A few truly glorious TV shows that would never have been cancelled if it were up to us

We are smack in the middle of that moment when we find out whether our fave TV shows get renewed for another season or . . . not. Let’s put our hands together for another season of How to Get Away With Murder (which was renewed!), and continue holding our breath for Castle (which could still go either way!).

It’s a harsh but true reality, sometimes the television gods work against us and a beloved show is cancelled after a mere season or two, even worse when that happens on a cliffhanger. Later these shows become cult favorites and a devoted following is (fingers crossed) able to resurrect them in one way or another — either via a new network blessedly picking them up or even through a movie. The Comeback, for example, managed to get a brilliant second season, even if it took 10 years for that to happen. And I’m more more than a little excited for the pending season of Twin Peaks.

Those are the triumphs though. Most of the time these shows are just . . . over. All those characters and unresolved plot lines just ripped from our eyeballs and hearts. Thanks to Netflix, we can at least relive what is left of these shows, but it also puts into sharp relief just how many totally amazing shows are cut short before their time is truly up. Though really there’s no explanation for why bad things happen to good shows (sometimes they’re honestly ahead of their time), we want to raise a glass to a handful of the prematurely fallen, that (had we been in charge) would have lived long and healthy TV lives:

Freaks and Geeks

This show had so much potential but, alas, it only produced one fantastic season. We can all feel slightly better about this loss since the show’s team — like Judd Apatow, Paul Feig, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jason Segel, Busy Philipps, and Linda Cardellini etc. — went on to have crazy amazing careers. That said, we will forever wonder what would’ve happened to our ragtag bunch of nerds and burnouts had they been granted another go. If you’re super desperate for just a taste more of what could’ve been, check out Paul Feig’s thoughts on the show’s imaginary future.

Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23

I admit, I’m part of the problem: I only jumped on the bandwagon after the show had already been cancelled. The show was clever and witty and just plain weird and had James Van Der Beek playing a hilarious and ridiculous fictional version of himself. The show only got a season and a half but featured cast members Krysten Ritter and Dreama Walker doing everything from attempting to convince James to do a Dawson’s Creek reunion, to stabbing a co-worker accidentally, to adopting a child to be a personal assistant. It’s wacky and sassy and you must watch it on Netflix immediately.


Oh, Firefly, forever breaking hearts. This is one of Joss Whedon’s (of Buffy and more recently Avengers fame) precious treasures. A space western set in the future does seem like something of a hard sell, but the show was just so good it’s a real shame it got so few episodes. But with a loyal fanbase and a creator and cast who felt just as sad as the rest of us that the show was so short-lived, Firefly managed to spawn the film Serenity as well as some comic books. While the movie and comic books do make the pill slightly easier to swallow, it’s still a travesty of television programming that this show got the boot.

My So-Called Life

Jordan. Rayanne. Rickie. Bryan. And, of course, Angela. The drama! The pain! The angst! The crushing realness of it all! How could the television gods not understand teens needed this show in their lives for more than one brilliant season? And ending on a cliffhanger with no resolution? Not cool, gang. Not cool. After its cancellation fans campaigned to save the show, probably the first use of the Internet to try and do that since it was 1995. But it was not meant to be. And while no season 2 scripts were written, you can take a peek at what one of the show’s creators had in mind right here.

Pushing Daisies

Creator Bryan Fuller has a history of making awesome shows that get cancelled too soon, but this one makes me the saddest. The Piemaker and Chuck never got to tell their whole story! Not to mention all the adorable dresses we never got to see Chuck wear. This show was sweet, clever, whimsical, and strange in the best way. It’s basically a fairytale world filled with bizarro crimes and magic. And Kristin Chenoweth bursting into occasional song. Big mistake, TV gods. Huge. One bright spot is that Fuller seems committed to resurrecting the show in one way or another, with his latest plans being to try and develop a Broadway musical or maybe even a movie. Fingers crossed and yes, please!


This was the brainchild of Gilmore Girls creator/goddess Amy Sherman-Palladino and even had a plum role for Emily Gilmore. For a shining moment we were able to recapture that snappy, quirky uniqueness that we’d been missing since the Gilmore Girls. Not to mention former GG cast members got to constantly pop up in the Bunheads’s town of Paradise. Sutton Foster deserved better. And so did all those ballerinas. Sigh.

Images via here, here, here, here, here

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