These TV Shows That Were Were Given The Axe Too Soon

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.

Criminal Minds

criminal minds canceled 2019
CBS
CBS

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.

Arrow

arrow canceled in 2019
The CW
The CW

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.

BoJack Horseman

bojack horseman canceled 2019
Netflix
Netflix

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.

The Passage

the-passage canceled 2019
Fox
Fox

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.

Jessica Jones

jessica-jones canceled in 2019
Netflix
Netflix

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

the big bang theory canceled 2019
CBS
CBS

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.

Elementary

elementary 2019
CBS
CBS

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 and leah-remini
CBS
CBS

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

splitting up together canceled 2019
ABC
ABC

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.

A.P. Bio

ap-bio canceled
NBC
NBC

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

gotham canceled 2019
Fox
Fox

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

tim allen hollywood walk of fame
Vince Bucci/Getty Images
Vince Bucci/Getty Images

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?

Lethal Weapon

lethal-weapon canceled 2019
Fox
Fox

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.

Vikings

vikings 2019
History Channel
History Channel

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.

Modern Family

modern-family 2019 canceled
ABC
ABC

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

empire 2019 canceled
Fox
Fox

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.

Fuller House

fuller-house canceled 2019
Netflix
Netflix

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

the-good-place 2019 canceled
NBC
NBC

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.

Lucifer

lucifer canceled 2019
Fox/Netflix
Fox/Netflix

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.

Silicon Valley

silicon-valley canceled 2019
HBO
HBO

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.

Suits

suits 2019 canceled
USA Network
USA Network

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-grace canceled 2019
NBC
NBC

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.

Fresh Off the Boat Was Based On A True Story

cast of fresh off the boat at disney world
ABC
ABC

When Fresh Off the Boat aired in 2015 it was one of the first times a show with an all Asian American cast was on television. It was inspired by the early life of restaurateur, author, chef, and attorney Eddie Huang growing up with his family after moving from Washington D.C. to Orlando, Florida in the 1990s.

The Fresh Off the Boat series finale aired on February 21, 2020 after six seasons and 116 episodes. Those who want to watch a similar show after the finale should check out The Goldbergs, Everybody Hates Chris, and Black-ish.

Check Out The Cameos In Future Man

josh hutcherson in future man
Point Grey Pictures/Hulu
Point Grey Pictures/Hulu

After Netflix began creating original content other streaming platforms soon followed. Future Man is a science fiction original series on Hulu that follows an underachieving janitor (Josh Hutcherson) sent out to save the world. He and his friends (Eliza Couple and Derek Wilson) must do this by traveling through time.

Since Seth Rogen is one of the executive producers many of his famous friends have appeared on the show including Awkwafina, Martin Starr, and Kristen Schaal. The show received positive reviews but ended on April 3 of this year after three seasons and 34 episodes.

GLOW Combined Feminism, History, And Sports

cast of glow posing for a photo
Tilted Productions/Netflix
Tilted Productions/Netflix

The idea for GLOW came when the creators wanted to make a female-centric show and wound up watching a documentary about female wrestling. They took the angle of focusing on the aftermath of the women’s movement that spread from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

GLOW had one of the largest ensemble cast made up primarily of women in TV history with stars including Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Britt Baron, and Sydelle Noel. It was announced that after the fourth season and 40 episodes the show would not be returning to Netflix.

The Ranch Couldn’t Recover After A Major Secret Was Revealed

sam elliott and ashton kutcher on the ranch
Ranch Hand Productions/Netflix
Ranch Hand Productions/Netflix

Ashton Kutcher and Sam Elliott starred as a father and son duo running a cattle ranch in Colorado on Netflix’s The Ranch. Many of Kutcher’s fellow That 70s Show cast members reunited with him such as Wilmer Valderrama, Kurtwood Smith, and Debra Jo Rupp.

Once allegations were made about Danny Masterson he was written out of the show and replaced by Dax Shepard. The bad publicity shifted the show toward ending, so Netflix aired the final batch of episodes on January 24. It came to a conclusion after four seasons and 80 episodes.

Jane The Virgin Fans Are Still Reeling

gina rodriguez and brett dier on Jane the Virgin
Netflix
Netflix

First airing on The CW on October 13, 2014, the TV comedy-drama Jane the Virgin became an instant hit and moved to Netflix. Gina Rodriguez both directed and starred in the series that’s loosely based on a Venezuelan telenovela.

With a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, no one has a bad thing to say about it, so why on earth was it canceled? Nonetheless, the final new episode aired July 31, 2019. Catch the reruns on Netflix while you still can.

Supernatural Halted Production Ahead Of Series Finale

two men looking off into the distance on supernatural
Kripke Enterprises
Kripke Enterprises

Supernatural premiered on September 13, 2005, on The WB and switched over to The CW after the former went off the air. After 15 seasons and 327 episodes the drama, fantasy, and thriller series will finally end. The show focused on two brothers (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) sent to fight evil creatures such as demons, monsters, and gods.

The series finale was set to air on May 18, but due to unforeseen circumstances production had to shut down and it was pushed back to November 19, 2020.

Ray Donovan Was Canceled Without Warning

liev schreiber at the ny skyline in ray donovan
David Hollander Productions
David Hollander Productions

When Ray Donovan premiered on June 30, 2013, it broke Showtime records being the most-watched pilot episode of all time on the network. Liev Schreiber plays the titular role of an Irish American man who works for a powerful law firm but commits crimes for the rich and famous of Los Angeles.

After the seventh season aired Showtime announced they would be ending Ray Donovan without letting the cast or crew know in advance. Showrunner David Hollander was completely shocked because he had huge plans for season eight. Luckily, Schreiber took to his Instagram to let the outraged fans know that more Ray Donovan is on its way.

13 Reasons Why Covered Serious Topics That Can Be Triggering

teens standing by a locker in 13 reasons why
July Moon Productions/Netflix
July Moon Productions/Netflix

One of the more emotionally heavy original series on Netflix is teen drama 13 Reasons Why. The show was based on a novel by Jay Asher that followed a high school student who found a box of cassette tapes that detailed his friend’s reasons why she ended her life.

Since the series deals with very serious topics it can be triggering to viewers, so they made special videos and a support website to coincide with it. Netflix revealed they renewed the show for a fourth and final season, which aired on June 5, 2020.

Homeland Has Great Acting Across The Board

claire danes and mandy patinkin in homeland
Teakwood Lane Productions
Teakwood Lane Productions

For a while, Homeland on Showtime was one of the most popular TV dramas and earned several awards for Best Acting and Outstanding Drama Series. It was based on an Israeli series called Hatufim and centered around Claire Danes’ character of a CIA agent with bipolar disorder who believes an American prisoner of war is now an enemy to the United States.

Many critics believe the acting is the best part of the show with great performances by Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, and F. Murray Abraham. The series aired its season finale on April 26, 2020.

Blindspot Is Similar To A Famous Movie

a woman wearing a green jacket on blindspot
Quinn’s House
Quinn’s House

Similar to the plot of Memento, Blindspot is about a woman (Jaimie Alexander) who is found by the FBI covered in tattoos with no prior memories. As the series goes on she realizes that her tattoos are clues from her past that will help her solve crimes.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an average 69 percent score out of 100 and viewers are drawn in by the “intriguing mystery and strong action.” The show premiered on September 21, 2015, on NBC and aired its series finale on July 23, 2020 after a total of five seasons.