CopperNCherrio's Top Cancelled TV Shows!by copperncherrio | created - 30 Sep 2010 | updated - 30 Apr 2011 | Public
Because of my love for short lived TV shows, I also learned to hate FOX for cancelling them so swiftly before they had a chance. I have watched each of these shows from beginning to end, and wanted to see more.
I haven't yet watched Twin Peaks.
Honorable mention: Life on Mars
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1. Kitchen Confidential (2005– )
TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Romance
A bad-boy chef runs wild in his New York City eatery.
A group of dysfunctional chefs working at a high scale restaurant.
Only 13 episodes, and FOX cancelled this show in lue of baseball season. This is the best comedy of all time. It's number one because I rarely see it on any number one list, and it deserves the attention. It's well written, well produced, and has great actors. If you love Scrubs type of humor, you will love this show.
Starring Bradley Cooper (Alias) Nicholas Brendon (Buffy), John Francis Daley (Bones, Freaks and Geeks), Jaime King, Owain Yeoman (The Mentalist), John Cho (Harold and Kumar), Bonnie Somerville (Friends)... and etc.
2. Rome (2005–2007)
TV-MA | 90 min | Action, Drama, History
A down-to-earth account of the lives of both illustrious and ordinary Romans set in the last days of the Roman Republic.
This should be a tie for number 1, but this 2 season HBO series might not be to everyone's taste for it's drama and historical background.
Life in Rome on every social level.
It is, however, my all-time favorite DRAMA as of now.
Rome was cancelled due to budgeting reasons and the BBC picked it up but never started it again. Rome was just too expensive and HBO just didn't have the following for it that it was investing into it.
This show is for those who love The Tudors, but 20 times better. It's beautiful, more historically accurate, and high budgeted. It's like a two season movie about Rome. Detail oriented and smart, it's disappointing that these characters only lasted two seasons.
(I discovered this the same time as I discovered Kitchen Confidential... What a sad week it was for me, when it all came to an end)
3. Firefly (2002–2003)
TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.
Space Cowboys with a great sense of humor. SHINY!
Oh FOX you strike yet AGAIN. Originally the phrase "space cowboy" wasn't much of a pull in for me, but I give it a try because it was available at my local library for consumption (whoever works there has great taste in TV). I fell in love! Nathan Fillion you've captured my heart. Of course my all time favorite character is Wash... but who's keeping count? Firefly was cancelled to swiftly due to poor following. Due to the show's fan base after it was cancelled Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible) thanked the fans by releasing the movie Serenity, based on the TV show. With the exception of the Doctor... Everyone was back for the movie, a great movie it twas.
4. Veronica Mars (2004–2007)
TV-14 | 44 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
After her best friend is murdered, and her father is removed as county Sheriff, Veronica Mars dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune.
High school drama and mysteries at its best.
WHY UPN?!? Granted, when I saw the previews for this show when it was on, I was like huh? and LAME (mainly because of the title). But upon viewing it from season one I realized my faults. The problem with Veronica Mars that it was too much for UPN to handle. It's plot was all comprehensive, and you'd have to watch every episode to get everything that was going on. And I think calling it the modern day Nancy Drew didn't really help. Because Veronica Mars is 10 times greater than Nancy Drew, plus there's no girl named George in Veronica Mars.
Oh Kristen Bell, I adore you!
5. Pushing Daisies (2007–2009)
TV-PG | 44 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
A pie-maker, with the power to bring dead people back to life, solves murder mysteries with his alive-again childhood sweetheart, a cynical private investigator, and a lovesick waitress.
A Pie maker who can bring the dead back to life, but with consequences.
Cancelled after two seasons on ABC for its poor following.
I loved this show, it's Tim Burton like quality, but only light instead of Victorian look (more like Big Fish, less like Sweeney Todd). A beautifully made show with little following. Screw you ABC!
6. Undeclared (2001–2003)
22 min | Comedy
College freshman Steve Karp, his girlfriend and their fellow dormmates embark on one the greatest experiences of their lives. Unfortunately for Steve, his lonely and recently divorced father is tagging along for the ride.
FOX!!! you fool. Like Jud Apatow's Freaks and Geeks but only a 30 minute comedy set in college.
Judd Apatow just didn't do so well in TV for some reason. Comedy way before its time. In all honesty I think this show is far better than all of his movies... just under appreciated at the time.
7. Spaced (1999–2001)
TV-14 | 25 min | Action, Comedy
Friends Tim and Daisy, 20-something North Londoners with uncertain futures, must pretend to be a couple to live in the only apartment they can afford.
Two quirky roommates.
For anyone who loves Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). Two season show of a great comedy. Spaced is for the geek in all of us that love entertaining randomness that is British. The show makes a lot of references to all things geeky: comics, Star Wars (evident by the cover). It's a bit too odd for most people, but I loved it nonetheless on Channel 4 (British).
8. Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000)
TV-14 | 44 min | Comedy, Drama
A high school mathlete starts hanging out with a group of burnouts while her younger brother navigates his freshman year.
Lasted 1 season on ABC.
Great cast, like my so-called life... but so much better in writing and in cast. You'll fall in love with it instantly.
9. Odyssey 5 (2002–2004)
60 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
After witnessing the sudden implosion of Earth from orbit, a group of five Odyssey astronauts is sent five years back in time by an alien force to find the cause and prevent the disaster. A vast conspiracy stands in their way.
A group of Astronauts brought back in time after the earth explodes to prevent it.
Canadian scify show on Showtime cancelled after 1 season. Addicting and well written. It's only so high on this list because it's not well known... even after its cancellation.
10. Slings and Arrows (2003–2006)
60 min | Comedy
In the fictional town of New Burbage, legendary theatrical madman Geoffrey Tennant returns to the New Burbage Theatre Festival, the site of his greatest triumph and most humiliating failure... See full summary »
Canadian comedy about the theater troop.
Extremely well written and casted. Just unknown on The Movie Channel for 3 seasons, and it follows a Shakespeare play every season. Not a lot of actors that any american knows except Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Mean Girls) in season one. But I love Paul Gross the main character!!! Also sadly also known for Eastwick...crappy, crappy short lived show a TV show inspired by a movie. (Paul plays Jack Nicholson's role in the TV show).
11. My So-Called Life (1994–1995)
TV-14 | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A 15-year-old girl and her trials and tribulations of being a teenager and dealing with friends, guys, parents and school.
Cancelled after 1 season on ABC.
Well written family show that has more depth than I expected. A show like Freaks and Geeks: cancelled before its time. Starring Claire Danes.
12. Frisky Dingo (2006–2008)
TV-MA | 11 min | Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi
A philandering billionaire playboy who moonlights as the superhero, Awesome X, faces against his greatest adversary, Killface, but finds balancing his business and superhero lives difficult.
Funny, dark, great for those who love Archer.
13. Dollhouse (2009–2010)
TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A futuristic laboratory has erased the identities of lost young people, and now imprints them with the temporary identities they need to fulfill assignments for clients.
A house of "dolls" programmed to do as their clients wish.
Joss Whedon, why does this happen to you?!?! Alright, so you saw the cancellation coming, which is why Season 2 was FAR better than Season 1. Great Sci-Fy... just for the wrong crowd. Oh FOX... you've done it again.
14. Deadwood (2004–2006)
TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, History
A show set in the late 1800s, revolving around the characters of Deadwood, South Dakota; a town of deep corruption and crime.
South Dakota's Deadwood, a lawless town.
Cancelled after 3 season on HBO. There wasn't much of a following. I'm not all into the whole cowboy thing as I was when I was younger. But kudos to Deadwood! It brought it all back but lacked the following it needed to stay afloat.
Timothy Olyphant (Justified) and Ian McShane (Kings) made the show what it was: good old testosterone of the 1870s.
15. Carnivàle (2003–2005)
TV-MA | 55 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
During the Great Depression, an Oklahoma farm boy and a charismatic minister learn that they are key players in a proxy war being fought between Heaven and Hell.
Traveling Carnivale with supernatural qualities in the mist of the Great Depression.
Good and Evil. Lasted one season, centered around the traveling freak show and Carnivale. Unable to retain it's audience after its first season, Carnivale was cancelled by HBO. It's very slow, but had great promise.
Though I understood why it was cancelled, it is truly a unique show of its time.
16. Green Wing (2004–2007)
65 min | Comedy, Drama
Funky hospital-based sketch-comedy-drama type show.
The twisted version of Scrubs in England. 2 seasons. One of my favorite comedies.
Not everyone's taste. But if you love Spaced and all of JD's hallucinations on Scrubs, then you will love the perverted and weird Green Wing.
17. Arrested Development (2003– )
TV-PG | 489 min | Comedy
Level-headed son Michael Bluth takes over family affairs after his father is imprisoned. But the rest of his spoiled, dysfunctional family are making his job unbearable.
The craziest group of characters that you see in every other movie/tv show now...
After 3 seasons FOX cancelled Arrested Development, a show everyone loved after it was cancelled. Why so low on the list? Simply put, it's not my type of humor. However, I do recognize it's greatness in writing and execution.
However, making an Arrested Development movie? I just don't know about that.
18. Wonderfalls (2004)
TV-PG | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Jaye Tyler is a loner living in Niagara Falls who, after graduating college, has fallen into a care-free comfortable rut living in a trailer park and working as a retail clerk in the Falls ... See full summary »
A sarcastic girl Jane working at a Gift Shop in Niagara Falls with objects talking to her... ( I could explain this better... but I really can't).
FOX you fiend! Cancelled after 1 season for its poor following.
Another show cancelled before it's time... It's very much like Pushing Daises without the beautiful costumes but with the commonality of Lee Pace.
19. Jack of All Trades (2000)
30 min | Adventure, Action, Comedy
Jack Stiles, American spy stationed on a South Pacific island in the early 19th century, teams up with no nonsense British agent Emilia Rothschild to stop Napoleon's colonizing efforts. Jack's alter ego is the Zorro-esque Daring Dragoon.
Like I need another reason to love Bruce Campell... the Zorro of the American Revolutionary War.
20. Sports Night (1998–2000)
30 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport
Casey McCall and Dan Rydell are sports anchors and best friends. On "Sports Night," their nightly cable program, the two display their unique talent and skills in reporting up-to-the-minute... See full summary »
Coworkers on a Sports Night TV show.
Cancelled on ABC after 2 season .
Comedic wise it's not the greatest, but it has the heart that most shows do not have and a great cast.
21. Dead Like Me (2003–2004)
TV-14 | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
After being hit on the head by a toilet seat, a young temp clerk becomes a grim reaper in death.
Grim Reapers meeting at a Waffle House and reaping a person at a time.
Another American Canadian show, cancelled after 2 Seasons on Showtime. It portrays Grim Reapers in a comedic way without over simplifying death. The end of season 2 got really, really good and then it was over. OVER. I must admit I do not like Reggie (our main character), but it is an unique concept and a good show.
22. Family Guy (1998– )
TV-14 | 22 min | Animation, Comedy
In a wacky Rhode Island town, a dysfunctional family strive to cope with everyday life as they are thrown from one crazy scenario to another.
What is this doing on the list?!?! FOX picked itself from this great folly, when it cancelled Family Guy after its 3rd season due to its "poor" following. It was only brought back after it's popularity of its reruns on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network.
Although, I like the first 3 seasons better than the recent ones... and i am more of the Simpsons Gal... Family Guy deserves to be on this list.
23. Kings (2009)
60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
A modern day, alternate-reality drama about a hero who rises to become the King of his nation, based on the biblical story of King David.
A modern David and Goliaths.
Great show cancelled on NBC after one season.
Ian McShane and even Macaulay Culkin (as a minor character)... It's a show that belonged on Showtime or HBO... but not for NBC. It's plot was all too much for a major network and it's production was just on the caliber of HBO and Showtime.
24. Huff (2004–2006)
TV-MA | 55 min | Drama, Comedy
Psychiatrist Craig Huffstodt (Azaria) experiences his own midlife crisis.
Psychologist and his family issues.
Cancelled after 2 seasons on Showtime. I watched it because I love Hank Azaria's work (The Simpsons, The Birdcage) and he's the main character. Season 1 was Good, but season 2 was a little less better than season 1. Why was it cancelled? Ahem, have YOU ever heard of it?
25. Party Down (2009–2010)
TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy
A group of actors move to Los Angeles to make it big, but end up working as caterers.
A group of Hollywood wannabes working as caterers.
Cancelled on Starz after its second season. Not going to lie, I see why this was cancelled. I did not particularly like the awkwardness of this show. However, it's individual scenes are quite brilliant. It also helped that every other person from Veronica Mars was on here.