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The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated June 26, 2020 127.9k votes 12.3k voters 323.3k views 294 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite shows you can't believe studios didn't renew for Season 2.

What are the best single season canceled shows in television history? These shows were actually really great, but for whatever reason (usually ratings), they got the ax after just a handful of episodes. Without a doubt, many on this list of series canceled after one season deserved much longer runs and all these TV shows were cancelled before their time. Vote for the shows you think didn't deserve just one season on the air and feel free to rerank this list your way, too.

It might surprise you to learn that despite their great successes, entertainment heavyweights like Judd Apatow and Joss Whedon didn't always come out on top. Whedon's Firefly remains one of the most unjust cancellations in TV history, as does Apatow's Freaks and Geeks (both are now among the all-time top cult TV shows). But this list also includes some more obscure shows.

Add any one season TV shows that might be missing because if *you* miss it, it qualifies. What single-season TV shows do you believe are the greatest ever? It's a safe bet that several of the 1 season TV shows listed here are also among the best TV shows in recent memory.

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1
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
Starring Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres & Alan Tudyk (Fox Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 2002

Genres (Tv): Space Western, Space opera, Drama, Comedy-drama, Science Fiction

Firefly is an American space western science fiction drama television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon, under his Mutant Enemy Productions label. Whedon served as an executive ...more

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2
Freaks and Geeks is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
Starring Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley & James Franco (NBC)

Premiered: 1999

Genres (Tv): Teen drama, Comedy-drama

Freaks and Geeks (NBC, 1999) is an American teen comedy-drama television series created by Paul Feig. A gifted high schooler (Linda Cardellini) starts hanging out with a group of burnouts, while ...more

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The Cast of Freaks and Geeks: Then and Now #69 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #66 of 388 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

3
Almost Human is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
AvilisSiliva added

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Science Fiction

Almost Human is an American science fiction drama that aired from November 17, 2013, through March 3, 2014, on Fox. The series was created by J. H. Wyman for Frequency Films, Bad Robot ...more

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4
Forever is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
fastnotbulbous added

Premiered: 2014

Genres (Tv): Drama, Crime Fiction, Fantasy

Forever is an American drama television series about Dr. Henry Morgan, an immortal medical examiner in New York City. The series aired on ABC as part of the 2014–15 fall television season. The ...more

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5
The Finder is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
ShaunaTurner added Starring Geoff Stults, Maddie Hasson & Mercedes Mason (Fox Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 2012

Genres (Tv): Comedy-drama, Police procedural

The Finder (Fox, 2012) is an American procedural drama television series created by Hart Hanson. After suffering a traumatic brain injury, a war veteran (Geoff Stults) discovers his newfound ...more

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6
Terra Nova is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
Starring Jason O'Mara, Shelley Conn & Christine Adams (Fox Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Drama, Mystery, Action, Science Fiction

Terra Nova (Fox, 2011) is an American science fiction drama television series created by Kelly Marcel and Craig Silverstein. The Shannon family living in the year 2149 are transported back to ...more

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7
My So-Called Life is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
Starring Bess Armstrong, Wilson Cruz & Claire Danes (American Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 1994

Genres (Tv): Teen drama

My So-Called Life (ABC, 1994) is an American teen drama television series created by Winnie Holzman. A 15-year-old girl (Claire Danes) and her trials and tribulations of being a teenager and ...more

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8
Kolchak: The Night Stalk... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
bojanthebest added Starring Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland & Jack Grinnage (American Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 1974

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Drama, Horror Film, Thriller, Science Fiction, + more

Kolchak: The Night Stalker is an American television series that aired on ABC during the 1974–1975 season. It featured a fictional Chicago newspaper reporter—Carl Kolchak, played by Darren ...more

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9
Tru Calling is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
AnneMorais added Starring Eliza Dushku, Shawn Reaves & Zach Galifianakis (Fox Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 2003

Genres (Tv): Supernatural drama, Drama, Mystery, Fantasy

Tru Calling is an American television supernatural drama series that aired on Fox. Original episodes aired between October 30, 2003, and March 11, 2005, however the final episode was shown in ...more

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10
Constantine is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
JuanGabrielGomezAlvarado added Starring Matt Ryan, Harold Perrineau & Charles Halford (NBC)

Premiered: 2014

Constantine (NBC, 2014) is an American television series developed by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer. John Constantine (Matt Ryan), a British exorcist and occult detective, actively hunts ...more

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#70 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #92 of 124 TV Shows with the Hottest Casts #35 of 128 Canceled Shows We'd Most Like to See as Movies

11
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
DonLathrop added Starring Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell & Jamie Bamber (American Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 1978

Genres (Tv): Science Fiction

Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction television series, created by Glen A. Larson, that began the Battlestar Galactica franchise. Starring Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk ...more

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12
The Secret Circle is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
MelissaKilderry added Starring Britt Robertson, Thomas Dekker & Phoebe Tonkin (The CW Television Network)

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Supernatural drama, Teen drama, Drama, Fantasy

The Secret Circle (The CW, 2011) is an American supernatural teen drama developed by Andrew Miller, and based on the book series of the same name by L.J. Smith. 16-year-old Casse Blake (Britt ...more

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13
Limitless is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
LanaYoshii added

Premiered: 2015

Genres (Tv): Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Limitless (CBS, 2015) is an American comedy-drama television series developed by Craig Sweeny, based on the 2011 film. Brian Finch (Jake McDorman), a 28-year-old burnout and struggling musician, ...more

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14
The Adventures of Brisco... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
15
Undeclared is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
Starring Jay Baruchel, Carla Gallo & Charlie Hunnam (Fox Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 2001

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy-drama, Comedy

Undeclared is an American sitcom that aired on Fox during the 2001–02 season. The show has developed a cult following. In 2012, Entertainment Weekly listed the show at #16 in the "25 Best ...more

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16
FlashForward is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
ChangesDownClub added Starring John Cho, Joseph Fiennes & Jack Davenport (American Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 2009

Genres (Tv): Drama, Thriller, Science Fiction

FlashForward is a U.S. television series, adapted for television by Brannon Braga and David S. Goyer, which aired for one season on ABC between September 24, 2009, and May 27, 2010. It is based ...more

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17
The Tomorrow People is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
MarkandLetyKing added

Premiered: 2013

Genres (Tv): Drama, Science Fiction, Fantasy

The Tomorrow People is an American science fiction television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Phil Klemmer, and Julie Plec that aired on The CW during the 2013–14 American television season. ...more

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18
The Dresden Files is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
Starring Paul Blackthorne, Valerie Cruz & Terrence Mann (Syfy)

Premiered: 2007

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Adventure film, + more

The Dresden Files (Sci Fi Channel, 2007) is a Canadian and American television series created by Hans Beimler and Robert Hewitt Wolfe, based on the book series of the same name by Jim Butcher. A ...more

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19
The Black Donnellys is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
redrunner911 added Starring Jonathan Tucker, Tom Guiry & Olivia Wilde (NBC)

Premiered: 2007

Genres (Tv): Crime drama

The Black Donnellys (NBC, 2007) is an American drama television series created by Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco. Four young Roman Catholic Irish-American brothers in New York City's Hell's ...more
20
The Tick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
DonLathrop added Starring Patrick Warburton, David Burke & Liz Vassey (Fox Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 2001

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Satire, Comedy

The Tick is an American sitcom based on the character Tick from the comic book of the same name. It aired on Fox in late 2001 and was produced by Columbia TriStar Television. With a pilot airing ...more

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21
Alien Nation is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
Umberhaven added Starring Gary Graham, Eric Pierpoint & Michele Scarabelli (Fox Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 1989

Genres (Tv): Drama, Science Fiction

Alien Nation is a science fiction television series in the Alien Nation franchise. Adapted from the 1988 movie of the same name, it stars Gary Graham as Detective Matthew Sikes, a Los Angeles ...more

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22
Awake is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
Starring Jason Isaacs, Laura Allen & Steve Harris (NBC)

Premiered: 2012

Genres (Tv): Police procedural, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Science Fiction, + more

Awake is an American television police procedural fantasy drama that originally aired on NBC for one season from March 1 to May 24, 2012. The pilot episode had an early release on Hulu on ...more

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23
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
MarkandLetyKing added

Premiered: 2013

Genres (Tv): Drama

Dracula is a British-American horror drama television series that premiered on NBC on October 25, 2013. It was produced by London-based Carnival Films. The series was created by Cole Haddon, and ...more
24
The Flash is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
Switchdoctor added Starring John Wesley Shipp, Amanda Pays & Alex Desert (CBS)

Premiered: 1990

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Action, Science Fiction

The Flash is a 1990 American television series that starred John Wesley Shipp as the superhero, the Flash, and co-starred Amanda Pays. The series was developed from the DC Comics characters by ...more

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25
No Ordinary Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season
KarynLake added Starring Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz & Kay Panabaker (American Broadcasting Company)

Premiered: 2010

Genres (Tv): Police procedural, Drama, Science Fiction, Fantasy

No Ordinary Family is an American television series that aired on ABC and CTV in Canada. The one-hour science fiction comedy-drama was produced by ABC Studios for the 2010–11 television season. ...more

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