5 Shows Cancelled Too Soon
Recently, many shows have been given their marching orders, leaving some fans devastated, and others overjoyed. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five shows that were canceled too soon.
Jericho (CBS, 2006 – 2008)
What would you do if America was the victim of a sudden nuclear attack? That’s the premise of CBS’ post-apocalyptic thriller set in the small fictional town of Jericho, Kansas. The show follows the people of the town in the coming days, weeks, and (eventually) months after a mysterious series of nuclear attacks in seemingly random cities across the United States. With virtually no federal oversight anymore, the people learn to fend for themselves and unite as a town. The show was very ambitious and very well-written, but the ratings were poor, so CBS gave the show the ax after its first season. A fan campaign brought the show back for a short second season, but the show was promptly canceled once again, leaving questions unanswered. The show has since been continued in comic book form.
Firefly (FOX, 2002)
Space cowboys. What more do you need to know? This beloved show about a group of space travelers set in 2517 was acclaimed by critics and fans alike, but FOX canceled the show due to low ratings. The series lives on through strong DVD sales, a feature film in 2005 (Serenity), and other merchandise, such as comics and role-playing games.
Freaks and Geeks (NBC, 1999 – 2000)
This comedy-drama has one of the biggest cult followings in television history. The show followed a brother and sister in high school, as well as their friends who are grouped into two categories: the freaks and the geeks. It was heralded by critics as one of the most realistic portrayals of high school life ever seen on television but suffered poor ratings. The show gained a large cult following in the years after its cancellation but never saw any form of continuation. The closest it ever came to continuing was when actors from the series would appear in films or shows together as different characters.
Police Squad! (ABC, 1982)
The oldest show on this list, this comedy series from the writers of the film Airplane! takes all of the stereotypes of classic police procedurals such as Dragnet and Adam-12. The astoundingly well-written series lasted just six episodes despite critical acclaim. ABC canceled the show after airing four episodes, citing that the viewer had to pay attention during the entire program due its high number of visual gags. The decision has been cited by some industry magazines as one of the oddest and dumbest reasons a show has ever been canceled. The series lived on in the form of the Naked Gun trilogy of films in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Young Justice (Cartoon Network, 2010 – 2013)
This show merged some of the characters of Teen Titans and the grit and intensity of Justice League to make one super-charged show. The series followed the sidekicks of DC’s biggest superheroes and their attempts to eventually become part of the Justice League. The series featured a stellar voice cast and even better writing, especially from showrunner Greg Weisman, who is known for other critically acclaimed animated series, such as Gargoyles and The Spectacular Spider-Man. The show only lasted two seasons, but rumors have surfaced that Netflix could revive the series.
They say you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. These five series prove that point. Sometimes in television, the networks don’t realize they have gold until after it’s too late.
Matt is a 23-year-old producer, director, and writer from DFW, Texas, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Film, TV, and Digital Media from Texas Christian University and is now an apprentice at the Center for Creative Media. His ultimate goal is to bring glory to God as a showrunner on TV. He is fueled by laughter, music, and donuts. Lots and lots of donuts.