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Cancelled TV Shows : The Top 5 Cancelled Cartoon Shows of The Late 90's and The 1 That Lost Nickelodeon $350 Million

Updated on August 16, 2014
"Cancelled Cartoon Shows" Cat Dog;Family Guy;Futurama;Ed,Edd and Eddy;Courage the Cowardly Dog
"Cancelled Cartoon Shows" Cat Dog;Family Guy;Futurama;Ed,Edd and Eddy;Courage the Cowardly Dog

These Cartoons had Everything Going for Them, but it Wasn't Enough

In the midst of the 20th century, about the time when nearly everything seemingly took leaps and bounds towards our now modern future, something massive and historical happened to cartoons-They were no longer the "Safe" "Tom and Jerry's" or "Donald Duck's" of the past. Instead, they boldly went where no cartoon had gone before. They became smarter, more advanced and most of all, more daring.

These new cartoon transformations were fostered by the people, and many of the new, late 90's shows gained views week after week. All factors which, still failed to help some of these shows that were ultimately cancelled - some temporarily, some forever.

"Futurama" Crew
"Futurama" Crew | Source

All Good Things Come to an End, but Why Were The Shows Cancelled?

The biggest reasons these shows were cancelled? Money and views -Though, these are not the only reasons. Some of them, were simply cancelled because the creator decided to move on, or the network decided to replace them with something else. Others, were cancelled and then later revived by other networks.

"Futurama" was one of the cancelled TV shows that was revived due to popularity, but then later cancelled again. Read further to see all 5 top tunes plus the one that Nickelodeon lost a fortune on!

Fry from "Futurama"
Fry from "Futurama" | Source
"Futurama" cartoon clip
"Futurama" cartoon clip | Source

#1 "Futurama" : Matt Groening : March 28th, 1999- August 10th, 2003

"Futurama" was produced by Matt Groening, world known "Simpson's" producer. The futuristic/ science fiction comedy was created with an older target audience in mind. It features a quirky set of characters including a guy named Fry, his cigar toting robot named bender, and a one-eyed alien girl (among others) living together and fighting criminals in the distant future.


The show was cancelled in 2003, then later revived by Comedy Central in 2008. The revival ran through 2013.

  • Total Seasons- 7
  • Awards- Writers Guild, Emmy, Environmental Media, Anne
  • Last Show Aired- September 4, 2013

"Futurama" Intro

"CatDog": Aired April 4th, 1998- June 15th, 2005
"CatDog": Aired April 4th, 1998- June 15th, 2005 | Source
Nickelodeon's "CatDog"
Nickelodeon's "CatDog" | Source

#2 "CatDog": Peter Hanning : April 4th, 1998 - June 4th, 2005

The tale of "CatDog" is simple- one dog, one cat, one body (They are brothers joined together in the middle.) Though best friends and brothers, the cat and dog are complete opposites of each other. Dog likes to give chase, while Cat chooses to stay put - this often leaves them caught in a tug-of-war situation. Though odd, the country-style tunes and loveable nature of the two main characters made this show worth while to many viewers, just not to enough.

"CatDog" was a great example of a huge bust for network television. After Peter Hanning created the series, It was adopted by Nickelodeon, who produced it in their Burbank studio dedicated to animation.

Nickelodeon dropped $350 million dollars into the show over a 5-year time period, expecting it to be a star. The show was eventually cancelled in June, 2005 after it failed to reach more than 25% of the views required in order to keep it going.


  • Aired for 4 seasons
  • 65 episodes

"CatDog" Intro/Theme Song

"Courage the Cowardly Dog", Cartoon Network: November 12th, 1999 - November 22nd, 2002
"Courage the Cowardly Dog", Cartoon Network: November 12th, 1999 - November 22nd, 2002 | Source
"Courage the Cowardly Dog" Eustace, Muriel and Courage
"Courage the Cowardly Dog" Eustace, Muriel and Courage | Source

Courageous Facts:

  • Aired for 4 seasons ; 52 episodes
  • Reruns aired on Cartoon Planet in April, 2012
  • Reruns aired on Cartoon Network in July, 2013

Muriel, from "Courage the Cowardly Dog"
Muriel, from "Courage the Cowardly Dog" | Source

#3 "Courage the Cowardly Dog" : John R. Dilworth : November 12th, 1999 - November 22nd, 2002

Set in a fictional desert town out in the middle of Nowhere Kansas, the hit 90's horror/comedy animated cartoon, "Courage the Cowardly Dog" tells the tale of a pink orphaned dog, his adoptive parents, and their weird struggles as a family.

Oblivious to the dangers surrounding them, Courage's sweet granny and her ill-tempered husband are constantly needing saving from all sorts of creatures and evils. Courage, the tiny dog, has to reach down deep and find the right amount of courage to save his family from disaster. He generally goes on his computer to "Search" for ways to fight off demons or win battles against hideous and twisted characters.

This show was created by John R. Dilworth, and created from a pilot series,"The Chicken from Outer Space" for the Cartoon Network. It was commissioned by the network after the original short was chosen to receive an award from the Academy in 1996.

Critics claim it is vibrant, original and joyful to watch. At the same time, parents however, are given a warning about the gory, and sometimes outright disgusting graphic images shown in the toon that may not be appropriate for young children. Despite these gory details though, the cartoon was still recognized as having premier ratings that surpassed anything in its category at the time.

Top 10 Most Disturbing (Scariest) "Courage The Cowardly Dog" Episodes


#4 "Family Guy" : Seth Macfarlane : January 31st, 1999 - November 9th, 2003

Falling into the same category as the shows that were cancelled and then later revived, Fox's "Family Guy" proves that anything can and will survive for the long term if done right.

This is partially thanks to one of the show's stars, Peter Griffin - He is the creation of mastermind Seth MacFarlane, who wrote the multiple award-winning sitcom "Family Guy" for FOX back in 1999.

Quahog, a fictional place in Rhode Island, is where you can find the very hard-skulled Peter Griffin day to day. He lives there with his dysfunctional family of six who, strangely enough are quite entertaining despite their odd behaviors and lifestyle.

Following the family adventures and mishaps, this adult-targeted comedy series takes on a whole new perspective for what the American middle class family might look like in the northern suburbs of Rhode Island - In an imaginary cartoon world of course!

The "Family Guy" Peter Griffin, Lois Griffin, Chris Griffin, Meg Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Brian Griffin
The "Family Guy" Peter Griffin, Lois Griffin, Chris Griffin, Meg Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Brian Griffin | Source

The family consists of the dad Peter Griffin, the mother Lois, the daughter Meg, the son Chris, the baby Stewie and the dog Brian. Throughout the series, the baby, who happens to talk quite well despite being 2 ft tall and still sporting diapers, constantly plots to kill the mother (who he despises for supposedly keeping him hostage).

The dog Brian talks of course, and is some sort of super intelligent being trapped inside a dogs body. The eldest sister and brother also have unique personalities which only add to the overall humor and fun for the series.

The interesting thing about this cancelled TV show, is that it was cancelled after its 3rd season, but later revived to run through 12 seasons and counting as of July, 2014. This all came after it aired as a rerun on Adult Swim slated in a late night block. The reruns sparked a huge viewership which resulted in $400,000 dollars worth of sales in the first month. Not too shabby for a cancelled TV show.


  • 1st premiered in Jan, 1999
  • 22 million viewers after cancel
  • Views declined after changing time slots/competing shows
  • Fox tried to cancel in 2000, after 2 seasons, but went on to produce a 3rd season
  • Officially cancelled in 2003, revived in 2005 by FOX when DVD sales soared to over $400,000 during the first month of release
  • Currently in season 12, 231 episodes ( July, 2014)

"Ed, Edd n Eddy"
"Ed, Edd n Eddy" | Source

Eddy Quote

Eddy: "You know what they say: A little childhood trauma builds character."

"Ed, Edd n Eddy" Characters
"Ed, Edd n Eddy" Characters | Source

#5 "Ed, Edd N Eddy" : Danny Antonucci : January 4th, 1999 - November 8th, 2009

As of 2014, "Ed, Edd N Eddy" stood to be the longest running original cartoon animation series to ever play on Cartoon Network . It ran for 10 solid years, with 69 episodes stretched over 6 seasons.

During its time on television, 31 Million people tuned in from 120 different countries while 3 brothers, "Ed, Edd N Eddy" spent their time running around the neighborhood scheming and getting into all sorts of hilarious trouble (all to earn money for Jaw breakers).

A truly quirky hit, the toon attracted kids and adults alike - and for good reason. With only 12 characters during the whole show, the viewers had plenty of time to get to know and adore them each individually.

The show also took home many awards during its time, including : a SOCAN award, a Reuben award and 2 LEO awards. It was also nominated for many others including a Kids Choice and Annie award.

Despite all its fame and seemingly bright future however, the show's creator , Danny Antonucci, just simply decided to move on to something else, and the show was cancelled in 2009.

Some of the most popular cartoons of the 90's are still very popular today. Even though they are no longer produced, some reruns are still shown on major networks and channels such as the Cartoon Network and Disney Channel. Many of them are also available on Netflix, or can be purchased in DVD sets.


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    • daborn7 profile image

      daborn7 2 years ago from California


      I am really glad you took the time to read my hub, and that you liked it. I also appreciate the encouraging and kind words. Sometimes, we don't realize how important nice words can be. Yours couldn't have come at a better time. I wish the same success and more for you.

      Thank you!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      This was one fantastic read! Loved every word. I voted Up + all of the choices. Your graphics usage was superb. I like hubs like this. I urge you to keep up the great work and may you have a world of success on HubPages.


      Kenneth Avery

      Your Friend for Life

    • daborn7 profile image

      daborn7 3 years ago from California

      Ann, I'm not sure what kids see in many of the new cartoon shows these days. I will watch some of them occasionally, some of them I won't. It is likely that I never would have watched many of them though without having kids. Thanks for stopping by and voting :)

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I'm afraid none of these cartoons appealed to me then and still don't. I wouldn't walk across the street to see any of them. However, your summary of each one is excellent and this is a well thought-out hub. Voted up.

    • daborn7 profile image

      daborn7 3 years ago from California

      You are correct! It is the longest running Cartoon Network original. I will change the wording ASAP. Sorry for the confusion! Thanks for reading and noticing!

    • Anaydena profile image

      Mia Trueheart 3 years ago from Arlington, TX, USA

      Some of your facts are incorrect, or misworded. Ed, Edd, and Eddy is not the longest running cartoon series, the simpsons is the longest running cartoon series, unless u mean produced by Cartoon Network.