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10 Sad Show Cancellations That Made Way For Great Shows

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In the same way the remains of the dead mingle with the feces of the living to produce the blossoms of spring, so too do dead shows make way for the new. All these shows, gone before their time, could have gone on to remarkable futures. But fate, and by fate I mean network stupidity, intervened. Stupidity intervening like a fox! Some amazing shows couldn’t exist shows or would never have been the same without their rash decision. Let us remember the fallen while embracing the new:


Sports Night

cancelled shows


Show Spawn: The West Wing, Six Feet Under, Desperate Housewives.

Sports Night was Aaron Sorkin’s first foray into television, and while much beloved it was not long for this world. Out of the ashes came two of the most acclaimed shows that straddled the millennia, The West Wing (taking Sorkin and the bulk of the cast) and Six Feet Under (taking star Peter Krause). Yes, Felicity Huffman went to Desperate Housewives but that is her own cross to bear.


Freaks and Geeks

cancelled shows


Show Spawn: Undeclared, How I Met Your Mother, Party Down.

When “cancelled before their time” lists like these are made, Freaks and Geeks is at the forefront of that list. And for good reason. Only eighteen episodes and it’s still one of the most beloved depictions of the realities of High School ever. But without its death Seth Rogen, Jason Segal and the comedy behemoth known as Judd Apatow may never have happened.


Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

cancelled shows


Show Spawn: Game of Thrones.

I’m going to lever with you. I never actually watched this show, but I always meant to! I heard pretty good things about it after the first season and T’s 1-2. But I would cancel the show a thousand times if it meant Lena Headey would be free to play the surprisingly nuanced Queen Cersei on Game of Thrones. A thousand times! No regenerations or takesy backsies!


Lucky Louie

Show Spawn: Louie, Girls.

Lucky Louie was, at the time, the only logical way to bring Louis C.K’s stand-up to television in a sitcom format and still maintain his honest edge (being on HBO helped). That was until he threw away the sitcom boilerplate entirely and completely reinvented the comedic half hour. Louie does horrible, depressing and outright depraved human comedy in a way nobody has ever and some are desperately trying to follow (::cough Lena Dunham ::cough::).



cancelled shows


Show Spawn: Rome

Admittedly, there is no direct link between the cancellation of Carnivale and the rise (and quick fall) of Rome. But, I’ve been harboring butt hurt resentment for years and it’s too late now. One expensive show ends. Another begins. I fear change!


My So Called Life

cancelled shows


Show Spawn: Homeland

It hurts to look at this cancellation. When my mind wanders I still write Jordan Catalanos name all over my roommate’s laptop. But without the cancellation, Claire Danes wouldn’t have been vaulted into a film career that later plummeted her back to television where she belongs.


Andy Richter Controls the Universe

cancelled shows


Show Spawn: Mad Men

You can’t hate on Andy Richter. That porcelain Hummel figurine that is Conan’s sidekick has so earnestly tried to make it on his own, you just want it so bad for him. Except when you realize that if his show was in any way a success, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner might never have found work on the Sopranos and then never had the clout to push Mad Men on air. And I, frankly, don’t want to live in that universe (ha!).


Sealab 2021

Show Spawn: Archer

Sigh. I miss Sealab. It was never cancelled in as much as it was never produced again but it was certainly a loss. That is, until series creator Adam Reed brought us Archer. Thank you Adam!

Arrested Development

cancelled shows


Show Spawn: Doesn’t matter. OK, Better Off Ted was a fun concept.

Without the cancellation of Arrested Development we’d never have Up All Ni- ha ha ha, oh god. I can’t. I can’t even get through this one with a straight face. Nothing was worth this cancellation. Nothing. And just because we’re getting the show back on Netflix (of all places) doesn’t mean anyone has fully recovered from this sham. We laugh to hold back the tears.


Any shows you’d like to cut down in their prime like a weed wacker? Let us know in the comments!


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