Not every show gets to live for 9 seasons. It is quite difficult to balance the show seasons after season. As a creator, you must remain true to your vision, while pleasing the fans and the studio at the same time. Though there is no shortage of good series on television nowadays, only some of them survive in the long run. They might get shut due to the budget, simply the ratings. Even a thing such as time slot can kill the show. So here is a list of 7 shows that ended way before their time.
7. Freaks and Geeks
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Cast: Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segal
Number of Seasons: 1
Number of Episodes: 18
In today’s world of wish fulfillment, Freaks and Geeks was the opposite of what prime time shows present to us. 18 episodes of the sad and hilarious unfairness of a teen’s life. While people can watch the show on Netflix, one season is not enough for us teens.
Almost everyone who starred on Freaks and Geeks has gone to do bigger things. While the cast was not known to anyone before the show, nearly everyone is famous now. James Franco, Jason Segal, Seth Rogen. I think I’ve said enough about the cast.
Another great thing about Freaks and Geeks are the cameos. There’s Shia LaBeouf as the school mascot, Ben Stiller as a secret service agent and Rashida Jones as a bully. Sadly, the show was canceled because of the ratings.
Genre: Horror, Crime, Drama
Cast: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas
Number of Seasons: 3
Number of Episodes: 39
Perhaps the most famous fictional serial killer of all time, Hannibal was a show only liked by few. A simple reason would be that people didn’t have the appetite to watch that much blood and cannibalism.
Never has eating people looked so good. From Hannibal’s kitchen to Will Graham’s hallucinations, every episode is beautifully shot. While Anthony Hopkins might have won an Oscar for his portrayal of the character in Silence of the Lambs, Mads Mikkelsen’s performance isn’t any less.
The relationship between Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal is somewhat complex and weird. The greatest thing about Hannibal is the ending. Though the show ended before it could introduce the famous Clarice Starling, the ending was more than just satisfactory. It is a comforting example of what greatness can from adaptations when placed in the right hands.
5. Arrested Development
Cast: Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Cera, Jessica Walter
Number of Seasons: 4
Number of Episodes: 68
I’m just going to go right ahead and say it. Arrested Development is better than Friends, How I met your mother or any other sitcom as a matter of fact. I don’t think we can ever find a better show with such dysfunctional characters that simply defies logic.
The character development was amazing. Another great thing was the running gags. Be it Gob’s chicken dance, or Tobias being a never nude, the show never failed its audience. (except the season 4 which was boring for the most of it).
The show follows the misadventures of Bluth family. Though the show was a critical success for its first three seasons, a fourth season was released after 7 years in 2013 which was not received well by the viewers. Nevertheless, the show still remains to be a cult classic for its true fan base.
4. Veronica Mars
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Cast: Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring
Number of Seasons: 3
Number of Episodes: 64
With the central mystery of Twin Peaks and a heroine who was kind of a combination of Nancy Drew and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars developed an incredibly passionate following.
Set in the fictional town of Neptune, California, “Veronica Mars” follows Kristen Bell’s titular character through high school and college as she works nights as a private investigator trying to solve her best friend’s murder, unraveling other mysteries along the way.
The demand for more “Veronica Mars” post-cancellation was so high that the series’ creators launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $2 million to fund a feature film. They reached their goal in under 10 hours, and the film went on to receive stellar reviews in 2014.
3. Penny Dreadful
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Cast: Eva Green, Harry Treadaway, Timothy Dalton, Josh Hartnett
Number of Seasons: 3
Number of Episodes: 27
Penny Dreadful never quite got the pop cultural buzz or ratings that Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad received. Victorian literature might be the one to introduce the world to the concepts of Dracula and Wolf man but Penny Dreadful adopted it in a way the new generation wanted to see.
While the entire cast of Penny Dreadful was excellent in their own way, there was one absolute stand out: Eva Green, the main reason behind the show’s three season success. Playing a Catholic woman who’s role is not merely to be a medium, but someone who is wanted by both Satan and Dracula to be the mother of evil. From blood sucking Dracula to Frankenstein’s monster, the show has it all.
The series creator/showrunner John Logan told in an interview that the plan all along was for the series to run three seasons only. But we’re still not over Vanessa Ives.
Genre: Drama, Science-Fiction, Suspense
Cast: Tina Desai, Brian Smith, Jamie Clayton, Max Riemelt, Donna Bae
Number of Seasons: 2
Number of Episodes: 24
Netflix has been knocking it out of the park with its original shows for a while now, but one show stands out of the bunch. Sense8! Created by Wachowski brothers and J. Michael Straczynski, the series messes with your brain in the best way possible.
Sense8 follows eight people from vastly different backgrounds from all around the globe whose lives begin to intervene when they find that they are mentally connected to one another. Let that sink in for a second. While the early episodes are mainly about character development, the show gets better with each episode. Like every original show, Sense8 has its flaws. But the great thing about Sense8 is that it doesn’t bombard with you a complicated sci-fi plot but lets you know the characters and the world around them.
The show’s playlist is perhaps one of the best for any TV show out there. Netflix boss Ted Sarandos revealed the reason behind the cancellation, citing a not large enough audience to substantiate the show’s cost.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Cast: Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Ciaran Hinds, Polly Walker
Number of Seasons: 2
Number of Episodes: 22
Before Game of Thrones and Spartacus, there was Rome. Holding the record for being the most expensive TV series ever produced, Rome talks about the reign of Julius Caesar the and aftermath of his assassination. While the series features a sprawling cast of characters, the main protagonist is ultimately two soldiers, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo.
Rome was a rating success for HBO just like Game of Thrones and won numerous awards in its two-series run. Full of violence and sexual scenes, Rome brilliantly shows the politics played by the richer sections for their personal gain. Originally, the show was going to be a 5 season long series but ultimately, the writers had to push the story forward due to budget reasons. Season 2 managed to show the Cleopatra storyline which was reserved for the later seasons. The cast acted well throughout the series, but even that couldn’t save the show from shutting down.