Television is a harsh business. Great shows are canceled or simply not renewed for another season every single year. It often doesn’t matter whether the show is of good quality or not, it’s all about those ratings. Family Guy is an example of a show that was once canceled, only to return and produce 12 more seasons (and counting).
Brooklyn Nine-Nine recently got the ax at Fox, prompting upset viewers to take to social media. But Andy Samberg’s hilarious detective spoof was saved, being picked up by NBC for its sixth season. Fans everywhere were relieved, but not every show was so lucky. Let’s take a look at 15 network TV shows that just got canceled.
1. Kevin Can Wait
The Kevin James CBS comedy did really well in Season 1, but then they went and made some drastic changes. Erinn Hayes played James’ wife, but was quietly killed off in favor of creating a more prominent role for Leah Remini’s character.
The move was done to play off the success of James and Remini’s previous hit show, The King of Queens, but audiences were split. The ratings went down in Season 2, and CBS got tired of waiting on Kevin Can Wait.
Next: Satan himself couldn’t save this show.
There was an interesting plan to try to save Lucifer. The writers put together a massive cliffhanger for the end of Season 3, thinking that Fox wouldn’t cancel them. But no such luck.
Instead, they’re going to leave their fans with a whole lot of frustration, instead. Who knows? Maybe Lucifer can be saved by another network like Brooklyn Nine-Nine was?
Next: Maybe if they had called it something else?
This wasn’t the first time that Scorpion was on the bubble. There was some question last year about whether they’d even get a fourth season, but they ended up getting renewed. No such luck for Scorpion this year, however.
The fast-paced and high-tech drama was produced and aired on CBS, appearing late on Monday nights. Low ratings are the culprit here.
Next: This show had a lot of promise early on.
4. Designated Survivor
This ABC drama had a whole lot of intrigue, featuring Kiefer Sutherland as the “designated survivor” in its pilot episode when practically the entire United States government is wiped out. That left Sutherland as the President of the USA, but the conspiracies went a little wacky as the show went on.
Designated Survivor had a whole lot of turnover among their showrunners, and the quality really dropped off in the second season.
Next: Another show that Satan couldn’t save
5. The Exorcist
Fox’s The Exorcist is yet another hell-ish drama that didn’t make the cut for 2019. Based on the original novel by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist was a more recent addition to the blossoming TV horror genre. But the ratings were extremely low in their Friday night timeslot, averaging less than two million viewers in their second season.
That wasn’t good enough, and The Exorcist was driven out at Fox.
Next: This one was no Scrubs.
6. Alex, Inc.
Zach Braff made his return to primetime television with Alex, Inc., following an eight-year gap since his big hit, Scrubs, had ended. The new show was a comedy that focused on looking toward the future, with a former radio producer creating his own podcast company.
Unfortunately for Alex, Inc. and ABC, viewers weren’t digging it. The show got canceled after just one season.
Next: Another weak detective show
The ratings for ABC’s Deception have only fallen since the show’s early 2018 debut. As of early May, the show has dropped to just over three million viewers per episode. It may be a message to networks that viewers are getting tired of gimmicky detective shows, this time it being a world-renowned illusionist that’s tapped by the FBI to solve cases.
Deception is just one in a long line of shows from this genre that didn’t make it.
Next: One of many cuts at Fox
8. The Mick
There were a lot of fans of Kaitlin Olson’s The Mick, which was airing on Fox up until its cancellation following two seasons. Olson, most famous for her role on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, was hilarious as the callous aunt-turned-guardian of two kids she wanted nothing to do with.
There is some hope that a streaming service might pick it up, but for now The Mick is dead.
Next: The movie was better.
Based on the Liam Neeson trilogy of films by the same name, Taken is a prequel that shows us how Neeson’s character (played by Clive Standen) acquired his particular set of skills.
Major changes following the first season couldn’t save the show, with a new showrunner and a whole lot of changes to the cast shaking things up. NBC decided not to bring Taken back for a third season.
Next: ABC closed on this one pretty quick
10. Ten Days in the Valley
Kyra Sedgwick, famous for The Closer, only got one season out of Ten Days in the Valley. The ABC show focused on her character, a TV producer in the midst of a divorce, as she tries desperately to figure out what happened to his missing daughter.
Viewers never got into it, despite all the mysteries that Ten Days promised. The show wasn’t even done airing its first season when ABC made the decision.
Next: This show (probably) couldn’t have been saved
11. Kevin (Probably) Saves the World
Although the fans of Kevin (Probably) Saves the World really seem to like the show quite a bit, there just aren’t that many of them. The ABC show hasn’t shown a ton of improvement in its ratings over the course of its first season, and that left Kevin on the bubble.
Dating back as far as February, TV By The Numbers has predicted that this show would likely end up being canceled. And, of course, it was.
Next: Not for the timid
12. The Brave
NBC’s The Brave is yet another freshman show to not be afforded a second season. Airing on Monday nights, The Brave had modest ratings as it followed one of the network’s biggest hits, The Voice.
Anne Heche starred in the military drama that was well-liked among its niche crowd, but in the end The Brave was only able to beat out three other NBC shows in the ratings.
The show aired 13 episodes, with the Season 1 finale running in late January of 2018.
Next: Another very funny show on Fox
13. The Last Man on Earth
Fox has a way with killing strong comedies. The Last Man on Earth starred Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Mary Steenburgen, and several others during their four-year run, rating at 7.4 out of 10 on IMDB. The ratings, however, were on par with fellow Fox comedy The Mick.
The network decided that there will be no fifth season in 2019. Fans are still holding out hope that Last Man will find a new home, most likely on a streaming service such as Hulu.
Next: An inferior CBS comedy
14. Superior Donuts
There was some star power to CBS’s Superior Donuts, with Judd Hirsch and Katey Sagal on board. That said, the show was anything but superior. It was one of the lowest-rated shows on the network, pulling in just five million people on average.
It’s really too bad for Hirsch, who is a TV favorite dating back to his days on Taxi. Superior Donuts will not return for a third season.
Next: A rare misstep for this genre
15. Marvel’s Inhumans
Where do we begin with this one? Marvel’s Inhumans was originally supposed to be a movie, part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3. Then, Inhumans got bumped back. Later, it became a TV series. The concept was a spin-off from the inhumans of Agents of SHIELD, but it was executed so incredibly poorly.
Outside of completely whiffing on proper use of the source material, the special effects are 1980s style gimmicks. ABC rectified this awful mistake by letting Inhumans go.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!