Best TV TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time  

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603.8k votes 31.8k voters 552.5k views 654 items

List Rules TV shows that you believe were still in their prime or had not yet reached their peak at the time they were canceled. Most shows on this list should have been canceled before their fifth season.

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This list of canceled TV shows that didn't deserve to die is ranked by TV fans around the world. From shows that ended too soon to shows that shouldn't have been taken off the air at all, these are the TV shows canceled well before their time was up. Popular shows on this list include more recent hits like Arrested Development and Party Down, but this list of the best canceled TV shows isn't only about comedies. Sadly (for fans), this list includes shows that have been pulled off the air in the past few years, 1990s TV shows, shows from the 80s and more. 

Canceled shows like The Grinder starring Rob Lowe can also be found on this list of good television programs that never made it. Fans will never understand why these shows got discontinued, but thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, we can watch them again and again. 

What are the best TV shows canceled before their time? What TV shows were canceled but came back? Vote on your favorite comedy shows, dramas, sci-fi series, and crossover TV programs, or add your own list of TV shows that should have been given a second chance.

list ordered by

1
9,174 2,998
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk 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

2
5,562 3,218
Freaks and Geeks is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, James Franco Freaks and Geeks is an American teen comedy-drama television series, created by Paul Feig with Judd Apatow as executive producer, that aired on NBC during the 1999–2000 television season. ...more

3
5,521 3,713
Arrested Development is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi Arrested Development is an American television sitcom created by Mitchell Hurwitz, which originally aired on Fox for three seasons from November 2, 2003 to February 10, 2006. A fourth season of ...more

4
3,909 3,464
Pushing Daisies is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride Pushing Daisies is an American fantasy comedy-drama television series created by Bryan Fuller that aired on ABC from October 3, 2007, to June 13, 2009. The series stars Lee Pace as Ned, a ...more

5
3,951 3,135
Dead Like Me is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Ellen Muth, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy This show is an American comedy-drama television series starring Ellen Muth and Mandy Patinkin as grim reapers who reside and work in Seattle, Washington. Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, ...more

6
5,693 2,956
Futurama is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
SHEBANDIT added Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal The show was originally canceled before its time after 4 seasons in 2003. It was brought back in 2006.  Futurama is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the ...more

7
3,405 3,214
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Teddy Dunn Veronica Mars (Hulu, 2004) is an American teen noir mystery drama television series created by screenwriter Rob Thomas. After her best friend (Amanda Seyfried) is murdered, and her father ...more

8
4,629 2,680
Star Trek: The Original Series is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that follows the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise and its crew. It later acquired the retronym of ...more

9
4,133 2,629
My Name Is Earl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Jaime Pressly My Name Is Earl is an American television comedy series created by Greg Garcia that aired on the NBC television network from September 20, 2005, to May 14, 2009, in the United States. It was ...more

10
3,273 2,952
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker Deadwood is an American western television series created, produced, and largely written by David Milch and aired on the premium cable network HBO from March 21, 2004, to August 27, 2006, ...more

11
3,547 2,068
Animaniacs is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille Animaniacs is an American animated television series, distributed by Warner Bros. Television and produced by Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. Animaniacs is the second animated ...more

12
3,280 3,096
Terminator: The Sarah Connor C... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is an American science fiction television series that aired on Fox. The show was produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Warner Bros. Television, and C2 ...more

13
2,945 3,063
Dollhouse is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz Dollhouse is an American science fiction television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon under Mutant Enemy Productions. It premiered on February 13, 2009, on the Fox network and ...more

14
3,440 1,948
Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
dkonigsbach added Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt Quantum Leap is an American television series that originally aired on NBC for five seasons, from March 1989 through May 1993. Created by Donald P. Bellisario, it starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam ...more

15
3,856 3,355
Heroes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Hayden Panettiere, Jack Coleman, Milo Ventimiglia Heroes is an American science fiction television drama series created by Tim Kring that appeared on NBC for four seasons from September 25, 2006 through February 8, 2010. The series tells the ...more

16
2,715 2,474
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
TheQuillyOne added Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines Lie to Me is an American drama television series. It originally ran on the Fox network from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2011. In the show, Dr. Cal Lightman and his colleagues in The Lightman ...more

17
2,926 2,422
Eureka is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
nr1bacc added Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Erica Cerra Eureka was an American science fiction television series that premiered on Syfy on July 18, 2006. The fifth and final season ended on July 16, 2012. The show was set in a fictional town in ...more

18
3,359 2,852
Terra Nova is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
MarceeStewart added Jason O'Mara, Shelley Conn, Christine Adams Terra Nova is an American science fiction drama television series. It premiered on September 26, 2011 with a two-hour premiere, and concluded on December 19, 2011 with a two-hour, two-episode ...more

19
3,147 2,471
Jericho is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
LanaYoshii added Skeet Ulrich, Ashley Scott, Gerald McRaney Jericho is an American post-apocalyptic action-drama series that centers on the residents of the fictionalized post-apocalyptic town of Jericho, Kansas, in the aftermath of a limited nuclear ...more

20
2,853 2,178
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Carol Archer added Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox Broadcasting network on September 9, 2008, and concluded ...more

21
2,677 2,740
Dark Angel is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Jessica Alba, Michael Weatherly, Richard Gunn Dark Angel is an American biopunk/cyberpunk science fiction television series created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee and starring Jessica Alba in her breakthrough role. The show premiered ...more

22
2,833 2,156
Angel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof Angel is an American television series, a spin-off from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series was created by Buffy's creator, Joss Whedon, in collaboration with David ...more

23
2,591 2,397
My So-Called Life is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
SHEBANDIT added Bess Armstrong, Wilson Cruz, Claire Danes My So-Called Life is an American teen drama television series created by Winnie Holzman and produced by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. It originally aired on ABC from August 25, 1994, to ...more

24
2,298 2,753
Reaper is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Bret Harrison, Tyler Labine, Rick Gonzalez Reaper is an American comedy television series that focuses on Sam Oliver, a "reaper" who works for the Devil by retrieving souls that have escaped from Hell. The series originally ran ...more

25
2,522 2,607
V is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Elizabeth Mitchell, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch V is an American science fiction television series that ran for two seasons on ABC, from November 3, 2009 to March 15, 2011. A remake of the 1983 miniseries created by Kenneth Johnson, the new ...more