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TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

Updated January 11, 2021 537.4k votes 36.9k voters 639.9k views538 items

List RulesVote up the TV shows that were still in their prime or had not yet reached their peak at the time they were canceled.

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 back when you were just coming into this world? 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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  • Firefly1
    7,867
    2,994

    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
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  • Futurama2
    5,865
    2,834

    Futurama

    Billy West, John DiMaggio

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

    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...  more
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  • Freaks and Geeks3
    5,094
    3,177

    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
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  • Animaniacs4
    3,939
    2,141

    Animaniacs

    Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell

    Premiered1993

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Comedy

    Animaniacs is an American animated television series, distributed by Warner Bros. Television...  more
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  • Quantum Leap5
    3,435
    2,111

    Quantum Leap

    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell

    Premiered1989

    Genres (Tv)Procedural drama, Drama, Science Fiction

    Quantum Leap is an American television series that originally aired on NBC for five seasons,...  more
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  • My Name Is Earl6
    4,269
    2,668

    My Name Is Earl

    Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    My Name Is Earl is an American television comedy series created by Greg Garcia that aired on...  more
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  • Pinky and the Brain7
    3,046
    1,536

    Pinky and the Brain

    Maurice LaMarche, Rob Paulsen

    Premiered1995

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Satire, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Comedy

    Pinky and the Brain is an American animated television series. It was the first animated...  more
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  • Star Trek: The Original Series8
    4,002
    2,700

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Premiered1966

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

    Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that...  more
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  • Arrested Development9
    4,543
    3,572

    Arrested Development

    Jason Bateman, Michael Cera

    Premiered2003

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Arrested Development (Fox, 2003) is an American television sitcom created by Mitchell Hurwitz....  more
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  • The Muppet Show10
    1,981
    1,323

    The Muppet Show

    Jim Henson, Frank Oz

    Premiered1976

    Genres (Tv)Sketch comedy, Variety show, Children's television series, Live action, Comedy

    The Muppet Show is a family-oriented comedy-variety television series that was produced by...  more
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  • Angel11
    2,857
    2,251

    Angel

    David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural drama, Supernatural, Action/Adventure, Drama, Horror Film

    Angel (The WB, 1999) is an American supernatural television series created by Joss Whedon and...  more
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  • Warehouse 1312
    2,363
    1,856

    Warehouse 13

    Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural, Action/Adventure, Adventure film, Comedy-drama, Comedy

    Warehouse 13 is a U.S. television science fiction series that premiered on July 7, 2009, on...  more
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  • Daria13
    1,664
    1,312

    Daria

    Tracy Grandstaff, Wendy Hoopes

    Premiered1997

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Sitcom, Comedy, Animated series

    Daria is an American animated television series created by Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn...  more
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  • Dead Like Me14
    3,458
    2,997

    Dead Like Me

    Ellen Muth, Callum Blue

    Premiered2003

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy, Fantasy

    Dead Like Me (Showtime, 2003) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Bryan...  more
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  • Dinosaurs15
    1,895
    1,001

    Dinosaurs

    Stuart Pankin, Jessica Walter

    Premiered1991

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Satire, Children's television series, Comedy, Puppet

    Dinosaurs is an American family sitcom that was originally broadcast on ABC from April 26,...  more
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  • Fringe16
    2,780
    2,257

    Fringe

    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson

    Premiered2008

    Genres (Tv)Sci-fi, Supernatural drama

    Fringe (Fox, 2008) is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams,...  more
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  • Agent Carter17
    844
    622

    Agent Carter

    Hayley Atwell, James D'Arcy

    Premiered2016

    Genres (Tv)Action, Adventure, Spy-Fi, Superhero

    Marvel's Agent Carter, or simply Agent Carter, is an American television series created for...  more
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  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?18
    1,776
    979

    Whose Line Is It Anyway?

    Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie

    Premiered1998

    Genres (Tv)Improvisational theatre, Television comedy

    Whose Line Is It Anyway? (ABC, 1998-2007, The CW, 2013) is an American improvisational comedy...  more
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  • DuckTales19
    2,106
    912

    DuckTales

    Alan Young, Russi Taylor

    Premiered1987

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Mystery, Comedy-drama

    DuckTales is an American animated television series produced by Disney Television Animation....  more
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  • Chuck20
    2,070
    1,848

    Chuck

    Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski

    Premiered2007

    Genres (Tv)Espionage, Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Comedy-drama

    Chuck (NBC, 2007) is an American action-comedy/spy-drama television series created by Josh...  more
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  • Psych21
    2,295
    1,511

    Psych

    James Roday, Dulé Hill

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama, Mystery, Comedy-drama

    Psych (USA Network, 2007) is an American detective comedy-drama television series created by...  more
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  • Burn Notice22
    1,587
    1,302

    Burn Notice

    Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar

    Premiered2007

    Genres (Tv)Espionage, Drama, Action

    Burn Notice (USA, 2007) is an American action crime drama television series created by Matt...  more
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  • Jericho23
    2,845
    2,428

    Jericho

    Skeet Ulrich, Ashley Scott

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Action/Adventure, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Drama, Adventure film, Action

    Jericho is an American post-apocalyptic action-drama series that centers on the residents of...  more
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  • Heroes24
    3,458
    3,148

    Heroes

    Hayden Panettiere, Jack Coleman

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Television drama series, Thriller, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    Heroes is an American science fiction television drama series created by Tim Kring that...  more
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  • Terra Nova25
    2,957
    2,678

    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
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