Eric McCandless/ABC

23 Critically-Acclaimed TV Shows That Were Canceled After Just One Season

Ad failed to load

Everybody has that one that got away, a beautiful moment of connection and understanding that was lost forever due to circumstances beyond their control. But I'm not talking about true love. I'm talking about something much purer: good TV. So many incredible shows were culled from the schedule because of ratings, or because they were just too ahead of their time. This list of 23 critically-acclaimed TV shows that were canceled after just one season proves that.

Plenty of shows come and go every season, but not many make a major impact. Some cancellations are definitely deserved: if neither the viewers nor the critics are catching on, then it might be a no-go. But other shows just needed a little extra time to find their footing, and years off their air have unexpectedly caused their audiences to grow much larger then when they first premiered. The shows on this list were a little weird, often unappreciated, but ultimately beloved by those they resonated with. It took them longer than most to find their fanbase, but that just makes it all the more heartbreaking that they were gone too soon.

Click on through to see if your favorite brilliant but cancelled TV series made the cut.

Ad failed to load



It's impossible to create a list like this without Firefly, because its cancellation stung so many diehard fans. Things were wrapped up in a movie, but it just wasn't the same.

My So-Called Life


My So-Called Life has been critically praised for decades for hitting on something very honest about the teen experience that most teen dramas missed. Unfortunately, it met its end because of ratings and because young star Claire Danes did not want to continue with the show.



A late-'90s series starring Adrian Pasdar, Profit played off American Psycho but took its dark worldview even further. That resulted in it having little appeal to audiences, though it would probably have done much better if it premiered just a few years later.

Ad failed to load



Though critics loved Terriers, viewers didn't feel the same and that led to it being axed. However, many felt it exceeded expectations for a cop drama. IGN called it "a massively gratifying TV experience like no other."

Jack & Bobby

The WB

Jack & Bobby was an intriguing series that followed two brothers, one of whom would end up president one day. Like quite a few of the shows on this list, it also boasted a cast that would go on to even greater success, including actors like Bradley Cooper, John Slattery, and Logan Lerman.

Freaks and Geeks


Just like My So-Called Life, something about Freaks and Geeks felt more genuine and real than a lot of its contemporaries. That was why its untimely cancellation hit so hard.

Ad failed to load

Almost Human


The strength of the connection between Almost Human's two leads, Karl Urban and Michael Ealy, was a big part of what made it resonate with fans. Though it may have stumbled throughout its season-long run, the show could have done a lot  more if it had only been given the time.

Trophy Wife


Some of the shows on this list met their demise for a very silly reason: an unappealing title. Despite critical praise, Trophy Wife may have been bogged down by a name that painted a very different picture than what the show really was.



Kings was an unusual but compelling series that had a lot of talent both in front of and behind the camera. Despite that, it didn't get a chance to find an audience. All that lost possibility might be the worst part of saying goodbye to Kings.

Ad failed to load

Tell Me You Love Me


Tell Me You Love Me was an HBO series that mostly got attention for how graphic its sex scenes were, which is par for the course with a lot of shows on HBO. Its intense look at relationships could have yielded a fascinating series, but it just wasn't to be.



Rubicon was a quiet political thriller that may have been too quiet: it lacked the outsized thrills that some audience members might have wanted from it. Still, its reviews were mostly positive and its viewership wasn't terrible for AMC, so its fans are bound to miss it.



Undeclared followed Freaks and Geeks in both good and bad ways: it was a success with viewers but couldn't get quite enough of them, so it didn't make it past Season 1. But it was undeniably enjoyable and gone too soon.

Ad failed to load

Don't Trust The B In Apartment 23


Much like Trophy Wife, the lengthy and absurd title of Don't Trust the B turned audiences off before they could give the show a chance. The network airing episodes out of order didn't help. But looking back, it was a truly bizarre and delightful little sitcom that should have been given more of a chance.

Pan Am


Perhaps suffering from comparisons to Mad Men, a critical smash that dug into the past in a very different way, Pan Am just didn't make it. But it had a fantastic cast and consistently kept its female characters' stories at the forefront, so it would have been fascinating to see it grow and develop.



The often broad humor of military satire Enlisted endeared it to many fans, but unfortunately not enough to keep it on the air for longer than a year.

Ad failed to load

Terra Nova


Terra Nova, similar to quite a few canceled-too-soon shows, might have bit off more than it could chew. It tried to tell a complicated story but just didn't have enough time to do it. A few tweaks could have resulted in a better show, but Terra Nova was over before it could figure that out.


ABC Family

The intense love for Gilmore Girls means that devotees of Amy Sherman-Palladino are always ready to see what new shows she might have on the horizon. Bunheads seemed like the perfect next step for its creator and it even shared many of the beloved qualities of her other shows. But low ratings struck again and ended the show before its time.



Bryan Fuller has a talent for delivering totally weird but extremely wonderful TV shows that rarely make it past their second seasons. Wonderfalls was no different. It was surreal and funny and just too bizarre to make it on network TV.

Ad failed to load

Grosse Pointe

The WB

Grosse Pointe was a little-seen show that deconstructed glossy teen dramas like Beverly Hills 90210 by going behind the scenes of a fictionalized parody. It came from Darren Star, who had worked on 90210, and satirized many of the actors and characters of the much more popular show. Maybe it was a little too on the nose or it premiered at the wrong time (90210's popularity had waned by 2000), but it was definitely like nothing else airing then.

So NoTORIous


Despite the painful pun in the title, So NoTORIous was actually a fresh and funny sitcom that proved its leading lady Tori Spelling had a real sense of humor about her public perception. Poking fun at her own image and also having genuine heart made this sitcom a surprising gem.

Clone High


Clone High's premise (major historical figures were cloned and dropped together into high school) was what made fans fall for it, but also led to the controversy that caused its demise. Its depiction of Mahatma Gandhi got the show in trouble and it didn't make it past its first season, but it became a cult classic in the years since it was cancelled.

Ad failed to load

The Get Down


Though the fact that its first season was split in two may make it seem like The Get Down got two seasons, the ambitious show was actually only given one. Its low viewership couldn't justify its high cost, but while it lasted it was a genuinely unique series that told stories that hadn't often been seen on screen.



Why oh why was Selfie taken from us all too soon? This series was another one that got bogged down by a cringe-inducing title and a rocky beginning, but it was really finding its rhythm right when it was cancelled. It was utterly charming, and the chemistry between John Cho and Karen Gillian was undeniable.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

A Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the te…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack