Our Favorite One-Season Wonders

KC Frankenburger

Read Time 3 minutes

If you’re a TV fan, you undoubtedly know what it’s like to fall in love with a show and be devastated when it gets cancelled out of nowhere. So much potential gone in an instant.

While we’re really hoping that TV executives everywhere will take our pain into account and just stop canceling new shows so quickly, it probably won’t ever happen. So without further ado, here are just a few of the best shows that didn’t make it past the first season.

  1. Firefly
    Type: Drama, Science-Fiction, Action & Adventure, Fantasy
    Release Date: 2002
    Starring: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk

Joss Whedon’s first foray into proper sci-fi storytelling was a huge hit with fans. Unfortunately, after bungling the episode order, the network made a hasty decision in cancelling this 2002 series that could have been wildly successful.

  1. Kitchen Confidential
    Type: Comedy, Romance
    Release Date: 2005
    Starring: Bradley Cooper, Nicholas Brendan, Jaime King

This television adaptation of Anthony Bourdain’s memoir of the same name stars none other than Bradley Cooper himself. While the show was largely missed by audiences, it is lauded as being funny and utterly watchable. Thankfully, the show is now available to stream on Hulu.

  1. The Grinder
    Type: Comedy
    Release Date: 2015
    Starring: Rob Lowe, Fred Savage, Mary Elizabeth Ellis

Rob Lowe has made a big splash in the comedy world over the last decade. First with his stellar turn as hilarious health-nut Chris Traeger on Parks and Recreation, and then in 2015 as TV star Dean Sanderson on The Grinder. Despite the show’s rave reviews, the network just didn’t think the series had the ratings to warrant renewing it for a second season. Watch this series in its entirety for free on Sony Crackle.

  1. Wonderfalls
    Type: Drama, Science-Fiction, Comedy, Fantasy
    Release Date: 2004
    Starring: Caroline Dhavernas, Tyron Leitso, Lee Pace

In Wonderfalls, we follow Jaye, a cynical souvenir shop employee, as she begins to experience the unexplainable. This quirky dramedy from the creator of Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies was unfortunately gone from the airwaves far too soon.

  1. LA to Vegas
    Type: Comedy
    Release Date:
    2018
    Starring: Dylan McDermott, Kim Matula, Nathan Lee Graham

Another sitcom that just couldn’t compete, LA to Vegas is a recent victim of the great TV axe of history. This hilarious comedy was well worth the watch and we were sorry to see it go.

  1. Bunheads
    Type: Drama, Comedy
    Release Date: 2012
    Starring: Sutton Foster, Kelly Bishop, Julia Goldani Telles

With Amy Sherman-Palladino, Sutton Foster, and Kelly Bishop, Bunheads was a sure ratings win, right? Wrong. While the show was charming and lovely and all of the things you might have expected, this is one reviewer that thinks the show may have suffered an early death due to its unfortunate name. (I myself mistakenly typed Bungheads at least twice while writing this very brief review.) If you are willing to overlook its unfortunate nomenclature, please give this show a try. Though it only lasted one season, it was certainly worth it.

  1.  Freaks and Geeks
    Type: Drama, Comedy
    Release Date: 1999
    Starring: Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Busy Philipps

While I loved every minute of this show and wish it could have continued, there is something so iconic about its first (and only) season that might not have been quite so meaningful had it not been axed so soon.

  1. The Get Down
    Type: Drama, Musical
    Release Date: 2016
    Starring: Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Herizen F. Guardiola

The cancellation of this sleek and creative series by Netflix is a mystery to me still to this day. As the network is quite tight-lipped about its ratings, we can only assume that the decision was made due to show being criminally under-watched.

  1. Terriers
    Type: Drama, Crime, Mystery
    Release Date: 2010
    Starring: Donal Logue, Michael Raymond-James, Rockmond Dunbar

Of all the gone-too-soon cancellations, none of them hurt more than Terriers. Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James were perfect as private detective partners, Hank and Britt. And I truly believe that if this show had aired only one or two years later it would have had a bright future. It seems the show-runner and stars are constantly talking about the possibility of reviving the series, so I’m just going to sit over here crossing my fingers as much as humanly possible.

  1.  My So-Called Life
    Type: Drama, Comedy, Romance
    Release Date: 1994
    Starring: Claire Danes, Jared Leto, Wilson Cruz

There are two types of people in this world. People who love My So-Called Life, and people who have never seen it. This list would not be complete without the show that started this all (for most of us). The series harkens back to a simpler time, aka the mid-nineties, Pittsburgh, and truly encapsulates what life was like back then, especially for teenagers.

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