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12 TV Shows That Should Never Have Been Canceled

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Netflix’s recent decision to cancel numerous shows is sparking controversy and discussion among viewers. Despite big changes in the industry, some excellent shows struggle to attract viewers. Here are 14 shows that were canceled early despite their potential.



Sweet/Vicious (2016–2017): In a time where addressing rape culture is crucial, the cancellation of MTV’s Sweet/Vicious this year was particularly disappointing. The show followed the story of two college girls, a sorority sister and a stoner hacker, who took on the role of vigilantes at night to seek revenge on rapists. Jennifer Robinson’s dark comedy bravely confronted the issue of campus sexual assault with a blend of humor and sincerity.

My So-Called Life


My So-Called Life (1994–1995): Regarded as a highly authentic and gripping portrayal of high school experiences, the narrative of Angela Chase (portrayed by Claire Danes) unfolded over a single season before its abrupt conclusion. The unexpected ending led to the first online fan campaign on the internet, as viewers tried to save the show from cancellation. This premature ending was particularly disheartening as the creators had anticipated a second season, leaving the first season on a cliffhanger that will forever remain unresolved.



Sense8 (2015–2018): Similar to the situation with Sweet/Vicious, this case is recent and impactful. The Wachowskis’ expansive ensemble sci-fi series was among the initial casualties of Netflix’s increased tendency to cancel shows this year, a decision that was widely lamented. The show delved into themes of gender, identity, and humanity in a nuanced manner that was not commonly seen, garnering a dedicated fan base that refused to accept its end. After weeks of campaigning, Netflix eventually agreed to revive the show for a final one-off series finale scheduled for the following year.

Veronica Mars


Veronica Mars (2004–2007): While it may be a debatable situation, the TV series Veronica Mars, featuring Kristen Bell as a high-school student who becomes a private investigator following her friend’s murder, reached its pinnacle in the first season and struggled to match that level of excellence in subsequent seasons. Despite not maintaining the same quality in its third and final season, there was still untapped potential in Veronica’s narrative, which was eventually explored in a fan-funded movie that premiered in 2014.

Pushing Daisies


Pushing Daisies (2007–2009): Bryan Fuller’s shows consistently face premature cancellations, except for Dead Like Me, which suffered from Fuller’s departure before its conclusion. Fans are hopeful that American Gods will break this trend. Pushing Daisies, a visually stunning fairy tale, centered around a pie-maker (played by Lee Pace) who could bring the dead back to life with a touch, but could never touch them again or they would return to being dead. Despite its unique premise, Pushing Daisies was abruptly cut short, leaving fans without proper closure after just 13 episodes into its second season. Enthusiasts are still holding out for the anticipated movie that could provide the resolution they have been yearning for.



Enlightened (2011–2013): Despite receiving praise from critics and lead actress Laura Dern winning a Golden Globe, HBO decided to end this captivating dramedy after only two seasons. The show followed a successful executive who, after a mental breakdown and rehab stint, aimed to lead a more spiritually fulfilling life upon returning home. Enlightened was a consistently engaging and insightful series that evolved from being good in its initial season to becoming a must-watch in its second season.



Pitch (2016–2017): Last year, Fox introduced a sports comedy centered around a talented young pitcher (portrayed by Kylie Bunbury) breaking barriers as the first woman to play in Major League Baseball. Despite receiving positive attention for its impressive pilot, well-crafted writing, and standout lead performance, Pitch struggled with low viewership, leading to its predictable cancellation. Despite efforts from fans to save the show, no successful campaigns have emerged thus far.



Hannibal (2013–2015): It’s remarkable that Hannibal managed to survive for three seasons on network television, given its content that seemed more suited for cable. The show presented a visually striking, intensely violent, and completely original perspective on the Hannibal Lecter narrative, delving into the younger years of Lecter (portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen) and his complex relationship with Will Graham (played by Hugh Dancy). While the cancellation following an exhilarating third season was somewhat expected, it still stung for fans and creator Bryan Fuller. They remain optimistic that the story may have a chance to continue in the future.

The Grinder


The Grinder (2015–2016): For those who didn’t catch it during its run on Fox, The Grinder was a charming legal sitcom that took viewers by surprise. Starring Rob Lowe as an actor who believes his on-screen experience as a lawyer qualifies him to practice law in real life, the show follows his attempts to prove his skills, much to the dismay of his lawyer brother, portrayed by Fred Savage. Described as “too weird to live” by Paste Magazine, The Grinder was a clever and humorous odd-couple comedy that deserved more recognition and a wider audience.



Bunheads (2012–2013): Amy Sherman-Palladino’s next project after Gilmore Girls featured Sutton Foster as a former ballerina who transitions from a Las Vegas showgirl to a ballet teacher in her late husband’s hometown. Despite the show’s quick wit, endearing female characters, and complex intergenerational conflicts, Bunheads struggled to attract viewers due to its summer time slot and was ultimately canceled after just one season.



Selfie (2014): A modern twist on My Fair Lady, this series featured Karen Gillan from Doctor Who as a self-absorbed aspiring social media influencer and John Cho as a marketing expert she hires to help her reassess her values. While the show initially struggled to recover from a weak pilot, it gradually improved over its first season of 10 episodes, attracting a loyal fan following and showcasing a delightful central romance.

Better Off Ted


Better Off Ted (2009–2010): Despite having a seemingly ordinary premise of a workplace sitcom focusing on a stressed-out VP balancing work and personal life, this ABC series stood out by breaking the fourth wall and offering a unique and delightful viewing experience. The show, unfortunately, only lasted for one season, but its charm and creativity deserved much more recognition and a longer run.

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