Famous Scenes That Got Popular TV Shows Canceled

While we wish that some of our favorite TV shows would stick around forever, they all have to end eventually. Even long-running programs like ‘The Simpsons’ will finish at some point, despite seeming like they’re indestructible. That’s simply how television works.

We’ve seen plenty of great series come and go over the years, some of which definitely went off the air before their time. The reason they got canceled varied greatly, with several failing to meet ratings expectations while others just reached a natural conclusion.

In a couple of cases, it was the goings-on behind the scenes that led to their demise. Unbeknownst to viewers, there was drama happening away from the cameras that caused the show to go downhill. The showrunners didn’t want fans knowing that this was why their favorite series was over. However, the truth always comes out eventually.

Gilligan’s Island was betrayed by the network president

‘Gilligan’s Island’ is one of those shows whose legacy has stood the test of time, despite only being around for three seasons. That’s largely thanks to syndication, which kept the program in people’s minds throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. Although the show definitely performed well during its original run, the years of repeats managed to establish an audience that hadn’t been around during the ‘60s.


Of course, the more people who came to love the series, the more questions were asked about why it was canceled. Its ratings had been decent enough to justify at least one more season, with CBS even giving it the go-ahead. However, that was before the network’s president realized that ‘Gunsmoke’ was facing the chop and demanded the series air in ‘Gilligan’s Island’’s timeslot. He was more interested in saving that over the sitcom.

Green Acres had trouble with sponsors

For almost as long as there have been TVs, sitcoms have reigned supreme on American screens. The genre’s popularity in the U.S. is unquestionable, with shows like ‘Green Acres’ amassing success all the way back in the ‘60s. This program aired in the latter half of the decade and saw Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor rake in a strong viewership across six seasons.

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Unfortunately, despite being one of the more beloved shows at the time, the sitcom was still canceled in 1971. While the assumption might have been that this was down to ratings, it was actually because of the sponsors. These put pressure on CBS to create more “urban-themed” programming, which is why rural shows like ‘Green Acres’ got the chop. It didn’t even receive a finale; it simply went off the air.

The Brady Bunch was down a family patriarch

A lot of people are still familiar with ‘The Brady Bunch,’ even though the show wasn’t a hit when it debuted. During its original run, viewers just couldn’t seem to get into the sitcom based around a large blended family. It was only when the series entered syndication and picked up new viewers year after year that it became a staple of American television.

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Of course, by that point, the prospect of new episodes was completely out of the window. Even if they had tried to reboot the series, they would have had to do so without the family patriarch, played by Robert Reed. The actor frequently clashed with producers over the show, mainly because he hated the writing. According to reports, it was actually his intention to depart that brought ‘The Brady Bunch’ to an end.

Three’s Company suffered from equality issues

When it comes to influential sitcoms, it’s easy to think about shows like ‘Friends’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ which are fresher in our minds. However, before these programs, there was ‘Three’s Company.’ This ‘90s sitcom ran from the late ‘70s through to the mid-’80s, and it defied expectations to become one of the most popular shows of the time.

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Network observers apparently believed the series would only manage a few episodes, but after it broke ratings records for ABC, it became clear that it had staying power. Unfortunately, things started to fall apart after the program lost Suzanne Somers. Her name alone brought in a fair few viewers, but the network didn’t think she was worth as big a paycheck as John Ritter. They fired her for demanding equality, and the show ended a few seasons later.

Petticoat Junction lost it’s biggest star to cancer

Losing a main character doesn’t instinctively mean the end of a show. Plenty of programs will get rid of a major player to create drama and move the series in a new direction. However, it’s not always the higher-ups who decide when someone needs to go. The situation is out of their hands if the actor who plays the character passes away, as was the case with Bea Benaderet in ‘Petticoat Junction.’


In her role as Kate Bradley, the actress was at the center of the show, so the series was always going to struggle without her. Unfortunately, the star lost her battle with cancer in 1968 during the show’s sixth season. Although ‘Petticoat Junction’ attempted to continue without her, the drop in viewing figures told the network everything it needed to know.

Police Squad! came before its time.

It’s always unfortunate when a show doesn’t get to meet its full potential because it’s canceled prematurely. According to fans, that’s what happened to the comedy series ‘Police Squad!’ back in the early ‘80s. The show only lasted for six episodes before it was canceled, leaving viewers both shocked and devastated.

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Given that this program is what spawned ‘The Naked Gun’ films, it’s surprising that ABC was so quick to cut it from their scheduling. They apparently felt that the average viewer couldn’t get into it because the humor was too subtle. They claimed you had “to watch it in order to appreciate it,” essentially meaning you had to give the program your full attention. That justification received some backlash, including from Matt Groening, who stated that the show was obviously made before its time.

Firefly was a victim of poor viewing figures

The name Joss Whedon will always bring one particular show to mind – ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’ It’s easily the man’s most famous piece of work, having enjoyed a successful run of seven seasons during the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. Of course, this is hardly the only show that Whedon’s worked on. He’s had his hand in a number of projects, including ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ the ‘Buffy’ spin-off ‘Angel,’ and even ‘Toy Story.’

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One thing he’s not always remembered for is ‘Firefly,’ mainly because it only managed one season before being canceled. Constantly considered one of the most underrated shows that ended before its time, the series was, unfortunately, victim to poor viewing figures. Of course, that may have been down to poor scheduling on Fox’s behalf.

Batman’s sets were destroyed before the show was over

The Adam West series of Batman isn’t typically what first comes to mind when people think of the caped crusader. The popularity of Christian Bale’s portrayal has meant that viewers generally think of the hero as a rugged, brooding man of darkness. That’s a world away from the Batman that Adam West played back in the ‘60s. The campy nature of the series, which lasted for three seasons, placed comedy at the forefront, while also trying to be morally educational.

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West was widely praised for his performance, and had things turned out differently, we could have seen a lot more of him as Batman. It turns out that although ABC canceled the show, NBC reportedly picked it up straight after. The only reason they never continued it was because the program’s expensive sets had already been destroyed.

The Munsters couldn’t face up to its competition

When it first arrived on our screens, ‘The Munsters’ seemed like a hit. A wacky take on your typical sitcom, the series looked like it could stick around for a while. Unfortunately, just as the show was hitting its stride, another program came along and stopped it in its path. That show was ‘Batman’. It arrived while ‘The Munsters’ was in its second season and immediately poached viewers from the show.


People were more drawn to Adam West’s crime-fighting series because it was filmed in color, whereas its competition was still in black and white. ‘Batman’ quickly proved to be too strong a competitor, with ratings for ‘The Munsters’ falling further than ever before. That was when CBS decided to cut their losses and end the sitcom after only two seasons on the air.

Freaks and Geeks didn’t have the network president’s approval

People like James Franco and Seth Rogan may sound familiar to you, given they’re two of the biggest names in Hollywood. Before these guys were raking in the big bucks on their movies, though, they were starring in the short-lived dramedy series ‘Freaks and Geeks.’ The show didn’t stick around for long, only managing one season of 18 episodes before disappearing from our screens.

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While the network might have claimed this was due to poor viewing figures, the truth is something else entirely. It seems that someone new came in as the president of NBC during the show’s production, and he didn’t see eye to eye with executive producer Judd Apatow. He constantly clashed with the direction that ‘Freaks and Geeks’ was going in because he didn’t understand it. That’s why it was eventually canceled.

The Honeymooners couldn’t maintain its viewership

If you want your show to stand out, you have to find something that sets it apart from everything else on TV. For Jack Gleason and ‘The Honeymooners,’ that meant creating a sitcom that wasn’t based in your standard suburban neighborhood. Most of the action in this series was based in an apartment and featured working-class characters, something that wasn’t too common in the ‘50s.


Obviously, times have changed since then, and this is now more of the norm. However, 60+ years ago, it was unheard of enough to give the show, which was based on Gleason’s comedy sketches, the go-ahead. Unfortunately, despite its unique premise and the popularity of the original sketches, its viewing figures continually declined throughout its run. After just 39 episodes, the show was over.

I Dream of Jeannie was ended by marriage

No role in Barbara Eden’s career could ever match that of her time on ‘I Dream of Jeannie.’ The show was a big success, to the point that her co-star Larry Hagman was eventually being paid around $5,000 per episode. That might not sound like much now, but given the series was made in the ‘60s, that was quite a significant paycheck.

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Unfortunately, the money stopped coming in after five seasons, and there was an obvious reason why. As soon as Hagman and Eden’s characters got married, the series’ fate was sealed. Their union completely changed the show, and not in a good way. The network obviously felt that this marked a natural end to the story, and so ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ got the chop.

Moonlighting lost the enthusiasm of its stars

While Bruce Willis might be most commonly associated with the big screen, it wasn’t on films that the actor first made a name for himself. Back in the ‘80s, he was one of the stars of ‘Moonlighting,’ a dramedy series that ran for five seasons. He was still on the show when the first ‘Die Hard’ movie came out, by which point the actor realized that he was interested in bigger and better things.

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Not only did Willis want to be a film star, but he was also reportedly tired of filming the TV series. He wasn’t the only one, either. His co-star, Allyce Beasley, was also apparently ready to call it quits because she’d just become a mother. By the end of the ‘80s, the duo got their wish, and the show was canceled.

Married… with Children eventually became unprofitable

Many sitcoms attempt to reach the ten season mark but don’t always make it. One show that hit that point and exceeded it, though, was ‘Married… with Children.’ Aired during the late ‘80s and most of the ‘90s, this show about the dysfunctional Bundy family managed to last for 11 seasons before it ran out of gas.


Despite not always being loved by the critics, the program was a hit with fans and is the reason why so many of its stars are still famous today. Unfortunately, as is often the case with TV shows, the viewing figures for ‘Married… with Children’ began to decline after a while. By the 11th season, the ratings were too low for the network to continue funding the cast’s sizable paychecks, especially with the rise in production costs.

I Love Lucy lost one of its leading actors

Although Lucille Ball was very clearly the star of ‘I Love Lucy,’ the show’s success was largely down to the chemistry between her and Desi Arnaz. They may say that working with your other half isn’t always a good idea, but it was a goldmine for these two. Their love for one another definitely sparkled on the small screen, to the point that the sitcom racked up six seasons during the 1950s.


Unfortunately, the show began to suffer after the duo established their own production company. With Arnaz more invested in that than ‘I Love Lucy,’ he decided that he couldn’t commit to being his wife’s onscreen partner anymore. However, without him around, the show simply wouldn’t have been the same. So, his departure resulted in the series being canceled.

Hogan’s Heroes’ cancelation is still a mystery

‘Hogan’s Heroes’ is one of those shows that some people might find distasteful nowadays. A German prisoner of war camp doesn’t exactly scream the perfect setting for a laugh-out-loud sitcom. However, things were different in the ‘60s, and viewers were happy enough for it to remain on the air for six seasons. It eventually came to an end in 1971, and the reason for its cancelation is still something of a mystery.


There’s never been any clear indication for why the show suddenly stopped, but it may have had something to do with the backstage drama. The set wasn’t without its scandals, including Bob Crane’s affair with Patricia Olson. The actor ended up leaving his wife to be with his co-star, who he tied the knot to while ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ was still on the air.

Reading Rainbow fell foul of changing government policies

Parents might not love it when their kids sit in front of the TV all day, but watching television does have its merits. There are quite a few educational programs out there that aim to keep children thinking and learning, even when they’re not in school. ‘Reading Rainbow’ was one of these, and it managed an impressive 21 seasons over the course of more than two decades.

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Given how long it stuck around for, people were understandably devastated when it finally came to an end in the 2000s. Apparently, it was taken off the air due to a change in government policy, which emphasized teaching the basics of reading over instilling children with a love of it. Fortunately, there have since been efforts by presenter LeVar Burton to bring ‘Reading Rainbow’ back.

MadTV lost one of its primary sources of income

Sketch shows have a varied success rate on TV. You have programs like ‘Saturday Night Live’ that have been going for decades now, but even they have their shares of highs and lows. Whether or not sketch comedy is successful usually depends on two factors – the writing and the acting. If just one of these falls flat, it’s almost always a disaster.


Luckily, ‘MadTV’ didn’t have much of a problem with that during its original run. It managed to stay on the air for over a decade and created quite a few laughs in the process. The only issue was that it struggled to make money, particularly towards the end. The series relied on earnings that came from Comedy Central showing reruns, but once those stopped, it wasn’t profitable enough to remain on the air.

Cold Case’s ratings were too inconsistent

Crime dramas have really come into their element over the last decade or so thanks to programs like ‘C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation’ and ‘Law & Order.’ Another show that helped boost the popularity of the genre was ‘Cold Case,’ which aired throughout most of the ‘00s. It attracted decent ratings during its run, but as is so often the case, these suffered after a few seasons had passed.


By the show’s sixth season, the viewing figures were no longer as reliable as they had been, though that didn’t stop CBS from supporting the show. The network did what they could to keep ‘Cold Case’ on the air, even sacrificing another crime drama, ‘Without a Trace.’ However, the show’s performance in its seventh season still wasn’t consistent enough for it to avoid cancelation.

MacGyver was too expensive to keep on the air

The reason that some shows struggle to stay on the air for more than a few seasons is that they fail to outdo what they’ve done already. Fans typically want each episode to be better than the last, which means the series continually has to find ways to impress. That was difficult for ‘MacGyver,’ which always had Richard Dean Anderson’s character getting out of scrapes in the most inventive ways.

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The need to create more dramatic action with even greater escapes proved to be quite costly, to the point that ABC questioned its profitability. Although the show was moved to Vancouver in an attempt to save some money, this solution only went so far. After the seventh season wrapped, it became clear that the program simply wasn’t making the money it should have been, so it was canceled.

Deadwood was the victim of network politics

The Western genre isn’t something you see a whole lot of nowadays. It was incredibly popular back in the day, with actors like Clint Eastwood making a career out of it. However, in more recent years, the genre tends to be combined with things like sci-fi to give it a whole new image, rather than the classic Westerns you used to see.


One series that wasn’t too dissimilar from the old shows, though, was ‘Deadwood.’ Aired between 2004 and 2006, this program was critically acclaimed and received a lot of love for its stories and characters set in the 1870s. The only problem was that HBO and Paramount couldn’t agree on who should benefit more from the series. Their failure to strike a deal ultimately caused the show’s cancelation years before it’s time.

Soap was too controversial for the sponsors to handle

Anyone who’s ever watched a soap opera knows just how overdramatic they can be. Although they’re supposed to have some basis in reality, the events that go down in these shows are often too outrageous to seem genuine. The ‘70s sitcom ‘Soap’ was designed to poke fun at that, with the series featuring some of the craziest storylines imaginable. Things like alien abduction, demonic possession, and even a communist revolution were featured in the four seasons of this insane show.

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To some viewers, ‘Soap’ did the perfect job of parodying these beloved soap operas. However, others weren’t so impressed. Even less enthused were the sponsors who reportedly began to back out after the series aired some of its more controversial storylines. No sponsors meant no money, which is why ABC quickly canceled the program without even airing a finale.

The Carol Burnett Show ran out of steam

While we still have sketch variety shows on TV now, the genre isn’t as popular as it used to be. The ‘50s and ‘60s were an excellent time for programs like these, and it was towards the end of this time that ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ debuted. The series launched in 1967 and was initially a hit with viewers. However, through its remarkable 12-year run, interest began to wane.

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While Burnett was still as lovable as ever, audiences simply grew tired of the show’s format. It didn’t help that Harvey Korman, one of the main cast, left the show to start his own series on ABC. His absence in the final season didn’t go unnoticed, and it’s believed that his loss is ultimately what assured that the series was over.

Chico and the Man wasn’t the same after losing Freddie Prinze

Losing a major character really can make or break a show sometime. It happened to the sitcom ‘Chico and the Man’ when Freddie Prinze’s Chico departed in the show’s third season. Unfortunately, this wasn’t merely a case of an actor walking away from their role or being fired. Prinze tragically took his own life during the filming of the third season.

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In the immediate aftermath, producers debated whether or not they should cancel the show. However, they figured they could keep the series alive if they brought in a replacement. Unfortunately, no-one had quite the same spark as Freddie, and so the ratings went into decline throughout the show’s fourth season. By the end, it was clear they should have cut their losses straight after Prinze passed away, instead of delaying the inevitable.

Empire was a casualty of corporate realignment

When Empire debuted in 2015, it made its mark in impressive fashion. The show managed to increase it’s viewership in every episode of the first season, rising from 9.9 million to 17.62 million in the space of 12 episodes. An increase like that is practically unheard of in the industry, especially in today’s competitive climate. Unfortunately, despite its strong start, things began to fall apart for the show after the real-life drama around Jussie Smollett.


The actor was accused of staging a hate crime and was consequently written out of the show in its fifth season. However, he supposedly wasn’t to blame for the series ending the following year. Instead, it was the result of corporate realignment after Disney took over ownership of 20th Century Fox.

Supernatural’s stars finally had enough of the show

You can have as many amazing storylines and impressive special effects as you want, but if the characters – and the actors – aren’t convincing enough, then none of that matters. The people are what really bring a show to life. Of course, not every actor is indispensable, and some stars can get too big for their boots. However, for the most part, these people are essential if you ever want a show to be successful.

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One person who understands that is Mark Pedowitz, the president of the CW. He made it clear in the past that Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki were essential to ‘Supernatural’’s success, and that the show would continue as long as they wanted to do it. That’s seemingly why the series is now on its 15th and final season – the actors have finally had enough.

Victorious was too much of a group effort for one star

We tend to forget that Ariana Grande is also an actress given she’s so well-known as a singer – and one of the world’s biggest stars. However, before Grande was topping the charts, she was part of the ensemble cast on the musical sitcom ‘Victorious.’ Although the singer played one of the main characters, it was clear that the show was designed around her co-star, Victoria Justice.


While these two seemed like good friends on camera, it appears there might have been some tension behind the scenes. You don’t have to look any further than the message Grande sent, which revealed that Justice’s desire to do a solo tour was allegedly what got the show canceled. Her co-star denied the claim, but Ariana seemed adamant that Victoria’s desire to be a solo star brought the series to an end, not her.

Martin didn’t end as dramatically as expected

The ‘90s was host to quite a few popular sitcoms, one of these being ‘Martin.’ The series was notable for its black cast, something that was still a rarity at the time. Unfortunately, while the show was beloved and made its mark on the industry, it never made it past five years. The fact that co-stars Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell were involved in a lawsuit at the time certainly didn’t help matters.

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The latter accused the former of harassment, which in turn cast a dark cloud over the final season. However, despite this drama, Lawrence is adamant that it wasn’t what ended the show. Despite claims that ‘Martin’ was canceled, the actor insists that it had simply run its course. He felt ready to walk away from the show, and so that’s what he did.

Zoey 101 wasn’t ruined by a pregnancy

Britney Spears might be the most famous member of her family, but anyone who’s ever watched ‘Zoey 101’ knows that her sister is also plenty talented. Jamie Lynn Spears was the star of the dramedy series that focused on an all-boys boarding school welcoming female students for the first time. The show was a popular addition to Nickelodeon’s schedule from 2005 to 2008, but it came to an end after four seasons.


Many viewers believed that the show would have gone on longer had Spears not fallen pregnant. However, the final season had already been filmed before anyone at the show learned that the teenager was expecting. It seems they’d already felt that ‘Zoey 101’ had reached a natural conclusion before Jamie’s pregnancy – controversial as it was – became a thing.

My Name Is Earl risked losing its artistic integrity

For the four seasons that it was on the air, ‘My Name Is Earl’ performed relatively well for NBC. Not only were its viewing figures decent, but the reception from both critics and fans was largely positive. Unfortunately, their support wasn’t enough to keep the series going past 2009, even though the final episode ended with “To be continued.” Obviously, this wasn’t supposed to be the end for the series.


However, no new episodes were made after the show’s producer failed to strike a deal with any other TV networks. Although there had been talks for the likes of Fox or TBS to continue airing ‘My Name Is Earl,’ their demands apparently “undermined the artistic integrity” of the series. Not willing to take the show in a new direction, the producer accepted its cancelation.

Training Day didn’t have enough going for it after losing Bill Paxton

Losing an actor in the middle of a season can really throw a show off the rails. Not only do the cast and crew have to deal with the loss of a star, but they also have to work out where to take the series. Fortunately, the first season of ‘Training Day’ had already been filmed when Bill Paxton suddenly passed away.


The show was able to go ahead despite the tragedy, although producers still had to consider what the future would look like if the series was renewed. Unfortunately, the chances of them coming back for another season already looked unlikely at that point. Reviews weren’t filled with praise, and the viewing figures were nothing to go crazy over either. Once Paxton was gone, the show had pretty much run its course.

Ellen became too serious for its own good

There’s no denying that Ellen DeGeneres has been one of the biggest names in the TV industry for a while now. However, before her talk show came along, the host was playing the lead in her own sitcom, ‘Ellen.’ The series ran for five seasons between the mid- to late ‘90s, during which time it amassed a relatively strong viewership.


However, things took a turn after DeGeneres came out of the closet, both in real life and on the show. Not only did this attract criticism from people who didn’t support the lifestyle, but it also took the show in a concerning direction. LGBT+ viewers criticized ‘Ellen’ for becoming too serious, to the point that even DeGeneres’ supporters didn’t want to watch it anymore. As a result, it got canceled.

Angel was unintentionally sabotaged by its creator

Given the success of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ it was almost inevitable that a spin-off would happen. This arrived in 1999 in the form of ‘Angel,’ a series that followed David Boreanaz’s Angel as he took on the role of a private detective in Los Angeles. Unlike a lot of spin-offs, the show was popular, to the point that its viewing figures were actually improving five seasons in.

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Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to earn it a sixth season, and it seems that Joss Whedon is to blame for that. He apparently pushed the WB’s C.E.O. to make a decision on ‘Angel’’s future several months before renewals and cancelations were going to be announced. Had he waited a little while longer, the network may have seen more an improvement in the ratings and agreed to another season.

Clone High caused a lot of controversy in India

An animated series featuring teenage clones of historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, Cleopatra, and Mahatma Gandhi sounds too surreal to be genuine. However, in the early 2000s, that very show aired on MTV to a great deal of controversy. It wasn’t the most popular program on the network, pulling in low viewing figures and mixed reviews. These weren’t to blame for ‘Clone High’ only ever airing 13 episodes, though.


Instead, it was the intense reaction in India to the show’s portrayal of Gandhi that put the final nail in the coffin. People were so upset that hundreds of them went on a hunger strike, sending waves of bad publicity MTV’s way. Amid fears that their broadcasting license would be revoked in India, the network dropped the show and completely washed their hands of it.

‘Everwood’ was sidelined in favor of other shows

It’s one thing to have your show canceled because it wasn’t performing well. It’s another to get the chop purely because the network is more interested in something else. That’s what happened to ‘Everwood’ when it was pushed aside in favor of the shows ‘Runaway’ and ‘7th Heaven.’ This happened when WB and UPN merged to become the CW, a move that ‘Everwood’ producers had feared would affect them greatly.

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When they filmed the final episode, they designed it to act as a series finale in case they weren’t renewed for a fifth season. Still, it must have hurt for them to be sidelined like that, especially given that ‘Runaway’ was canceled after three episodes. What’s more, ‘7th Heaven’ had already finished when the network decided to go ahead and give it another season anyway.

Santa Clarita Diet couldn’t meet the production costs

Now that streaming platforms are many people’s primary way of absorbing content, certain things have changed in the TV and film industry. However, one thing that’s stayed the same is the notion that if a show isn’t profitable, it won’t remain on the air. Unfortunately, that means that a lot of series still get cut short, including ‘Santa Clarita Diet.’ The show was given the chop in 2019 after three seasons, the last of which ended on quite the cliffhanger.


Fans were understandably devastated, but it seems the program wasn’t attracting as many viewers as they might have expected. Netflix’s stance is that if the ratings aren’t enough to meet the production costs, there’s little reason to keep the show around. Obviously that was the case here, not that the streaming service ever shared viewing figures for the series.

Longmire wasn’t being watched by the right people

Different shows speak to different age groups, and that’s never been clearer than with the Western crime drama ‘Longmire.’ The show was a major success for A&E when it debuted, attracting the best ratings the network had ever had for an original drama. However, while its viewing figures may have remained steady across three seasons, the age group that the network wanted to reach wasn’t interested in the show.


Most of ‘Longmire’’s viewers were over 60 years old, which didn’t work for the advertisers. So, despite the program’s success, A&E canceled it after only three seasons. Thankfully, Netflix proceeded to pick it up and give it three more seasons, giving critics and viewers precisely what they wanted. This is one show that didn’t have to end without a natural conclusion.

Happy Endings didn’t have a broad enough appeal

‘Happy Endings’ didn’t get off to the best start when it debuted, with a lot of critics comparing it negatively to shows of a similar vein. However, response towards the series improved as the season went on, to the point that it was quite beloved after the first 13 episodes aired. The following two seasons receiving similar praise, with plenty of critics actually citing it as one of the best shows on T.V. at the time.


Unfortunately, despite the acclaim, viewing figures simply weren’t what they needed to be for ‘Happy Endings’ to stay on the air. ABC boss Paul Lee blamed it on being “too narrow,” meaning that it didn’t appeal to a wide enough audience. However, others put the poor ratings down to the erratic scheduling of the third season.

Profit was too edgy for its own good

Sometimes, a show’s success depends entirely on when it’s released. What might be a huge hit now might not have managed more than a single season a couple of decades ago. Just look at ‘Profit.’ The drama series aired on Fox back in 1996 and was said to be uncomfortable viewing for a lot of people. Viewers took offense to the lead character’s amoral behavior and the fact he supposedly gave corporate America a bad name.


In reality, a show like this would probably thrive nowadays because edgier TV is more commonplace. However, being one of the first of its kind meant that it had to walk so that other shows could run. Only a few episodes of the series were shown before the series was canceled, much to the relief of many.

Clifford the Big Red Dog ended with a tragic loss

John Ritter had quite the career during his time on this Earth. Not only did the man front shows like ‘Three’s Company’ and ‘8 Simple Rules,’ but he also provided the voice of the titular character in ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog.’ He helped bring the animal to life for two seasons in the early 2000s, but then tragedy occurred when the man lost his life.


His passing came as quite a shock, and in the aftermath, production on the show ceased. The animated film ‘Clifford’s Really Big Movie’ ultimately became the show’s finale when it released in theaters several months after his passing. Although the Clifford franchise has continued in other forms over the years, including a recent reboot, the show itself ended with Ritter.

Anne with an E lost its production company

Viewers have become so passionate about potentially losing their favorite series nowadays that they actively campaign to keep them on the air. This is largely thanks to the rise of social media, which has made it easy for people to come together and show their support for these programs. Unfortunately, some shows just can’t be saved, no matter how hard people try to fight for them.


One of the latest series to face this reality is ‘Anne with an E,’ which has finished its run on Netflix after just three seasons. It’s believed that the show’s cancelation is linked to the parting of CBC who’d partnered with the streaming service to produce the series. They apparently wanted to focus on their “own domestic business and industry,” and ‘Anne with an E’ got caught in the crossfire.

Young Justice couldn’t last because of poor toy sales

For some shows, there are opportunities to make money outside of simply airing the episodes. A lot of programs aimed at younger viewers tend to branch into merchandising, especially when it comes to superheroes. There are so many products out there for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc., particularly with how popular Marvel and DC are nowadays.

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It appears that when Young Justice, an animated series based around the DC Universe debuted in 2010, the hope was that it’d make a lot of money through merchandising. According to executive producer Greg Weisman, that’s where the cash for their budget originated from. Unfortunately, toy sales weren’t what they should have been, and therefore the show was canceled. Rumors suggested the poor sales were related to the high female viewership, but Weisman assured that wasn’t the case.

Underground didn’t meet the approval of its new bosses

Network changes can really make or break a TV show. While WGN might have had a good thing on their hands with the period drama ‘Underground,’ as soon as Sinclair Broadcasting Group bought their parent company, everything changed. The series found itself canceled after just two seasons, despite attracting some of the best reviews the network had ever seen.

Sony Pictures Television

The fact that Sinclair Broadcasting Group is a conservative corporation seemed to play a major part in this. It’s believed that they weren’t huge fans of the subject matter and therefore ensured the show met its end. According to Peter Kern, president of WGN’s parent company, the show didn’t “fit” with the direction they wanted to go in. That was despite it being, in his words, “a terrific and important series.”

Parks and Recreation barely made it to a natural end

Not every show is fortunate enough to say that it ended when it wanted to. A lot of them are cut short, leading to rushed finales and loose ends that never got tied up. Luckily for ‘Parks and Recreation,’ it was able to finish at just the right time. Showrunner Mike Schur and lead actress Amy Poehler both felt that the series would end on the right note if they were able to get through seven seasons.


That wasn’t the easiest goal to reach at the time, given the show wasn’t as popular as people thought. There were constant fears of cancelation, to the point that they began coming up with finale ideas from as early as season three. Thankfully, despite all the uncertainty about how long ‘Parks and Recreation’ would last, they still managed to reach the finish line.

Bewitched grew boring for it’s leading actress

The joy of being an actor is that you get to spend your life portraying people completely different from yourself. With all these various characters to choose from, you can never run out of roles to play. That’s probably why Elizabeth Montgomery was itching to move on from Bewitched after eight seasons with the show. She was tired of playing the same person for almost a decade, and she wanted a new challenge.

Ashmont Productions

Add to that the fact that she was supposedly bored of the program’s plot, and it’s no wonder she wanted out. Unfortunately, she was contracted to film two more seasons of the series, regardless of whether she was happy or not. That’s why her estranged husband pitched some replacement show ideas to ABC so she could bolt and end ‘Bewitched’ in the process.