Recently Cancelled TV Shows (and the Unlikely Reasons They Were Cut)

In 1948 a 40-minute long program entitled The Queen’s Messenger became the first drama to ever be broadcast on television. Since then, television has become one of the most important artistic mediums of our time. TV shows have changed a lot from the old days of having individual episodes come out one at a time to the much more modern streaming services that release entire seasons at once. With TV shows being more popular today than ever, each new year brings us countless new programs as well as the end to old favorites.

Here are 25 recently canceled television programs. Which ones did you know, which came as a surprise, and which did you just find out about today? 

The 100 

Number of Seasons: 7

Final Episode Air Date: TBD

Stars: Eliza Taylor, Bob Morely, Marie Avgeropoulos

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Eliza Taylor was reported to make $400,000 per season

Sometime in the near future, a nuclear armageddon wipes out all human life on Earth. However, there are 12 orbiting space stations that survive the apocalypse. After several generations, the survivors are running out of supplies and they send 100 criminally convicted teenagers down to the planet's surface to test for survivability. The teens must struggle to make their way on a now wild Earth.

The 100 used to be a very popular TV show, however, after killing off several main characters this popularity began to dwindle. The showrunners have decided that capping the series on episode 100 will be a fitting end for their run. 

Arrow

Number of Seasons: 8

Final Episode Air Date: January 28, 2020

Stars: Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards, and Katie Cassidy

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Stephen Amell, the lead actor, earned $125,000 per episode

Arrow is the longest-running DC Comics TV show to date. The plot of the show follows DC Comics hero Green Arrow, also known by his secret identity Oliver Queen. Green Arrow must fight to save his city from super villains while also fighting to save his family's corporation from a corrupt takeover. 

While most TV shows are cancelled because of a lack of interest or because their plot has petered out; Arrow was cancelled for different reasons. Producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Beth Schwartz have decided that the show has run its course and that season 8 was a natural ending point for the story they wanted to tell. 

BoJack Horseman

Number of Seasons:

Final Episode Air Date: January 31, 2020

Stars: Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, and Alison Brie

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Will Arnett earned $75,000 per episode 

BoJack Horseman is an animated program about the turbulent life and times of a washed up TV star. BoJack comes to terms with his place in life while making friends with a cast of humans and humanoid animals.

BoJack Horseman was cancelled by Netflix for unknown reasons. Some suggest that the successful unionization effort of animation studio Shadowmachine played into the decision while others point to Netflix Original programming never getting past season 3, let alone 6.

Criminal Minds

Number of Seasons: 15

Final Episode Air Date: February 19, 2020

Stars: Matthew Gray Gubler and A. J. Cook 

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Matthew Gray Gubler earns $150,000 per episode.

Criminal Minds follows the story of an elite team FBI criminal profilers. These FBI agents use their psychological knowledge to track down and predict the movements of some of the most notorious criminals that have ever existed. 

Criminal Minds is being canceled for simply not living up to the studio’s ratings expectations.

Dear White People

Number of Seasons: 4

Final Episode Air Date: TBD

Stars: Logan Browning, Brandon P Bell, and DeRon Horton

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Logan Browning makes $160,000 per year. 

Dear White People follows the life and times of several students of color as they attend a predominantly white ivy league university. The students have to deal with issues of race, social justice, and activism all while handling the usual hurdles faced by college students.

Showrunners have decided that four seasons match with the four years students typically study for their undergrad. They felt that this was a good time to end the show's run. 

EastSiders

Number of Seasons: 4

Final Episode Air Date: December 1, 2019

Stars: Kit Williamson, Van Hansis, and Matthew McKelligon

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: The Kickstarter for season 4 earned $140,736

This dark comedy show explorers of the life and times of a gay couple living in a Silver Lakes, Los Angeles. The show is known to its fans for its incredibly earnest characters and its depiction of infidelity and drug use.

Like many of the other TV shows in this list, EastSiders has been canceled by the show's creators after they felt it has reached a natural conclusion. EastSiders started out as a YouTube show filmed on a shoestring budget and ends as an award-winning Netflix program. 

Future Man

Number of Seasons: 3

Final Episode Air Date: April 3, 2020

Stars: Eliza Coupe, Josh Hutcherson, and Derek Wilson

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Josh Hutcherrson earned over $100,000 per season

This wacky action adventure follows every man Josh Futturman as he is swept up into a multi-dimensional time travel adventure. Josh goes from being an average gamer to having to fight alongside battle-hardened apocalypse soldiers in a desperate bid to save the future.

Streaming service platforms tend to cancel their programs after just a few seasons. Future Man has followed this mold and has been canceled at season 3. 

GLOW

Number of Seasons: 4

Final Episode Air Date: TBD

Stars: Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: The cast is estimated to make around $1,000,000 per episode

GLOW follows Alison Brie’s character Ruth Wilder who is an out of work actress. She gets an oddball shot at stardom when she is offered a spot in the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling amateur wrestling league. 

GLOW faced budget cuts during season three and almost ended with that season’s unresolved, and somber, plot. It was renewed for a final season and will give audiences some resolved plot lines. 

The Good Place

Number of Seasons: 4

Final Episode Air Date: January 30, 2020

Stars: Kristen Bell, Jameela Jamil, and Ted Danson

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Ted Danson takes home a paycheck of $225,000 after each episode. 

Eleanor Shellstrop realizes that not only has she died, but she has made it to The Good Place. After realizing she doesn’t belong there, she must outwit the all-knowing creators of The Good Place while working with her friends to become a better person.

Unlike other shows on this list, The Good Place wasn’t cancelled. The writers for the show began working towards a natural conclusion after the start of season 2. They wanted the show to round out nicely rather than be weighed down by filler. 

Hawaii Five-o

Number of Seasons: 10

Final Episode Air Date: April 3, 2020

Stars: Scott Caan, Grace Park, and Alex O’Loughlin

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Caan and O’Loughlin make around $200,000 per episode. 

CBS’s renewed run of this classic buddy cop series has finally come to a close. The show starred iconic TV detectives Detective Steve McGarrett and his sidekick Danno as they worked to rid Hawaii of crime. 

One of the big reasons that leads to shows to be cancelled is that their actors decide to leave the production. At the end of this season, both Caan and O'Loughlin were at the end of their contract and decided to pursue other projects rather than continuing on with season 11.

If Loving You is Wrong

Number of Seasons: 6

Final Episode Air Date: TBD

Stars: Edwina Findley, Zulay Henao, and Esperanza Willis

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Tyler Perry Studios has an average salary of $53,560 per year

This drama series by Tyler Perry focuses on the lives of the residents of a middle-class community. On the surface, their lives seem normal and mundane. However, what lies beneath is a world of intrigue, romance, and betrayal. 

Tyler Perry is a prolific creator. He has several different TV shows and multiple movies that he manages every year. It's only natural that as the years go by some of these projects will start to fall to the wayside.

Limetown

Number of Seasons: 1

Final Episode Air Date: Nov 13, 2019

Stars: Jessica Biel, Stanley Tucci, Sherri Saum

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Jessica Biel made $300,000 per episode. 

Limetown is a dark mystery that follows the adventures of journalist Lia Haddock. As Lia attempts to solve the mystery of why over 300 people disappeared from an experimental town, she is dragged into the mystery herself.

Unfortunately for fans of Limetown and other programming, Facebook watch has scaled back its scripted content for the foreseeable future. This is one of the cancellation of many programs, including Limetown

Lucifer

Number of Seasons: 5

Final Episode Air Date: TBD

Stars: Tom Ellis, 

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Tom Ellis earns $50,000 per episode 

Lucifer follows an unlikely protagonist: the first fallen angel himself. After becoming dissatisfied with his tenure as the ruler of Hell, Lucifer heads to Earth to run a nightclub and engage in general debauchery. After encountering a truly good human, Lucifer begins to wonder if there is hope for his soul as well.

Lucifer is the first TV show in this list to have been canceled twice. It was first cancelled by Fox until uproar by fans brought it back to life on Netflix. This cancellation is likely more permanent and reflects flagging viewership. Netflix keeps a close eye on viewership numbers and when shows start to tank they're not greenlit for new seasons. 

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Number of Seasons: 7

Final Episode Air Date: TBD

Stars: Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, Ming-Na Wen

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Clark Gregg brings home $75,000 per episode

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the biggest TV show to tie into Disney’s hit Marvel Cinematic Universe. The show followed is the adventures of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. This group of elite spies fought against super villains and all the plot threads that were left behind by the major motion picture releases.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was canceled for just about every reason you could cancel the show for. Viewership and earnings had been down since season 5 which contributed to the decision. The biggest factor, however, was that Disney has been consolidating programming to its Disney + streaming service which is creating major shake-ups all over television. 

Marvel’s Ghost Rider

Number of Seasons: 0

Final Episode Air Date: Never

Stars: Gabriel Luna

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: $0.00

Ghost Rider is one of Marvel's most iconic characters. This biker jacket wearing flaming skeleton rides around on a hellish motorcycle seeking to drag guilty souls back to hell. This version of Ghost Rider got its start appearing in episodes of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. However, it looks like this is about as far as this ghost will ride.

Marvel's Ghost Rider is the only show on this list to be cancelled without filming even a pilot episode. The series was originally picked up by Hulu, but after creative differences between the streaming service and the writers, the show will not go forward. 

Modern Family

Number of Seasons: 11

Final Episode Air Date: April 8, 2020

Stars: Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, and Sarah Hyland

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: The Modern Family cast earns $500,000 per episode 

Modern Family explores the trials and tribulations of the contemporary family with a unique twist. This TV show is told from the perspective of an unseen documentary filmmaker who investigates a modern American family.

The show has been running for over a decade and its popularity has been consistent, but has been slowly starting to decline. In addition to this, several of the main cast’s contracts have recently expired as well as writers feeling that the show was reaching a natural conclusion. 

Mr. Robot

Number of Seasons: 4

Final Episode Air Date: December 22, 2019

Stars: Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Rami Malek earned as much as $1 million per episode at the show’s peak

Mr. Robot follows the life of an anti-social computer programmer named Elliott. While he spends his days working for a major corporation, at night he is a vigilante hacker. Elliott is recruited by an underground group of activists hackers to help take down corporate America.

Sometimes studio's give no official reason why their show has been canceled. It's up to us to piece together the clues to find out what happened. In this case, it is likely that Rami Malek’s upcoming Bond film as well as other projects have taken him away from the hit show.

Preacher

Number of Seasons: 4

Final Episode Air Date: August 4, 2019

Stars: Dominc Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joe Gilgun 

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: With a budget of around $6 million per episode, actors on Preacher can be paid upwards of $50,000 per episode 

Based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's popular 1990s comic book, Preacher follows Jesse Custer, a one-time outlaw who has followed his father’s wishes and taken over his duties as preacher of a church. Jesse comes to realize he has supernatural powers and finds himself in a world full of good and evil forces.

Some shows have simple reasons for being scrapped. Preacher ran for four strong seasons, but ultimately AMC couldn't foot the bill for this special effects heavy franchise. This show was cancelled for budgetary concerns. 

The Ranch

Number of Seasons: 4

Final Episode Air Date: January 24, 2020

Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Sam Elliott, and Elisha Cuthbert

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Ultra-famous celebrities like Ashton Kutcher can rake in $755,000 per episode

This show follows Ashton Kutcher’s character Colt. After his pro football career ends in failure, Colt returns home to work on his family’s ranch. Drama increases as Colt must heal the bonds between him and his family after becoming estranged as well as readjust to life in a small town.

Sometimes real-world events have consequences for our favorite shows. In this case, actor Danny Masterson was fired from Netflix after sexual assault allegations came out against him. This caused some awkward writing problems for the show which lead to its cancellation. 

Schitt’s Creek

Number of Seasons: 6

Final Episode Air Date: March 10, 2020

Stars: Daniel Levy, Annie Murphy, Eugene Levy

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: The cast of this show make a whopping $3 million per episode 

Schitt's Creek is a Canadian TV series about a wealthy and privileged family who lose all their money. After losing it all, the family must move to a town that they purchased as a joke years before. While living in poverty, they must learn to come together as a family in ways they never have before.

Writers and showrunners for Schitt's Creek wanted to give the show a natural ending. Rather than upsetting fans with an unexpected cancellation sometime in the future, they chose to end the show with the current season 6 so that they could control the ending. 

Steven Universe

Number of Seasons: 6

Final Episode Air Date: January 21, 2019

Stars: Zach Callison, Deedee Mango, and Estelle

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Animator Rebecca Sugar earns between $68,000 and $74,000 animating this show

The Crystal Gems are a group of magic beings that are charged with protecting the balance of the universe. Steven is a half-gem half-human child and, although he is not as smart or as powerful as his crystal gem older siblings, must nevertheless work to help them save the day.

Steven Universe is the only TV show on this list to be only mostly canceled. While the main series has been officially canceled, fans are vocal about their support for this show and it is likely that additional spin-offs or another movie will be on the horizon. 

Supernatural 

Number of Seasons: 15

Final Episode Air Date: March 30, 2020

Stars: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Jensen Ackles makes $175,000 per episode 

Supernatural features the adventures of brothers Sam and Dean Winchester as they travel the United States of America hunting down all kinds of occult monsters. While the show started out with them handling simple monsters such as ghosts and vampires, by the time we get to the final season they are facing off against God himself.

Supernatural has lasted for an astounding 15 seasons. That's an impressive run for any show. With the main cast looking to wrap up their involvement with the program and a sizable catalog of episodes behind them, the people involved with the show have decided that season 15 will be the last season. 

Van Helsing

Number of Seasons: 5

Final Episode Air Date: TBD

Stars: Kelly Overton, Johnathan Scarfe, Christopher Heyerdahl

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Star Kelly Overton averages $50,175 per year on this show

This story is a unique and innovative reimagining of the classic Dracula story. Vanessa Helsing wakes up after a five-year coma to find the world taken over by vampires. She joins a ragtag group of humans and, with the help of her vampire hunting skills, is able to begin to turn the tide in humanity’s favor.

Fans of Van Helsing can rest assured that the show is closing out with a natural fifth season. The cast and crew of Van Helsing are happy with the decision to end on season 5. This means that the last season be something fans can look forward to and be satisfied with. 

Vikings

Number of Seasons: 6

Final Episode Air Date: February 5, 2020

Stars: Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, and Alexander Ludwig

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Travis Fimmel and other top-tier stars earn as much as $400,000 per episode on this show

This period drama set in the Viking age follows Ragnar Lothbrok, a young Viking looking to find his place in the world. Ragnar must overcome the ineffective chieftain Earl Haraldson if he wants to follow his dream and explore the new worlds to the west.

Vikings may have been canceled, but fans of the series can rest assured that the property is likely to remain alive. The showrunners have publicly stated that they are interested in exploring the option of creating a spin-off or sequel series.

Will & Grace

Number of Seasons: 11

Final Episode Air Date: TBD

Stars: Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, and Megan Mullally

Salary the Cast Earned Per Episode: Original cast members earned $350,000 per episode 

Will & Grace follows the life of the titular characters as they explore cultural commentary, dating, divorce, and even sex through the lens of a comedic sitcom. This sitcom got its start in the late nineties and has become famous for being one of the most successful sitcoms to feature an openly gay protagonist. 

This won't be the first time that Will & Grace has been canceled. For a show that has been around since the late nineties, it's had a historic run. This cancellation seems like it might be more permanent as leading actress Debra Messing has hinted that she is done playing the character of Grace. 


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