We’ve all witnessed how some of our favourite shows got axed by TV executives without any mercy or care for our feelings. Here are ten of those shows (in no specific order) that got cancelled way too soon and we still miss.

Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)

This show created by Bryan Fuller (Star Trek: Discovery, Hannibal, American Gods). It was about Ned, played by Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hobbit) who had the ability to revive the dead with a single touch, and a second touch would render the person dead again unable to bring them back to life for a second time. He had to be careful not to revive them for more than one minute; otherwise another person would have to die in their place. This way, Ned and his revived childhood sweetheart would help solve murders and bake pies for a living.

Pushing daisies was very innovative, colourful and a breath of fresh air, unfortunately it only lasted for two seasons before it got cancelled. Most people think that it was because it was the time when Reality Shows reigned television and there was no room for a show that was so out of the box.

 

Veronica Mars (2004-2007)

This show was created by Rob Thomas (iZombie, 902010).

Veronica Mars was played by Kristen Bell (Frozen, Forgetting Sarah Marshal, The Good Place) who after losing her best friend to a senseless murder, she dedicated her life to solve mysteries with the help of new friends while attending high school (and later college) in the town of Neptune, California.

Veronica Mars had a clever script and storyline that could have lasted for more than three seasons but somehow that was not enough to be picked up for a fourth. Luckily at least we got Veronica Mars (the movie) in 2014.

 

 

Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)

This show was created by Paul Feig (Ghostbusters, Spy) and it was about the life and problems that teenagers go through in high school; like drugs, alcohol and bullying. Freaks and Geeks had a lot of talent that later became worldwide celebrities like James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel; as well as the charismatic and talented Busy Phillips and Linda Cardellini.

This show had also an interesting treatment with the camera movements creating a sense of reality by letting the audience being more of an observer. It is thought that Freaks and Geeks got cancelled after its first season because it aired on Saturdays instead of a more strategic day; and that the plot was a little ahead of its time, as we’ve seen similar plots being successful in recent shows.

 

Firefly (2002-2003)

This sci-fi show was created by Joss Whedon (Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who also won an Oscar in 1996 for co-writing Toy Story. Firefly took place five hundred years in the future; it was about a renegade crew on a spacecraft who traveled unknown parts of the galaxy to escape the authority agents that were after them.

Although Firefly won a Primetime Emmy Award and was very well received by critics; according to former Fox entertainment president Gail Berman, the show was cancelled after only fourteen episodes because it was too expensive to produce and the ratings were not as high as they had expected.

 

 

 

Deadwood (2004-2006)

This show was created by David Milch (True Detective, Luck). The show took place in Deadwood, South Dakota in the late 1800s. It was a sort of western drama where the characters dealt with some serious crime and corruption.

Although the show was nominated for multiple awards like Emmys and Golden Globes, and even won one of the latter, HBO did not pick it up for a fourth season but the good thing is that a Deadwood movie is said to be produced and written by its creator, so hopefully the followers of this show will have the conclusion they deserve.



 

 

Bunheads (2012-2013)

This show was created by Lamar Damon (Be Somebody, Hollywood Exes) and Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls, Roseanne). Bunheads was about Michelle Simms, played by the talented Sutton Foster (The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Shrek: The Musical); a Las Vegas showgirl who moves to a little town and ends up working in her mother-in-law’s dance school.

Bunheads repeated the same formula of Gilmore Girls: witty dialogues, fast talking and charming (although sometimes annoying) characters. It was very well received by critics but the audience did not seem to respond in the same way and it only lasted for one season.

 

 

Dead Like Me (2003-2004)

This is the second show on this list that was created by Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), and it was also very original. It was about Georgia Lass, a sort of bitter and unhappy college dropout who got killed by a toilet on her way back home from her temp job. Being dead, she was then recruited as a grim reaper, but again, as in life, she’s not very happy about her reality and even her fellow grim reapers don’t seem to be very fond of her either.

No one expected Dead Like Me to be cancelled after the second season as it was well received by critics and viewers; and even nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards, but I guess that wasn’t enough to keep Georgia alive (or dead).

 

 

My So-Called Life (1994-1995)

It was created by Winnie Holzman (Once and Again, ‘Til There Was You) and she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for writing this show. It was about 15-year-old Angela Chase, played by the talented Claire Danes (Homeland, Romeo + Juliet) who dealt with the problems that most teenagers deal with: school, guys, family and friends.

Although Danes won a Golden Globe in 1995 for playing this character, it seemed she did not want to continue working on this show and the ratings were not so good either; so despite the fan campaign to reverse its cancelation, My So-Called Life only lasted for one season.

 

 

 

 

Wonderfalls (2004)

This is now the third show on this list created by Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me) and I’m starting to believe the television gods have something against him. Wonderfalls, as we could expect from Fuller, had an original plot; it was about a loner woman named Jaye Tyler who lived in Niagara Falls and worked in a gift shop as a retail clerk. One day the souvenirs start talking to her forcing her to do things against her will or face the consequences.

Although Wonderfalls was pretty entertaining, it couldn’t keep the ratings up and was cancelled after the first season. It is believed that it was because it aired on Friday nights and was not promoted properly by Fox.

 

 

Ringer (2011-2012)

This show was created by Eric C. Charmelo and Nicole Snyder, who have worked together on shows like Supernatural and Midnight, Texas. Ringer was about a woman played by Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Grudge) who was running from the mob and to do so, posed as her twin sister, only to realize that her sister’s life was also very complicated.

It’s not clear why Ringer was cancelled; it was certainly not because of the charming Gellar. It could have been that the pilot wasn’t strong enough and it had several subplots that could have been confusing for the audience that did not have the patience to stick around and see how the series would unfold, which caused low ratings.

What other shows would you add to the list?



About The Author

Aníbal Astorga

Aníbal is a film & television freak. He could spend days and nights glued to the screen, and eventually, he likes to share his opinion about it. He majored in Communication and Media Studies, has a diploma in Film Production, hosted a radio show dedicated to cinema, and has worked in some short and feature films. He would like to be a screenwriter and is currently working on it.

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