While it’s not easy for a TV show to avoid cancellation, it’s even harder for a series to get brought back to the screen after getting canceled. These TV shows, including everything from cop procedurals to murder mysteries, got axed, but eventually returned for at least one more season. Below, check out 6 dramas that were pulled off air, only to later get un-canceled:
The police drama, which focused on the officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, premiered on NBC in 2009. Only one season later, the network ended up canceling it claiming the show was too dark for its 9 p.m. broadcast time slot. Luckily, TNT intervened and decided to bring it back it to air. Southland ended up running for another four seasons on its new home; the series was eventually officially canceled (again) in 2013.
The CBS series centering on a high-tech military helicopter code-named Airwolf and its crew as they undertake various missions aired for three seasons from 1984 to 1986. After the second season, the original show creator Donald P. Bellisario left the series following several behind-the-scenes problems. A new showrunner stepped on, but the ratings continued to dip and CBS eventually canceled the series after season 3.
It didn’t stay off air for long though. After the original Airwolf was cancelled, USA network picked up the series for a fourth season, but completely revamped it with an entirely new cast and a much smaller budget. The new version of Airwolf only aired for one season in 1987 before it was canceled again.
A&E canceled the popular crime drama based on Craig Johnson’s mystery novels in August to the surprise of fans everywhere. The series was the channel’s most-watched original drama, but the network unexpectedly opted not to renew it for a fourth season. The decision sparked an outpouring of viewer support, and Longmire producer Warner Horizon immediately launched an effort to find a new home for the series.
Luckily for fans, Netflix heard their protests loud and clear. In mid-November, it was announced that the streaming service picked up the show for a 10-episode fourth season. The cast members, led by Robert Taylor and Katee Sackhoff, have all closed deals to reprise their roles in the latest season, which premiered in September 2015.
4. The Killing
The AMC murder mystery drama has had a particularly tumultuous journey, getting axed on three separate occasions. The network initially canceled the show in July 2012 after the second season failed to perform as well as the first. AMC then changed their mind and renegotiated a deal with Fox TV and Netflix to pick up the show for the third season. When that season again proved to be disappointing, the network pulled the plug on the show for a second time in September 2013.
Just two months after the second cancellation, Netflix announced it had picked up the show itself for a fourth and final season. The show’s last six-episode run premiered on the streaming service in August 2014. The concluding installments of the series ended up earning mixed reviews from both critics and fans alike.
Unforgettable has had a tumultuous run. The show, which stars Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, a New York City police investigator with total-recall memory, premiered in the fall of 2011 and drew an average about 12 million viewers in its first season. Despite that, CBS decided to cancel the series after only one season. It didn’t stay that way for long. A few weeks later, CBS reversed the decision and decided against cancellation.
The series ran for two more seasons on CBS. After its third season, Unforgettable was canceled by CBS for a second time. In February 2015, A&E picked up the show for a 13-episode fourth season, which premiered in November 2015.
The original 24 ran from 2001 to 2010, winning high critical acclaim and many awards — including a Best Drama Golden Globe and an Outstanding Drama Emmy — along the way. Four years after it ended, star Kiefer Sutherland reprised his role as Jack Bauer in the miniseries, 24: Live Another Day.
The revival consisted of 12 episodes set four years after the events of Season 8 and aired from May to July on Fox. Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kim Raver, and William Devane all reprised their roles as well. The miniseries received widely positive reviews, with particular praise for Sutherland’s performance. The show was brought for a second time in 2017, without Sutherland, in 24: Legacy.