It Ended Too Soon! 7 ABC Sitcoms and Other TV Shows That Got Unfairly Cancelled

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 significant 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 it became 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 unfairly canceled shows.

Freaks and Geeks 

Whenever mention of TV shows that were unfairly canceled, Freaks and Geeks is almost always brought up.

Freaks and Geeks was an American comedy-drama 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 during his first year of high school.

To the surprise of many viewers, Freaks and Geeks were canceled after just one season. However, many believe the show didn’t get a second season due to its horrible and sporadic Saturday night slot.

However, despite having only aired for one season and being over 20 years old, the show still has a cult following. So while there have been rumors about this show getting a revival, we’re not sure what’s next.

Boston Legal 

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 didn’t want them back and that they even had to fight for that 13th episode. This left many viewers scratching their heads, as many people felt this show had many more seasons.

Chappelle’s Show 

Chappelle’s Show was a groundbreaking racial sketch comedy show created by comedian legends Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan.

Typically, when we talk about a show getting suddenly axed, it is because of the network’s decision. 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 two seasons, so everyone was shocked when Chappelle decided to walk away from it all.

Luckily, it was a happy ending for Chappelle, as he’s recently returned to the global comedy stage with several Netflix stand-up specials.

Arrested Development

Despite critical claims and winning several prestigious awards (including 6 Emmys, 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. Viewership wasn’t terrible, but the show didn’t have the numbers to continue on network television.

But, Arrested Development is one of the few canceled shows out there that has a happy ending.

Seven years after, it was canceled. Netflix revived it for a fourth and fifth season. This turned out to be a smart move, as viewership via the streaming platform was very high, and viewers were grateful they got to spend more time with the Bluth family.

Sleepy Hollow 

Part action, part drama, and part supernatural, sleepy hollow ticked many boxes for different viewers.

There was also great on-screen chemistry between the show’s leads, Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, making the show 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 a massive surprise to audience members when the show ended shortly after her departure.

Veronica Mars 

After Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended, fans were at a loss regarding 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.

The show was a big hit with the audience and critics, 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 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 hugely impacted television and kids growing up in the 90s.

This drama followed the life of teenager Angela Chase, played by Claire Danes. Unfortunately, the series mostly suffered due to significant competition in its timeslot, as Friends, Mad About You, and Martin all aired simultaneously.

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 that 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.

Carla Gayou
Carla Gayou

Carla is a high performing marketing professional with 5+ years of experience driving growth of in a variety of corporate and entrepreneurial environments. Strong command of digital operations with exposure to influencer marketing strategy, branding, analytics, SEO/SEM, customer success, content development, and social media Core expertise lies in managing end-to-end campaigns, creating memorable content, and facilitating improved conversion rates to enhance e-commerce operations. Adept in ensuring alignment with organizational goals, facilitating streamlined operations, and leveraging a data driven strategy used to make insightful marketing decisions.