The major networks on basic television which are ABC, CBS, and NBC, with a few that seem to generate the younger audience-aimed shows such as Fox and CW, are known for their annual review and cancellations of beloved, and not so beloved, shows. As much as they like to introduce fresh new shows into the mix, they can also be brutal when it comes to cancellations.
With some of the more recent cancellations, longevity and fan protest had no bearing on the final decision, leaving many fans disappointed and some plot questions unanswered. Some shows, such as Doubt, didn’t make it past two episodes and doesn’t seem like it was something that many people are clamoring to get back.
Shows based on fairy tales, buddy cop movies, suspenseful movies and shows from the 1960s have all been put on the chopping block as not being good enough. Ratings, profit, and positive reviews are all that matters in the world of television, and sometimes it takes some very high standards being met in order to lay low and to stay safe on these networks.
Many of these shows did the best they could to stay out of the cancellation scope of their networks but ultimately, will leave the scene and make room for, hopefully, better shows.
42 Bones (Fox)
This show starring Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz had a very respectable 12 season run before getting canceled this year. There will be no season 13, and the original season finale for season 12 is much different than the creator had pictured in his mind.
Nonetheless, the season finale that was written is enough of a wrap-up that the show can explain as many of the mysteries within the individual storylines each episode has. When asked about a reunion, neither of the lead actors sounded really thrilled at the possibility, with David saying he’d like to just move on and progress in his career and Emily saying at the very least she would want some time away from playing her character again.
They did agree that fighting the cancellation was not within their minds at the time of the announcements, and chose to remain respectful and graciously wrap up the show the best they could.
41 Dr. Ken (ABC)
Dr. Ken is a relatively new show. After only two seasons, ABC has canceled the show, starring Ken Jeong. The show is based on Jeong’s experience as a doctor prior to becoming a stand-up comedian. It centers around a badly run clinic, with Jeong as a doctor with a therapist wife, intelligent but socially awkward son, and a socially popular typical-teen daughter.
Between the two seasons, there is a total of 44 episodes. During its run, it often ran alongside with Tim Allen’s show Last Man Standing, which has also been canceled. The season ender had somewhat of a nostalgic ending, with guest stars of his former co-stars on Community where the fictionalized version of himself auditions to be on a show set at a community college.
The ratings never really soared for the show, but they never really tanked either, this is just another show that is canceled to make room for something that could be better and more profitable for the network.
40 Girl Meets World (Disney Channel)
Many shows lately have been trying to ride the nostalgia wave, bringing back memories of the 1990s television shows and this one is no different. Many of the viewers that tuned in for the first episodes were anxious to see the result of the original show Boy Meets World characters, Topanga and Corey, and if they ever stayed together or departed.
As it turns out, they have stayed together this whole time, making a family of their own and sharing their daughter’s adventures as she grows up and meets the world as her own person.
The show failed to really hold interest in the nostalgia crowd once most of the questions were answered, and to top it off, being on the Disney channel made the writers fairly restricted on what issues it could tackle in the modern age without losing the interest of the original Disney channel crowd, which averages between 6 and 14 years of age. The show had a run of two seasons.
39 The Vampire Diaries (CW)
The decision to end this show was announced at a Comic-Con in San Diego to a very displeased crowd. The show had just wrapped up its eighth season when it was announced that they would not be returning for a ninth season.
Eight seasons is a moderately respectable run considering some other shows are losing their spots after only two or three seasons. Many shows seem to grow stale after a few seasons, with the biggest shock of the show being the death of a favorite, and it’s not uncommon for the audience to be greatly reduced once that favorite has been killed off.
In the case of The Vampire Diaries, the fan favorite was the character Elena, played by actress Nina Dobrev. She ended up returning in the final season for one last farewell, as the show shut the curtain to Mystic Falls and the residents therein.
38 Pretty Little Liars (Freeform)
This show is the epitome of what it would look like if everyone was beautiful. Even the ones that are considered not beautiful in their fictional forms are, indeed, the image of smoldering beauty and wickedly handsome features.
The show is based on a book series by Sara Shephard which is classified as a teen thriller series and, truth be told, the book series is much shorter and much less repetitive than the show. Most of the cast has since moved on and found other roles pretty quickly, especially since Lucy Hale is exploring the singing side of fame as well.
This was, by far, Freeform’s biggest show and was also a social media phenomenon with the issues the show would bring up, but they have chosen to end it as the network feels if it has run its course.
37 Rush Hour (CBS)
Based on the comedy movie that was popular decades ago, Rush Hour just never really hit the mark for CBS. Thinking it would be met with the same eyes that found the movie franchise so great, the network was so wrong on that point that the show only made it one season before getting canned.
It probably didn’t help that the only time slot it got was 10 p.m. on Thursdays, due to so much better — and more popular — competition. It is one of many shows that has a big-screen predecessor, with other shows such as Limitless and Frequency also being spinoffs of their movies.
The diversity of the show’s cast was welcomed with open arms and some critics even say it was a wasted opportunity to have such a diverse show get kicked off the air so fast. However, CBS is not known for wasting time if a show is not as popular as it wants it to be and therefore, canceled the budding buddy show.
36 2 Broke Girls (CBS)
The comedy started in 2011, starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as Max and Caroline. They are waitresses hoping to one day open their own business. It looks like audiences will never know if their dream can be achieved or not because the show, aired on CBS, has been canceled and will not see the seventh season.
The main reason behind the cancellation is the failed negotiations between CBS and Warner Bros., who produce the show. CBS had no ownership in the show and that seems to be the reason behind the beloved show’s demise.
The ratings had a rocky start, gradually climbing and eventually becoming one of the network’s highest watched shows, with a gradual decline as the show went on but the fans that have stuck it out until the end will never see the fruits of their time watching it, as the last episode aired was a cliffhanger that will never be answered.
35 American Crime (ABC)
Despite having multiple Emmy nominations, this show was canceled during the third season and will not be returning for a fourth. The ratings never really got where they should have been, although the cast and the Emmy nominations both agree that it was indeed a good show and had many eyes on it.
Fans of the show commented that it was a riveting, well-written show and they were definitely surprised that it was the one that made it all the way to the chopping block. Some speculate that it was slid out of the running by the return of American Idol¸ and like other shows, are hoping a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu will scoop up the show and make it their own.
This shows that even if the show is well-liked, if it’s not well-liked by enough people, ABC does not discriminate if the profits and ratings don’t show.
34 Last Man Standing (ABC)
Perhaps one of the most surprising cancellations is this show simply because Tim Allen’s return to sitcom television was so successful. There is speculation that Allen’s conservative political views may have played a role in the series’ cancellation, which was vehemently denied by the president of ABC Entertainment, Channing Dungey.
The show was in its sixth season and the cancellation seemed rather abrupt to viewers but Dungey insists they used the same formula and number-crunching as all the other canceled shows in order to make the final decision of canceling Allen’s much-loved modern sitcom. Another deciding factor may have been the need for Allen to renegotiate his contract, which would have added costs to an already aging series.
Last Man Standing was also one of the very few multi-camera comedy shows that ABC has had in many years, and after canceling it and Dr. Ken, they will open the fall season with no multi-camera comedy shows.
33 Powerless (NBC)
The network known for merciless cancellations has done it again and canceled Powerless, and to add salt to the wound, it may not even air the final two episodes that are already completed. There was an original order of 13 episodes but it has been pulled off the network and the spot has already been given to another show, Superstore. This superhero comedy starred Vanessa Hudgens and focused around a security company that served as protection for the average citizens of the citizens while the superhero battles raged around them but not even the comedic concept could pull this one up by its bootstraps. The final two episodes even have one star that many will recognize as the original Batman, Adam West, but it is unclear on whether audiences will ever get to see him on screen again. In their final episodes before getting pulled, the viewer count sat at 2.1 million viewers and a 0.6 demo rating.
32 The Odd Couple (CBS)
In the spirit of trying to revive and remake the popular television shows of the past, The Odd Couple was cast with Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon. After three seasons, the show will not be coming back.
The newest version of the show, which is a remake of the 1970s ABC series which was also original a Tony-winning play, was not welcomed with the same regard as it was decades ago, even with a couple of roommates who were just as much, if not more, comically mismatched.
Many viewers are noticing a trend that these remakes and nostalgia fests aren’t quite living up to expectations and quickly getting turned off, but that won’t stop studios from making more if they think there is anything they can squeeze out of it for as long as possible. Matthew Perry is mostly known for his role on the uber-popular sitcom Friends and Thomas Lennon was on Comedy Central’s Reno 911 for many seasons.
31 American Gothic (CBS)
This is one of the shorter running shows and another victim of CBS’s stringent standards on money making for shows. It found an audience but struggled, which was ultimately its demise because although most shows start with the expectation of beating low standards, that doesn’t seem to be their actual standards they must meet.
This show, which is based around a family in Boston, is all about a killer in the midst of what should be a typical American family. Unfortunately for them, evidence has been found that links the family to some murders that had recently happened in the town and the show takes off from there.
There is a general disappointment in the viewers of this show regarding the cancellation but it seemed to be a mixed bag of what most people thought of it. Some said it was an excellent murder mystery show, others said the writing was terrible and even the cast couldn’t make it work well.
30 Tyrant (FX)
Based in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Abuddin, Tyrant was a show that focused on stories that were based on real struggles of people living in various Middle Eastern countries. The creators hold out hope that another network or streaming service will swoop in and save this one from the end. They even wrote the season three finale as a satisfactory show finale and a bit of a cliffhanger that could be added on if they had the chance to revive the show. Commentary from viewers features a wide range of feedback on the show, with part of them attributing the show’s success to excellent writing skills and storytelling, while the other part of them have said they noticed too many false stereotypes of the people being portrayed and believed it to be borderline offensive. Despite those accusations of stereotypes, the team behind Tyrant claims the show was a huge hit in international markets such as Egypt.
29 Doubt (CBS)
Perhaps the most embarrassing cancellation goes to Doubt which aired two episodes before canceled. Katherine Heigl’s return in the legal drama got a horribly slow start, apparently so bad that the 11 remaining episodes of season one were not even aired, even after being filmed and finished.
This is one of those that was met without mercy and without second guessing, which had to have been hard on the cast to know they couldn’t make it work regardless of their arduous work.
Described with some major burns such as being a weak legal drama and having lackluster ratings, it’s no surprise that it was canned so quickly. This is not the first, and probably won’t be the last, show that gets pulled so fast and without mercy.
28 Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (CBS)
The spinoff to the popular crime series Criminal Minds was just not as popular as it should have been, which is exactly why it made our list. Gary Sinise was the main character and despite his well-known acting chops and ability to adapt to multiple roles, he couldn’t save the show from sinking when CBS felt it wouldn’t be good enough to get a third season.
Criminal Minds has made it through twelve seasons and has been renewed for a thirteenth season, so it has something special that the spinoff just never picked up and ran with. The ratings started off at a promising rate, with fans of the original show curious to see the direction it was going, but dropped during the second season which, as we can see with CBS, is enough to be the final nail in the coffin.
27 Frequency (CW)
Another show that was made from a movie has been determined not good enough for network television and will no longer air. Fortunately, this one provided a sort of Q&A for the show’s fans, giving answers that they won’t get to see played out on their weekly episodes.
Fans that are disappointed by the cancellation have suggested, again, that Netflix or Hulu will scoop it up and make it the unrestricted drama that it couldn’t be on network television. The show averaged a rating of 0.26 in adults aged 18-49 and 936,000 viewers per episode.
Because of these dismal numbers, there is seemingly no hope for it to be the show that it was destined to be. Whether or not Hulu or Netflix pick it up is not really a question at this time because it is only a fan suggested solution, and even then, it’s unsure of how well it would do.
26 No Tomorrow (CW)
The CW is a network that isn’t quite as brutal about their cancellations but this season, they seem to be taking no hostages and readier than ever to give the ax instead of waiting around to see numbers improve after the first season. The network is saturated with romance shows, some being drama, some being comedy. No Tomorrow focuses on the comedy aspect, giving the main character a new way to look at life when she meets a free spirit that believes the Earth will be destroyed in eight months and lives like, you guessed it, there’s no tomorrow. The highest viewer amounts were in the first episode and after that, it never went above 1 million viewers. With such a rapid decline and pitiful numbers, it’s easier to see why this series will not live to see another day.
25 Reign (CW)
The television show massacre continues at CW with Reign which will end after only its fourth season. The show never really got good ratings, even from the beginning. Reportedly, the highest rating it got over its lifespan was in the first season at a 0.8 in the 18-49 demographic but ended with averaging a 0.3 and under 1 million same-day viewers.
The historical fantasy series has writers that are fortunate enough to know they’re getting canned so they can wrap the show up in the fourth season and hopefully answer anything that the previous seasons left open for interpretation without clarification.
The final season will consist of 16 episodes, giving it plenty of opportunities to pick the most important storylines and go from there when it comes to closure for the few fans it gained over its short life.
24 Scream Queens (Fox)
The horror comedy series struggled to find its place in the network television world but made it through two seasons before getting canceled. Delayed viewing and social media buzz just weren't enough for the show to make any real profit and hence, another one bites the dust.
Stars of the show started showing bleak confidence in the show’s continuation when they began signing on to different creative projects, leading the audience to believe that the cancellation wasn’t as much of a secret as the announcement led them to believe.
Even with the hunky cast with the likes of John Stamos and Taylor Lautner in the second season, it just wasn’t enough to keep the breath of interest and livelihood of the show. It closed out with a final episode of 0.5 rating and 1.38 million viewers.
23 Sleepy Hollow (Fox)
This supernatural cop drama was a favorite of die-hard fans but that wasn’t enough to keep the show’s metaphorical head from being put on the Fox chopping block. After the fourth season, it will not be returning, with the fourth season being the shortest season of the show.
Season four showed a rating drop that was too hard to ignore, averaging a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demo. Not many fans were surprised about the cancellation, as some noticed a major shift in show’s direction once the showrunners started playing musical chairs. Fans weren’t happy when the fourth season began without the same cast as before and only the loyal fans of the show could stick around for the remaining story to unfold.
The new creative direction for the fourth season may or may not have been the ultimate reason for the rating drop but at this point, we will never know.
22 Pitch (Fox)
In one of the least surprising cancellations, Pitch released all of their writers in April 2017 before the show was even announced publicly as being pulled off the air. The sports drama follows the story of the first female professional baseball player and was considered stable in viewership. Unfortunately, that viewership while stable was not high enough, averaging only 3 million viewers. Mark Consuelos who was one of the stars on Pitch, has already signed on to the CW show, Riverdale. Dan Lauria, another co-star released a statement that made it seem as if the decision was not an agreeable one and had caught him off guard. Lauria also praised the cast and crew as being professional and one of the best writing staffs that he had ever worked with.
21 Grimm (NBC)
Another supernatural drama is buried in the cancellation pile as the show loosely based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales makes its way onto the list. The sixth season of the show, which will have a total of thirteen episodes, brings the show to an end whether they like it or not.
Unlike some of the other shows on this list, Grimm had high ratings for a few seasons, notably the second season which pulled 7 million viewers and the third season which pulled eight million viewers.
This Friday night show managed to keep the average at around six million viewers but the ratings and viewers drop was evidence enough that not enough people would stick around to watch it if the show continued much longer.
20 The Catch (ABC)
Despite her success on the Netflix series The Killing, Mireille Enos was unable to stretch this show past two seasons. Mediocre ratings greeted this show from the beginning, which is not surprising considering how many crime thriller dramas exist on network television lately.
The series has a total run of 20 episodes, which is incredibly low considering some shows have a season with 16 episodes at a time. The demo rating scored a 1.2 and got up to 5.8 million viewers for the season premiere but it was probably the varying direction of season 2 that didn’t help matters.
Usually, when a show decides something isn’t working and they completely switch it up, they understandably lose the audience that got hooked on the show for its original style which is probably why The Catch had such a dramatic rating drop and got canned.
19 Secrets & Lies (CBS)
Juliette Lewis, known more for her comedic timing and lighter roles, stars in this crime-mystery show, playing a homicide detective. Season two was much more specific with the storyline, focusing on the murder of a businessman’s wife on the night that he was set to take hold of the family business. The businessman, Eric, is hell bent on proving his innocence while Andrea (played by Lewis) is focusing on Eric as the main suspect. As Eric continues his journey to prove his innocence, viewers start to see that Eric’s lovely wife, along with the rest of her family, may not be who they appeared to be and thus the rabbit hole gets deeper and deeper. Unfortunately, with the finale of season two, the question of who killed the lovely wife was not answered, and now with the cancellation, the audience will be left to guess the answer based on what was already shown. The second season dropped a whopping 42% in viewers compared to the first season, so it’s not a big surprise that the ruthless CBS won’t be giving this one another chance.
18 APB (Fox)
Although the networks are usually saturated with crime dramas, courtroom dramas, and cop dramas, APB had started to pick up traction as a fan favorite before it got canceled. It made it through one season but the network decided the numbers just didn’t pick up speed fast enough to earn a second season. The first season averaged a 0.78 rating with 3.43 million viewers, which isn’t too shabby for a new show, but the demo numbers are what caused it to be discontinued when someone on the network concluded it would not pick up fast enough to be worth the trouble of making it. Ernie Hudson was a recognizable actor in this one, showing up again after a few years of only short guest appearances on other television shows, but outside of that, there wasn't much worth tuning in for.
17 The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC)
The Blacklist: Redemption is a spin-off of the series The Blacklist which stars James Spader. The show focuses on the Gray Matters operatives, a pack of people with a variety of talents or skills, trying to redeem themselves after their various sinful pasts. They are sent in to resolve various problems and predicaments that the government wouldn’t dare touch, given the sensitive nature of known involvement in such predicaments. Famke Janssen plays a leading role as Susan “Scottie” Hargrave but unfortunately, even this beautiful, talented woman could not keep this one from going under. Ryan Eggold, the familiar face as Tom, had joined the Grey Matters unit and was presumably going to get much more character development than in the main show. Fans will never know what will happen to one of Red’s most notorious offenders. With an average rating of 0.76 and 4.04 million viewers, it just wasn’t enough to keep this one from going underground after only one season.
16 The Real O’Neals (ABC)
Lasting for two seasons, the family sitcom The Real O’Neal stops out at 29 episodes. Despite an encouraging start to season 2, it became ABC’s least-watched comedy with a measly 3.1 million viewers a week. This caused them to cancel plans to air three additional episodes that had been planned for November. The comedy focuses on a Catholic family whose teenaged son, Kenny, causes shockwaves by confessing he is gay. Based on viewer commentary, the show had a rapid decline in season 2 based on the in-your-face comedy about Catholics, which some seem to have found offensive. Even Grey’s Anatomy alum Sara Ramirez claimed to be ‘disheartened’ by the portrayal of bisexuality in one of the episodes, which probably didn’t help the general public’s opinion on the floundering show.
15 BrainDead (CBS)
Brian and Michelle King, the creators of another CBS series The Good Wife, tried their hand at another show on CBS and now it is being canceled after a single season. This world that is set in a Washington DC politics backdrop focused on Laurel, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, working for her brother, a Senator, with a side note of brain-eating bugs taking over the political scene. Originally a four-season plan, moving the scene to various other backdrops such as Wall Street and Hollywood, the show was debuted to a disappointing 4.6 million viewers and 0.7 demo rating. In its final breath of life, it was aired on a Sunday night to an even smaller 2.6 million viewers and 0.5 rating. The creators have since moved on to the Good Wife spinoff show, assumedly hoping for a much more successful outcome.
14 Castle (ABC)
After an impressive 9 season, Castle is ending its run. Nathan Fillion starred in the show as Rick Castle, with two co-starring ladies that were just as entertaining—Stana Katic and Tamala Jones. Not long after Jones and Katic both announced they would not return if there was a ninth season, the show was canceled. The season finale was May 16 and the news of cancellation is still a shock to some. The show’s viewer numbers had taken a dip over the last few seasons but interest seemed to have peaked a little more recently, causing those viewer numbers to stabilize back to a reasonable number. The eighth season of the show averaged a 1.8 rating in adults and 9.1 million viewers. Many fans hold out hope that this is one of the few that could eventually be revived—with or without the leading ladies—and see where it goes with only Fillion as the familiar main character.
13 Chicago Justice (NBC)
A legal drama in a sea of many legal dramas, Chicago Justice was a spinoff of Chicago P.D. After a single season, it is being canceled with more focus going toward the hopeful continued success of both Chicago P.D. and other Chicago-set spinoff shows, Chicago Fire and Chicago Med. In this case, all the shows’ ratings were compared and Chicago Justice drew the shortest straw, so to speak. It had the lowest average ratings between the 3 spinoffs, making it the one that got the ax first. Whether the other two spinoffs last, we will have to keep watching and see. Since Chicago Fire is NBC’s second-highest rated and watched drama series, falling behind the new This Is Us, it is doubtful that it would be the next spinoff canned unless it shows some serious decline. However, we have seen before that CBS is unpredictable and often merciless with their cancellations!
12 Training Day (CBS)
This show was impacted by the unfortunate death of an amazing actor, Bill Paxton, during the filming of the show. The show had already started to show a decline, but with the death of the much-loved actor who played the lead role, it was inevitable before it was on the list to be canceled. The show had only just begun and was in its first season, so at least fans may not have been too attached to the project. It averaged 3.6 million and a 0.6 rating. The final drop happened when the show was moved from Thursdays to Saturdays, which is almost an automatic death sentence for any television show. Bill Paxton will be dearly missed as an actor on all mediums and many fans had high hopes that, with his help, the show could have stayed and had a consistent spot in the drama lineup on CBS.
11 Good Girls Revolt (Amazon)
Season one consisted of 10 episodes in this period drama, set in 1969 and focusing on women’s rights and voices just waiting to be heard. There was a short waiting period to see if another network or streaming service was ready to pick it up and save it, but ultimately nobody stepped up to the plate. The show is based off a book of the same name written by Lynn Povich, which gave a new light to sexual discrimination cases that made headlines and changed many minds. Many viewers have expressed frustration at the lack of resolution left by the season one finale cliffhanger, expressing the opinion that the show was uplifting and inspiring which should have kept it going as a role model for modern viewers to get a glimpse into these historical events.
10 Imaginary Mary (ABC)
Jenna Elfman’s return to sitcom television was surely not the success she had hoped for, with it being canceled only seven weeks into its nine-episode rookie season. This comedy sitcom was—different—in such a way that it had a little CGI “imaginary friend” that showed up, triggered by the stress of Elfman’s character meeting her new beau’s children. The imaginary friend is voiced by Rachel Dratch, which in itself was enough to warrant complaints, but the CGI and live-action idea just couldn’t break the mold enough to stay on the air. Elfman is no stranger to talking to cartoons, since starring in Looney Tunes: Back In Action working along Bugs Bunny himself, but even her expertise in that field couldn’t save this one. Stephen Schneider, Elfman’s beau-in-question, has charisma as a handsome divorced father but again, it just wasn’t enough to pull this doomed ship to shore.
9 The Jim Gaffigan Show (TV Land)
To deliver the unwelcome news on his show not returning for a third season, Jim took to Twitter. The decision appeared to be an agreement between Jim and his wife, Jeannie, stating that the show was "Empowering, exhilarating and exhausting" and ultimately took time away from their more important projects in their lives, their five children. The show focused on Jim’s life based on comedic anecdotes and was written by Jim and his wife, with Jim acting in every scene.
While the show was definitely enjoyed by fans who enjoy listening to Gaffigan's stand-up routine, it's hard to blame him and his wife for taking the time to focus on their kids. We hope Jim can make a return to television in the future when his children are older.
8 Please Like Me (HULU)
This charming little Australian show originally aired on a network called Pivot, which showed seasons 1-3 and then streamed them on Hulu in between 3 and 4. At some point in that waiting period, Hulu bought the rights to the show after Pivot closed its doors and streamed it exclusively for season 4. After season 4, the main actor/creator Josh Thomas came out saying that they were happy with what they had created and since the show felt complete, they would not be continuing the show. The show centered around a man in his mid-to-late 20's struggling with his own sexuality along with a complicated family life, eccentric group of friends and everything that life offers in between. The creator has said he plans on trying to move forward with other creative projects but is unsure of exactly what is next for him.
7 Making History (Fox)
This relatively new show didn’t make it past rookie season, based on low ratings even with a beneficial lead-in from The Simpsons. Originally set for 13 episodes, this was shortened to 9 before officially getting the boot. This was a time travel themed-comedy, working to balance the relationships between people who come from different centuries while they also tried to lead their so-called ordinary lives. Viewers began to complain of repetition and the comedy not sticking so well, causing the viewer numbers to be, at the highest, 2.9 million with a 0.9 demo rating. This cancellation is beside another Fox newbie, APB, and the partially animated Son of Zorn, both of which got the ax after only a single season. The season finale for Making History aired on May 21 before becoming a part of rerun history.
6 Man Seeking Woman (FXX)
After the third season, Man Seeking Woman is ending its run by closing doors on the comedy series. It had a lead-in from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia but that was not nearly enough to retain its spot on the network. It had a strong start and received a strong critical response but the viewer count didn’t reach 1 million viewers with only a decline from there. The third season averaged 367,000 total viewers. This was FXX’s first original comedy series and the network had hoped it would retain most of the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia audience through a longer run. Many viewers seem to agree the show was beginning to show signs of getting stale, especially considering the man sought the woman, found her, and was even in the planning on the stages of marrying her. It didn’t seem like the story could go anywhere else, but, now we will never know either way!
5 Marco Polo (Netflix)
Netflix, the service which does not actually disclose ratings or viewer numbers, is known for rarely canceling shows. They have many original series, such as Marvel’s DareDevil and Jessica Jones, both of which were a huge success in terms of fans embracing it, screaming for more and chomping at the bit for additional seasons. Another hugely successful show is Orange Is The New Black and more recently, Stranger Things. One show, however, did not have anyone screaming for more and didn’t seem to be embraced quite as strongly. Originally developed for the Starz channel, Marco Polo boasted a production budget of over $180 million over two years, filmed in lavish locations and conducted extensive marketing campaigns that led to a huge loss in profit for the company.
4 Ransom (CBS)
Ransom had viewers guessing on its fate for a few weeks before announcing it was canceled. It seems to have a strong response from viewers but considering it was aired only on Saturdays, you can only hope for so much. The argument of people recording shows to watch later, mostly to avoid commercials, is used by the fans to protest the cancellation in hopes that it will be kept on. Their cries of protest were not enough and thus, Ransom has been officially canned after a single season. This crime drama was centered around a hostage negotiator and his team. Viewers found themselves weaving in and out of situations involving criminals in which the main character, Eric Beaumont, seemed to save the day each time—sometimes at the final moment. The ratings never got above a 0.43 in the demo and averaged 3.46 million viewers.
3 Rosewood (Fox)
Despite having a lead-in to another Fox favorite, Empire, on Wednesday nights, Rosewood just didn’t hold it together enough to be saved from cancellation after the second season. When it was moved to Thursdays, the boost that came from Empire could no longer help the show, leading to another move to Friday nights. There, it averaged around 3 million viewers and the rating hovered around a 0.7 in the adult demographic. This crime drama, despite being in a sea of other crime dramas, showed promise and had fans wondering why they would cancel the show so quickly, especially after a change in writers mid-season prompted the storyline’s improvement. Morris Chestnut, who played the charismatic main character, made a statement saying that his time on the show was well worth it and that he appreciated all the fans the show had built up.
2 Sweet/Vicious (MTV)
In a move that will allow more focus on the network’s beloved unscripted reality television to take back the spotlight, MTV is canceling their dark comedy Sweet/Vicious after only a single season. The show focuses on a couple of students that get revenge at night as campus vigilantes, focusing on the campus rapists that seem to run abound at their school. The show was well received by critics as a shout-out to a buzz-worthy and timely topic, but the numbers did not reflect the type of viewership that a show needs to continue. The cancellation is not met with delight by fans of the show, saying that the network had finally found a show with relevance and substance and had brought the thought-provoking subject of sexual assault awareness back to the limelight on a network that is mostly geared to a younger adult audience.
1 Time After Time (ABC)
As another time-travel drama bites the dust, this one with a measly 5 episodes under its belt. ABC is not really known for its willingness to give shows ‘one more chance’ if the numbers aren’t there to back up the hopefulness of a new show and Time After Time did not have those numbers. Based on the novel by Karl Alexander, the drama used the novel and movie as a starting point, with the show writers giving their own creativity to the show’s adventures. The opening ratings were pitiful—topping out at 0.6 rating from adults. The fifth, and final episode scored an even worse rating of 0.4, leading to the plug being pulled before the season even ends. The remaining episodes will not be aired, and the spot has already been given to Match Game. Time After Time is not the only show to be axed before the first season ends, with CBS’s Katherine Heigl show Doubt getting pulled after an even-more-embarrassing two episodes.
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