It’s never a good thing when a popular TV show is unexpectedly canceled. There have been several shows over the years that have been axed for controversial reasons, including drug addiction, inappropriate behavior by cast members, and even murder. Check out why the following programs went off the air before fans were ready to see them go…
Josh Duggar’s Disturbing Confession Put An End To 19 Kids And Counting
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19 Kids and Counting was one of TLC’s most popular shows. It followed the lives of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who raised their extremely large family in Arkansas. After 10 seasons, the show came under fire when info emerged about the Duggar’s oldest son, Josh.
In 2015, In Touch Weekly found a police report from 2002. The report contained information in which Josh told his father that he inappropriately touched two of his younger sisters and a family friend when he was 15 years old. TLC initially suspended the series, but after several advertisers pulled out, the network canceled it.
Roseanne Barr’s Offensive Comments Caused Immediate Backlash
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When ABC resurrected Roseanne in 2017, there was some skepticism that the show would draw in as many viewers as the original incarnation. It was a resounding success, but it was short-lived. When the titular actress, Roseanne Barr, posted racist and anti-Semitic tweets online, the network swiftly canceled the series.
Barr later said in an interview with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “I don’t want to run off and blather on with excuses, but I apologize to anyone who thought, or felt offended and who thought that I meant something that I, in fact, did not mean. It was my own ignorance, and there’s no excuse for that ignorance. I definitely feel remorse.”
A TV Exec Destroyed The Batman Sets
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Adam West and Burt Ward starred as Batman and Robin in the sixties TV series Batman. The superheroes battled crime and their villains in Gotham City. The campy show was a fan favorite, but it cost a lot of money to produce. By the third season, viewership dropped, so ABC canceled it.
NBC agreed to take over the rights to the show with one condition — they could use the same exact sets so they didn’t have to invest more money to build their own. Unfortunately, an ABC exec screwed up, and the sets were destroyed. Instead of rebuilding them, NBC decided to scrap its plans to continue the series.
June Shannon’s Questionable Romance Spelled Doom For Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
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Another big hit for TLC was Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The character, real name Alana Thompson, first gained fame on Toddlers and Tiaras. Fans loved tuning in to her and her family’s antics. But then mom June Shannon did something that many viewers felt was unacceptable — and thus put an end to the series.
When June became linked to a man named Mark Daniels, people were outraged. Daniels served time in prison for molesting one of June’s other daughters, Anna Caldwell. June swore it never happened, yet it was enough for the network to cancel the show for good.
Divorce Put A Wrench In The Production Of Jon & Kate Plus 8
Photo credit: Thos Robinson/Getty Images for DiscoveryJon and Kate Gosselin warmed people’s hearts as they showed the triumphs and struggles of raising a set of twins and sextuplets. But viewers were shocked when the pair announced they were divorcing after 10 years of marriage. In 2009, TLC announced that they were figuring out ways to “refresh and recalibrate” the program.
Yet, not everyone wanted to continue with the show. Jon wound up walking away despite having signed a contract. The network sued him, and eventually, the series was suspended. But the show was rebranded with Kate and the kids still participating. Kate Plus 8 aired from 2011 to 2017.
Multiple Horse Deaths Stopped Dustin Hoffman’s Luck
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The 2011 HBO series Luck starred Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, and Nick Nolte. It centered around a horse racing track. While filming the show’s second season, some questionable practices involving the animals were brought to the media’s attention. Three horses reportedly died during filming.
PETA and other animal rights groups lashed out at HBO for mistreating animals on set, and the network canceled the program, despite claiming they “maintained the highest safety standards throughout production.” Hoffman later defended the show and said during an interview that information about the horses was “distorted” by PETA and the media website TMZ.
A Conviction For Insider Trading Prompted The Cancellation Of Martha Stewart Living
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Martha Stewart was everyone’s favorite crafty homemaker, but her questionable investments resulted in the domestic queen’s near downfall. In 2004, she was put on trial for and found guilty of insider trading. It couldn’t have come at a worse time. Stewart was immensely popular among her fans.
Even though she received a minimum sentence, the conviction spelled the end of her series, Martha Stewart Living. Yet, her career wasn’t over. After she was released from jail, Stewart kept working and made other shows, including Martha Stewart’s Cooking School and the quite popular Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.
Joss Whedon Unwisely Asked For An Early Pickup For Angel
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Not all fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer were psyched when Angel left the show, but they were pleased when David Boreanaz starred in the spinoff, Angel. When Buffy ended in 2003, Angel was about to start its fifth season. Buffy’s cancellation gave the show a rating boost, something it needed.
Creator Joss Whedon believed the network would give the series an early season pickup. He wanted to ensure the actors had a solid gig and would continue to work on the show. Unfortunately, the network didn’t like what it perceived as an ultimatum and canceled the show. They later admitted they made a mistake.
Food Network Was Intolerant Of Paula Deen’s Racial Slurs
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Paula Deen found herself in the hot seat after the former manager of the celebrity chef’s Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House restaurant sued her for using racial slurs. Deen admitted in court that she used the slur in the 1960s. She later regretted it, saying: “That’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the ’60s in the south.”
Even though Deen publicly apologized on YouTube and begged fans for forgiveness, the Food Network decided not to give her a second chance or renew her contract. Shows such as Paula’s Home Cooking were canceled indefinitely.
An Accidental Death Resulted In The Cancellation Of MTV’s Buckwild
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The 2013 MTV series Buckwild centered on nine young adults who lived in Charleston and Sissonville, West Virginia, and how they entertained themselves in such a rural area. While filming season two, Shain Gandee, his uncle and a friend died from carbon monoxide poisoning after their truck got stuck in the mud.
The network canceled the program, but producer J.P. Williams wanted the show to go on. MTV prevented Williams from relaunching it on another network. Instead, Williams launched Slednecks about friends living in Alaska. Few people tuned in, so the series was canceled after just one season in 2014.
CeeLo Green’s The Good Life Was No Longer Good Following Sexual Assault Allegations
Photo credit: David Livingston/Getty ImagesThe 2014 show The Good Life centered on CeeLo Green’s life — his work as a producer and recording artist and what he did during his downtime. After the first season, Green made headlines for reportedly giving a woman drugs at a restaurant in 2012 and then getting intimate with her without her permission.
Green was incensed by the investigation, so he lashed out on Twitter, writing: “If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously, so WITH implies consent. People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!” He deleted the tweets, but it was too late. TBS canceled his show.
Megan Wants A Millionaire Was Short-Lived Because A Contestant Was A Murder Suspect
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Reality star Megan Hauserman got her start on the VH1 series Rock Of Love, starring Bret Michaels. She appeared in several other shows before launching Megan Wants A Millionaire in 2009. The premise was Megan hunting for a suitor worth more than $1 million. After just three episodes, things got creepy.
It was revealed that contestant Ryan Jenkins was a suspect in his wife’s murder. He and Jasmine Fiore wed after the show completed production. Jenkins was found dead in a motel room in Canada on Aug. 23, 2009. The show was initially suspended and then canceled after Jenkins took his own life.
Brett Butler’s Painkiller Addiction Became Too Big A Problem On Grace Under Fire Set
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When Grace Under Fire premiered in 1993-1994, it was the highest-rated comedy of the season. It stayed on the Top 20 list for its first three seasons. Yet its fifth season was its last. One of the problems was that actress Brett Butler battled a painkiller addiction and had problems with her co-workers.
Jon Paul Steuer, who played the son on the series, quit after the third season amidst rumors that Butler had exposed her breasts to the then 12-year-old actor. Actress Julie White also left the show. Butler sought help but relapsed. Her problems combined with a less-compelling storyline led to the show’s demise.
Stephen King’s Hospital Drama Didn’t Receive Enough Support From ABC
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Horror writer Stephen King’s medical drama Kingdom Hospital was based on Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom. The 2004 series was initially presented as a mini-series, but then it was then turned into a regular TV series. However, the behind-the-scenes drama made the show difficult to sustain.
Despite earning a few Emmy nominations, King and ABC butted heads on the project. The writer didn’t think the network was promoting the show enough, so he used his own money to launch an ad campaign to capture more viewers. Then ABC changed its time slot. The show was canceled after just one season.
Corey Feldman Quit The Two Coreys Over Corey Haim’s Drug Problems
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Corey Haim and Corey Feldman were popular ’80s actors, who appeared in movies such as Goonies, Lucas, and The Lost Boys. The two became friends and teen idols before succumbing to drugs and other temptations in Hollywood. They joined forces for a reality show The Two Coreys in 2006.
The A&E series didn’t last very long. After just two seasons, Feldman quit the program because he could no longer deal with Haim, who was deeply addicted to drugs and alcohol. The network canceled the show in 2008, and Haim died of pneumonia in 2010. He had an enlarged heart and water in his lungs, common indicators of drug abuse.
The Longmire Audience Skewed Old, So A&E Canceled It
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A&E’s Longmire was one of the network’s most popular dramas with three to five million viewers tuning in each week. The series centered on Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor), who investigated crimes in his town. Even though the show was the network’s highest-rated drama ever, A&E dumped it after three seasons in 2014.
What was the problem? The audience was primarily over the age of 50, not the coveted 18-49 age bracket (who advertisers target because they are more likely to spend money than their older counterparts.) Netflix, which isn’t supported by advertising, picked up the show and aired three additional seasons.
The Creator Of Deadwood Wouldn’t Settle For A Shortened Fourth Season
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Deadwood was a popular western on HBO when it was suddenly canceled after just three seasons in 2006. The network had planned on making a fourth season, but creator and showrunner David Milch would only do so on his own terms. HBO suggested an abbreviated season, but Milch declined.
The two parties couldn’t agree, so the show was canceled (despite winning eight Emmy awards). Initially, there were plans to make two Deadwood movies, but they never transpired. HBO and Milch agreed to start working on a script together in 2015. Actor Ian McShane confirmed in 2017 that a script had been written. Now it’s up to HBO to make it happen.
BBC One Producers Decided To Kill Off Robin Hood’s Main Star
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Many TV shows struggle when a lead character departs unexpectedly. When a major star drops out, there are sometimes ways to work around the problem. Or not. That’s exactly what happened to BBC One’s Robin Hood. Jonas Armstrong played the role of Robin and decided he no longer wanted the job after just three seasons.
Producers tried to solve the problem by killing off the titular character (they’d already axed his love interest, Maid Marian). Unfortunately, the supporting cast wasn’t enough to keep the show going. Even though the writers were still on board, the network wisely decided to cancel the series.
Reading Rainbow Cost Too Much & Didn’t Explicitly Teach Kids How To Read
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Reading Rainbow launched on PBS Kids in 1986. The main purpose of the program, which was hosted by LeVar Burton, was to encourage kids to read. It was the third longest running children’s show on the network’s history, following Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
It was canceled in 2006, and reruns were pulled completely in 2009, mostly because of budget issues and because it was difficult to measure its educational effect on kids. But in 2012, the Reading Rainbow App was a huge success in the iTunes App store. A Kickstarter campaign launched in 2014 and the show is expected to make a comeback.
Judd Apatow Refused To Change The True Essence Of Freaks & Geeks
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Freaks and Geeks aired for just one season from 1999-2000 on NBC. Created by Judd Apatow, the series centered on a high school teen and her fellow “freaks” and her geeky brother’s gang of pals. It was canceled after just 12 episodes aired. While never a ratings hit, it has since grown a huge cult following.
Network exec Garth Ancier was the one responsible for the cancellation. He explained in 2014 that Apatow didn’t want to make the changes that Ancier suggested to “improve” the program, which included adding victories for the freaks and the geeks. Apatow thought it would change the point of the show and wouldn’t budge.