TV The Real Reasons Why Your Favorite TV Shows Were Canceled  

Jacob Shelton
830.3k views 17 items

With literally hundreds of television shows premiering every year, it’s obvious that most of them will fail – even the good ones. We’ve all felt the pain of our favorite underdog show being ripped away from us before we get that closure we need about the time traveling ghost dog, or college kids who solve mysteries (or whatever). More than once, we’ve all screamed, “Why was my show canceled?!” to the heavens without hearing a response. Fear not fellow viewers, we’ve tracked down the hard answers to why popular shows get canceled and laid them out here for you. Now rip off that band-aid and read about why your favorite show got canceled.

The only people who know why shows get canceled are the executives who end up pulling the plug on the program. Most viewers believe that low ratings is the only way for a show to disappear, but there are plenty of reasons why shows get canceled, and we’ve got plenty of them here. Some shows had concepts that were too complicated, while others weren’t “on brand.” And that’s just scratching the surface of why your favorite show was taken off the air. Now put on your brown coat and pick up a Mars Bar, it’s time to find out why some of the best shows on television have been taken off air.

After you finish reading about why your favorite shows were canceled, take to the comments and tell us what you think would have saved the show. And feel free to copy and paste some of your Undeclared Season 2 fan fiction.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Real Reasons Why Your Favorite TV Shows Were Canceled
Photo:  Fox Television

In a surprise move, Fox abruptly canceled Brooklyn Nine-Nine after five seasons in May 2018. The network did not give a reason for the cancelation, but some outlets speculated it could have been axed to make room for another night of football programming. 

Universal Television produced the series; Deadline suggested that contract negotiations with the outside production company might have gone south.

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Penny Dreadful is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Real Reasons Why Your Favorite TV Shows Were Canceled
Photo:  Penny Dreadful

Encapsulating the tragically beautiful spirit of the whole series, Penny Dreadful ended with hope, despair, and more than a little shock. During the third season finale, hearts broke over the selfless death of Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) and emotions blazed when the words "The End" marked the unexpected ending to the series.

As to why exactly Penny Dreadful was canceled, series creator John Logan simply felt it was the right thing to do for the story. He explained: "To me, the show was always going to achieve closure with the death of Vanessa. And all the storylines this season were meant to be leaving characters at a place of appropriate and beautiful stasis." With its darkly poetic ending, Penny Dreadful fans will undoubtedly remember their favorite characters in the final moments Logan created for them.

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Firefly is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Real Reasons Why Your Favorite TV Shows Were Canceled
Photo: Fox
In hindsight, it's probably good that Firefly was canceled. After all, we got Serenity and two rad Avengers movies out of the death of the space western that could. But why was it canceled? Sadly, Joss Whedon's one time producing partner Gail Berman had to cancel the show because of poor ratings. “It was a numbers thing. It was a wonderful show and I loved it and I loved working with him on it but that was a big show, a very expensive show and it wasn’t delivering the numbers.”

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Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Real Reasons Why Your Favorite TV Shows Were Canceled
Photo: The CW/The CW
In 2007, Veronica Mars was one of the only shows with an intelligent female protagonist, so it seems dumb to have canceled it. Series creator Rob Thomas shed some light on the early end of the series, saying that after he pitched a variation of the show, the head of CBS decided the format didn't work and took the show off the air. 

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