5 TV Shows That Shouldn’t Have Been Cancelled

By on September 27, 2010

Welcome to “Background Noise”, a semi-regular column where I’ll try and make sense of the things that I think about. Generally I’ll be writing about random pop culture occurrences and things that might be flying around my misfiring brain.

Nothing gets me writing better than white hot, unadulterated nerd rage, and so I picked a topic that gets that rage flowing – television shows that were cancelled before their time.

I ended up being a late fan of Firefly, as I started watching it long after it had been cancelled and Serenity had come out. It took a few episodes for me to really get into the show, but once it got going I decided I really liked it. The shows mythology and universe had so many possibilities for future episodes that it’s a real shame that we didn’t get to see the Captain and his crew go on further adventures. The film tied up loose ends, delved in the backstory and gave fans of a sense of closure, but as with any other show that’ll appear on this list, the end result was a lot of people thinking “if only”. Networks fucking with shows and their potential is a running theme with this list.


This show wasn’t too huge but it had a rabid fanbase that fought long and hard to keep it on the air. Telling the story of a small Kansas town that managed to survive a nuclear holocaust that wipes out most of the major cities in the United States, Jericho was as much a grim post-apocalyptic drama as it was allegory for the war in Iraq, and the rampancy of private military organizations. Of course, CBS decided that anything this smart had to go and be replaced by some shit about the Pussycat Dolls, or some other teen drama. The show was cancelled midway through its second season, but managed to end on an episode that brought some closure to the overarching conspiracy and mystery that ran throughout the series. And speaking of CBS idiocy…


It’s really easy to dismiss Veronica Mars. The premise, and the vacuous hotness of star Kristen Bell, might have made a lot of people think ‘typical teen drama’. But smart, snappy dialogue, fantastic performances from Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni, and a serialized format that had an overarching mystery running throughout each season made it one of my favorite shows of all time. CBS dropped the ball in the third season, however, opting for “mini-mystery” arcs that lasted 5 or 6 episodes, putting the show on hold for weeks or even months at a time and then finally announcing it was cancelled, with the last episode closing on kind of a downer moment. I was pissed, and so were a lot of other people.


Rome is the odd one out on this list, because despite being a critical and ratings success, it was so incredibly expensive (one of the most expensive of all time) that HBO decided not to continue with the show after the two year production contract was over. The show ended very nicely, with Augustus Caesar in power, and Pax Romana in its early years, but many fans, myself included, wanted more. The entire Roman Empire was ripe with storylines but HBO decided that two seasons was enough. Show creator Bruno Heller has stated that a film to give the show some finality is in production, but HBO Films will not be involved.


You knew it was coming. No “I’m fucking pissed because my show got cancelled” article or list could go without the mention of the prime example of network dickery and general douchebaggery – Arrested Development.

The show was in trouble from the very start. It was almost universally acclaimed, and to this day remains a massive hit on DVD, but it never got the ratings that the FOX network wanted. Most people blame the actual marketing department of FOX. FOX reduced the number of episodes in the second season, and then finally gave it the axe in the middle of the third season. It was one of the smartest, funniest, and most rewarding shows on television, and FOX fucked it up for everybody. A film of the show has been in the works since 2008 but it seems unlikely that it’ll ever get made. I’ve still got my fingers crossed though.

PS. I didn’t mention Futurama because merciful Poseidon has allowed it back on the air, so don’t give me any guff.

About David Scarpitta

I am a critical guy, and love to review and give my professional opinion on just about anything. Though have a love for tech/gaming and music alongside the cinema. You can catch me consulting and developing the net any day of the week.