15 Popular TV Shows Not Returning in 2016
While the 2015-2016 TV season will bring the debut of several anticipated new series, it will also mark the end of some old favorites. Most networks having already revealed which of their titles have earned another season and which have been axed. Here are 15 popular shows that won’t be returning to the small screen this year:
1. Mad Men
The 14-episode final season of AMC’s acclaimed and influential period drama was split in two 7-episode airings, labeled by the network as “Seven and Seven.” The first part of the season aired in spring 2014, and the second half of the Don Draper-drama-packed episodes aired a year later, in the spring of 2015. The final episode aired in mid-May, bringing the series’ highly lauded seven-season run to an official close.
2. Parks and Recreation
Last May, NBC officially announced that the much-beloved comedy starring Amy Poehler would be drawing to a close with its seventh season. Despite the show’s devoted cult following and its overwhelmingly positive reception from critics (with past nominations at both the Golden Globes and the Emmys), the series saw lackluster ratings, eventually leading the network to decide against renewing it. Though the show usually sees a fall launch, the network decided to hold the premiere episode of the final season until midseason. Season seven, which consisted of only 13 episodes, started in mid-January and aired its finale episode in mid-February.
3. Two and a Half Men
After surviving the firing of its main star and a switch in leading men, the longest-running comedy on broadcast TV finally concluded its run in 2015. The show’s twelfth and final season, starring Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher, began airing at the end of October, with the episode “The Ol’ Mexican Spinach.” The series finale hit the small screen in mid-Febuary with the forty-minute finale “Of Course He’s Dead.”
In 2013, Fox renewed the musical comedy for two more seasons, with co-creator Ryan Murphy confirming that the sixth would be the show’s last. Two episodes of season five were cut after hitting a series low in ratings. The final season was then shortened from its typical 22-episode order to one final run of only 13 episodes. The musical series returned in January, with its final episode airing in mid-March.
5. The Mentalist
After much speculation over the show’s possible cancelation, CBS officially confirmed its end last fall. The network announced that the seventh season of the Simon Baker-starring drama would also be its final run in September 2014. The final season was shortened, only consisting of 13 episodes. Season seven kicked off at the end of November, with the two-hour final episode airing in mid-February 2015.
ABC’s drama ended after its season four finale on May 10, which doubled as a series finale. The show saw increasingly declining ratings in recent seasons and was widely considered to be in jeopardy of cancelation for some time, despite that network head Paul Lee was a big supporter of the series. Speculation that season four would be Revenge’s final chapter grew in May, when one of the show’s two leading ladies, star Madeleine Stowe, was seemingly killed off. Stowe later confirmed that she would not be returning to the show, even if it got renewed. The network made the cancelation official shortly after.
7. Hart of Dixie
Rachel Bilson’s medical dramedy was one of the few CW shows to get the ax this season. The series, which aired its Season 4 finale in late March, struggled in ratings, averaging a .6 in the 18-to-49 demo and 1.6 million viewers. Its end became all the more likely this past winter, when the CW announced the renewal of eight series and Hart of Dixie wasn’t one of them. Some of the show’s stars also seemed to hint at the series cancellation several months ago, tweeting sentimental photos of the cast. The network made the decision final in May.
ABC’s supernatural drama won’t come back to life for a third season. The thriller series started as a big breakout last spring, but began losing audience interest soon after. Though the latter half of the freshman season saw a decline in ratings, the show was picked up for a second season anyway. But the sophomore season also proved to be disappointing and was never able to recapture the high viewership of the show’s first few episodes. With viewership considered to dip, the show was considered likely to be canceled. The channel confirmed the decision to ax the series in May.
9. The Following
Fox officially canceled the Kevin Bacon drama after three seasons. Though the show was a breakout hit when it debuted in 2013, the series (which produces limited seasons, as per Bacon’s contract) saw a steady decline in viewership. Its third and current season continued to lose momentum, despite strong DVR and on-demand appeal. With this in mind, the network made the choice to officially cancel the show earlier this spring. The third season finale, which will also serve as the series finale, aired in May.
Fans had to say goodbye to the Bravermans earlier this year. Like Parks and Rec, NBC announced that the family drama would have its sixth and final season last spring. The show aired an abbreviated 13-episode last run, which first premiered in the fall of 2014. After a November mid-season finale and a winter hiatus, the series officially wrapped up with a series of emotional final episodes that aired in January 2015.
The critically acclaimed FX drama’s sixth season, starring Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, and Joelle Carter, was also its swan song. The network’s CEO first confirmed the news last January, revealing that the show’s exec producer Graham Yost and Olyphant both thought the arc of the series would be better served in six seasons instead of seven. “There were financial incentives to keep going, but it really felt, in terms of story, that six years felt about right,” Yost explained in a public statement. The final 13-episode season concluded in April 2015.
14. The Game
The BET comedy, which received a second life on the network when it was initially canceled by the CW after three seasons, came to a close this summer. Only months after renewing the series for an eighth season, BET announced that the show would be coming to an end after one more season — its ninth and final one. “With seasons eight and nine, we’re excited to end on a high note by giving Sabers fans a chance to bid farewell to their favorite players on and off the field,” BET said in a statement on its website. The final season premiered in early June and concluded in early August 2015.
15. CSI: Criminal Scene Investigation
CBS has confirmed that it’s canceling one of its longest-running shows, CSI, next season. The show, which has endured a 15-season run, aired a two-hour series finale this fall. The episode, which was billed as a TV movie, saw original stars William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger return as guest stars.
Since it first debuted, CSI has helped make CBS a top-rated network and spurred several spin-offs, including this year’s CSI: Cyber. But whereas earlier seasons used to average around 23 million viewers an episode, its latest season averaged a series low of 11 million viewers. The decline in ratings led to the show’s formal cancellation in May. The movie finale aired in late September 2015.
All reporting by Michelle Regalado.
More from Entertainment Cheat Sheet:
- 6 Classic Shows Making a TV Comeback
- 10 TV Shows That Continued After Losing a Lead
- 8 TV Shows That Have Been Un-Cancelled
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