Don’t you just hate cliffhangers? These are some of the best cancelled TV shows that need to make a comeback so we can finally get some closure.
Isn’t the golden age of TV grand? From Game of Thrones to Black Mirror, we have a plethora of entertainment at our disposal. But sometimes these amazing shows swallow up the audiences of pretty awesome shows as well. That’s what may have happened in the case of these cancelled TV shows.
Now it isn’t just that audiences are too thinned out by great programming. There are a slew of reasons for cancelled TV shows to get the axe. Budgetary issues, negative reviews, bad marketing, and most of the time shows are just awful and shouldn’t have gotten the green light in the first place. But these shows seemed to have nailed it and still couldn’t avoid getting the Ned Stark treatment.
Let’s explore some of these reasons and see if we can get someone high up to get these cancelled TV shows back on the air somehow. I mean 2 Broke Girls and NCIS: Garbage Fire are still on our screens. We definitely deserve to get these gems back!
7 – ThunderCats (2011, Cartoon Network)
Yeah, yeah. These guys aren’t the OG ThunderCats of the 80s. But the 2011 reboot was nonetheless awesome. It may even be BETTER than the original. It wasn’t a slow burn like the 80s version and got to the point pretty quickly. The writers and animators did enough to update it so that it fitted in as a new age cartoon with adults themes, all-the-while maintaining the essence of the original. But that wasn’t enough to save these purr-fect creations. (Ha! Apologies, that was my inner Snarf coming out.)
ThunderCats had a cool slick anime feel to it and a slightly dark overtone to match. The plot stuck mostly to its roots with Lion-O leading the team to find the book of Omens and needing the stones of power to defeat Mumm-ra. The update integrated a lot of cool new tech and deeper character development that brought the characters to life in an awesome way.
Even though it was well received, the show was apparently cancelled due to low viewership. No surprise there as the show originally aired Friday nights at 8 on Cartoon Network. The kids were probably in bed and the adults were out doing better things than watching in their Lion-O onesie. The failed attempt to bring back the series to Netflix may be proof of that.
6 – The Get Down (Netflix)
The Get Down brought to life the evolution of Hip Hop through the eyes of six kids growing up in the Bronx. Baz Luhrmann brought the late 70s underground music scene to life in his own unique way. There’s even a touch of old school badly synced kung-fu flicks sprinkled in for fun. The Get Down brought flavour and style to TV in such a way most shows can’t get away with. Add to that the narration of rap hall of famer Nas and this show was sure to be a bonafide classic.
But then Netflix had to go and pull the plug after only one season. Apparently budget issues, low ratings and Luhrmann’s own time constraints sealed its fate. But there are still so many loose ends to tie up with this show.
Does Books have what it takes to handle fame and school? Will Mylene dominate the disco scene before Hip Hop kills it? Why is LeBron James selling drugs and terrorising kids in the 70s?
Luckily, there are some shows you can check out if you’re itching for more Hip Hop centric content. Check out Hip Hop Evolution on Netflix and Defiant Ones on HBO. Until then let’s hope Jaden Smith reboots the series some day.
5 – Forever (ABC)
What happens when you combine your standard whodunnit procedural and a cursed immortal detective? You get Forever starring Reed Richards aka Iaon Gruffuld of course.
Set in Modern Day NYC, we follow around the 200 year old Dr. Henry Morgan as he solves murder mysteries all around town. With each case, we flashback to different moments of his life peicing together just how he became immortal. In the process, he falls in love with NYPD detective Jo Martinez, his reluctant partner in crime solving. At one point, a nefarious shady character comes out of the woodwork and reveals that he too is immortal! GASP!
And just when all of these mysteries look like they’re about to be solved, ABC goes ahead and cancels the series. What a pity. The culprit: Viewership. Again. Alas, all we’re left with is CW Seed (thankfully) to relive the first season over and over. Immortality in the digital age, so to speak.
Forever really needs to come back if only to answer one question: Just how did it come to be that someone on a slave ship was cursed in the first place after standing up for said slaves?
This show had more depth than people took into consideration at the time. Really shouldn’t be on any list of cancelled TV shows.
4/3/2 – Original comedy sketch shows
Humour is always a good escape when the turmoil of the outside worlds seems to be overwhelming. Lately, though, it seems that even these forms of escape have been compromised by the same one note jokes. Original sketch comedy needs to make a comeback in a big way. Namely with these three shows: The Jeselnik Offensive, Jon Benjamin Has a Van & Pretend Time with Nick Swardson.
The Jeselnik Offensive was actually a late night talk show involving comedians that had well timed sketch comedy thrown in. Now this show isn’t for the PC culture faint of heart. So I could see why maybe it was ahead of its time or people didn’t get the humour. But Jeselnik’s view is much needed right about now even though he’s known to get a bit dark.
Jon Benjamin Has a Van was straight up bananaland as well as Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time. But silliness is just what the doctor ordered. I mean look at these faces:
Jon Benjamin’s voice is incerdibly funny for some reason, as well as indelible. You’ll recognise it as Bob’s voice on Bob’s Burgers and also as Sterling Malory Archer’s voice on Archer. Both shows had imaginative execution and absurdity in spades. Perfect for a half hour or hour of escapism. Click at your own risk for a taste of Nick Swardson’s Pretend time here. For something a little lighter, check out Archer hosting his own offbeat show below.
Comedy Central makes up for these cancelled TV shows by airing Nathan For You. It’s always good for a nice, charming, almost brainless laugh.
1 – Agent Carter
If you haven’t seen Agent Carter, you’re part of the problem bucko! Maybe the most underrated Marvel Character in the MCU, this show focused on what it would’ve been like as a female working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve a.k.a future S.H.I.E.L.D in the 1940s. Peggy Carter (wonderfully played by Hayley Atwell) sets out to prove that she can run with the best of the best and hold her own against new dangers that spring up after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger.
The noir style show also told the evolutionary story of S.H.E.I.L.D. It also started to give back stories to the real Jarvis and Howard Stark. And that was just a bonus. Agent Carter had that right mix of depth and storytelling, and added the perspective of a true common man’s superhero that is equal parts unique and unconventional. The show truly made her feel like an Avenger.
The amount of stories seemed endless with Peggy Carter at the helm and crossovers from golden age heroes would’ve inevitably joined the fold. With each decade, a new feel and look would’ve taken Agent Carter to new levels.
Thankfully, Hayley Atwell still embraces the character to this day, popping up in cameos here and there and voicing Peggy as needed in Marvel’s cartoon series and movies on Disney XD. Here’s crossing our fingers to her getting a chance to shine again somewhere soon!
Honorable Mention: Powerless
As far as the best cancelled TV shows go, this one is universally the worst on this list. But I just couldn’t let this one slip by, despite the fact that it was panned by critics and viewers alike. Powerless was about an insurance company who had to adjust to the daily havoc that battles between heroes and villains wreaked on Charm City.
It had a Parks and Recs feel to it and showed a citizen’s point of view of what happens on the streets below in the aftermath of a blowout. The cast was awesome, led by Vanessa Hudgens, with a great script to boot. The downfall of Powerless may have been that they strayed too far with unknown heroes and villains instead of going with solid know characters as their foils.
It’d be nice to see a new version of this show, maybe a bit more based in reality one day. Pick up the graphic novel Marvels by Kurt Busiek and painted by Alex Ross. That’s an even better version of Powerless and could work phenomenally as a TV series. Until then, support your soon to be cancelled TV shows citizens!
We like listing stuff. Here’s our article on the 10 comic-book to movie adaptations that need to happen.