Have you ever watched a season of a TV show and loved it, only to find out it was going to be canceled for the next season?
While there certainly have been some major TV show flops that deserved to get canceled, there have also been plenty of great shows out there that many viewers believe were unjustly canceled.
Sometimes, TV executives don’t get it right. After all, Seinfeld was almost canceled after the 9th season, and then it went on to be one of the most successful TV shows of all time.
So, what TV shows should have been given another shot?
Check out this guide to discover the top ABC sitcoms and other shows that were unfairly canceled.
Freaks and Geeks
Whenever mention is made of TV shows that were unfairly canceled, Freaks and Geeks is almost always brought up.
Freaks and Geeks was an American comedy-drama that was created by Paul Feig, and it first aired on NBC in 1999. The show follows a gifted high schooler who starts to hang out with a bunch of burnouts, while her younger brother navigates his freshman year of high school.
To the surprise of many viewers, Freaks and Geeks was canceled after just one season. Many believe that the show didn’t get a second season due to its horrible and sporadic Saturday night time slot.
However, despite having only aired for one season and being over 20 years old, the show still has a cult following. While there have been rumors about this show getting a revival, we’re not really sure what’s next.
You would think that a show that has won several prestigious awards -including Emmys- would never have to worry about getting canceled early.
But, this wasn’t the case for Boston Legal. The show almost made it a full five seasons before getting the ax. And, they were forced to make do with a 2-hour series finale after a shortened 13th episode.
Cast members of the TV show claim that ABC simply didn’t want them back, and that they even had to fight for that 13th episode. This left many viewers scratching their heads, as a lot of people felt this show had many more seasons to go.
Chappelle’s Show was a groundbreaking racial sketch comedy show that was created by comedian legends, Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan.
Typically, when we talk about a show getting suddenly axed, it was because of the decision of the network. However, Chappelle’s Show shocked viewers when after a wildly successful two seasons, Dave Chappelle walked away from the show and left a $50 million deal on the table.
Due to its witty sketches and viral catchphrases, the show had amassed a cult-like following after just 2 seasons, so everyone was shocked when Chappelle decided to walk away from it all.
Luckily, it turned out to be a happy ending for Chappelle, as he’s recently returned to the global comedy stage with several Netflix stand-up specials.
Despite critical claims and winning several prestigious awards (including 6 Emmys and, 2 AFIs, and 1 Golden Globe) Arrested Development shocked viewers when it was suddenly axed midway through the third season.
Compared to the 22 episodes that were a part of season 1, the third season had a measly thirteen episodes. Though viewership wasn’t terrible, the show simply didn’t have the numbers to continue on network television.
But, Arrested Development is one of the few canceled shows out there that actually has a happy ending.
Seven years after it was canceled. Netflix revived it for a fourth and fifth season. This definitely turned out to be a smart move, as viewership via the streaming platform was very high and viewers were extremely grateful they got to spend more time with the Bluth family.
Part action, part drama, and part supernatural, sleepy hollow ticked many boxes for many different viewers.
There was also great on-screen chemistry between the show’s leads, Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, making the show all that more enticing to watch. However, the new spin on an old classic quickly lost its footing after they decided to ax Nicole Beharie.
With Beharie gone, Mison seemed lost and had trouble commanding the show on his own. So, it wasn’t really a huge surprise to audience members when the show ended shortly after her departure.
After Buffy the Vampire Slayer came to an end, fans were at a loss when it came to what fierce, intelligent female lead they should follow next.
And then, Veronica Mars came along. Starring Kristin Bell, Veronica Mars was about a once-popular high school girl who experienced personal growth through a series of life traumas and became a snarky detective in the process.
The show was a big hit with audience and critics alike, being nominated for Satellite Awards, Saturn Awards, and Teen Choice Awards. It was even featured on AFI’s TV Programs of the Year list in 2005. However, all of this wasn’t enough to keep the show going, and Veronica Mars was canceled after just three seasons.
But, much like Arrested Development, Veronica Mars also ultimately had a happy ending, as it was picked up by Hulu years later for a new season.
My So-Called Life
Although it only had a 19-episode run, My So-Called Life had a huge impact on television as well as kids growing up in the 90s.
This drama followed the life of teenager Angela Chase, played by Claire Danes. The series mostly suffered due to large competition in its timeslot, as Friends, Mad About You, and Martin all aired at the same time.
Though it suffered from a premature ending, it did receive some recognition, as Danes won a Golden Globe for her performance.
ABC Sitcoms and Other Canceled TV Shows: May They Rest in Peace
Hopefully, reading this list of canceled ABC sitcoms and other TV shows has provided some nostalgia for you. The good news is, you can still watch many of these shows on streaming platforms, allowing you to take a trip down memory lane.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more TV-related news.