If you tend to fall in love with TV shows, you know how disappointing it can be when series are canceled. This happens all the time, and newcomers aren’t the only ones that face the ax. Even popular series receive cancellations from time to time, often prompting fans to call for another network to save them. In some instances, it actually happens. From Gilmore Girls to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, here are the five of the best canceled shows that returned thanks to another network or streaming service.
‘Gilmore Girls’ was a long-running show that returned later
Gilmore Girls is one of the most notable TV shows to be saved after it was canceled. The beloved mother-daughter dramedy started its run on The WB, where it remained for six of its seven seasons. After The WB shuttered, Gilmore Girls Season 7 aired on The CW.
Sadly, The CW announced the cancellation of Gilmore Girls before it could go beyond that. According to Variety, finances played a prominent role in the network’s decision. As such, season 7 served as the ending of the original series. But given its popularity, Netflix eventually brought it back for a reunion.
In 2016, the streaming service released a follow-up to Gilmore Girls dubbed Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. That gave Lorelai (Lauren Graham), Rory (Alexis Bledel), and all the characters from Stars Hollow a proper send-off — although many fans would happily welcome more content still.
‘Lucifer’ was canceled multiple times
Lucifer doesn’t have the biggest fan base out there, but the series does boast one of the most dedicated followings. Starring Tom Ellis as the devil himself, the show ran for three seasons on Fox. It saw the titular devil embarking on adventures with Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German). Sadly, their antics never got the ratings Fox was hoping for.
In 2018, Fox announced that the show was canceled, with CEO Dana Walden admitting during the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour (via TVGuide) that the audience had gotten “pretty narrow.”
That didn’t stop fans who loved the show from rallying behind it. And fortunately, Netflix came to the rescue. The series ran for another three seasons on the streaming platform — although, comically enough, Netflix also canceled Lucifer after season 5. When fans weren’t satisfied with where the series ended, the streamer brought Lucifer back for a sixth and final season.
If nothing else, Lucifer‘s continuation is a testament to the power of fan campaigns.
‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ moved from Fox to NBC
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is another canceled TV show that started on Fox. Michael Schur and Dan Goor’s cop comedy called the network its home for five seasons, but Fox put it on the chopping block in 2018.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, CEO Dana Walden admitted that scheduling factors and viewership numbers pushed them to end its run. However, just because Fox felt Brooklyn Nine-Nine had run its course doesn’t mean fans agreed. Many were taken back by the series’ cancellation, and they called for another network to save it.
NBC heard their cries as the network picked it up for another three outings. The series recently ended its run with Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 8, which saw the 99th Precinct packing it up once and for all. And this time, Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and his pals got a proper farewell.
‘The Expanse’ almost ended after 3 seasons
With 14 novels making up the inspiration for the series The Expanse, there’s little doubt fans expected the adaptation to have a long and satisfying run. Sadly, the science-fiction series never quite reached the lengths of James S.A. Corey’s source material. Still, things could have been worse. The Expanse could have ended after just three seasons.
In 2018, Deadline reported that Syfy had canceled the show, citing its distribution agreement as part of the reason for doing so. But with The Expanse receiving high praise from fans, it was only a matter of time until another company swooped in to save it. And Amazon did exactly that, allowing the series to run for another three seasons on Prime Video.
For some fans, that wasn’t enough — especially since The Expanse Season 6 was only six episodes long. However, for many, that was better than the alternative. In this way, the show got to wrap its major storylines and character arcs without leaving viewers hanging.
NBC canceled ‘Community’ after 5 seasons of the show
Community developed something of a cult following after it debuted in 2009, so it’s no surprise the fans pushed for more content after the show was canceled in 2014. According to Variety, NBC axed the series because of subpar ratings. However, its popularity online was undeniable. Perhaps that’s why Yahoo! Screen picked the sitcom up for season 6.
Sadly, Yahoo! Screen didn’t fare much better with Community, so it didn’t receive any further renewals. Still, fans got one additional outing thanks to their campaigning. And the creators were able to see their initial vision through.