Lucifer, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Expanse might have been revived recently after being cancelled, but fans shouldn’t get too confident that they will have a long and healthy future.
Some TV shows in the past have managed to defy the axe and keep on going, sometimes even getting cancelled twice and still survive – like Family Guy.
This isn’t about them. This is about the shows that were brought back only to be axed again.
After reversing its decision to cancel Timeless after one season last year, NBC dropped the axe again following season two and co-creator Shawn Ryan has confirmed they haven’t been successful in finding another network to pick it up for season three.
There is hope for a two-hour movie to wrap up storylines, but it sounds like fans shouldn’t get their hopes up, according to Ryan, due to “considerable economic obstacles”.
Gritty cop drama Southland was originally cancelled by NBC in 2009 just before the second season aired, until TNT stepped in and bought the rights to the six completed episodes. The network then renewed the show each year up to season five and then axed it themselves.
Even more annoyingly, it left the show on an agonising cliffhanger that will never be resolved and John Cooper will be left forever bleeding on the street.
Matt Groening’s other animation Futurama didn’t have quite the luck that The Simpsons has had. Fox stopped production on it during its fourth season, although it returned in four direct-to-DVD movies which were then turned into season five by Comedy Central.
It enjoyed two more seasons before they cancelled the show as well, but at least it got to tell a emotional series finale and the characters returned in a Simpsons crossover episode AND a one-off audio adventure.
Fans of apocalyptic drama Jericho did not take its original cancellation by CBS after one season lying down, sending 40,000 pounds of peanuts to the network’s headquarters in a reference to a line in the season one finale. It worked and the show was brought back for a seven-episode second season.
However, unafraid of a further nut barrage, CBS axed the show again after season two failed to bring in bigger ratings. “Without question, there are passionate viewers watching this programme; we simply wish there were more,” they diplomatically said in a statement.
5. The Killing
Although Netflix did eventually bring back The Killing for a six-episode final season to complete the story, it didn’t exactly have the smoothest ride in getting to its finale.
The remake of the Danish show was cancelled by AMC in 2012 after two seasons, revived when the cable network teamed with Netflix and axed again by AMC after poor ratings for its third season in September.
6. 7th Heaven
When The WB and UPN merged to become The CW, long-running American soap opera 7th Heaven was given a reprieve. The WB had cancelled the show after its tenth season, only for the merger to see it get renewed for season 11 on The CW.
Sadly for 7th Heaven fans, it was to be a short reprieve as after it was moved to a Sunday time slot from its usual Monday airing, ratings didn’t recover to its earlier heights and The CW axed the show for good.
Despite having a dedicated audience, Roswell struggled throughout its first two seasons in the ratings, so it was no surprise when The WB cancelled the show.
Luckily, producers 20th Century Fox managed to get UPN to air a third season of the show in a package deal with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Roswell didn’t manage Buffy‘s audience though despite the comeback – and UPN didn’t pick it up for a fourth season. At least it’s getting a reboot.
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