While streaming services and four million cable channels have changed how television works a little bit, the spring and early summer are still generally when television shows learn their fate when it comes to returning for another season. Many shows get canceled before all the episodes they filmed even air, but some are lucky enough to get a full season in. Some even get a bunch of seasons in before the network pulls the plug.
Over 40 shows got the ax from the 2017-18 TV schedule in the spring of 2017. Some, like Two Broke Girls and Last Man Standing, were on for more than five years and had decent-sized audiences, but just got to be too expensive for the network to keep making. Others, like Sleepy Hollow and Scream Queens, were given a few seasons to find their footing but just couldn’t develop an audience. Then there are shows like Making History or Pitch, which were pretty much dead on arrival.
Whether a show lasted for years or weeks, you can almost always count on a good-looking woman to help bring in viewers. Good-looking women are like stupid fathers and wise-cracking teenage boys in that every show needs at least one to get on TV these days. Ultimately, this means at least 40 sexy women lost their jobs this year.
For many, they won’t get another. They had their shot at stardom — or maybe even a second shot at stardom — but the public didn’t respond. There’s always regional theater. Just in case they’re gone forever, we thought we’d take a look at 15 of TV’s Hotties You’ll Never See Again After This Year.
15. Molly Ephraim
We saw the last of her teen years on television, and she’s grown into a beautiful young woman — even old enough to now get roles playing bartenders in other projects — but if Molly Ephraim taking a career hit is what it’s going to take to get Tim Allen off of our television screens, sorry Molly. Our national nightmare known as Last Man Standing is over. There’s some precedence that her career is doomed to go nowhere at this point. Tell us what Jonathan Taylor Thomas is doing these days. He was the breakout kid star on Allen’s first show, Home Improvement. In its peak, he was way bigger than Ephraim ever was, but he’s just an answer to a Trivial Pursuit question now. Ephraim is more like the other two kids from Home Improvement. We don’t even remember what their names were. If Ephraim is smart, she’ll exploit the fact that she’s pretty and do some more mature sexier roles to shed the child star tag, but like so many child stars who see their shows canceled when they reach 20 years old, the best of her career may have already passed.
14. Kat Dennings
Kat Dennings is yet another one of the people on this list whom you have to wonder if you’ll ever see again. When she first showed up on Two Broke Girls, she was mostly known as the virginal daughter from The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, and it took her nearly a decade to break that typecasting. After six years as the sassy brunette Max Black on Two Broke Girls, we have a feeling that aside from the occasional indie film or guest star role, she’s stored enough money away that she can pick whatever project she wants moving forward. It’s going to be hard for her to be seen as anything other than Max, and estimates put her wealth at around $9 million, so she’s set for life. She’s also now into her 30s and for good-looking actresses with giant breasts, that usually means that they’ve peaked in popularity.
13. Vanessa Hudgens
One of the signs that somebody is probably going to go away and not come back is when they stopped getting work prior to their latest gig. With Hudgens, who rose to fame as the female lead in the High School Musical franchise that set all kinds of records for The Disney Channel, once she appeared in the horrible Spring Breakers in 2012, she found trouble getting work beyond independent movies nobody ever saw in 2013. She had no credits in 2014, appeared in one indie film in 2015, and did nothing in 2016, except play Betty Rizzo in a TV remake of Grease. That’s three years with two jobs. Then, for whatever reason, producers of the NBC superhero/comic book inspired show Powerless decided to add her to the ensemble cast. Unfortunately for the show, nobody was watching. The last time Hudgens appeared in anything people really wanted to see, it was yet another set of her nude photos being leaked online. We have a feeling that unless another crop of photos pops up in the future, we’ve seen the last of Vanessa Hudgens.
12. Beth Behrs
When Two Broke Girls started back in 2011, Beth Behrs was the hot new blonde who came out of nowhere, and we expect she’ll be returning there a much richer woman. If you’ve had the unlucky experience of having to sit through Behrs being interviewed on a talk show, you know that being herself in front of a camera is not the most natural thing for her. Prior to her big break, she mostly only appeared in independent films and did voiceover work for cartoons and video games where she didn’t even have to be seen on screen, so don’t expect her hosting her own show or ending up on one of those shows where the women sit around and talk about nothing. She may show up in something in a few years, and you’ll think to yourself, “Where do I remember her from?” but we’re guessing that probably won’t happen. Goodbye, Beth.
11. Famke Janssen
There comes a point in an actress’s career where she’s probably struck out one too many times, and we’re going to think that producers looking to cast a hotter middle-aged woman have realized the well has run dry on people tuning into a television show because Famke Janssen is in it. She first became known to us a little more than 20 years ago when she debuted in the James Bond GoldenEye movie. Since then, she was in the Taken and X-Men movies along with having a recurring character on the TV show Nip/Tuck. Somebody thought making her a TV regular was a good idea and put her in one of Netflix’s first shows, Hemlock Grove. That lasted two seasons from 2013-15. In 2016, she starred in the show How To Get Away With Murder, but that only lasted one season. She guest-starred and apparently made a good impression the same year on Blacklist and was hired to star in the spin-off, The Blacklist: Redemption, which was canceled after one season in 2017. That’s three cancellations in three years. Three strikes and you’re out.
10. Monica Barbaro
When the first 15 credits on your IMDb page are listed as “Short” and it’s only that final thing you’re known for, it’s got to be scary for an actress. Monica Barbaro is a great-looking woman and a decent actress who was introduced to the world on the now-cancelled Chicago Justice. It was your typical formulaic procedural drama that was spun-off from Chicago P.D.. It’s like if you took Law & Order and broke them into two shows, except nobody tuned in to see the Order part of this combination, and Barbaro is now left without a job. Her last gig before landing Chicago P.D. was as Aerobics Video Girl #2 in the never-seen film The Head Thieves. Let’s cross our fingers that she’s been mistakenly put on this list and that she’ll back on our TVs soon, but if not, it’s back to the world of student films and stuff nobody has ever seen for this beautiful woman.
9. Lea Michele
Scream Queens should have worked. It was decently well written, had a cast of B+/A- Hollywood starlets and packed more top-name recurring guest stars than any show we can think of from recent memory. So why did the show only last two seasons? Some may say it tried to be too many things to too many people, but we think it was more just that Fox couldn’t figure out how to market it and kept putting it in bad time slots. One of the casualties of this show will likely be the television career of Lea Michele. She’s never going to be remembered for her work on Scream Queens because she’s already seared in the minds of the TV viewing world from her work on Glee. She should probably be happy she got a couple more years of prime time TV work since her Glee co-stars weren’t so lucky. Michelle has an amazing voice, and we wouldn’t be surprised if she returned to Broadway and made a career on stage, but her TV days are likely over.
8. Britt Lower
To be honest, we had no idea Man Seeking Woman ran for three seasons on FX. We’d heard of the show, knew it had the brilliant Eric Andre, and were aware that the “woman” in question was a hot brunette, but we weren’t sure of her name either. This could work in favor of Lower if the rest of Hollywood is the same way. She’s a gorgeous girl we’ve seen somewhere before. That can work to her advantage in casting calls. Or it could work against her because she could just be considered another face in the crowd. She seems content with choosing more independent, interesting projects, so there may be some life yet left in her career, but the only three things that she’s done that have yet to be produced are all short films, so we’re guessing any chance at Hollywood superstardom is over.
7. Leighton Meester
It’s hard to believe we’ve been seeing Leighton Meester on our television screens for 15 years now because she still looks like she’s 20 years old much of the time. There was a stretch when she was riding high doing Gossip Girl between 2007 and 2012 that she was also getting a lot of other work in Hollywood, like a starring role in the Adam Sandler movie That’s My Boy, where it looked like she was on the verge of finally breaking through to being a movie star. That hope continued after Gossip Girl was off the air with roles in things like Of Mice and Men and The Judge, but for whatever reason, she thought it was good to take the female lead role in the horrible, horrible Fox show Making History, which was thankfully canceled after one season. Maybe it looked better on paper, or maybe she owed someone a favor, but it seemed like one of those shows that were never going to last when we first saw the commercials. Hopefully, this is just a blip in her career, but there’s this gut feeling that says we may have seen the last of Leighton Meester.
6. Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl has some kind of secret information on the top producers in Hollywood. There’s really no other way to explain how she keeps getting work. Her acting is mechanical, often looking like she’s searching her mind for what her next lines are, and based on everything we’ve read, she’s not fun to be around. Yeah, she looks great, but like this list proves, there are plenty of women in this world who look great, and most of them are better actors that Heigl. Her latest debacle was the TV show Doubt, which lasted only one season. It did only slightly worse than her 2014-15 show State of Affairs. You can’t keep landing duds like Heigl is doing, nor can you be a woman who’s soon going to be 40 years old and expect to continue to land good roles. Odds are, she made enough money when she was popular 10 years ago that she’ll never have to work again if she doesn’t want to, but the bigger question is, will anybody want her to work again? We’d be fine if we’ve seen the last of Katherine Heigl.
5. Kylie Bunbury
There’s something about Fox Network shows that they must seem like great ideas in the pitch meetings, but when it comes to translating them to the screen, they just don’t work. Much like we mentioned in the Leighton Meester entry, it took seeing the advertisements for the show Pitch once when we realized it wasn’t going to last. The premise was that Kylie Bunbury, playing the role of Ginny Baker, was the first woman to ever play in the major leagues. Although a fully bearded adult Zack Morris made us giggle, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar wearing a baseball uniform he never seemed comfortable in, the show just struck out… pun intended. Bunbury doesn’t have a lot of credits to her name, although she appeared in the mini-series Tut and the short-lived Stephen King-inspired show Under the Dome. She’s currently filming a movie with Kyle Chandler and Rachel McAdams, but that likely won’t come out until early 2019. Will people forget about her by then? Will that gig get her more work, or is it just going to be a final nail in the coffin of her career?
4. Emma Roberts
Emma Roberts seems to have had the benefit of people believing she has a much bigger career than she actually has, and it’s going to catch up to her at some point soon. Perhaps even now. She was another one of the beauties from the recently-axed Scream Queens who’ll probably be left scrambling in the unemployment line once somebody takes a look at her resume. The niece of Julia Roberts, she’s never helmed a project that has had any major success. Her smaller successes — movies like We’re The Millers or a couple of seasons of American Horror Story — were mostly all in co-starring roles. She has a couple of projects in post-production, but now that she’s quickly racing toward the line of 30 years old, her days of playing people 10 years younger than she really is are coming to an end. What happens when the doe-eyed beauty isn’t able to play so young anymore?
3. Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer has done a lot of television shows in her short life, and for whatever reason, none of them can get beyond three years of life. She’s yet another casualty of Scream Queens, but having one of her shows canceled isn’t anything new for Palmer, who also saw the reboot of 90210 and True Jackson, VP axed before they became “long-running” series. It’s hard to point directly at Palmer since she seems to favor ensemble pieces, but you can’t find a real winner in her credits list, and we’re not counting doing voices for Winx Club. She’s done a lot of other voice work — almost as much as actual acting, so perhaps she can fall back on that. It seems like there’s always another Ice Age movie around the corner, so she can hold out hope for that, but when it comes to being a big star, Keke Palmer had her shot over the last 5-10 years, and it simply didn’t work out. If she disappears now, it won’t be any surprise.
2. Billie Lourd
Many of the women on this list had previous successes, perhaps as a child film actor or from being on a Nickelodeon or Disney Channel kids show 7-10 years ago, but Billie Lourd is the example of somebody who appears on the scene and likely disappears just as quickly without making much of a splash. Aside from a bit part in the new Star Wars films, there’s almost nothing on her acting resume. The optimist would say that this shows she’s just at the beginning of her career, but the realist would say she beat the odds getting a foot in the door in Hollywood, but she’s not going to be one of those people who get their entire body in. She has nothing currently filming or in pre-production. Once the next Star Wars movies come and go from theaters later this year, Lourd will be out of our minds for a while until she gets another project. Statistically speaking, though, she may be done. Her role as Chanel #3 on Scream Queens may be what she’s remembered for. If there’s such a thing as a one-hit-wonder in Hollywood, she certainly fits that category.
1. Lyndie Greenwood
If you’re an actress and you’re going to have your television show canceled, you can’t pick a worse time than what Lyndie Greenwood had happen to her this year with the demise of Sleepy Hollow. The show didn’t die after one season. It actually lasted four, with almost 60 total episodes. That’s not enough to completely disappear like it never happened (like with Vanessa Hudgens and Powerless) but it’s also not enough that it’s going to be widely syndicated and seen by many for years to come. The show was popular with critics and had a small, loyal following, but never caught on big. Greenwood is now an actress in her mid-30s who is too old to play the young, hot girl but not quite old enough to start playing believable mother roles. She’s working on a TV movie about the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, but beyond that, her schedule is wide open. Hopefully, she was smart with her money.