best TV shows TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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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.

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.

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1
8,632 2,719
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Firefly 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
5,155 2,939
Freaks and Geeks is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Freaks and Geeks 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
5,192 3,411
Arrested Development is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Arrested Development 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
3,660 3,171
Pushing Daisies is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Pushing Daisies 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
3,665 2,889
Dead Like Me is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Dead Like Me Ellen Muth, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy Dead Like Me 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 ...more

6
5,214 2,733
Futurama is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
SHEBANDIT added Futurama 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
3,178 2,953
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Veronica Mars Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring Veronica Mars is an American mystery drama television series created by screenwriter Rob Thomas. The series is set in the fictional town of Neptune, California, and stars Kristen Bell as the ...more

8
4,341 2,448
Star Trek: The Original Series is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Star Trek: The Original Series 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
3,747 2,378
My Name Is Earl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
My Name Is Earl 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
3,049 2,714
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Deadwood 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
3,079 2,839
Terminator: The Sarah Connor C... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 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

12
2,748 2,811
Dollhouse is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Dollhouse 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

Child Actors Who Tragically Died Young

13
3,151 1,890
Animaniacs is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Animaniacs 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

14
3,618 3,084
Heroes is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Heroes 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

15
3,104 1,770
Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
dkonigsbach added Quantum Leap 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

16
2,707 2,198
Eureka is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
nr1bacc added Eureka 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

17
3,150 2,625
Terra Nova is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
MarceeStewart added Terra Nova 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

The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

18
2,939 2,264
Jericho is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
LanaYoshii added Jericho 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

19
2,503 2,257
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
TheQuillyOne added Lie to Me Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines Lie to Me is an American crime 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 ...more

20
2,502 2,539
Dark Angel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Dark Angel 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

21
2,575 1,959
Angel is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Angel 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

22
2,587 1,990
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Carol Archer added Fringe 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

Non-Reality TV Shows That Should Be Canceled

23
2,150 2,555
Reaper is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Reaper 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

24
2,365 2,213
My So-Called Life is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
SHEBANDIT added My So Called Life 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

25
2,380 2,397
V is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
V 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

26
2,753 2,374
Star Trek: Enterprise is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Star Trek: Enterprise Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction TV series and a prequel to the original Star Trek. The series premiered September 26, 2001, on the UPN television network with the final episode airing ...more

27
2,803 2,039
Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Star Trek: The Next Generation Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes The show was contracted for 8 seasons, but Paramount ended it after 7.  Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry twenty-one years after the original Star Trek series debuted in 1966. Roddenberry, ...more

The Best Single Season Canceled Shows

28
2,082 1,154
Pinky and the Brain is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Pinky and the Brain Maurice LaMarche, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille Pinky and the Brain is an American animated television series. It was the first animated television series to be presented in Dolby Surround and the fourth collaboration of Steven Spielberg with ...more

29
1,959 2,274
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn Twin Peaks (Showtime, 2017) is a miniseries that follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in a continuation of the original 1990 series, created by David Lynch.

30
1,577 1,887
Farscape is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Farscape Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe Farscape is an Australian/American science fiction television series, produced originally for the Nine Network. The series was conceived by Rockne S. O'Bannon and produced by Jim Henson ...more

31
1,920 1,473
Warehouse 13 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Warehouse 13 Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek Warehouse 13 is a U.S. television science fiction series that premiered on July 7, 2009, on the Syfy network. Executive-produced by Jack Kenny and David Simkins, the dramatic comedy from ...more

32
2,148 2,361
Rome is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Rome Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker Rome is a British-American-Italian historical drama television series created by Bruno Heller, John Milius and William J. MacDonald. The show's two seasons were broadcast on HBO, BBC Two, and ...more

The Best Episodes of You're the Worst

33
2,130 2,158
Stargate Atlantis is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
flanigandaily added Stargate Atlantis Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell, David Hewlett Joe Flanigan, David Hewlett, Jason Momoa, Rachel Luttrell Stargate Atlantis is a Canadian-American adventure and military science fiction television series and part of MGM's Stargate franchise. The show was created by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper ...more

34
2,052 2,044
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Battlestar Galactica Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber 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

35
1,608 1,415
Chuck is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
gtf93 added Chuck Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez Chuck (NBC, 2007) is an American action-comedy/spy-drama television series created by Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak. When a twenty-something computer geek (Zachary Levi) inadvertently downloads ...more

36
1,596 1,505
WKRP in Cincinnati is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
RyanMcMillan added Wkrp in Cinncina Gary Sandy, Gordon Jump, Howard Hesseman WKRP in Cincinnati is an American situation comedy television series that features the misadventures of the staff of a struggling fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show was ...more

37
1,598 2,093
NewsRadio is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
NewsRadio Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick NewsRadio is an American television situation comedy that aired on NBC from 1995 to 1999, focusing on the work lives of the staff of an AM news station. The series was created by executive ...more

The Best "Your Mom" Jokes in Internet History

38
1,602 1,669
Torchwood is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Carol Archer added Torchwood John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Kai Owen Torchwood is a British science fiction television programme created by Russell T Davies. A spin-off from the 2005 revival of long-running science fiction programme Doctor Who, Torchwood aired ...more

39
1,427 2,078
Tru Calling is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Tru Calling Eliza Dushku, Shawn Reaves, Zach Galifianakis 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

40
1,573 1,374
Gilligan's Island is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Gilligan's Island Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus Gilligan's Island is an American sitcom created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz via United Artists Television. The show had an ensemble cast that featured Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim ...more

41
1,704 1,175
Psych is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Psych James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson Psych is an American detective comedy-drama television series created by Steve Franks and broadcast on USA Network with syndication reruns on ION Television. It is produced by Franks and Tagline ...more

42
1,742 1,682
Leverage is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Leverage Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane Leverage is an American television drama series, which aired on TNT from December 7, 2008, to December 25, 2012. The series was produced by Electric Entertainment, a production company of ...more

The Best Current TV Shows No One Is Watching

43
1,316 893
The Muppet Show is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
The Muppet Show Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt The Muppet Show is a family-oriented comedy-variety television series that was produced by puppeteer Jim Henson and features The Muppets. After two pilot episodes produced in 1974 and 1975 ...more

44
1,111 733
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
The X-Files David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox, spanning nine ...more

45
1,414 2,143
Life is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Life Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi, Adam Arkin Life is an American crime drama television program created by Rand Ravich that aired for two seasons on NBC. It was produced by Universal Media Studios under the supervision of executive ...more

46
1,489 1,861
Stargate Universe is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
AnthonyBower added Stargate Universe Robert Carlyle, Louis Ferreira, Brian J. Smith Out of all the Stargate Series, I have to say this one was the most excieting. Great cast, Thrilling story, New twist. Absolutly loved it! I was so upset when I heard it was cancelled! If this series had been brought to TV 10 years ago it would have lasted 10 seasons. I really wanted to know how the series was going to end and if they were going to make it back to earth. i guess we will never know. :( Stargate Universe is a Canadian-American military science fiction television series and part of MGM's Stargate franchise. It follows the adventures of a present-day, multinational exploration ...more

47
1,530 1,956
The Tick is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
joekoomen added The Tick Mark Hamill, Micky Dolenz, Brad Garrett The Tick: The Animated Series is an American animated television series adaptation of the New England Comics superhero, The Tick. The series debuted September 10, 1994 on the Fox network's Fox ...more

48
1,586 1,911
The Finder is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
The Finder Geoff Stults, Maddie Hasson, Mercedes Mason The Finder is an American procedural drama television series created by Hart Hanson that ran on Fox from January 12, 2012 to May 11, 2012. The series originally aired on Thursdays at 9:00 pm, ...more

49
1,501 1,869
Alcatraz is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
Alcatraz Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia, Jonny Coyne Alcatraz is an American television series created by Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt, and produced by J. J. Abrams and Bad Robot Productions. The series premiered on Fox on ...more

50
1,446 1,977
FlashForward is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time
FlashForward John Cho, Joseph Fiennes, Jack Davenport 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