30 Black Shows That Got Cancelled Too Soon

Photo: Brooke James/Prime Video
Photo: Brooke James/Prime Video

It seems like every other week, we’re getting news of one of our favorite shows saying sayonara to our small screens thanks to mergers or budget cuts or any number of reasons (looking at you, specifically Truth Be Told, Love Life and 61st Street). This not only makes for upset fans who already found themselves attached to these short-lived characters, but it also serves an injustice to the aforementioned characters’ storylines and arcs as we’ll never get closure or a proper send-off to their sagas. That being said, we felt it fitting to take a look back a handful of shows that got canceled far too soon and deserved at least one more season.

Let’s start off with Prime Video’s drama series, “Riches.” The news that it wouldn’t return for a second season came at the top of December, much to the sadness and shock to both fans and the cast. Lead actress Deborah Ayorinde thanked her supporters for showing up for the storytelling, writing in a post to Instagram:

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“Rap Sh!t”

JUSTICE FOR MY SEDUCIN’ AND SCHEMIN’ PARTNERS MIA AND SHAWNA! Rap Sh!t’s cancellation on Thursday was met with universal outrage, sadness and shock by fans and the creative teams behind it—and for good reason! The growth between season one and season two was noticeable and everyone involved delivered and brought us so much potential that we’ll now never get to see fully realized and cliffhanger plots that we’ll never get to see resolved. A lot of the cancellations on this list hurt but this one really feels like a dagger.

“Bigger”

This gem of a show was on BET+ but it came with good characters and good storylines and it’s too bad that we didn’t get to see their evolution.

“Run the World”

I almost feel like we can’t have nice things because for STARZ to cancel this after it was proven it had a growing fan base is still one of the most puzzling things ever!

“Love Life”

I can’t tell you how many times I’m constantly seeing people talk about how robbed they feel by not getting to see the evolution of William Harper Jackson and Jessica Williams’ relationship in “Love Life.” And you know what? They’re right.

“Our Kind of People”

Morris Chestnut. Yaya DaCosta. Rhyon Nicole Brown. Lance Gross. Debbi Morgan. Joe Morton. McKinley Freeman.

We got all these beautifully melanated people and talent in one show and we didn’t get a second season???!!

“Swagger”

Screenshot: AppleTV+
Screenshot: AppleTV+

Let’s move on to equally a strong series on AppleTV+, the gem that is Swagger. News of it’s recent cancellation took Twitter/X by storm last Thursday, prompting many to express their love for the series. In a statement from his own personal page, creator Reggie Rock Bythewood said in part: “In our two seasons, we have launched careers, disrupted genre, brought forth humanity through our characters, told stories we deeply care about, revolutionized the way to shoot basketball and have fun. That’s a blessing.”

You know what would be a bigger blessing, Apple?? BRINGING BACK THE SHOW. Be like Spike Lee and do the right thing!

“Love Is___”

Screenshot: IMDB.com
Screenshot: IMDB.com

OWN’s one-season-wonder: Love Is_, inspired by the love story of TV-producing couple Salim and Mara Brock Akil, took the internet by storm and garnered a huge following in near record time. While it wasn’t without its flaws, the love and career success story of Yasir and Nuri is one that we still need to see evolve. Somebody get Oprah on the line, the streets need this!!

“The Get Down”

Screenshot: YouTube/FilmIsNow Moves & Trailers
Screenshot: YouTube/FilmIsNow Moves & Trailers

Just the fact that I’ll never get to see Yahya Abdul-Mateen II disco dance as Cadillac or hear Shameik Moore scream “I’M SHAOLIN FANTASTIC, THE LADY KILLING ROMANTIC” ever again is enough to make me cry into the next millennium. Netflix’s The Get Down was gone far too soon.

“South Side”

Screenshot: YouTube/HBO Max
Screenshot: YouTube/HBO Max

I don’t think I’ve cried laughing or screamed laughing at a show like HBO Max’s South Side in a looooooong time. Its cancellation was a miss entirely.

“Raising Dion”

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

A Black kid superhero learning how to harness his powers for good with the support of his mother? Come on, now. Netflix knows good and well that we needed another season of Raising Dion.

“Legendary”

Photo: Courtesy of 42 West
Photo: Courtesy of 42 West

Not only was Legendary fabulous but it was also edu-taining, meaning educational and entertaining. More folks needed to learn a thing or two about ballroom culture, how to respect it and how to serve, if we’re being real. This show was giving what it was supposed to have gave and I’m sick that HBO Max put an end to it.

“The Mayor”

Screenshot: YouTube/TV Promos
Screenshot: YouTube/TV Promos

I think I audibly gasped when the news broke that the ABC show The Mayor had been canceled. Brandon Michael Hall, Bernard David Jones, and Marcel Spears were like my favorite trio of friends. Not seeing them together on my screen anymore is a huge miss.

“Survivor’s Remorse”

Screenshot: YouTube/STARZ
Screenshot: YouTube/STARZ

Not only was STARZ’s Survivor’s Remorse great, but it boasts a handful of our 90s favorite actors like Tichina Arnold and Ronreaco Lee and Teyonah Parris and Jesse T. Usher.

“Underground”

Screenshot: YouTube/UndergroundWGN
Screenshot: YouTube/UndergroundWGN

Aldis Hodge. Jurnee Smollett. Amirah Vahn. Aisha Hinds. Alano Miller. Need I say more about WGN’s Underground?

“The Arsenio Hall Show”

Arsenio Hall speaking to the crowd, 1993.
Arsenio Hall speaking to the crowd, 1993.


Arsenio Hall speaking to the crowd, 1993.

Come on now, it’s Arsenio freakin’ Hall. He had the goods for TV and when the show was revived in 2013, they should’ve given our guy more time.

“The Carmichael Show”

Screenshot: YouTube/A2Z TV Trailers
Screenshot: YouTube/A2Z TV Trailers

The Carmichael Show was another show that made me audibly gasp when its cancellation was announced. I know the comedic style wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but you cannot deny the chemistry between Jerrod Carmichael, Lil Rel, David Alan Grier, Loretta Devine, Tiffany Haddish and more.

“Roc”

Screenshot: YouTube/Scenes That Hit
Screenshot: YouTube/Scenes That Hit

Those who watched Fox back in the early 90s will remember how much Roc was a gem of a show and also why it never got its just dues.

“She’s Gotta Have It”

Screenshot: YouTube/JoBlo Streaming and TV Trailers
Screenshot: YouTube/JoBlo Streaming and TV Trailers

Admittedly, season two of this Netflix show wasn’t as good as the first one IN MY OPINION. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t deserve to see more of Nola Darling and her evolution.

“Girlfriends”

Screenshot: YouTube/Zolani Hogana
Screenshot: YouTube/Zolani Hogana

I mean, do I really have to say why? We never got a proper ending and for, we need the show creators to run it back!

“My Brother and Me”

Screenshot: YouTube/Bobby S. Cooper
Screenshot: YouTube/Bobby S. Cooper

Nickelodeon-Hive, stand up! This classic show was important to an entire generation of kids and we should’ve gotten more from it.

“The Sinbad Show”

Screenshot: YouTube/The Sinbad Show
Screenshot: YouTube/The Sinbad Show

There’s a reason Sinbad was so popular—and that’s because he was so good and so funny. The people wanted more and we should’ve gotten it!

“Lovecraft Country”

Screenshot: YouTube/Kinocheck.com
Screenshot: YouTube/Kinocheck.com

Scandal involving its lead star aside, not a week goes by where someone online isn’t venting their frustrations about not getting a season two of this show. It’s only right that they get what they’ve so long been waiting for.

“A Black Lady Sketch Show”

There aren’t too many show cancellation’s that make me sad but this one was definitely one of them. Why? Because when was the last time you saw a Black woman-created, led, and produced comedy sketch show? Exactly. Robin Thede’s show was both barrier-breaking and funny and I hope it gets revived soon.

“Grand Crew”

Another easy-watch that delivered on laughs and storylines, Grand Crew was a good time and one that deserved to keep telling its stories for awhile.

“A League of Their Own”

I’ve got two words for you: Chante Adams. She deserves to be on our screens way more than she has been and this show proved why.

“Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty”

While the second season of the show garnered some online criticism from former players and coaches, what’s undeniable is that it was damn good TV that has the potential to tell more stories. Here’s hoping another platform picks it up.

“The Wonder Years”

Only running for two seasons, The Wonder Years was a breath of fresh air, giving new perspective on an old classic. We still want to see where the Williams family goes from here.

“Ziwe”

Given all the foolery that’s currently happening in this country, we were robbed another two or 12 seasons of Ziwe to help bring the laugh and much needed correction and shade to us all. Somebody get my girl back on TV!

“L.A.’S Finest”

A Spectrum Original, “L.A.’s Finest” starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba was a spinoff of the “Bad Boys” franchise and was such good television (especially the season one finale), the news of it’s non-renewal was such a shock to the system—I’m still upset about it nearly three years later.

“Truth Be Told”

Starring Octavia Spencer and also Gabrielle Union, “Truth Be Told” tells the story of true crime podcaster Poppy Parnell, who is called to investigate the case of convicted killer Warren Cave, a man she incriminated after he murdered the father of two identical twins. Soon, Parnell must decide where the lines between guilty and innocent lie when Cave confesses to the fact that he was framed for the crime. Between the storyline and acting, this show deserved more air time and viewers.

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