15 Television Shows That Deserved More Than Cancellation

One of the most relatable things for any television fan is the all too common tale of a show being cancelled before its time. Far too often there comes along a new series that is fresh, unique, or of high quality and it never finds the success and audience that it deserves, and therefore the powers that be decide to end it.

Sometimes a show is able to wrap the story up somewhat, but more often than not the ending is rushed; even worse there is no real ending whatsoever and the series ends with a cliffhanger and many unresolved storylines. Above all else, audiences are left wanting more and we are forced to imagine  a conclusion or hope that someway the show is either rebooted or given a movie to give the show and its fans the ending the show deserves. These are fifteen shows that deserved more. Spoilers ahead. 

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (2020 – 2021)

zoeys extraordinary playlist
Courtesy of NBC

2 seasons, 25 episodes, 1 movie

This musical series was equally as lovely and fun, as it was sad and deep. It followed a young woman named Zoey, who after a freak incident in an MRI machine, begins to hear the innermost thoughts of others through song. What she calls “heart songs” puts her in some interesting situations and the results were anywhere from sweet, to hilarious, to deeply moving, including a love triangle with Zoey, her best friend Max and work crush Simon, her completely themselves neighbor Mo, and her father whose rare disease gives him little time left on this earth. This show was too short-lived, but at least it was given a movie to wrap everything up for fans.

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993 – 1997)

lois and clark
Courtesy of ABC

4 seasons, 87 episodes

This superhero show may not be as highly revered as others, but it nonetheless has its devoted fans, who cherished the series in all its 1990s goofiness. At four seasons, this was a good solid run, focusing more on the life of Clark Kent trying to have a normal life and protect her secret identity of Superman, finding true love with feisty reporter Lois Lane, his writing partner at The Daily Planet.

The show was able to have a healthy dose of storylines, some grounded and some that leaned heavily into the fantasy, so the amount we were given was somewhat satisfying. But with the show ending with a baby left on the doorstep of Lois and Clark, there definitely could have been at least one more season that explored their lives as parents. 

Country Comfort (2021)

country comfort
Courtesy of Netflix

1 season, 10 episodes

Undeniably sweet, and perhaps a little bit corny and cheesy, frankly these attributes are what makes this original Netflix series so welcome and refreshing in this day in age where G and PG family sitcoms are very rare. A kind of combination of The Sound of Music and The Nanny, this series told the tale of an aspiring country singer, who is unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend and kicked out of her band, and ends up on the doorstep of a large family in desperate need of a nanny.

Soon she charms them all with her sunny attitude and optimism, giving the kids and their father a dose of happiness and hope that they truly needed. This was silly and good clean fun, and while it did not have any clear unresolved storylines, there was so much more we could have seen. Netflix did not pick the show up for another season, but in these times, there is always hope. 

Trophy Wife (2013 – 2014)

trophy wife
Courtesy of ABC

1 season, 22 episodes

One of the funniest sitcoms of recent years, clearly this was an attempt to capitalize on the success of Modern Family, but never got the chance to spread its wings. Just as funny, this modern family followed the sometimes tense but usually supportive and amicable relationship between a man and his new, much younger wife, his two extremely different ex-wives, and their children. It was zany, fresh, relatable, and often very, very sweet.

With a great cast that included Bradley Whitford, Malin Ackerman, Bailee Madison and Marcia Gay-Harden, Trophy Wife deserved much more than a single season

Ringer (2011 – 2012)

ringer
Courtesy of The CW

1 season, 22 episodes

A dark and twisty drama, Ringer was lauded as Sarah Michelle Gellar's big return to primetime television, and despite that, it definitely got the short end of the stick with its audience. The series was rife with murder, betrayal, adultery, and intrigue—which should have worked to its benefit. Ringer followed twin sisters Siobhan and Bridget, who are thrown into a complex and intriguing tale that goes in so many different directions but the plot was never able to truly take off. Siobhan fakes her death to help Bridget, who is set to testify against a dangerous mobster, and she steps into the life of her twin sister.

Some stories were resolved, while others were left up in the air with the last episode leaving audiences completely unsatisfied. Featuring an amazing cast that also included Ioan Gruffudd, Kristoffer Polaha, Zoey Duetch, and Nestor Carbonell, Ringer deserved more than its extremely short-lived fate. 

Caroline in the City (1995 -1999)

caroline in the city
Courtesy of NBC

4 seasons, 97 episodes

Part of the extremely popular string of hit NBC sitcoms of the 1990s which included Friends, Seinfeld, Frasier, and Mad About You, all of which were much more popular and successful, Caroline in the City was entrenched in this much-acclaimed lineup but has not been given the same amount of love. That being said, that is not to say Caroline in the City was not successful. Four seasons is a decent run for a television series. However, as a big fan of this comedy series, I can say without a doubt, that it was not.

Following a sweet and optimistic cartoonist and her circle of friends, Caroline in the City, like other similar sitcoms, followed the friendships and love lives of these 30-something's in New York City with a great deal of humor and heart. There's Caroline, her Broadway chorus girl best friend Annie, her on again/off again boyfriend Del, and her sardonic colorist Richard, following their misadventures in dating and love which were often hilarious and heartfelt.

Fans of the show will remember that this series ended on a huge cliffhanger with Caroline set to marry another man, only to see her true love Richard up on the balconies of the church, as she looks on with astonishment and uncertainty of what to do. And then the show was cancelled and we never got to see the resolution. We can imagine a happy ending for Caroline and Richard, but we were denied that onscreen satisfaction, making it a show that without a doubt deserved more

Emily Owens M.D. (2012 -2013)

emily owens md
Courtesy of The CW

1 season, 13 episodes

With a definite influence from the wildly popular Grey's Anatomy, this lighter medical drama followed the earnest and intelligent Emily (Mamie Gummer) as she begins a medical residence, along with a group of other equally intelligent interns, including her high school nemesis (Aja Naomi King)and medical school crush (Justin Hartley). Luckily Emily finds a friend and confidante, and perhaps something more with resident Micah (Michael Rady).

The competition is strong, the pressure is on to please the impossible to impress heads of the department, and the romantic entanglements are somewhat predictable. Yet the show was completely engaging thanks to the sincerity and relatable nature of Emily's character. Emily Owens M.D. was a show that was cancelled without resolving any storylines and we were left with a definite romantic cliffhanger that left fans most definitely divided.

Crusoe (2008 -2009)

crusoe
Courtesy of NBC

1 season, 13 episodes

If you have never heard of this series, it would not be surprising. With a short 13-episode run, this series may be little known, but that does not mean it was not an engrossing one. Clearly trying to capitalize on the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, the show was loosely based on the classic novel Robinson Crusoe about a man who ends up shipwrecked on a seemingly deserted island, but he finds companionship with the man who lives there.

The two build a fantastical and innovative home akin to Swiss Family Robinson, while they must fend off pirates and other foes, and try to find a way back to England for Robinson, so he can reunite with his wife. This is assuredly romanticized and less than realistic but nonetheless it's an exciting adventure tale with likable characters and enthralling and emotional storytelling. Sadly, the show ended before all of the storylines were resolved so we are left with a cliffhanger and are forced to imagine a happy ending for the characters. 

the Right Stuff (2020)

the right stuff
Courtesy of Disney+

1 season, 8 episodes

A far too short-lived drama, this series was based on the book and 1980s film of the same name, and follows the time in American history known as  “the space race” where NASA recruited fighter pilots to become astronauts in their Mercury Space program. Following the lives of these men and their families, we see their personal struggles as well as the pressure they felt as they are in all in competition not only with each other but tasked with being an emblem of hope, progress, and patriotism in the 1960s.

Featuring a wonderful cast that included Patrick J. Adams, Colin O'Donoghue, Jake McDorman, and Patrick Fischler, this series showed us just the tip of the iceberg in terms of NASA's space explorations only getting to the first Mercury mission at the end of the season. There was so much more to explore in this show that had not only had fantastic acting, but also incredible production value and period details that worked so thoroughly to draw in the audience whether they be a follower of NASA or not. 

Forever (2014 – 2015)

forever
Courtesy of ABC

1 season, 22 episodes

Crime, police, and procedural shows are endlessly popular and enjoyable such as Castle, The Mentalist, Law and Order, Psych, and Elementary, all of which have a hook or premise that sets them apart from each other to give them their own uniqueness. Perhaps it was the fact that Forever took that unique premise one step further, or perhaps it was that audiences were never given a chance to find the show. But regardless, Forever was a wonderful show with a run that was criminally too short.

Starring the dashing and charming Ioan Gruffudd, Forever follows the long, long tale of Henry Morgan, a man 200 years old, fated to live forever it seems, ever since he was shot and killed while trying to help to free the men on a slave ship, and somehow miraculously comes back to life. Henry can die, but he always returns, remaining the same age, forcing him to constantly be on the move. His only solace in life is his work as a medical examiner and his son Abe whom he and his then wife saved and adopted from a concentration camp during World War II, who is now much older than him.

After a subway accident where is once again perishes and comes back to life, he helps the police solve what turns out to be a vicious crime, and thus begins his new purpose in life- to use his over 200 years of vast knowledge and observational skills to help the police solve murders, as well as discovering new clues into his cursed eternal fate along the way, all while still trying to maintain the secret truth about his identity. The mysteries are interesting, and the flashbacks to various time periods in Henry's life breathe new life into a familiar concept. While the characters are all likable, it is the relationship between Henry and Abe that is one of the sweetest and most unique ever. While no show can last for an eternity, Forever deserved to run at least a little closer to that.

Smash (2012 – 2013)

smash series nbc

2 seasons, 32 episodes

Smash was a show that had a devoted fan base that truly loved it. The series had a short, but decent run, and it was a show whose talent cannot be denied. A somewhat soapy and dramatic look at the behind the scenes world of creating and producing a Broadway show, the series followed an array of characters and their often messy lives filled with romantic and professional ups and downs, including the fresh faced and talented ingénue (Katherine McPhee-Foster), the equally talented veteran looking for her big break (Megan Hilty), the recently divorced producer determined to make her own way (Angelica Houston), the best friend music and book writing partners (Debra Messing and Christian Borle), and the womanizing but brilliant director (Jack Davenport).

In its two-season run, we see the development of two Broadway shows that ultimately ended up in competition with each other at the coveted Tony Awards- a classic but fresh musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe, and a modern musical tragedy about the price of fame. And therein lies the show's most glorious aspect: every single week we were treated to a brand new original song and musical number either by acclaimed writers of Hairspray and most recently Rogers: The Musical in Hawkeye, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, or the La La Land and The Greatest Showman songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and they were absolutely incredible.

Between the amazing musical talent of not only McPhee-Foster and Hilty but also the likes of a pre-Hamilton Leslie Odom Jr. as well as Jeremy Jordan, and the acting caliber of Houston, Davenport, and Messing, there is no denying that Smash featured ones of the greatest casts ever. Combined with the engaging storylines, poignant drama, and stellar music, Smash more than lived up to its name. And although we were giving a proper and satisfying finale, the show is definitely deserving of another curtain call

Pan Am (2011 -2012)

pan am
Courtesy of ABC

1 season, 14 episodes

If there ever was a series that could be a companion piece to the classic Frank Sinatra song “Come Fly With Me” it would be this stylish and breezy drama about the lives of Pan Am stewardesses in the 1960s. A colorful and highly romanticized look at this time period the show also doesn't shy away from tackling more serious issues such as sexism, racism, the Cold War, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, albeit in perhaps simplistic ways. But that is to be expected. This may have been a drama but it was a lighthearted one seen through the lens of four very different women as they navigate their young adult lives in the friendly (and sometimes not so friendly) skies.  

There was Maggie (Christina Ricci) the feisty feminist who may have a big secret, Collete (Karine Vanasse) the glamorous but vulnerable girl with many personal scars, and Kate (Kelli Garner) the courageous and independent woman who uses her job as an international stewardess to begin work as in covert espionage for the CIA, and Laura (Margot Robbie), the sweet and naive girl who ran away from her wedding to find who she truly was. Along with two very different, but ultimately good-hearted pilots (Mike Vogel and Michael Mosley), as well as a post-ER and pre-Timeless Goran Visnjic, and pre-Stranger Things David Harbour, this cast of characters and their exciting work take them to beautiful locales and places of danger and intrigue making for a thoroughly fun, romantic and captivating ride through the stylish, often tumultuous, but always thrilling 1960s world, so much so that you will long for the day, that the series, which ended with many open ended and unresolved story lines, could somehow take flight again.

Timeless (2016 – 2018)

timeless
Courtesy of NBC

2 seasons, 27 episodes

Inventive, engaging, and unique, Timeless was a series that delved into our history books in a creative and poignant way, with truly amazing characters. The combination of the relationships formed, the moving themes, and the incredible way we were transported into so many times in history made for one of the greatest shows in the last 10 years. In this historical fantasy three unlikely partners: Lucy, a professor and historian (Abigail Spencer), Wyatt, a marine veteran (Matt Lanter), and Rufus, a scientist( Malcolm Barrett), team up and travel through time to stop a man named Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic) from changing important events in American history, and thus changing the course of human events, and eventually, the evil organization Rittenhouse, so entrenched in history, that the stakes reach the precipice and race is on to save not only each other but everything society holds dear.

What made Timeless so special was the level quality of the detailed storylines in various points in history that were rich in not only fine period details but also engrossing drama, as well as touching relationships between the characters. We had moments of true friendship, love, sacrifice, and looks at feminism, and civil and human rights that were thought-provoking and never preachy or patronizing. On the contrary, there were relatable and always moving. The chemistry between the diverse cast was superb and the writing was incredible over the course of two seasons.

Thankfully after a cancellation, a final episode was announced giving the creators a chance to wrap up everything in a satisfying way, which they 100 percent succeeded in doing. Despite this, Timeless only scratched the surface in American history and did not venture to the world, and thus this series run was far too short and undoubtedly deserved much, much more

Agent Carter (2015 – 2016)

agent carter
Courtesy of ABC

2 seasons, 18 episodes

Although this may be a massively unique opinion, out of every single Marvel Cinematic Universe film or series, Agent Carter remains my second favorite property. Although the series was generally liked amongst Marvel fans, it is often overlooked in the vast array of stories that began in 2008. Perhaps that is why it never gained enough of an audience during its extremely short 2-season 18-episode run on ABC. Methinks if Disney Plus had been around back then, the show would have been seen more and have been more successful.

Chronologically, the series follows the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, with Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) taking a job with the SSR in New York City, fighting to find her place within the organization, too often disrespected because she is a woman. When she begins to investigate a conspiracy on her own with the help of Howard Stark's trusted valet Edwin Jarvis (James D'Arcy) after Stark himself (Dominic Cooper) is accused of treason, they stumble upon a plot of vast proportions. and that is just in the first season. The second season takes our characters to sunny Los Angeles with Peggy and Jarvis encountering even more plots that could have catastrophic possibilities.

Agent Carter is a thoroughly engrossing, stylish series with stunning production designs and costumes, and incredible characters that are not only captivating to watch but showcase growth, including Peggy, Jarvis, Howard Stark, and fellow SSR agents Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) and Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray). Like so many in the MCU there is humor and heart combined with action and exciting drama, but what makes Agent Carter stand apart is the fantastic period fare that gives the series a look and feels that is both completely different and yet still fits perfectly within the framework and Marvel narrative.

Filled with fun and poignant moments and so much inspiration, Agent Carter deserved so much more, and there is always a hope that Disney Plus may resurrect this series the same way good old Steve Rogers himself was brought out of the cold. Agent Carter deserves its time in the sun again. 

Pushing Daisies (2007 – 2009)

pushing daisies
Courtesy of ABC

2 seasons, 22 episodes

There do not seem not enough superlatives to describe this fantasy series from creator Bryan Fuller but to start with there's: whimsical, colorful, beautiful, witty, quirky, intelligent, unique, and endlessly creative. The story of Pushing Daisies is without a doubt a new twist on the mystery and procedural show. The facts were these: when Ned is a child he discovers he has the power to bring things back from the dead with a single touch, but there's a caveat. He must touch them again within 60 seconds otherwise, someone else nearby will perish, and he can never touch them again or they will once again die.

It's something he sadly discovers with his own mother and the father of his childhood sweetheart Charlotte “Chuck” Charles. Flash forward to him as an adult, and Ned becomes “the Pie-maker,” the mild-mannered pastry chef and owner of The Pie Hole, but also a consultant to private detective Emerson Cod, where he touches murder victims to discover their killer, and then splits the reward money. Of course, when Ned hears that Chuck was the latest victim of a murder he revives his friend but cannot bring himself to touch her a second time, and thus begins an eccentric and lovely love story mixed with the “mystery of the week” with the crime solving team of Ned, Emerson, Chuck, and Pie Hole lovelorn waitress Olive Snook.

Pushing Daisies is without a doubt one of the most enchanting shows ever created, as it takes a familiar concept and adds a creative twist that is fanciful and offbeat. Moments of dark comedy are mixed with tender and unabashedly sweet and romantic ones with characters that are incredible and writing that is nothing short of astonishingly brilliant. From the use of British narrator Jim Dale, who describes characters and cases with sardonic, the matter of fact humor and wit, to the sharp and fast writing for the incredible and engaging characters, to the candy colored visuals and set designs, to the superb cast that included Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Kristin Chenoweth, Swoosie Kurtz, and Ellen Greene, to the indiscriminate setting which allows the series to feel simultaneously modern and timeless, Pushing Daisies was one of the most glorious shows to ever grace our television screens, and one that deserved much more than the mere 22 episodes it was given.

Giving the characters somewhat of a conclusion, the ending was rushed and there was so much more to explore in this whimsical world. Will Olive find true love? Will Emerson be reunited with his daughter? What were Chuck's aunts' reactions to discovering her alive? And most especially, will Ned and Chuck ever be able to touch? Perhaps someday this show about life and death and the power of love can be brought back the way Ned worked his magic so that once again Pushing Daisies can delight us all with its unique and colorful bouquet of mystery, whimsy, and heart

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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Image Credit: NBC.


Marianne Paluso is a freelance artist and writer inspired by her favorite films, television, theme parks and all things pop culture. She especially loves Disney, classic films, fairy tales, period dramas, musicals, adventures, mysteries, and a good rom-com. She also partakes in the occasional Disneybound, cosplay, and YouTube video.