TV is a fickle business. Whereas some shows can become staples in our living rooms for years on end, some shows can come and go without so much as a second season. 2018 saw the end, or the announcement of the end, of many shows across different platforms, with some lucky enough to get picked up again. Even though some of these may be upsetting, others shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
We’ve outlined some of the shows that will no longer be on our screens in a few months due to their planned cancelation.
Once considered one of Amazon Prime’s leading shows, the Pfefferman family will be departing from our screens next year after its fifth season. The series broke barriers with its portrayal of trans issues and how one person’s decision can change the dynamic of an entire family. The family drama was unique in its equally unlikeable characters who somehow managed to keep us tuning in. The show is coming to an end after Jeffery Tambor’s departure following two sexual harassment allegations.
House of Cards
House of Cards was Netflix’s power force when it came on to our screens in 2013. For many reasons, it was revolutionary. The data-driven show was created as Netflix’s first foray into original programming and was the first time a show was released all at once. It was generally acknowledged that its quality was diminishing in recent years, and the plug was pulled earlier this year after Kevin Spacey was fired for inappropriate sexual behavior on set. A final, shorter, season will drop in 2018.
Shona Rhimes has been the creator of some of the biggest ABC shows, most notably Scandal and the long-running Grey’s Anatomy. This year, viewers said goodbye to Olivia Pope and her crisis-management company after seven seasons. The show remains critically acclaimed with a 93% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s loosely based on Judy Smith, a former aide to President Geroge W. Bush, who remained an executive producer. It was canceled after declining viewing figures despite its large social media following.
Perhaps one of the biggest shocks this year came from Netflix when it pulled the plug on one of its Marvel shows. Luke Cage had just released its anticipated second season, and will not be returning for a third. As part of Marvel’s universe and a member of The Defenders, Luke Cage has appeared in other shows, such as Jessica Jones. It is unclear whether he will appear in more shows in the future, or whether Disney will move ahead with a new version on their upcoming streaming service.
This shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise to most viewers of the Marvel Netflix universe. Iron Fist was an unlikeable and unimaginative show which never left fans wanting more. Even though it saw a large critical jump from its freshman to sophomore seasons, the viewing figures weren’t strong enough to keep it going. Like Luke Cage, it is unclear whether the character will appear in any other Marvel shows in the future. Marvel fans still have Jessica Jones and Daredevil.
The Last Man on Earth
This post-apocalyptic comedy saw its demise after just 67 episodes in May 2018. After running for four seasons on Fox, it never garnered a loyal audience to keep it alive. Will Forte starred as ‘the last man on Earth’ after a deadly virus infected the planet. Despite an impressive amount of guest appearances such as Will Ferrel and Jack Black, viewing figures dropped from 3.5m to 1.6m and a planned season five was dropped. Its final season received 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
This Kiefer Sutherland show had an interesting premise that quickly became stale, causing its cancelation after only two seasons. When his Tom Kirkman becomes the only living survivor of a terrorist attack on the US Capitol, he is sworn in as president. Even though it didn’t gain traction at its home on ABC, a strong following on Netflix caused its renewal from the online streaming service. A revamped season three will be released in 2019 and will follow his election to legitimize his presidency.
You might have heard of this – one of the biggest showbiz stories of the year. Roseanne was revived by ABC earlier this year to absolutely giant viewing figures hitting 17.7m. An extraordinary number by any measure, it was more popular than its original run in the 1990s. The show was quickly canceled after main actress Roseanne Barr Tweeting racist comments online. Disney has since admitted they made a mistake by renaming it The Conners without her – and they saw viewing figures drop to 10m as a result.
Last Man Standing
Tim Allen’s sitcom about a Republican father keeping his conservative values alive saw its suspicious death when ABC canceled the show. The show was bringing in strong viewing figures and was climbing in the ranks becoming ABC’s second-most-watched show. Despite this, the media constantly gave it negative reviews, never hitting more than 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. Fox agreed to revive the show and it is back on our screens today.
The 2018 season saw an interesting switch in television development. In almost the same situation, Fox had canceled this popular cop sitcom to an outraged and loyal audience. It had seen a reduced audience from 4.8m to 2.7m, but it was deemed not enough to keep it going. Much like other shows in this list, it was picked up by another station – NBC – the very next day and is enjoying a new lease of life on a new channel today.
Homeland captured the attention of millions of viewers when it premiered in 2011. The first few seasons focused on Carrie Mathison and her relationship with Nicolas Brody – a prisoner of war who was suspected as ‘turning’ against the US government. In 2018, it was announced that the show would end in 2019 with its eighth season. To date, it has won Emmys and golden globes and held consistent ratings with no major decline in viewership – a rarity in television today.
After seven seasons, 2018 saw the end of Jess and her adventures living with three men in a Los Angeles apartment. The show solidified the ‘adorkable’ role that was made popular by Zooey Deschanel as she tackled everyday problems as a single woman in her 30s. Over time, the viewing figures declined from 10.3m in its first season down to 1.8m by the end of its run. Despite this, the show was widely considered a success by critics and online communities.
This short-lived NBC crime drama was based on the popular Liam Neeson film trilogy of the same name. It focused on a younger version of Bryan Mills. The entire show’s run was 10 episodes and 16 episodes respectively, making it a modest entry into the television space. The behind the season drama seemed more interesting than the show itself – with the exception of its two main stars, the entire extended cast left halfway through the show. This overhaul in the show couldn’t save its run, however, and it was put to rest in June 2018.
Tina Fey has produced many hits in her time in television – unfortunately, Great News wasn’t one of them. The NBC show had 10 and 13 episodes which failed to attract a large audience. The story focused on an up-and-coming news producer who had to deal with her demanding new intern who happened to be her mother. Despite some strong initial attention, the show quietly came and went without much noise. The recent cancelations of Great News and Taken might explain the network’s desire to pick up Brooklyn 99.
The third Marvel show to get canceled this year came in the form of the doomed Inhumans show on ABC. The show was originally planned as a film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe but was delegated to an additional show on ABC. Unfortunately, its 8-episode run only received a 10% Rotten Tomato score and saw its audience radically decline each week. ABC swiftly canceled the show which remains one of Marvel’s biggest failures in recent years. Thankfully for Marvel fans, Agents of Shield lives on.
Kevin (Probably) Saves The World
Another ABC show that came and went with only one season, Kevin (Probably) Saves The World saw its end in 2018 with a total of 16 episodes. This hybrid ‘high-concept angelic-themed fantasy comedy’ didn’t pull as many heartstrings as it had hoped. After a failed suicide attempt, Kevin is tasked with saving the world with the help of Yvette, a celestial being only he can see. Over its 16-episode run, its viewership halved and the plug was quickly pulled on the second season.
Zach Braff’s reentry into the sitcom space was met with underwhelming results. Braff starred as Alex, a successful radio journalist who starts his own podcast from home. The ABC show had 10 episodes and came and went over a two month period in 2018. It was generally met with bad reviews and failed to attract a significant audience despite the large attraction from Braff and his previous success on shows like Scrubs. There’s always next time for everyone’s favorite New Jersey actor!
The Mick showed us the potential of having a foul-mouthed female lead a sitcom, with unfortunate results. It starred Kaitlin Olson, famous for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, who must learn the valuable lessons of caring for her nieces and nephews after her sister is arrested by the FBI. After two seasons and 37 episodes, the show saw a huge drop in viewing figures. With a 75% decline between seasons, Fox canceled the show. Today, Olsen can be still seen in It’s Always Sunny on FXX.
The Big Bang Theory
This iconic show will see its departure from our screens next year with its 12th and final season. The group of misfits has captured the hearts of millions of people, remaining one of the last sitcoms still filmed in front of a live audience with canned laughter. It consistently attracts numbers north of 18m people and has been ranked either first or second in viewing figures since its seventh season. It has spawned a spin-off Young Sheldon which has been renewed.
The fourth and final season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will see Rebecca’s fate come to a close. Over its run, it has been praised for its portrayal of mental illness, female sexuality, parenting, and the reproductive system. It has enjoyed high critical reception but modest viewing figures, with an average of 300,000 people tuning in each season. Despite this, it won many awards pertaining to women’s image in television. The final season will bring the show to an end in early 2019.
Jane The Virgin
Jane The Virgin is another The CW show seeing its end in 2018 after 81 episodes across its four seasons. Amazingly, all four of its seasons received 100% of Rotten Tomatoes and its viewing figures saw a modest drop across the show’s entire run. Jane The Virgin has been praised for its portrayal of the Latino community, religion, and motherhood. Its final season will broadcast in 2019 and see an end to Jane’s story continue her career and motherhood.