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5 Best Cancelled too Early TV shows

Updated on February 27, 2015


In my opinion, this is one of Joss Whedon's best. The western sci-fi series follows Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and his crew, trying to survive through space by less than conventional deeds. Each crew member had a great backstory rich with intrigue, action and mystery. I have watched and re watched Firefly many times. It has a HUGE following. So much so that they released the full length film "Serenity" in 2005.

Primetime Emmy Awards 2003

Won Primetime Emmy Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series

"Gail Berman, the former president of entertainment at Fox Broadcasting Company, spoke about why she had to pull the plug. She said in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that:

"Canceling 'Firefly' was as difficult as anything I'd ever been involved in because Joss and I had been creative partners at one time ... I worked with him very closely on this particular show and when it didn't perform [in the ratings], having to cancel it was very difficult.

"If I had to do it over again, I might have reconsidered it but I'm not sure it would have changed anything," she said. "It was a numbers things. It was a wonderful show and I loved it and I loved working with him on it but that was a big show, a very expensive show and it wasn't delivering the numbers."

2. Revolution

Revolution was a show that both my husband and I enjoyed. Bus alas, it was cancelled way too early. The show embodied a post apocalyptic world with no power. Revolution brought up interesting theories on how the world would work (or not work) if one day the lights suddenly went out. It had action, mystery and great characters but only lasted 2 seasons.

Primetime Emmy Awards 2013

Won Primetime Emmy Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Miniseries or Movie

"NBC Cancels ‘Revolution’ After Two Seasons

by Nellie Andreeva •May 9, 2014 11:35am

After a flying start two years ago when it was the key piece atNBC‘s upfront presentation, Revolution has just been cancelled. The JJ Abrams/Eric Kripke post-apocalyptic drama is long ways from where it was last season when it was riding high with a lot of buzz and solid ratings behind The Voice on Mondays. The heavily serialized series started to lose steam after the long hiatus between the fall and spring half-season in its freshman year. And it has been a ho-hum performer in the low-trafficked Wednesday 8 PM slot this season, a shadow of its former glory. It has been stable, keeping the lights on in the hour. That wasn’t enough, especially given the high price tag on the show. Hope for Revolution getting a 13-episode final chapter took a further hit yesterday when NBC picked up two new series from series producer Warner Bros. TV, including comic book drama Constantine, which had been considered a potential replacement for Revolution. Keeping Revolution was important to studio WBTV, while NBC was open to letting it go, and it just did"

3.Pushing Daisies

This one is my husband's favourite. The quirky dark comedy followed Ned, a pie maker who can bring things back to life with one touch. This special ability becomes a problem when Ned falls in love. I truly loved the show's originality and creativity. It suffered from the 2007 writer's strike from which it never really recovered.

Primetime Emmy Awards 2009

Won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

"ABC cancels Pushing Daisies

By Tim SuretteNov 21, 2008

This news sucks so much, I don't even feel like starting off with "The facts were these..." But the sad fact is this: Pushing Daisies has been canceled. Online reports blew up late last night over the unique program's demise, with creator Bryan Fuller confirming the cancellation to E Online.

"To be honest, I'm really not feeling very boo-hoo about it," Fuller told the site. "I am so proud of the show. We put together 22 really good episodes, and there is a lot to be proud of. I'm sure I'll be working with a lot of these people again, and I would love to do so."

Daisies had been on the ropes almost all season, posting disappointing numbers despite being praised by critics (and me) and developing a passionate fan base. ABC will air all 13 episodes produced this season before the lights fade out forever.

Pushing Daisies stars Lee Pace as Ned, a pie maker with the unusual gift of being able to reanimate the dead with a touch, and to send them back to their maker with another touch. However, if the newly undead stay undead for longer than a minute, someone else dies...for good. Ned meets Emerson Cod (Chi McBride), a money-hungry private detective, and the two team up to solve murders using Ned's ability to ask the victims. And if that wasn't complicated enough, Ned brings his childhood crush back to life, and the two form a relationship that requires them not to touch. Phew.

According to Fuller, the 13th (and final) episode of this season (and series) ends on a cliffhanger, and Fuller has every intention of seeing this story resolve itself. He's working with DC Comics to get some Pushing Daisies comics made to tie loose ends, but he's also got bigger ideas.

"We are talking to DC Comics about doing comic books that will wrap up our storylines, and I already have a pitch for a movie ready to go," said Fuller.

The supertalented Fuller has also been rumored to return to his pre-Daisies gig--as writer forHeroes.

So what did Daisies in? All signs point to fallout from the writers strike and ABC's idea to not bring the show back until this season. Shows that did return after the strike have flourished this season, and those that didn't, are, well...pushing daisies."

4. Terra Nova

The show takes place in 2149 when humans have killed the earth to the point of making it inhabitable. Civilization then travels 85 million years into the past to establish the first colony called "Terra Nova". So why was this show cancelled? The high production costs mixed with low viewership gave this show a too early end.

Critics Choice Television Awards 2011

Won Critics' Choice TV AwardMost Exciting New Series

Fox acted too soon in cancelling its pricey sci-fi drama Terra Nova, star Jason O'Mara told reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour.

In Beverly Hills to promote CBS' period dramaVegas, O'Mara said Fox took "an awful long time to make a premature decision" on the fate of the series, adding after the session that the series was just finding its feet creatively.

"We proved that with the season finale -- there was a lot more story to tell," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "Creatively, we probably could have made some slightly better decisions halfway through but I think that's par for the course for such an ambitious series."

While Terra Nova averaged 7.5 million total viewers and 2.6 million in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demo in its 11-episode first season, it failed to catch on the way Fox had hoped. Its two-hour finale matched a series low in the demo, drawing a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 and an audience of 7.2 million, despite critical praise.

O'Mara and Stephen Lang (Avatar) starred in the dystopian drama from executive producers Brannon Braga and Rene Echevarria that featured CGI dinosaurs and took place 85 million years in the past but returned to the 2149 future first seen in the pilot in the finale, which drew praise from critics.

"I think there was a lack of clarity in terms of when the mythology needed to kick in," O'Mara said. "The first few episodes were strangely stand-alone and there wasn't much mythology. I think the mythology needed to be kicking in right from that second episode and onward. We needed to commit to the fact that it was going to be a Lost-like mythological series and not apologize for it."

The cost of the twice-delayed two-hour premiere has been pegged at a price tag between $10 million and $20 million, a fee Fox brass argued would be amortized over the course of the show's first season. Premiering nearly day-and-date across international territories, both the network and studio 20th Television banked on its performance overseas in a bid to justify the price tag attached to the production, which also featured futuristic technology.

"There was an audience to watch it, certainly internationally. … Domestically, it didn't quite get there," O'Mara said Sunday. "Honestly, we were on the bubble and we were a show that they should have just gone with their gut and taken another shot for another season."

Fox canceled the series in March, three months after its finale, with Netflix circling the property for a brief period before abandoning the expensive effort, which also countedSteven Spielberg among its exec producers, shortly afterward. O'Mara took the Vegasrole in second position as he awaited word on Terra Nova's future and noted that he would have been equally happy to continue the series should Netflix have opted to move forward with it.

Returning to Australia for the show’s second season -- as opposed to moving it to Hawaii as was originally discussed -- was another effort to keep the budget in check.

Echevarria told THR in December ahead of the finale that producers had pitched a Season 2 take to the network, with O'Mara confirming that there were multiple pitches for what that would look like."The showrunners had that conversation with Fox and put together a bible for a possible second [season] but I think that changed a couple of times," he noted. "It was pitched a couple of times."

5. Rome

One of my personal all time favourites follows the everyday life of Roman citizens just before the city's fall. Many famous Romans such as Julius Caesar, Cicero and Octavian are depicted in this wonderfully visual series. Due to the shows extravagant costs, it was regretfully cancelled in 2007 after only two seasons on HBO.

Primetime Emmy Awards 2007

Won Primetime Emmy Outstanding Art Direction for a Single Camera Series, Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series

Remembering Rome: What became of the cancelled hit HBO show?

By Matt Weese on Oct 29, 2012 to HBO Classics

It’s been 5 years since the last showing of Rome and fans have been left in the dark ages ever since. Between 2008 and 2010 exciting rumors surfaced over a possible Rome film; yes film! But the fire of anticipation around those rumors have burnt down to mere embers as of late. What made Rome stand out was its sheer scale, its attention to detail in costuming and architecture that were all visible in its grandeur.

In fact, it’s rumored that the period sets spanned a whopping 5 acres and that would make it one of the largest period sets ever. The joint BBC/HBO production had an estimated budget of $100,000,000, though the result of that was a new, innovative historical epic the likes of which had not been seen since of Band Of Brothers (and more recently, Game of Thrones). Bruno Heller was just one of the executive producers at the helm of the series and also was the man behind the the great writing.

Rome showcases Roman society and culture, series one during and after the glorious reign of Julius Caesar (Ciarán Hinds now Mance Rayder in Game of Thrones season 3), and the life of the historical leader and his family, series two focusing upon the power struggle between the cynical and vulgar Mark Antony and the ambitious Octavian following the climatic end to series one. Cleverly, this parallels the story of Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson), two soldiers that over the course of the series take us through the rough ride of Roman civilization, also ironically finding themselves to be unknowing catalysts of historic events. Lucius’s and Titus’s hardship and friendship is known as being one of the most memorable ever seen in a television series.

Rome introduced a mixture of both new and fresh faces. Most notably, the experienced Ciarán Hinds, who before Rome had starred in Lara Croft Tomb Raider : The Cradle Of Life and The Phantom Of The Opera, and James Purefoy (Who plays Mark Antony), who before Rome was known by roles in A Knight’s Tale and Resident Evil.

The two focus characters played by Ray Stevenson and Kevin McKidd saw their careers flourish after their notable performances in the series, Stevenson moving on to recent big budget films such as Thor and The Three Musketeers, and McKidd providing the voice of Soap MacTavish in the popular video game series Call Of Duty, and also plays Dr. Owen Hunt in Grey’s Anatomy. As you may know, two actors from Rome will be playing two big roles in Game Of Thrones season 3. Ciarán Hinds will play Mance Rayder, the ex-Night’s Watchman leader of the Wildlings, a role that was interestingly suggested to fellow Rome actor James Purefoy by some fans. The other casting choice of note is the role of Edmure Tully, Catelyn Stark’s younger brother, who will be played by Tobias Menzies, who in Rome plays Marcus Brutus. These UK actors add to an already jam packed UK cast. It can be said, with Rome having similar scale and stylistic features to Game Of Thrones, that the pair are no strangers to playing historical archetypes and will surely ease into the roles effortlessly.

With its strong cast and increasing popularity, it was certainly a surprise when Rome wasn’t renewed for another season. Rome was initially meant to be a mini-series, but when more people got behind its creation and the quality of writing improved it turned into a full ongoing series. However, with its blockbuster size budget, Rome was scrutinized financially, causing HBO to announce that they wouldn’t be renewing Rome into its third season.

With recent shows making it past the season two threshold, is there room for optimism? Rumors suggested that Rome could have hit the big screen, a wise choice, as there is more chance for it to make its budget back, though I believe Rome was made for TV, and would be better off for it. I can’t imagine fans of Game Of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire would be to happy with their beloved series being squeezed into a two hour time frame.
Unfortunately, this past year has seen little to no news about Rome hitting TV or film. With HBO comfortable with its resurgence of popularity of it’s shows as of late, can Rome be considered again in the near future? This is doubtful, with Game Of Thrones in full swing, HBO undoubtedly wouldn’t take the risk of investing $100 million into a show with the competition it faces at this time, even with Rome’s past and arguably present popularity.

For now, DVD/Blu-ray versions of Rome will have to suffice for fans, the brilliant hit show will never be forgotten, and may not have to be. There is still time, and you only have to look at Band Of Brothers and The Pacific to know that HBO haven’t been shy of rekindling similar styled big budget series in the past. Whether Rome comes back with the same characters or ventures into new territories, we still would give anything for a bit of news!

Which of the above mentioned shows was your favourite?

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Which show do you think was cancelled too early?

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub, Nico. I agree with you on this hub. Ratings is always a big factor on how a show would fail or succeed during their run. Money is another factor, depending on how expensive it is it shoot it, like Terra Nova for example on its location. Voted up for interesting.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 

      3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      I think Firefly, Stargate Universe, Pushing Daisies, Terra Nova, Alphas, Farscape, and Growing Up Fisher were all cancelled too soon despite having great potential.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I loved "Pushing Daisies." The show was adorable with a unique voice. I also like "Rome." A strong drama, not in the least adorable, but powerful.

    • CorneliaMladenova profile image

      Korneliya Yonkova 

      3 years ago from Cork, Ireland

      I also enjoy TV shows and am so sorry when some of them get cancelled. They have the bad habit of cancelling the more interesting ones :(

    • Nicoinstitches profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Ottawa, ON

      Have to add "Smash" to my list.


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