It’s not easy for any TV show – whether new or returning – to avoid the ax. Some start out strong and end up losing viewers over time, while others just can’t make it work in their freshman season. Plus, as audiences know all too well, cancellations aren’t always predictable. While some series seem pretty much destined for the chopping block (Weird Loners), others don’t go out quite as easily (Forever).
This season has already seen more than its fair shares of axed shows, with everything from sitcoms to crime procedurals to fantasy dramas getting pulled from the lineups of all five major networks. Here’s a look at 13 guy-friendly shows who will count the 2014-2015 TV season as their last.
The Fox comedy stars Rainn Wilson as a self-destructive detective for the Portland Serious Crimes Unit. Similarly to House, Backstrom is a miserable character who can barely function in his own day-to-day life but is a brilliant crime-solver. The freshman series earned a poor response upon its debut, with reviewers criticizing the badly written script. After garnering low 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the show was officially canceled in May. The last episode of its first and final season aired in April.
The crime procedural, starring Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q, centers on the Threat Assessment Unit of the L.A.P.D., the people responsible for protecting women from harassment by stalkers. The show received overwhelmingly negative reviews, with critics accusing it of being exploitative and hard to watch and calling its storylines “ugly” and “perverted.” The series aired for a 20-episode freshman season. The series ended on an unresolved cliffhanger though, after the network finally canceled it in early May. The final installment aired later that month.
The long-running crime show that’s spawned several spin-offs will finally come to a close after its fifteenth season this year. Speculation that the show was coming to an end first started after CBS cut the show’s episode order back in the fall. In May, the network finally confirmed that the show would not return for a sixteenth season. Still, it will get an eventual conclusion. The show will conclude with a two-hour TV movie that will reportedly feature the return of original cast members William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger. The finale is scheduled to air on September 27.
4. Battle Creek
CBS’s comedy drama, starring Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters, followed a mismatched police detective and FBI agent who are assigned together to solve cases in Battle Creek, Michigan. The freshman season earned mostly positive reviews, but apparently it wasn’t enough to attract viewers to yet another police procedural. In May, after only nine episodes, the network announced that the show would not be returning for a second season. After its cancellation, CBS ran four more episodes of the series, with the final one airing in late May.
The fantasy drama, starring Omar Epps, Frances Fisher, Matt Craven and Devin Kelley, focused on the residents of Arcadia, Missouri, whose lives are upended when their loved ones return from the dead. The series, based on Jason Mott’s novel The Returned, aired for two seasons on ABC. The first season performed strongly in ratings, but season two earned mixed reviews and saw a sharp decline in ratings. The decline in viewership in the second season, which concluded in May, spurred rumors of cancellation. The network announced its decision to officially ax the series in May.
The fantasy crime drama stars Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Henry Morgan, an immortal medical examiner in New York City. Though the series earned mixed critical reviews, early episodes garnered strong ratings, even leading ABC to extend its episode order to a full season. But viewership declined as the show’s freshman season went on and the series was eventually canceled in May, after only one season. The decision caused a huge backlash from fans, who started a social media campaign using the hashtag #SaveForever and also creating an online petition to save it on Change.org. As of early July, creator Matt Miller maintained that the show was still being shopped around to other networks.
7. AD: The Bible Continues
The sequel to the 2013 miniseries, The Bible, began airing on NBC on Easter Sunday. The story takes place immediately after the events of The Bible miniseries, beginning with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and then goes on to chronicle the first ten chapters of the Book of Acts. The show earned mixed reviews and was canceled by the network in July, after only one season. Still, producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey reportedly plan to bring future biblical productions to their OTT digital channel.
The psychological thriller-horror series, based on characters from Thomas Harris’s novel Red Dragon, focuses on the friendship between FBI special investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), a forensic psychiatrist destined to become Graham’s most cunning enemy. The series aired on NBC for three seasons, earning high critical praise for the performances of the lead actors and the visual style of the show. The third season garnered the most positive reviews, with a 97% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite this, the series was canceled in June (to big protest from the series loyal fanbase). In July, it was revealed Amazon and Netflix have both passed on reviving the show, but creator Bryan Fuller is reportedly still shopping the series to other outlets.
9. The Following
The Fox drama, starring Kevin Bacon as former FBI Agent Ryan Hardy, ran for three seasons. The show was a breakout hit when it first launched in 2013, finishing the 2012-13 season as the highest rated new broadcast series in the key demo 18-49. But the show couldn’t keep its momentum, seeing a dip in ratings in season two and an even bigger decline in season three. Despite its strong performance in DVR and on demand viewership, the show was officially axed in May. The final episode aired that same month. There was initially talk that the show could get picked up by a digital platform, although nothing has resulted yet.
The NBC show, based on the comic series Hellblazer, kicked off its freshman season last year. The series, starring Matt Ryan as John Constantine, earned relatively positive reviews, with critics praising its “creepy atmosphere, high-stakes action, and splendid special effects.” Still, in May, NBC decided against renewing the series for a second season. Still, there’s still a chance that the show could live on post-cancellation. Apparently, producers of Arrow are trying to get the series moved to the CW.
“It’s something we’ve been talking to DC about and it’s just a question of some political things, but also the actor’s schedule,” Arrow‘s executive producer Wendy Mericle told IGN. “We’re trying to work it out, but we don’t know 100 percent if it’s going to happen.”
11. The McCarthys
The CBS comedy revolves around the McCarthys, a close-knit working class Boston clan whose passion for sports runs deep in the family. But when father Arthur, a dedicated high school basketball coach, decides to take his athletically challenged — and openly gay — son Ronny under his wing as his new assistant, the other siblings (who are more sports passionate) start crying foul over their dad’s choice. The show aired 11 episodes, before it was yanked from the schedule by CBS. In May, it was officially canceled after one season. However, the remaining episodes were aired on Saturday evenings in July.
12. Weird Loners
When Stosh Lewandoski loses his job and condo for seducing his boss’s fiancé, he has to move into the Queens townhouse with his cousin. When he meets his two female neighbors, the four form unlikely bonds that begin changing their individual trajectories for the better. The Fox sitcom, starring Zachary Knighton, Becki Newton, Nate Torrence, and Meera Rohit Kumbhani, landed with a thud in its post-New Girl time slot and was officially canceled by the network in May, after just one season. The final episode aired in early May.
13. The Messengers
The CW’s supernatural mystery drama kicked off this spring. It follows a group of five people, who find themselves mysteriously connected after a mysterious object plummets to Earth and sends out a shock wave. The series earned mixed reviews from critics and didn’t fare much better with viewers. It was officially canceled after only three episodes, due to low ratings. Still, the network decided it would continue to air the rest of the show’s episodes. The series final installment is scheduled to air on July 24.
Additional reporting by Thomas Mentel and Jacqueline Sahagian
More from Entertainment Cheat Sheet:
- 6 TV Shows That Got the Ax Too Soon
- 9 TV Shows That Got Their Start Online
- Recasting Call: 7 TV Shows That Replaced Big Characters
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