It used to be that when a series got pulled off air by a network, it was gone for good. But in recent years, companies like Netflix and Hulu have given viewers new hope that their favorite shows will get another chance, even if they do end up on the chopping block. The two streamers have not only helped extend the life of several recently cancelled comedies and dramas, they’ve also managed to bring some older classics back to the small screen. Here are 8 shows that lived on after cancellation, thanks to these streaming services.
1. Arrested Development
The critically acclaimed, Emmy-award winning sitcom originally aired on Fox for three seasons from November 2003 to February 2006. After ratings began dropping in the second season, Fox decided to cut the season a little short, halting the production after 18 episodes instead of fulfilling its initial 22-episode order. In the third season, Fox moved the show’s time slot, but ratings continued diving. Eventually, the network cut the third season’s episode order in half before axing it altogether.
After its initial cancellation, rumors of another season and an Arrested Development feature film persisted for several years. In 2011, Netflix announced it had picked up the rights to the series. Stars Jason Bateman, Portia De Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, and Tony Hale reprised their roles in the show’s 15-episode fourth season, which debuted in May 2013 and earned generally favorable reviews.
A fifth season is now in the works, with the entire cast set to return. It will reportedly hit Netflix in 2018.
2. The Mindy Project
Loyal fans of Mindy Kaling’s sitcom were not happy after Fox announced that it was officially canceling the show in 2015 Though the series was never a ratings juggernaut for the network, it gathered an incredibly devoted fan base throughout its initial three-season run – something that was made abundantly evident by the strong reaction that the cancellation sparked on social media. Still, viewers held out hope that the show would get a second life, following speculation that Hulu (which already aired past episodes of the sitcom) was strongly considering making The Mindy Project part of its own slate.
Fans got their wish granted, after the service picked the show up for a fourth season last year, with the option of renewing the series for more seasons beyond that. In spring 2016, the streaming service exercised that option, ordering a fifth season of The Mindy Project.
3. Manhattan Love Story
ABC’S rom-com, starring Analeigh Tipton and Jake McDorman, was the first new series of fall 2014 to be canceled. It premiered to underwhelming ratings that only continued to plummet in subsequent weeks, leading the network to pull the plug on the struggling and critically berated freshman series after only four episodes.
Though it may have gotten yanked off ABC’s lineup, the series didn’t just end there. Hulu announced plans to air Manhattan Love Story’s seven unaired episodes. The company continued to air the remaining installments on a weekly basis until the season finale.
ABC also axed this rom-com series in the fall of 2014. The network kept the series around a little longer than fellow comedy, Manhattan Love Story, to see how it would perform, and even tried airing back-to-back after the latter’s cancellation. But those tactics didn’t work for long. The social media-themed show, which starred Karen Gillan and John Cho, was canceled after only six airings, among mixed critical reviews.
Still, fans of the series were able to at least finished the season. Hulu announced it was stepping in to air the show’s remaining episodes, rolling out one episode per week, starting in late November 2014. Appropriately, the news was broken on Twitter by the series creator Emily Kapnek.
A&E canceled the popular show, based on Craig Johnson’s mystery novels, last summer 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 2014, it was announced that the streaming service picked up the show for a 10-episode fourth season, saving it from cancellation. The series, led by Robert Taylor and Katee Sackhoff, is now set to air its seventh season (and third season on Netflix) sometime in 2017. Season 7 will reportedly be its final season.
6. The Killing
The AMC murder mystery drama has had a particularly tumultuous journey. 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.
7. Full House
Two decades after its original cancellation, the family sitcom returned to the airwaves with Netflix’s Fuller House. The revival, which premiered in February 2016, boasted a similar premise to the original, with Candace Cameron Bure playing a now grown-up DJ Tanner who moves back into her childhood home with her three kids after the death of her husband. Her sister, Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and best friend, Kimmy (Andrea Barber), decide to move in to help her. Stars Bob Saget, Lori Loughlin, John Stamos, and Dave Coulier also make cameos. Fuller House has since aired a sophomore season.
8. Gilmore Girls
After getting canceled in 2007 (much to the chagrin of the show’s loyal fanbase), Gilmore Girls got a second life on Netflix in November 2016. The original cast members, including Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Kelly Bishop, and Melissa McCarthy, reprised their roles in the four-episode revival, which followed the titular characters as they dealt with personal and professional struggles through each season of the year. The show, appropriately titled Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, is currently available to stream. Talk of a potential second season has begun circulating, although it remains unconfirmed.