Fan Campaigns Do Work!In 2007, when CBS announced that Jericho had been canceled, the fans devised campaigns and flooded the CBS offices in LA and NY with 20 tons of peanuts! This campaign led CBS to renew the series for Season 2, only to be called off again due to poor ratings.
We still can't get over the fact that they ended so early. Some get canceled due to low ratings and viewership, while others get canceled despite the award-winning star cast, and high enough viewership and ratings. Why? Well, that only the creators of the show know. Let's take a look at some of the TV shows that bid adieu to the television world very early.
Popular TV Shows That Got Canceled Too Early
#1. JerichoThis was one of the most popular shows while it was on air. It revolved around characters in a small town in America after a nuclear attack. Some loved the show so much that they wouldn't mind re-watching every episode. However, in 2007, CBS decided to cancel the show, causing the fans to pull off the '20-tons peanuts' stunt as mentioned earlier. This, of course, prompted CBS to revive the show again for a season, but was canceled once again because of poor ratings. However, in 2009, Devil's Due decided to take the story and publish season 3 in comic form, titled "Jericho Season 3: Civil War."
#2. FireflyThis is another great TV series that ended prematurely. It had an amazing cast, storyline, and lore, which was loved by many. The story took place 500 years in the future, and was sci-fi mixed with a little western drama. It even won the Primetime Emmy award. However, it got extremely low ratings and was canceled after the 11th episode. It was aired at a bad time slot and was marketed as a comedy, which it was not. The viewers felt the makers should have waited for one full season to gauge how it would work before they decided to pull the plug. It had about 4.7 million viewers when it was canceled.
#3. Star TrekStar Trek turned out to be the most popular and fantastic series ever made. However, it lasted only three seasons before it got canceled. It not only was a huge hit on small screen, but also inspired 11 feature-length movies, theme parks, many books, CDs, and video games as well. However, it was declared as low-rated by the NBC and called it off in 1969 before the actual moon landing, proving the decision of ending the series wrong. It was such a big success that the fans of "Star Trek" are known as "Trekkies", and they regularly organize gatherings in many parts of the world. Many of the phrases like "Beam me up Scotty" have now found a place in the English language, and it also inspired NASA to name one of its Space Shuttles as "Enterprise (OV-101)" after the iconic spaceship in the show.
#4. Arrested DevelopmentThis show portrayed the dysfunctional family very well. The story involved the Bluth family that had a bunch of spoiled, manipulative, and self-centered narcissists who went out of their way to make each other's lives more difficult. It was received well by the critics, and also won a Golden Globe award and six Primetime Emmy awards. Despite being one of the best shows in hands, Fox dumped the final four episodes of the show for the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. We bet some people have definitely not gotten over it yet!
#5. Freaks and GeeksThis short-lived comedy failed to draw an audience and had to be canceled quite early. It was about two groups of students in a high school―freaks and geeks―who didn't quite fit well into the 'cool' crowd for their own reasons. After a campaign by fans, they aired just three more of the total 18 episodes. Although this show was shut down way too soon, it made big stars out of then James Franco, Jason Segel, and Seth Rogen. We got some really talented actors at least after the show was canceled!
#6. Pushing DaisiesEver thought a show that was nominated for 17 Primetime Emmy awards and won 7 out of them would go off-air soon enough? Yes, that's 'Pushing Daisies' for you! It was a show about a 'pie maker' who discovers that he has the ability to bring dead things back to life by simply touching them, and that anything that he resurrects will die again forever if he touches it for the second time. Although this show was adored by critics and fans, it did not gain a large enough audience to live longer, and was canceled just after two seasons. It also had to suffer because of poor timing of the show and writer's strike during the production.
#7. Dead Like MeThis show also lasted for two seasons even though it was well received by people from all around. It was about a girl named Georgia, a.k.a George, who dies early in the first episode and becomes 'Grim Reaper', whose job is to remove the souls of people and escort them into their afterlife. This show had to suffer because the creator, Bryan Fuller left the show after only five episodes of the first season due to differences with the creators. However, a movie was released five years after its termination to complete the story, which indicated that it was still loved by people and shouldn't have been stopped.
#8. Sports NightSports Night was a natural hit, featuring the future popular stars of 'Desperate Housewives', 'Parenthood', and 'The Good Wife'. It was written by the Aaron Sorkin, who later won an Oscar for 'The Social Network'. This show was funny, and also contained a great deal of talking and intelligence. However, low ratings and Sorkin's interest in 'The West Wing' led to the early wrapping up of 'Sports Night'.
#9. WonderfallsBefore making 'Pushing Daisies' and 'Star Trek', writer Bryan Fuller created the quirky series Wonderfalls. In this show, the over-educated sales clerk talks to inanimate figures in her store to seek advise. This show was aired only for four episodes out of the 13 episodes that were made, before Fox decided to pull the plug, the reason being the confusing change in time slot. The DVDs are available, but they are also limited. Those of you who have seen all the 13 episodes would agree that the show shouldn't have ended. It was a funny and strange show that should have gotten its chance to make a mark on television.
#10. DeadwoodThis show won many critical acclaims as well as eight Emmy awards and one Golden Globe. It lasted for three seasons before it ended prematurely. This partly fiction and partly historical American drama had a great star cast, and was mainly about the personal struggles, community life, and pros and cons of capitalism. The sudden decision of canceling this show came as a great shock to many people. However, it was cushioned with the rumors that the show would be rounded off in two major movies, which to the disappointments of the fans, have not materialized as yet.
So, these were some of the popular and awesome shows that were wrapped up quite early despite being loved by audiences all over the world. We're sure, there are many such shows, and can just hope they make a re-entry in the world of television with a bang. If you feel your favorite shows have not been included in the list, please feel free to add them in the comments section below.