10 Television Shows That Were Cancelled and Why…Kind of


Television shows are canceled for many reasons, from the fact they just suck to they didn’t quite live up to our sophisticated expectations. Every fan of a canceled television show develops his own reasoning behind the departure ranging from the conspiratorial, such as the studio hated the director, to the supernatural, such as The Seinfeld Curse. Below are some of my favorite reasons for some canceled shows.

10.  Highlander the Series

When the movie came out in the 80’s, I was hooked on the emotionally tortured immortal that was forced to fight other immortals for the gift of mortality. When the movie was transferred to the series with Adrian Paul, I was a faithful follower for many seasons.

Why did this series get canceled?

The immortal got old. Pretty soon, Paul was going to have to give up his katana for a cane and shuffle about France in a Hoveround. While it may have been too much for weekly viewers to handle seeing crows feet appear on the immortal, it didn’t stop him from making several horrible movies that featured a ton of concealing dark lighting.

9.  Alf

This endearing story about a furry alien from Melmac and his adventures with an Earth family, was a favorite in the 80’s, but was suddenly canceled with a season ending cliffhanger.

Why was this show canceled?

To scare small children. The series ended with everyone’s favorite alien being surrounded by guns and soldiers and captured by the government to be experimented on, dissected and turned into a mutated killing machine ala Species. Children around the country gasped as Alf was captured and they were left with their imaginations as to what happened. I am sure a few were in denial and thought the government made Alf a citizen who is now governing the state of California, but everyone else knew that his next role was as dead alien #2 on X-Files.

8.  Scrubs

Here’s a show that’s been brought back to life more times than Frankenstein. It follows a group of doctors as they humorously, or humorlessly depending on your opinion, experienced life and relationships in a metropolitan hospital.

Why was this show canceled?

Divine Mandate. This show was so past its prime, God came down and told studio heads to drop this dead horse before the four horsemen show up to finish it for them. You can only deal with the same rehashed jokes and relationship issues before it becomes psychological torture. The only way I can figure this show lasted as long as it did is Zach Braff is Satan.

7.  Jon and Kate Plus 8

America watched as Kate Gosselin verbally, and sometimes physically, beat her husband into submission, all the while exploiting her eight children in exchange for free passes to various zoos and vacation spots. It seemed everyone had an opinion on Kate’s harsh demeanor and felt sorry for poor Jon and the kids. Suddenly, the tabloids starting filling with pictures of a not-so-happy couple and it culminated in a public declaration of divorce only a few episodes after the happy couple renewed their vows in Hawaii.

Why was it cancelled?

America can only take one douchebag at a time. We could handle hating Kate, but when we found out Jon was a total piece of crap as well, we could only choke down so much bile at once. On the bright side, Kate came back with her own show practically guaranteeing her and the eight future rehabbers 15 more minutes of vomit inducing fame.

6.  Law and Order

After 20 seasons, this progenitor of police dramas was put out to pasture. We watched as they tackled cases ripped from the headlines and episodes of Forensic Files all the while getting to know the emotional trials and tribulations of the detectives and prosecutors.

Why was this show cancelled?

It’s original audience all died of old age. Thankfully, criminals were able to think of thousands of ways to kill people so Law and Order never ran out of ideas, but they were running out of actors. The series had gone through so many cast changes over the years, the only original member was the guy that drove the catering truck. The audience that originally started watching the series in their infancy were now celebrating bowel movements in nursing homes across the country. The series just couldn’t bring in new viewers faster than the old ones were dying off.

5.  American Gladiators Old and New

What can be more entertaining than fit, athletic people competing against other gargantuan, athletic ogres in games I could play at summer camp? American Gladiators has had two runs at a series and audiences shriveled for both faster than a pair of gladiator testicles. There haven’t been this many bulging veins since half price day at the methadone clinic.

Why was this show cancelled?

Negative impact on the drug war. There were so many steroids being pumped on that show it fueled the drug trade for years. The government finally had to crack down and stop the show or fear a complete global takeover by Columbian drug cartels

4.  Swingtown

Married couples love to watch attractive married couples on television having relations with other swinging married couples. Nope, it actually depresses us. Swingtown was set in the 1970s and followed the exploits of a suburban Chicago couple as they explored sexual freedom through swinging.

Why was this show cancelled?

It scared people into thinking their parents were freaks. Lets take a look at the demographic for this little screen gem. Networks want 18-35 year-olds whom weren’t alive in the 1970s or at least barely born. Do you know who was alive back then? Their parents. That’s right, while the networks were trying to sell a sexy romp through the heartland, the audience was mortified that their parents may have been doing the same thing. I still like to think I’m a product of immaculate conception and my parents have never seen each other naked. If you want to kill a show quickly, make people think of their parents making babies.

3.  I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here

A reality television series that dropped a bunch of B…C… lets face it, D-listers in the middle of a jungle in a lame copy of Survivor. With guests like Stephen Baldwin, Patti Blagojevich and Heidi Montag, this show was scraping the bottom of the “celebrity” barrel and America watched hoping to see humiliation and a possible mental breakdown… they weren’t disappointed.

Why was this show cancelled?

No one wanted them to get out of there. Who really cared that Janice Dickinson was stuck in a jungle? We wanted a show called “You’re Annoying Stay in the Jungle…Preferably With a Tiger.” If the networks really wanted this show to go on, they would have managed to give Dickinson malaria and have Baldwin attacked by a rabid monkey. I would have have sat down with some popcorn, a refreshing drink and tuned in every week.

2.  Ghost Whisperer

Jennifer Love Hewitt starred as a small town antique store owner and psychic able to see and hear the dead. She worked to settle their Earthly problems so they could move on to the great beyond all the while defeating the forces of evil. Audiences tuned in to see her cleavage and superior acting talent. Alright, just the cleavage.

Why this show was cancelled:

Gravity. Poor Jennifer. Gravity has taken a toll on her humongous melons and they’re no longer the eye catchers they once were. Pretty soon she’ll be hitting them with her knees when she runs and smothering small children during innocent hugs. Without the draw of her boobs and the fact that anything with Jamie Kennedy will suck, Ghost Whisperer must find its own way to cross over or live on in perky syndication.

1.  Fear Factor

As proof that people will do anything for money, Fear Factor pitted contestants against each other in stunts designed to disgust and scare the hell out of them. They were forced to lay down with snakes and bugs, eat bull penis and squid eyes and rummage around rancid fish guts as America watched unable to turn away from this car-crash-like entertainment.

Why was this show cancelled?

A desensitized America. People have been saying for years that violence on television is making us desensitized and the same can be said of eating raw animal testicles. You can only watch people eating various types of penises for so long, before it goes from “eww” to “eh.” “Hey, look he’s throwing up…again.”  In a world where people attend testicles festivals and pay hundreds of dollars for a few ounces of raw fish eggs, this show’s shock and awe factor passed faster than the bull penis.

by Brock Cooper

Another great list about best cancelled television shows.

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  1. I have to disagree with the idea that Ghost Whisperer was cancelled for any reason involving JLH. Her beauty and acting was what made the show in the first place. And unlike some of the assertions, it had nothing to do with her mammarial gifts. She would be stunning if she was an “A” cup. The only criticism I have of her is that she changed the part on her hair from the side to the middle. On the side she looks unique and beautiful. In the middle shes just another Hollywood chick.
    No, the reason the series died was because it became too darned hard to follow. Miss one episode and none of the rest makes sense. Its the same thing that ruined DS9 , Enterprise, and dozens of others. Individual stories are the best way to go, not a continuing never ending soap opera.
    I loved the early episodes. They left me feeling something, which is unusual for TV anymore.

  2. If your going to write an article of this type, you could at least try to keep your personal and juvenile thoughts to yourself. Your assessment of Ghost Whisperer and especially Jennifer Love Hewitt seem to have come from someone with the mentality of around fifteen years old.

  3. “The Ghost Whisperer” was a great show until it simply went off the deep end. It jumped the shark when the husband was killed off.
    She show lapsed into silliness and lost viewers.
    It really had nothing to do with those beautiful “melons”.

  4. “Gravity. Poor Jennifer. Gravity has taken a toll on her humongous melons and they’re no longer the eye catchers they once were. Pretty soon she’ll be hitting them with her knees when she runs and smothering small children during innocent hugs.”

    That’s pretty funny. Not accurate, but funny. This show was actually canceled because they killed off her husband, whom everyone liked, and then tried to bring him back in the form of another man’s body. Totally killed the flow of the show.

  5. darkknight9761 on

    I never watched any of the reality shows(and that includes the ones listed..I never liked them, I knew they were staged and edited for spectacular results). I liked Law & Order, but I kinda have to agree with the reason mentioned. I liked Highlander, but got bored with it in the end. I watched ALF as a kid, but also got bored. I think this list is very good. Oh, and BTW, I NEVER liked John & Kate because of the reasons mentioned, who the heck wants to watch two jerks making money off of their kids?

  6. Resveratrol Dosage on

    He was my hero when I was a child. I thought it was the coolest concept ever!

    All the other shows were bad anywyas. Well, except Law & Order.

    • We try to have a nice mix of lists that include a variety of subject matters. Of course we won’t always please everyone, but I am glad you feel we have standards. 😉