These Cancellations Still Haunt Us

Spoilers

We’ve all been there before.

You fall in love with a show. You fall in love with the characters. You fall in love with a UNIVERSE. And then, suddenly, without warning, your favorite show is canceled, and you feel a tremendous loss.

Television can be a comfort to many, and when you find that show or that perfect character that you connect with, it downright sucks to know you won’t get to see them anymore.

Over the years, many shows have been cut short ahead of their time. While others may have had a decent run, with years under their belt, the cancellation can still feel abrupt, especially when they don’t get to end the series on their own terms.

We’ve seen fan campaigns change studios’ minds (we’re looking at you, Jericho) and cancellations reversed at the last minute (S.W.A.T. says hi!), but unfortunately, most shows don’t have that same luck. Their cancellations sometimes led them to a popularity they never achieved while the show aired.

Related: S.W.A.T Rolls Again as CBS Rescinds Cancellation, Orders Eighth Season

Adding every canceled show is impossible, as there are far too many to list. And there is no criteria outside of quality television that deserved better, as we lament what could have been.

After you’ve checked out our list (in no particular order), let us know which cancellations still haunt you!

Pitch

Rumors About Mike - Pitch

One thing you’ll see repeatedly on this list are shows that came out way ahead of their time. If you put Pitch on today, it would do much better.

Dan Fogelman, of This Is Us fame, created this gem of a series, which followed Ginny Baker as she became the first woman to play in the Major Leagues.

The series was a showcase for Kylie Bunbury, who stepped into Ginny’s shoes beautifully, playing the young pitcher as the emotional, confident, and slightly terrified rookie she was.

Fans will never forget the finale, which leaned into the chemistry between Ginny and catcher Mike Lawson, played by TV veteran Mark-Paul Gosselaar. They left us on a cliffhanger as the will-they/won’t-they couple got closer than ever.

But outside of the popular ship, there was an earnestness to the series, which was very popular with men and women alike, though that didn’t necessarily translate to the viewership numbers.

If the show were on today, with baseball’s increased popularity, there would be a lot more eyeballs on the series, and it would have found its niche.

The Big Leap

Return of the Nick  - The Big Leap Season 1 Episode 11

Sometimes, a show comes along that fills you with joy and is so brilliantly made that you can tell everyone involved truly loved what they were doing. The Big Leap was that show.

As with most cancellations, the series couldn’t find a consistent audience, which was a shame because the aspirational story had a little something for everyone to enjoy.

A diverse cast full of extremely talented actors brought the story of a ragtag group working to put together a remake of Swan Lake to life, and those who fell in love with the series still mourn its early demise to this day.

Related: The Big Leap’s Quiet Brilliance and Why It Deserved Your Attention & Viewership

This list is filled with unique series, and in the age of remakes and reboots, they’re needed more than ever.

The Big Leap was a series that took a chance, and we’re still saddened we didn’t get to see this story through.

Roswell, New Mexico

Husbands - Roswell, New Mexico Season 4 Episode 13

This is a case of a series having a decent run (52 episodes of the sci-fi drama ran during its four seasons), but there was still story to tell about the infamous town home to aliens and the humans that loved them.

Purged during the great CW cancellation season, Roswell didn’t necessarily get to end how it wanted to, which meant the series finale was nice but not wholly satisfying.

For starters, so much of the series revolved around Liz Ortecho, a human scientist, and Max Evans, a sheriff/alien, and the series ends with them on two different planets. Literally.

The ending wasn’t all bad, with fan-favorites Malex getting married and other pairings setting sail, but the series could have used one final season to wrap everything up in a more fulfilling way.

Splitting that final season between the alien’s home planet and Earth would have been monumental and wrapped the end of the series nicely.

Happy Endings

The Happy Endings Gang

We were AH-MAHZINGLY disappointed when ABC canceled this ambitious and hilarious comedy after only three seasons.

This is another series that had a decent run but deserved better because it was that funny.

The cast was a who’s who of young actors with chemistry like nothing we’d seen since Friends. And they deserved that kind of longevity.

We could have watched many more years of Brad and Jane navigating marriage, Max floating through life, and Penny just happy to be there.

This is one best friend group we desperately miss.

Twisted

New Secrets

Can we get some justice for Kylie Bunbury? She’s got two shows on this list that deserved so much better by us.

Remember when Freeform was THEE place to be for teenage drama? Once upon a time, Twisted was one of its best, but it never caught on with audiences, perhaps because there were too many similar shows on the same network at that time.

Avan Jogia (why is he not a bigger star?) was the lead in the somewhat frightening thriller as a teenager recently released from juvenile detention. Said teenager was charged with killing his aunt, but that little factoid was only the tip of the iceberg.

The series had a lot going on. There was the usual teenage drama that these kinds of shows highlight, but there was also deception, murder, and plot twists galore.

Related: Cruel Summer and Good Trouble Cancellations Signal the End Is Near for Freeform

Perhaps because it existed at the same time as Pretty Little Liars, it could never find its audience. The two series were different but also similar in certain aspects.

Either way, the series had a fun cast and a decent premise that should have kept it on the air for many years.

The Secret Circle

The Secret Circle Premiere Pic

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In the era of The Vampire Diaries, supernatural series centered around teens were never more popular, and The Secret Circle came along at a time when it should have been a hit.

And it did start strong, though this was another case of a series coming in hot but then cooling off as the season waned on.

Instead of vampires or werewolves, the series revolved around teenage witches and a coven called The Circle.

Of course, there was a lot of danger lurking around the corners in Chance Harbor, Washington, and the young coven of witches found themselves battling dangerous forces while still having to go to high school.

Unfortunately, the series, based on the same name written by L.J. Smith (who also penned The Vampire Diaries novel series), never could gain the sort of widespread support its sister series did.

Still Star-Crossed

Lashana Lynch as Rosaline Capulet   - Still Star-Crossed

Forgive us for not moving on from this Shondaland period drama, which never got the credit it deserved!

Period drams on broadcast television are HARD to pull off, but there was such a lightness and true romantic feel about Still Star-Crossed that it has stayed with us for some ten-plus years since ABC dumped it after a single season.

Following two of the most famous families in literary history, the Capulets and Montagues, the series had a diverse cast. They pushed romance to the forefront while also focusing on the dreams and aspirations of his large cast of colorful characters.

Visually, it was stunning, but unfortunately, critics were never sold on the Shakespearean tale or the drama that came with it.

Vampire Academy

Dimitri and Rose - Vampire Academy

Listen, was Vampire Academy the best fantasy horror show ever? No. But it was a good time and only scratched the surface of what it could have been.

The show’s vampire lore, taken from the popular novel series, was engaging and set it apart from many of the vampire shows we’re used to seeing.

There was action, romance, and mystery at the heart of things, which revolved around the morois, the dhampirs, and the happenings at St. Vladimir’s Academy.

Vampire Academy started great but lost momentum as the first season raged on.

And you have to wonder, if they keep up the pace and excitement of the first few episodes, whether they could have been given a second chance to build their world more.

Good Girls

Bench Sitting - Good Girls Season 4 Episode 16

Good Girls was never the hit it should have been.

The premise was wild: Three moms and their best friends robbed a grocery store to help with their various financial issues.

Related: Good Girls Series Chat: The Good, The Bad, and What Could Have Been

What ensued was four seasons and 50 episodes of plot twists, wacky shenanigans, and one of the weirdest series finales to date.

It wasn’t bad, per se, but there was room to continue the story and not end things with everyone so fractured.

This series just needed ONE more season to wrap everything up and give closure to fans who rallied around this series season after season, even when things went off the rail sometimes.

Technically, this show’s conclusion worked, but we’re haunted by what could have been had they ended the series the way they wanted to.

Station 19

Deciding Parenthood - Station 19 Season 7 Episode 5

The #SaveStation19 campaign still wages on, as the veteran series was unceremoniously canceled, catching its ardent fans off-guard.

The series will wrap up its run with over 100 episodes, which should be celebrated and appreciated.

But we can’t help but wonder what new heights the show could have reached if it continued its trajectory and reached the heights of its predecessor, Grey’s Anatomy.

There’s still a lot of life left in this series, which leaves its cancelation all the more upsetting and puzzling.

We haven’t seen how things will end as of this date, but we feel confident stating that there were still stories to tell with and around the Seattle Fire Department, and we’ll never stop wondering where these characters could have gone if they’d gotten more time.

Prodigal Son

Malcolm Walks Alone  - Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 10

As previously mentioned, some canceled shows over the years got a second chance at life due to tremendous campaigns put together by devoted fans.

The fans of Prodigal Son tried their best to save the FOX procedural after it was canceled, but unfortunately, a streamer never picked up the series, and we were all left to wonder what could have been.

The series finale ended on a crazy cliffhanger, with father and son Martin and Malcolm coming to blow, and Malcolm stabbing his father in the stomach. Fate unknown. It was one hell of an ending to one of the more clever television series of the time.

Related: Prodigal Son Four Years Later: Everything We Miss About The Killer Series!

There was no show like it, and no show has replaced it, as it’s not easy to create a twisty, creepy broadcast drama that feels like a premium drama without the nudity and swearing.

There was something special about seeing the delectable Martin, a wondrous Martin Sheen, opposite strongwilled Malcolm, played to perfection by Tom Payne. There are a lot of procedurals on the air today, and none are as unique and entertaining as this series was.

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World

Medical Bills - Kevin (Probably) Saves the World

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World was kind of a perfect show.

Kevin was a guy who was down on his luck and came to live with his sister and his niece after a suicide attempt.

While trying to get his feet back under him, he was visited by a woman who told him that God needed him to save the world.

From there, Kevin was off on a quest to complete good deeds, and in the process, he learned about himself and became a better person. As the audience, we were better off from having watched such a good-natured series take flight.

Jason Ritter has been and will always be a phenomenal actor, and this was the perfect vehicle for him to show his dramatic chops and comedic timing.

It was a lovely show, with many life lessons learned each week, and more than one season was needed with the quirky cast of characters.

So Help Me Todd

Car Ride Chats - So Help Me Todd Season 2 Episode 1

Words can’t express how sad it was to hear that So Help Me Todd would be wrapping up at the end of its sophomore season.

Related: Is It A Mistake To Cancel So Help Me Todd?

The CBS dramedy was actually a hit with viewers, but unfortunately, CBS had many series that were pulling in great numbers, and the delightful Todd drew the short straw.

Skylar Astin and Marcia Gay Harden was a dream duo as the titular Todd, a well-meaning but slightly chaotic private investigator, and his overbearing mother, Margaret, worked together to solve several wacky cases.

The series stood out as a true dramedy and could bring a tear to your eye through sheer emotions or laugh-out-loud comedy every week.

We’re very disappointed we never got to see Todd get his happily ever after and Margaret settle down with the lovable Gus.

There were so many stories left to tell in Portland, and it’s disappointing that we’ll never get to see how everything turned out for the beautiful characters created in this universe.

Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.

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