Every year networks have to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel TV shows. Some of these shows, like Criminal Minds, have been on the air for years, while others, like The Passage, barely get one season to set sail. These TV casualties join a long list of shows that said their final good-byes before we were ready. Here are all the shows that got canceled that we wish were given one more season to really shine.
After 14 seasons on CBS, the plug was finally pulled on Criminal Minds. The show premiered in 2005 and averaged 19 million viewers an episode in its first season. By the time the 14th season began airing, viewership was down to just over four million.
Casting upheaval in the last few seasons of the show led viewers to turn it off. Not knowing what characters might stay and which ones might leave left everyone on edge. At the end of the day, it was no surprise Criminal Minds closed its final case in 2019.
The show that kicked off the CW’s DC universe of television shows was given its well-deserved farewell in 2019. Following the adventures of Oliver Queen, Arrow set the stage for a series of shows that followed in Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman.
Arrow will air its official finale in 2020, giving fans one last chance cheer for the hero they both deserved and needed. Taking its place on the CW schedule will be Superman and Louis, a show following the modern-day adventures of Clark Kent and Louis Lane.
In some regards, it’s a miracle that a show as strange and unique as BoJack Horseman managed to survive one season, let alone six, before being canceled. With a voice cast led by Will Arnett, the show premiered on Netflix without much fanfare before becoming one of the service’s defining series.
The sixth and final season about the anthropomorphic horse struggling to become a functional person in society aired the first half of its final season in 2019. The second part will air in 2020.
Fox was looking for television’s next great mystery when they began airing The Passage in 2019. A modern take on vampires, the program was based on a popular book and was given a huge push by the network.
Reviews were good, and so were initial ratings. As the mystery began to unfold, however, audiences seemed to lose interest. While Fox remained excited about the show, the writing was on the wall. The Passage was going nowhere, so they pulled the plug.
Before Disney branched out with its own streaming service, Netflix invested heavily in Marvel properties. One of those properties was Jessica Jones, a hard-edged show that starred Kristen Ritter as the title character.
The show premiered after Daredevil, as the streaming service created its own extended universe that would become The Defenders. By 2019, Netflix had canceled them all, including Jessica Jones. While fans weren’t very happy with the show ending, at least they now have Disney Plus to fall back on!
The Big Bang Theory
One of the biggest sitcoms of the last two decades, The Big Bang Theory aired its series finale in 2019. The seminal final show of the sitcom saw Sheldon Cooper win the Nobel Prize after a lifetime of being a genius.
The fitting ending, of course, doesn’t mean the story is over. Young Sheldon continues to air on CBS, showing viewers what Sheldon Cooper was like as a child growing up in a religious family in Texas.
After seven seasons, Sherlock Holmes solved his final crime on Elementary. The series finale came after Sherlock faked his own death, leading to a reunion with Watson and one last encounter with Moriarty.
For fans, it was an emotionally satisfying send-off for the show that turned Watson into a woman and placed Sherlock into modern times. The program aired at the same time as Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, on BBC. With cable television in flux, there may not be a show like Elementary again.
Kevin Can Wait
Kevin James achieved fame as the star of The King of Queens on CBS. The highly successful show was a spin-off of Everybody Loves Raymond and ran for nine seasons. Nine years after it ended, James returned to star in Kevin Can Wait.
The highly-publicized show received lukewarm reviews from critics and moderate ratings from fans. Between the first and second seasons, Erinn Hayes was replaced with Leah Remini. Producers hoped the reunion of the actors would lead to higher ratings. The ploy didn’t work, and the once-promising show was canceled after two seasons.
Splitting Up Together
What happens when you live in Los Angeles, get a divorce, but still want to co-parent together? You end up becoming the sitcom Splitting Up Together. The show followed parents as they break-up but continue living together to raise their children.
For two seasons, the romantic-comedy gave audiences the “will they/won’t they” humor they wanted. What wasn’t funny were the ratings, which weren’t enough to warrant a third go-around for the curiously endearing show.
Starring Glenn Howerton, who is best known for his role as Dennis on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, A.P. Bio was a show about an intellectual forced to teach at a high school in a small town.
It took a while for critics and audiences to warm up to A.P. Bio, but by the end of the second season, everyone was board. When NBC canceled the sophomore show, a campaign to save it went viral on Twitter. In response, NBC reversed its decision, giving an online-only order for a third season.
Gotham was one of the weirdest shows on television for five seasons. Taking a look at what Gotham City was like before Bruce Wayne became Batman allowed the writers to create their own campy mythology.
While the show took itself more seriously than the 1960s Batman series on ABC, Gotham still found humor in the dark. The show ended after five seasons, with Bruce Wayne finally donning the cowl of Batman and becoming the hero the city desperately needed.
Last Man Standing
Last Man Standing was hailed as Tim Allen’s big return to television when ABC debuted the sitcom almost a decade ago. The show strived to show a more conservative side to the world, and despite good ratings, the network axed it in 2017.
Allen, never afraid to speak his mind, was vocally upset about losing the show. His tears didn’t last long, though, as Fox stepped in to save it. With eight seasons now in the books, the show feels like it’s in limbo after every finale. Will it last a whole decade?
It’s no surprise that the television reboot of movie franchise Lethal Weapon was silenced by Fox in 2019. After behind-the-scenes controversy led to one of the show’s two leads to be fired, Sean William Scott was brought on to keep audiences interested.
For as charming as Sean William Scott can be, the move backfired, and audiences stopped tuning in. The show was never a big hit with critics, so once it lost its audience, there wasn’t a good reason to renew it for a fourth season.
History Channel jumped into the scripted television game with Vikings six seasons ago. The historical drama made an effort to be as accurate as possible, and viewers loved it. As with any show, however, age led to decreased viewership. Combine that with increasing production costs and Vikings was always destined to have a limited lifespan.
Once the series airs its finale, a spin-off series will premiere, ensuring that the History Channel can continue to profit off one of its biggest shows of all time.
One of the last major sitcoms left on television, Modern Family is airing its final season in 2019/20. The show started as a riff on the traditional family sitcom, before becoming exactly what it was parodying.
Now, after 11 seasons, the show is ending. The good news is that Modern Family will get a proper series finale. The news of ABC choosing not to renew it for a 12th season came before the start of the 11th, allowing writers to craft the ending fans asked for.
Empire premiered with a loud bang for Fox, stunning the world with nearly 20 million viewers a week. As the show continued on for multiple seasons, viewership steadily declined. By 2019 ratings were so low that the show was officially canceled.
Like Modern Family, Empire writers were given plenty of time to plan a true series finale. And more importantly, the final season arc for the show about Empire Records and the controversial family that runs the record label.
Let’s be honest, the whole reason Fuller House ever existed is because we live in a society that is deeply nostalgic. The return of the Tanner clan after two decades only made sense. It also ensured a huge viewership for Netflix.
Now, with five seasons under its belt, Fuller House has been canceled. For fans, the news of the cancellation was devastating, although understandable. At least the show will remain on Netflix to be binged on family nights after long weeks at school and work.
The Good Place
A victim of poor ratings, no amount of critical praise or fan worship could get The Good Place renewed for a fifth season. Fans will just have to hope that the show’s writers are able to give a satisfying conclusion to the series.
Throughout its run, The Good Place has been praised as one of the sharpest comedies on television. Coming from the same writing team that creating Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99, there is no doubt that although the show may be gone, it will never be forgotten.
Originally canceled by Fox after three seasons, Lucifer was given a second life by Netflix. The show, about a bored Lucifer who leaves the underworld to run a night club in L.A. and moonlight for the FBI, was a hit for the streaming giants.
Despite a strong performance, Netflix decided after season four that Lucifer wouldn’t have a long second life. It was quickly announced that the upcoming fifth season would officially be the last.
The HBO satire about what life is like for a start-up company in Silicon Valley is finally ending in 2019 after six seasons. During its run, the show’s ratings have gone up and down and at least one actor was fired for controversial behavior.
Through it all, HBO stuck by the show. The narrative, however, had nowhere left to go, allowing the premium cable network to let it power down. We’re sure the next great HBO comedy is just around the corner.
No one expected Suits to last nine seasons. When USA starting airing the show, they just hoped the slick take on the lawyer genre would be a hit. The fact that it became one of the network’s biggest hits was a very pleasant surprise.
All great stories must end though, and Suits is no different. Once the ninth season is over, the show will be too. Don’t worry if you’re a fan, however, because a spin-off called Pearson is just around the corner!
Will And Grace
Will and Grace did something very few series have been able to do. After ending its initial run years ago, it was brought back. Unlike Fuller House, the new Will and Grace was still the old Will and Grace. The characters were just as wild, just a little more seasoned.
The return of the series gave NBC a brief boost in the ratings. The network quickly renewed the show through an 11th official season, but there are no plans for a 12th. Maybe years down the road it will come back again. But for now, Will and Grace is canceled.