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The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season

Updated January 14, 2021 102.6k votes 12.9k voters 334.7k views306 items

List RulesVote 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. Even beloved stars like Matthew Perry and Jason Alexander couldn't get a second season on their own.

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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  • Firefly1
    3,137
    948

    Firefly

    Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres

    Premiered2002

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Freaks and Geeks2
    2,270
    907

    Freaks and Geeks

    Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Comedy-drama

    Freaks and Geeks (NBC, 1999) is an American teen comedy-drama television series created by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Forever3
    1,057
    510

    Forever

    Ioan Gruffudd, Alana De La Garza

    Premiered2014

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Crime Fiction, Fantasy

    Forever is an American drama television series about Dr. Henry Morgan, an immortal medical... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Almost Human4
    1,235
    771

    Almost Human

    Karl Urban, Michael Ealy

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Science Fiction

    Almost Human is an American science fiction drama that aired from November 17, 2013, through... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Terra Nova5
    1,507
    1,061

    Terra Nova

    Jason O'Mara, Shelley Conn

    Premiered2011

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

    Terra Nova (Fox, 2011) is an American science fiction drama television series created by Kelly... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • My So-Called Life6
    1,289
    865

    My So-Called Life

    Claire Danes, Bess Armstrong

    Premiered1994

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama

    My So-Called Life (ABC, 1994) is an American teen drama television series created by Winnie... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Battlestar Galactica7
    616
    413

    Battlestar Galactica

    Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict

    Premiered1978

    Genres (Tv)Science Fiction

    Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction television series, created by Glen A.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Limitless8
    877
    357

    Limitless

    Jake McDorman, Jennifer Carpenter

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

    Limitless (CBS, 2015) is an American comedy-drama television series developed by Craig Sweeny,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #195 of 339 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years#281 of 383 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

  • The Finder9
    982
    725

    The Finder

    Geoff Stults, Maddie Hasson

    Premiered2012

    Genres (Tv)Comedy-drama, Police procedural

    The Finder (Fox, 2012) is an American procedural drama television series created by Hart... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Tru Calling10
    584
    383

    Tru Calling

    Eliza Dushku, Shawn Reaves

    Premiered2003

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

    Tru Calling is an American television supernatural drama series that aired on Fox. Original... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr.11
    667
    517

    The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr.

    Bruce Campbell, Julius Carry
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  • The Secret Circle12
    1,035
    785

    The Secret Circle

    Britt Robertson, Thomas Dekker

    Premiered2011

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

    The Secret Circle (The CW, 2011) is an American supernatural teen drama developed by Andrew... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • FlashForward13
    850
    758

    FlashForward

    John Cho, Joseph Fiennes

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Thriller, Science Fiction

    FlashForward is a U.S. television series, adapted for television by Brannon Braga and David S.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Constantine14
    945
    347

    Constantine

    Matt Ryan, Harold Perrineau

    Premiered2014

    Constantine (NBC, 2014) is an American television series developed by Daniel Cerone and David... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • The Tomorrow People15
    679
    510

    The Tomorrow People

    Robbie Amell, Peyton List

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    The Tomorrow People is an American science fiction television series developed by Greg... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Alcatraz16
    904
    834

    Alcatraz

    Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia

    Premiered2012

    Genres (Tv)Action/Adventure, Drama, Thriller, Adventure film, Action

    Alcatraz is an American television series created by Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Muppets17
    358
    260

    The Muppets

    Bill Barretta, Dave Goelz

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Comedy

    The Muppets (ABC, 2015), stylized as the muppets., is an American television comedy series... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Eerie, Indiana18
    389
    286

    Eerie, Indiana

    Omri Katz, Justin Shenkarow

    Premiered1991

    Genres (Tv)Black comedy, Satire, Drama, Mystery, Science Fiction

    Eerie, Indiana is an American television series that originally aired on NBC from 1991 to... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Dresden Files19
    746
    755

    The Dresden Files

    Paul Blackthorne, Valerie Cruz

    Premiered2007

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

    The Dresden Files (Sci Fi Channel, 2007) is a Canadian and American television series created... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Caprica20
    168
    131

    Caprica

    Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Family saga, Drama, Science Fiction, Serial drama

    Caprica is an American science fiction drama television series. A spin-off prequel of the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Moonlight21
    658
    679

    Moonlight

    Alex O'Loughlin, Sophia Myles

    Premiered2007

    Genres (Tv)Paranormal romance, Supernatural, Crime Fiction, Drama, Horror Film

    Moonlight is an American paranormal romance television drama created by Ron Koslow and Trevor... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Tick22
    655
    637

    The Tick

    Patrick Warburton, David Burke

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Satire, Comedy

    The Tick is an American sitcom based on the character Tick from the comic book of the same... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Dracula23
    496
    473

    Dracula

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jessica De Gouw

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Dracula is a British-American horror drama television series that premiered on NBC on October... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Alien Nation24
    609
    655

    Alien Nation

    Gary Graham, Eric Pierpoint

    Premiered1989

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Science Fiction

    Alien Nation is a science fiction television series in the Alien Nation franchise. Adapted... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Kolchak: The Night Stalker25
    713
    777

    Kolchak: The Night Stalker

    Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland

    Premiered1974

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

    Kolchak: The Night Stalker is an American television series that aired on ABC during the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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