It’s happened to every avid television watcher at least once. A new show is added to the line-up, you fall in love with the characters, become invested in the plot, and then after the first season is over it never airs again. After a network cancels a show it can feel like you lost a member of your family, and you may lose sleep at night staying up wondering about the heart-wrenching cliff-hanger the first season ended with to no avail. Here’s a list of television shows that never made it past the first season (in no particular order).
The Secret Circle (2011)
The Secret Circle had every element of a hit show: paranormal activity, a fresh hot cast, a painful-to-watch love triangle, a “mean girl,” and mystery. Unfortunately it never got renewed for a second season, the rumored reason was the cost per episode to pull off the special effects for the spells the teens cast.
Freaks and Geeks (1999)
This series portrayed multiple high-school clichés that have done over and over like the cool kids, the losers, the nerds, the jocks, the bad boy in a leather jacket, and of course the clueless conservative parents. But, no series pulled off those clichés like Freaks and Geeks did, the acting was impeccable and believable (there weren’t any thirty year olds playing seventeen year olds). I’m sure NBC is still kicking themselves for letting this show go considering the actors they cast that no one ever heard of are now household names, like James Franco, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, and Busy Phillips. Even an extremely young Shia LaBeouf appeared in an episode.
Maybe television shows just aren’t Seth Rogen’s “thing.” A year after Freaks and Geeks ended he starred in NBC’s sitcom Undeclared, which was a quirky comedy following undeclared college students, that were all a lot like the “freaks” from his first show. Unfortunately Undeclared met the same fate as Freaks and Geeks and a second season was never ordered.
The Green Hornet (1966)
Cancelling television shows isn’t a new occurrence; even our ancestors had to deal with a series never getting a renewal. In 1966 ABC recreated the comic book The Green Hornet and it was a flop, after 26 episodes aired it was never renewed for another season. After Batman, Superman, and Spiderman’s success fans had high expectations of comic book recreations, and they were let down by this reenactment.
Before the vampire wave took over the paranormal world, the popular theme was the future in television shows and movies. Firefly was no exception; it took place 500 years in the future. How a show that took place in the future, with space travel, and cowboys, didn’t get a renewal is still a mystery.
The Beast (2009)
The one thing that was supposed to make The Beast stand out from all the previous cop shows was the star Patrick Swayze. Unfortunately shortly after A&E started filming Swayze was diagnosed with cancer, which strongly affected his acting, and prevented the network from ordering a second season.
My So-Called Life (1994)
My So-Called Life paved the way for teen dramas for years to come. Claire Danes played a fifteen year old high-school student struggling with teen angst, fitting in, her parents’ dramatic relationship, and social problems that were popular during that era. ABC didn’t have to worry about cancelling the show, before they had to make that decision Claire Danes jumped ship because she wanted to pursue a career in movies.