Single-Season Shows That Live On in Our Hearts

Spoilers

Some television shows we miss the most have only lasted one season.

Many of these series found their way into our hearts because of their emotional heart or their wit.

Some we’ve loved for decades, and others are newer favorites, but the TV Fanatic staff wished that many of these shows had gotten better resolutions or a fairer chance.

There are so many one-season wonders that never received a fair chance.

While we’d love to showcase all of them, here are nine that remain in our hearts.

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My So-Called Life (ABC)

When My So-Called Life premiered in 1994, it faced heavy competition. Time slot-wise, it was up against Friends and other great shows of the period.

Claire Danes & Jared Leto in My So-Called Life

In terms of similar shows that aired on different days but were aimed at teens, the biggest competition was probably from Beverly Hills 90210.

However, it was quite groundbreaking because it felt more like a portrayal of real teens than the pretty and privileged.

The show also covered many tough topics, considering how short-lived it was. It was nice to see kids we could relate to going through things we were going through as teens back then.

Red Band Society ( FOX)

The Red Band Society was almost like a newer Breakfast Club, with the unlikeliest of friends banding together as several teens coped in a pediatric hospital.

Dash and Kara - Red Band Society

There were the popular kids like Leo and Kara, who couldn’t wait to return to their former lives, and others like Emma, who had an eating disorder and who was safer at the hospital.

Their lives were thrown upside down when newcomers Jordi and Hunter joined them as relationships changed.

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The series ended way too soon as some teens were still recovering, and we needed updates.

Spinning Out (Netflix)

Spinning Oout was like a breath of fresh air for figure skating fans. It featured breath-taking routines, romance, and family drama.

Kat & Justin

It was so much more than that. It also showed Kat’s (Kaya Scodelario) mental health issues as she grew overwhelmed, which happens often in sports.

The series ended just after Kat revealed to Justin that she had bipolar, and they were about to start their final Sectional routine in hopes of getting to the Winter Olympics.

Carol also stepped up as mom after learning Dr. Parker was involved with Serena, Kat’s younger sister. A second season would have explored these family dynamics and Kat’s skating dreams.

Black Box ( ABC)

Vanessa Redgrave & Kelly Reilly in Black Box

We have a passion for TV series that deal with mental health issues.

Another one, many years ago, was Black Box, starring Kelly Reilly (best known as Yellowstone’s Beth Dutton) as a psychiatrist who was bipolar and suffering in silence because admitting it would mean losing her job.

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It was a medical drama before we were inundated with them and tried to do for bipolar disorder what The Good Doctor did for autism.

Crashing (Netflix)

Crashing was a great one from Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Crashing

The show was hilarious and dealt with serious issues surrounding relationships, sexuality, finances, etc.

It featured a group of unlikely friends living together in an abandoned hospital.

There were only six episodes, so it’s a quick binge!

The Society (Netflix)

Netflix had something magical when they took on The Society, which pulled themes from a classic such as Lord of the Flies by placing a bunch of teens in a parallel universe of their hometown by themselves.

The Society

.

Watching these students build their own community and government while falling victim to the apocalyptic plights of betrayal, establishing morality and survival, and fighting to maintain their humanity was utterly fascinating.

Netflix renewed the series but then reneged on it, ironically, during our global apocalypse of sorts, the COVID pandemic.

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And thus, we were robbed.

Bunheads (ABC Family)

Bunheads is An Amy Sherman-Palladino show about a ballet dancer who fails in NYC and ends up as a showgirl in Vegas. There, she has a quickie marriage—literally, the guy dies after one day.

Michelle Returns to Her Roots

But as his legal widow, she moves into her legal mother-in-law’s garden shed and teaches ballet to private school teens.

It’s like Gilmore Girls in a blender, with Kelly Bishop as the MIL and Sutton Foster standing in for Lauren Graham as the Lauren Graham character.

You think it will undoubtedly implode under all the surrounding Sherman-Palladino-ness, but it is poignant and funny with a sharper bite than expected.

Once Upon A Time in Wonderland (ABC)

Once Upon A Time’s flagship series succeeded, so ABC tried a spin-off series focusing on Alice, Cyrus, Will, and Anastasia with Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.

Saving Anastasia

Will and Anstasia’s relationship delighted viewers since it was angsty as they struggled to survive.

When she chose to become the Red Queen, she gave up love but thought she’d reunite with him later.

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Will and Alice became friends partly because they both hated Anastasia until she kept popping up, rescuing him, and revealing her true feelings.

ABC screwed up when they brought Will over to the main series without Anastasia.

They were charming together, and we wanted to follow their journey together.

Joanna Finds Trouble

Deception (ABC)

We acknowledge that Deception didn’t reinvent the wheel by having a quirky police consultant help a team of law enforcement solve crimes.

However, they presented us with an unusual and original version of that formula by involving a magician, Cameron Black.

The series was fun, like a White Collar, with surprising depth and intriguing twists.

Katey Sagal in Rebel

Rebel (ABC)

The life of Erin Brockovich loosely inspired Rebel, a Krista Vernoff series.

It differed from many other legal shows because Annie Bello fought for others as a legal advocate without an official law degree.

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She had passion and drive, and her adopted daughter, Ziggy, strived to be just like her, especially when she saw her sue Stonemore Medical because many patients received faulty heart valves and were having side effects.

The problem was her legal case was against her ex-husband and her other daughter.

The series was filled with dysfunctional family dynamics as the characters hunted to determine whether the medical company was guilty. Rebel Annie needed more time and more people to fight for.

Put to the Test - East New York Season 1 Episode 21

East New York (CBS)

We are heartbroken that in 2023, CBS canceled East New York after one season.

Yes, there are many cop shows on the air, but this one was different because it mainly featured people of color and took place in lower-income, predominantly minority areas.

The main character was the first Black female deputy inspector in the precinct, trying to reform things from the inside and was pressured not to stand up for too much too fast.

The show dealt with heavy topics while still being entertaining. Plus, it had Jimmy Smits.

There are many other one-season shows. Please share some of your favorites with us below.

Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.

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