These TV Shows Got Canceled So Fast, You’ve Probably Already Forgotten Them

Television is a huge business, and networks spend tons of money creating content for viewers. Despite strong concepts and big talent, some TV series just don’t pan out. From troubling reboots to bad scripts, these shows were canceled so fast, you probably forgot they existed at all. One series starring Matt LeBlanc was doomed from the start (page 10).

1. Cavemen, ABC

Caveman promotional poster from ABC.
Caveman | ABC

From the time Caveman promos began in 2007, we were all puzzled by it. ABC tried to adapt a beloved Gieco commercial into a full-blown sitcom, and it turned out as preposterous as it sounds. It didn’t help the show was racist. Luckily, Nick Kroll, who starred on Caveman, barely speaks about it.

Next: A series that indulged in sexism

2. Barstool Van Talk, ESPN

A van with the words Barstool Van Talk
Barstool Van Talk | ESPN

Nothing screams failure like a cancellation after one week on air, which happened to ESPN series Barstool Van Talk for good reason. The show starred Barstool’s Dan “Big Cat” Katz, who was known for sexist comments. ESPN reporter Sam Ponder expressed her displeasure about the network’s partnership with Barstool in a tweet:

I was wrong in thinking @BarstoolBigCat wrote that article & called me a slut repeatedly. He just continuously laughed along. It was the PRESIDENT of @barstoolsports who said these things. Happy to clarify. I can simultaneously admit my own flaws & failings & say yes, I am disappointed that we are promoting a company name that still maintains support for horrific personal attacks against multiple women within ESPN.

ESPN President John Skipper announced Barstool Van Talk’s cancellation and said, “While we had approval over the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site.”

Next: This series desperately wanted to be Friends.

3. Coupling, NBC

The cast of 'Coupling' sitting together.
Coupling | NBC

Sometimes the Brits do things better than us, and we just have to accept it. In 2003, NBC greenlit a U.S. version of Coupling in hopes of replicating the success it saw with the American remake of BBC’s The Office. Sadly, it crashed and burned after only four episodes.

Next: Another “L” for Mischa Barton

4. The Beautiful Life: TBL, The CW

The Beautiful Life: TBL | The CW

After The O.C., Mischa Barton headed to The CW for The Beautiful Life: TBL, which followed young wannabe models. Called “laughable and mediocre,” the series only lasted two episodes before it was unceremoniously canceled.

Next: Sick kids are just way too sad. 

5. Red Band Society, NBC

Red Band Society promotional poster from NBC.
Red Band Society | NBC

Before NBC’s This Is Us captured our hearts, Fox tried to give us a tearjerker with 2014’s Red Band Society. Set in a pediatric wing of a hospital, the show had a stellar cast that included Octavia Spencer. However, no one wanted to watch and weep, so after 13 episodes, the series faded to black.

Next: Another “no” for Matthew Perry

6. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, NBC

Matthew Perry and Sarah Paulson talking in an office.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip | NBC

Matthew Perry struggled to find his footing after Friends. One misstep was Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Airing in 2006 — the same year as NBC’s acclaimed 30 Rock (with a similar theme) — the series had amazing stars like Sarah Paulson and Amanda Peet. Although it was highly anticipated, Studio 60 may have been too sophisticated. It was canceled after one season.

Next: Doomed from the start with Katherine Heigl

7. Doubt, CBS

Katherine Heigl and Dulé Hill in 'Doubt'.
Doubt | CBS

After being shunned in Hollywood, Katherine Heigl tried to return to TV (again) in the CBS drama, Doubt. Though the 2017 series starred some great actors, no one seems ready to forgive Heigel for her past antics. After two episodes and abysmal ratings, the show was axed.

Next: They were armed but not so famous

8. Armed and Famous, CBS

LaToya Jackson holding a police uniform in a locker room.
Armed and Famous | CBS

Every network tried reality TV after Keeping up with the Kardashians saw so much early success. In 2007, CBS desperately air Armed and Famous (yes, it’s as horrible as it sounds). The show trained LaToya Jackson, Jack Osbourne and others as actual police officers. Apparently, Osbourne was even offered a full-time position in the Indiana police force where he swore in. Fortunately, the series was canceled before any weapons were pulled.

Next: It wasn’t quite Mad Men. 

9. The Playboy Club, NBC

Naturi Naughton getting ready in a dressing room.
The Playboy Club | NBC

Although The Playboy Club seemed glamorous and starred Amber Heard, Jenna Dewan, Naturi Naughton, and Eddie Cibrian, the 2011 NBC series was canceled after only three weeks. What went wrong? It seems like the show wanted to attract female viewers, but the subject matter was male-oriented. The Playboy Club just never hit its stride.

Next: Matt LeBlanc’s spin-off that tanked

10. Joey, NBC

Joey Tribianni sitting on a leather couch.
Joey | NBC

The beloved, decade-long sitcom Friends followed a group of six BFFs as they made their way through life. Once it ended in 2004, NBC produced a spinoff starring Matt LeBlanc’s character Joey. After two seasons of poor ratings, the show was canceled, and we quite frankly haven’t thought about it since. LeBlanc later admitted Joey was “doomed from the start.”

Next: Dinosaurs belong in Jurassic Park. 

11. Terra Nova, Fox

Stephen Lang, Shelley Conn, Jason O'Mara seen in 'Terra Nova'.
Terra Nova | Fox

No one wants to see dinosaurs on primetime TV — that’s what kids shows and blockbusters movies are for. So, the dino-themed drama series Terra Nova was a bust. Although Steven Spielberg co-produced the show, the dialogue was too clunky and it was just too expensive to produce. After a 13-episode run, Terra Nova went extinct.

Next: A $50 million Utopia

12. Utopia, Fox

The cast of Utopia stands outside a gate.
Utopia | Fox

Remember when Fox thought to let some random folks create their own society? Don’t worry; we don’t remember it either. Utopia was a $50 million social experiment that aired in 2014. But the show lasted only six weeks after encountering everything from in-network bickering to odd casting.

Next: The Muppets should stick to PBS. 

13. The Muppets, ABC

Fozzie, Miss Piggy and Kermit in 'The Muppets'.
The Muppets | ABC

In 2015, ABC brought The Muppets to primetime and aimed it toward adults. Though Kermit the Frog’s new girlfriend was hilarious, the series was as puzzling as it sounds. After one season, ABC pulled the plug. Luckily, co-creator Bill Prady has The Big Bang Theory.

Next: A tragic reboot

13. Charlie’s Angels, ABC

Charlie’s Angels | Fox

In 2011, ABC tried to put a spin on the 1970’s classic, Charlie’s Angels. Even with Minka Kelly as its star, the series never took off. A confusing plot, useless action, and lackluster acting hurt viewership, even though the ratings climbed a tad after a few episodes. Nonetheless, ABC canceled Charlie’s Angels after four episodes.

Next: There wasn’t even a script. 

15. Emily’s Reasons Why Not, ABC

Emily's Reasons Why Not promo poster
Emily’s Reasons Why Not | ABC

ABC jumped the gun in 2006 with Emily’s Reasons Why Not starring Heather Graham. The network ordered it to series before a script even existed. The show only lasted one episode after garnering pretty horrendous reviews. At the time, an ABC executive said, “It was not going to get better, and we needed to make a quick change.”

Follow Aramide Tinubu on Twitter @midnightrami.

Read more10 of the Worst TV Shows in Recent History

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