With a new TV season just around the corner, I’m sure everyone is on their last run of summer binge watching. Summer is always a great time to catch up on shows you missed throughout the year or watch new shows you missed completely.
During each TV season there is always one show that seems to be a crowd favorite, but doesn’t get renewed in the end. Some shows only last one season and leave a lasting impression while others make it several seasons, but we just wish they kept going.
I’ve decided to look back at ten TV shows I wish lasted just a little longer. And who knows, in an age where Gilmore Girls, Prison Break and other shows are getting revived, one of these could make a surprise comeback.
Check out the full list below!
1. Freaks and Geeks
Probably the most talked about and most unfair TV cancellation is Freaks and Geeks. Freaks and Geeks centers on Lindsay (Linda Cardellini) and her younger brother, Sam (John Francis Daley), as they navigate their two opposing social groups in high school. Lindsay’s group of friends are considered “freaks” while Sam’s friends are “geeks.” The show follows both of their adventures in the small town of Chippewa, Michigan. Freaks and Geeks launched several of its stars into very successful film and TV careers. Among them are Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Busy Philipps, Cardellini and Daley. The show only ran for 18 episodes on NBC before it was cancelled. Freaks and Geeks remains an essential show for any TV fan.
2. My So-Called Life
Probably one of the hardest to swallow, My So-Called Life only ran for one season on ABC and has left an everlasting mark. My So-Called Life is set in the fictional Liberty High School in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. The show focuses on Angela Chase (Claire Danes) and the emotional, angsty social circle she is part of. The critically loved show only had 19 episodes and was cancelled following a season one cliffhanger. The show continues to be praised for its portrayal of adolescence and the commentary of Angela. If you haven’t watched this show already, what are you waiting for? Rather than start a new show, dive on in and feel the emotional hole all of us have knowing this show was cancelled way too soon.
A highly-beloved ABC Family show, Bunheads brought Sutton Foster from Broadway to TV and created the wonderful friendship between Foster and Amy Sherman-Palladino. Bunheads centers on Michelle Simms (Foster), a Vegas showgirl who gets married on a whim and winds up teaching alongside her new mother-in-law at her ballet school in the small town of Paradise. Bunheads brought to life beautifully complex female characters and allowed everyone to relive their dream of being a ballerina. The show originally aired on ABC Family for only 18 episodes. The show was left open ended and fans lobbied hard to have the show return. The closest thing to a Bunheads revival? Sherman-Palladino has written Foster a role in the upcoming Gilmore Girls revival.
4. Chasing Life
A TV show that made me sob from start to finish, Chasing Life was a beautifully crafted show that was cancelled way too soon. The ABC Family drama follows April Carver (Italia Ricci), a 24 year old journalist who learns she has leukemia. The show had the perfect amount of heart and drama that allowed its characters to shine. Ricci led a flawless cast and delivered powerful storylines week after week. Chasing Life originally ran for 2 seasons on ABC Family and although 34 episodes is a lot, I would’ve followed April Carver to the ends of the Earth.
Arguably the biggest cult TV show that ended too soon is Firefly. Originally airing on FOX, Firefly explores the lives of a group of people who fought on the losing side of a civil war and others who now make a living on the fringe of society, as part of a pioneer culture in the star system. Starring Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk and numerous others, Firefly remains one of the biggest shows that was cancelled too soon. The cult-classic only aired 14 episodes on FOX before it was cancelled. Fillion, Tudyk and the rest of the cast continue to keep Firefly alive as more people discover it through Netflix. A Firefly reboot would be the greatest thing to happen in the galaxy.
6. Happy Endings
Still one of the funniest comedy’s to premiere in recent years, Happy Endings remains one of the hardest cancellations to swallow. The ABC comedy follows the dysfunctional adventures of six friends living in Chicago. Happy Endings stood out in a crowd of comedies with its witty humor, hilarious cast and new approach on the “friends hanging out” comedy. Happy Endings originally aired for three seasons on ABC, but the 3rd seasons constant time slot change caused the show to have its lowest ratings. Consequently, Happy Endings was cancelled. If any comedy was to be resurrected, Happy Endings should be it. C’mon Netflix, save one more!
If you are friends with any Broadway fan (like myself) chances are they have mentioned or forcibly made you watch Smash. The short-lived drama follows the inner workings of bringing a new musical to Broadway. Complete with original music, flashy dance numbers and Debra Messing, Smash was any Broadway fans dream TV show. Starring a large ensemble cast including Christian Borle, Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, a pre-Supergirl Jeremy Jordan and a pre-Hamilton Leslie Odom Jr., Smash leapt into fans hearts despite the rocky two seasons. Originally airing on NBC, Smash ran for two seasons before it was cancelled, but hey, “Bombshell” won a fictional Tony Award anyway.
8. The O.C
If you are like me and still searching for your Seth Cohen, The O.C is up there on your list of shows that ended too early. Although the show ran for a solid 4 seasons on FOX, who wouldn’t want more California adventures? The O.C centers on Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie), a troubled 16 year old who is adopted by the Cohen family and moves to the upscale world of Orange County. Ryan and his foster brother, Seth (Adam Brody), navigate their love life and try to survive the drama of The O.C. After airing for 4 seasons, this cultural phenomenon was cancelled to the dismay of fans. And if Italia Ricci taught us anything this week, it’s that everyone still loves Ryan Atwood.
9. Make It or Break It
Maybe it’s because the Rio U.S Women’s Gymnastics Team is the definition of #squadgoals, but one series I miss is Make It or Break It. Originally airing on ABC Family, the show focuses on the lives of teen gymnasts who strive to be in the Olympics. The show ran for three seasons and brought fans on a rollercoaster ride. From epic gymnastics stunts to a combination of pure teen drama and comedy, Make It or Break It was the show to watch in 2009. I’m not saying we need new episodes, I’m just saying a reunion Instagram photo would be sufficient.
Yes, Parenthood had a great run of six seasons on NBC, but let’s face it, we wanted to watch The Braverman’s FOREVER. Parenthood focuses on The Braverman clan, a tight-knit family living in California. Comprised of an older couple, their four children, and their families, Parenthood explores the real life problems families go through. From having a child with Autism, to dealing with a caner diagnosis, to simply struggling through life, Parenthood touched on it all. In 103 episodes, Parenthood made us laugh and cry, but most of all they gave us a second family to turn to. I don’t know about you, but The Braverman’s can come back anytime (and Jason Katims agrees!)