. If they don’t, these shows run the risk of cancellation. Big cancellation decisions tend to happen a month or two after the seasons start: usually in October and November.
There have been a slew of TV shows cancelled in recent weeks. Some are fan favorites and others probably won’t be missed. Either way, we won’t be seeing these shows beyond the 2014-2015 TV season. Some are ending after several successful seasons. Others barely got off the ground before getting the ax. Read on for our list of 15 shows that you probably didn’t know just got canceled.
15. Franklin & Bash
A funny and sometimes dramatic buddy lawyer show starring Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Franklin & Bash used the courtroom procedural formula to entertain viewers. It had moderate success for the first four seasons on TNT, getting some favorable reviews. The Los Angeles Times said, “‘Franklin & Bash’ is smart, it’s fun and it’s summer.” Still, the ratings weren’t what TNT wanted, and, in mid-November 2014, they decided to cancel the show.
14. A to Z
The decision to cancel A to Z, a new romantic comedy sitcom on NBC, is a bit of a baffling one. Unlike many of the TV shows on this list, this one had favorable reviews. It currently has a 64% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a user review score of 7.1 on IMDB. Still, after only a handful of episodes, NBC pulled the plug. According to Entertainment Weekly, this could be due to dwindling ratings since A to Z has to compete with CBS’ popular comedy block. Good news for fans, though: A to Z will still be airing all 13 episodes, so it’s not over quite yet.
13. Bad Judge
A to Z isn’t the only comedy show that NBC gave the ax to in late October, 2014. Bad Judge, the courtroom comedy starring Kate Walsh, has been cancelled only a few episodes into its very first season. This is due to a combination of dismal reviews and dwindling ratings. It holds a terrible rating of only 18% on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, this one’s surprising based on the big league talent behind the show, including Will Ferrell as an executive producer.
Selfie, the ABC sitcom, had tons of potential, despite the vapid name. With stars like John Cho and Karen Gillan (of Harold and Kumar and Doctor Who, respectively), where can you go wrong? While the premise of a present-day adaptation of My Fair Lady was a good one, the show just didn’t seem to find any footing. ABC said they’d air the remaining episodes of the 13-episode season when they announced the show’s cancellation in early November, but they’ve since changed their minds. On November 13, they announced they’d be replacing upcoming episodes of Selfie with reruns of Shark Tank.
When you consider that even the lamest reality shows have many years under their belts (we’re looking at you, The Jersey Shore), it’s a bit surprising that Utopia has been cancelled. That’s especially the case since it’s based off of a successful Dutch reality show. Still, the premise of a group of people trying to create their own utopia over the course of an entire year didn’t sit well with critics or viewers. Fox cancelled the show in early November and all the Utopians were sent home.
10. The Bridge
Seeing that it’s based on a successful Danish TV show and stars Diane Kruger, you’d think that The Bridge would have done well. Indeed, the gritty crime drama did garner favorable reviews in its first season on FX. It had a 90% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and that end is at the second season for The Bridge. After the reviews took a sharp dip for the second season, FX decided to shut the show down.
The cancelling of the family drama remake Dallas is proof that you can’t get by on name alone. While the remake did get positive reviews from critics and viewers alike, it wasn’t able to pull in the same kind of viewership that the original show, running from 1978 to 1991, had garnered. The viewership dwindled by less than half from its first season to its third. Positive reviews don’t mean anything if no one is actually watching the show. TNT cancelled the show in early October.
8. Hot in Cleveland
Sometimes even the popular shows run their course. That’s the case for the award-winning TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland. The show has had immense success and great reviews, featuring an all-star cast including Betty White. It even won a 2012 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable TV Comedy. Still the executives at TV Land decided that enough is enough. The next season–their sixth–will be the show’s last. Luckily, knowing that the end is coming means they should be able to tie the show up nicely, unlike most of the programs on this list.
Fans of Freakshow, the AMC reality documentary show, will be sad to hear that AMC has changed its mind about renewing the show. According to TV.com, AMC is done with the show, despite it getting favorable reviews. Instead, the network intends to spend more time and money on scripted shows, like their big hit Walking Dead. Where will we get our carnival freakshow fix now?
6. The Millers
Nothing seems to go right for Will Arnett. Despite being a good actor, he’s been on many failed TV shows over the years. The most recent is the CBS sitcom, The Millers. While the first season did decently well with an average of about 11 million viewers, that wasn’t the case for the beginning of season 2. Despite originally planning for a full second season, CBS execs suddenly pulled the plug after only four episodes. The last episode of The Millers aired on November 17th, 2014.
Perception seemed to have a good premise. The TNT crime drama stars Eric McCormack (formerly of Will & Grace) as a schizophrenic neuropsychiatrist helping the FBI with its toughest cases. But, Eric announced on his Twitter in mid-November that the show had been cancelled. He said, “A sad day: Daniel Pierce will lecture no more. Thank you #Perception fans, and our great crew, for 3 amazing seasons. Shoulda been more…” It’s not clear why TNT decided to cancel the show after three successful seasons. It will have it’s last five episodes starting in February, 2015.
4. Witches of East End
Based on the book, Witches of East End captivated audiences looking for something spooky and sexy. The Lifetime supernatural drama had such a good first season that the network decided to give it a second. Unfortunately, that popularity didn’t stick for that second season, and Lifetime announced early November that the show wouldn’t be having a third.
3. Anger Management
Sorry, Charlie Sheen. You’ll have to come up with a new show to be on now that Anger Management has been cancelled. In the FX sitcom, Charlie plays a former baseball player who heads anger management classes. Despite having a large audience for its very first episode, the show is generally hated by critics and viewers. The second and final season will end with its 100th episode on December 22nd.
2. The Mentalist
Through its six seasons, The Mentalist has had many favorable reviews from critics and has a large fan following. It’s even won a few awards, including the 2009 People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama. But, because the CBS police procedural made such huge changes in the second half of the sixth season, viewership dropped off. One of the main actors, Tim Kang, announced on Twitter that the upcoming seventh season, shortened to only 13 episodes, will be it’s last: “This is our 7th and final season. Looking at the scripts now, it’s so fun and such a great season!”
1. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is one of those reality shows that people love to hate. Despite critics and audiences finding it offensive, it still had great ratings for the TLC network. But, sometimes a TV show is cancelled because of outside controversy, and not for the show’s content. In this case, TLC pulled the show because Honey Boo Boo’s mom, Mama June, has rekindled a relationship with child molester Mark McDaniel. McDaniel is a sex offender and pedophile, he is also the father of June’s middle child Jessica. He even allegedly molested members of Honey Boo Boo’s family. We definitely agree with TLC’s decision.