TV Death Watch: Which Shows Have Been Canceled?

Ah, spring — the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the networks are axing shows. The month of May is a particularly deadly one for series, as networks prepare to unveil their fall schedules to advertisers.

While networks often wait until those upfront presentations to make cancellations official (by simply leaving off shows from their schedules), sometimes they announce the news in advance — especially for shows that were lucky enough to get a final season.

Here’s a rundown of all the shows officially canceled so far (we’ll be continually updating this list, so check back for the latest news):


American Crime: After three seasons, ABC canceled its most acclaimed drama, which was an Emmys powerhouse. It wasn’t, however, a ratings powerhouse, and Season 3 wrapped up with a dismal 2 million viewers. Where can we see Regina King and Felicity Huffman chew scenery now?

The Catch: This caper romance never generated buzz like its TGIT siblings Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. And with so-so ratings, ABC is ready to move on to new Shondaland fare, like For the People, which just received a series order.

Dr. Ken: Looks like ABC is performing an extreme makeover on Friday nights. The network already canceled Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing, and now, it’s done the same to its companion sitcom, which starredCommunity alum Ken Jeong as a version of his real-life self.

Ken Jeong as Dr. Ken in ‘Dr. Ken’ (Credit: ABC)
Ken Jeong as Dr. Ken in ‘Dr. Ken’ (Credit: ABC)

Imaginary Mary: Kooky concepts are not all the rage with viewers, apparently, as this comedy starring Jenna Elfman and an imaginary friend (voiced by Rachel Dratch) proves. Things didn’t look good when ABC cut down the show’s order from 13 episodes to nine, and poor ratings followed.

Mistresses: A revolving door of cast members spelled doom for the summer soap. It lost star Alyssa Milano after moving filming locations after Season 2, then lost her replacement, Jennifer Esposito, after Season 4.

Last Man Standing: For six seasons, the blue collar comedy has been a staple for ABC on Friday nights, but it seems budget issues caused the ax to fall. Star Tim Allen draws a big salary, but it’s still surprising that ABC wouldn’t keep one of the few shows it has that appeals to red state viewers.

The Real O’Neals: The modestly-rated family sitcom got the ax after two seasons for a few reasons: 1) It struggled to compete against blockbuster This Is Us. And 2) ABC seems to be clearing the deck for a new slate of shows developed by network boss Channing Dungey.

Secrets and Lies: The anthology crime thriller starring Juliette Lewis earned decent ratings in Season 1, but ABC’s decision to hold Season 2 for a year and a half after the end of the first season spelled doom.

Time After Time: Not only was the Kevin Williamson drama one of too many time traveling shows in the last year, it had the most head-scratching concept: H.G. Wells chasing Jack the Ripper through the decades.

Freddie Stroma as H.G. Wells in ‘Time After Time’ (Credit: ABC)
Freddie Stroma as H.G. Wells in ‘Time After Time’ (Credit: ABC)


2 Broke Girls: Despite posting solid ratings throughout its run, the comedy starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs found itself on the bubble for the first time in Season 6. CBS officially canceled the series after picking up two other shows from Warner Bros. Television.

American Gothic: The crime drama starring Justin Chatwin and Virginia Madsen may have been too dark and moody for summer viewers — its premiere drew just 3.4 million viewers.

BrainDead: Michelle and Robert King’s first project after The Good Wife arrived D.O.A., with a low 4.5 million viewers. The Kings moved on to The Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight, while star Mary Elizabeth Winstead landed a starring role on Fargo.

Brain Dead
Danny Pino as Luke Healy, Johnny Ray Gill as Gustav Triplett, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Laurel Healy, and Nikki M. James as Rochelle Daudier in ‘BrainDead’ (Credit: Jeff Neumann/CBS)

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders: The original series got renewed for a 13th season, but the Gary Sinise-led spinoff has been killed off after just two.

Doubt: The legal drama was doomed by poor reviews, despite a high-profile cast including Katherine Heigl, Laverne Cox, and Dule Hill. The case was closed after just two episodes.

The Great Indoors: Our critic, Ken Tucker, said it best in his review of the lackluster freshman comedy: “This new sitcom starring Joel McHale is a kind of self-negating machine: It’s aimed at millennials yet making fun of them constantly, and aimed at McHale fans while putting the star in his least-flattering light.”

The Odd Couple: The Matthew Perry-led comedy reboot lasted three, 13-episode seasons, which is longer than most oddsmakers gave it.

Ransom: The drama, an international co-production starring Luke Roberts and Sarah Greene, aired Saturday nights as part of CBS’s “Crimetime” lineup.”

Training Day: After star Bill Paxton’s death in February, this reboot of the 2001 film was not expected to continue.


APB: If you’re saying “AP … what?”, you’re not alone. Likable lead Justin Kirk couldn’t lure in viewers to stick with this gadget-heavy cop procedural, which premiered quietly in February and died just as quietly.

Making History: Time travel was a hot trend this year — but one that didn’t catch on with audiences. Despite an appealing cast headlined by Adam Pally and Leighton Meester, this freshman comedy was doomed when Fox downgraded its order from 13 episodes to nine.

Pitch: The baseball drama, which starred Kylie Bunbury as the first woman pitcher in the MLB, got some of the best reviews of the fall season. Unfortunately, it struck out in the ratings against strong competition.

McRae and Kylie Bunbury as Ginny (Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX)
Mo McRae as Blip Sanders and Kylie Bunbury as Ginny Baker (Credit: Ray Mickshaw/Fox)

Rosewood: The medical procedural enjoyed the “Empire effect” when it debuted as a lead-in to the music hit. But it learned how tough it is to maintain that kind of viewership when Fox moved Rosewood to Thursday, then Friday nights.

Sleepy Hollow: Once one of Fox’s most promising dramas, Sleepy Hollow debuted to 10 million viewers and inspired a devoted fanbase. But the show ticked off those fans by killing off co-lead Nicole Beharie’s character, Abbie Mills, and ratings plummeted.

Son of Zorn: A wacky concept — one of the characters is an animated superhero (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) — premiered to decent numbers (6 million viewers), but sputtered in the weeks after. No hero could give it a second season.

Scream Queens: Given that the Season 2 finale drew only 1.58 million viewers, it’s not a huge surprise that Ryan Murphy’s horror comedy has officially been laid to rest.


Aquarius: The Charles Manson drama had two low-rated seasons before being shipped off to the wasteland known as Saturday nights. The show’s cancellation did free up David Duchovny to do The X-Files, though.

The Blacklist: Redemption: While The Blacklist will live to see Season 5, this drama starring Famke Janssen and Ryan Eggold will go the way of most spinoffs: into obscurity.

Ryan Eggold as Tom Keen, Famke Janssen as Susan “Scottie” Hargrave (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)
Ryan Eggold as Tom Keen, Famke Janssen as Susan “Scottie” Hargrave (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

Emerald City: The ambitious epic that put a dark spin on The Wizard of Oz books received tepid reviews and never caught on with viewers. The yellow brick road stopped at Season 1.

Grimm: NBC announced last fall that the supernatural drama’s sixth season would be its last. The showrunners weren’t too sad about the cancellations, as story ideas were “getting a little slim” after 120-plus episodes.

Claire Coffee as Adalind Schade, Silas Weir Mitchell as Monroe, David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt, and Bree Turner as Rosalee Calvert in ‘Grimm’ (Credit: Allyson Riggs/NBC)
Claire Coffee as Adalind Schade, Silas Weir Mitchell as Monroe, David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt, and Bree Turner as Rosalee Calvert in ‘Grimm’ (Credit: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

Powerless: DC Comics’ first comedy series, starring Vanessa Hudgens and Danny Pudi, debuted to low ratings and was never able to bounce back. After NBC pulled the show from its Thursday night lineup, cancellation was inevitable.

UPDATE! Timeless has been renewed: Days after canceling the time-traveling drama, NBC changed it mind and the show, which ended on a major cliffhanger, has now scored a second season.

Chicago Justice: Turns out not everything with “Chicago” in the title is destined to be a hit, as Dick Wolf’s legal spinoff will not be moving forward with a Season 2.

The CW

Frequency: The freshman drama — a sequel/reboot to the 2000 movie of the same title — got lost in the pack of time-traveling shows, and didn’t fit in well with the network’s other offerings, which are mostly superhero or romance shows.

No Tomorrow: This rom-com wanted to stand alongside Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, with its kooky premise (girl hooks up with guy who believes the world is ending, so they might as well do crazy stuff). But it lacked the heart of the former and the hilarious musical numbers of the latter.

Reign: The royal drama always had an expiration date (Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded in real life), so the question was always “when.” The CW decided to make Season 4 the last, allowing writers to find the right way to end Mary’s story.

Celina Sinden as Greer Norwood, Adelaide Kane as Queen Mary Stuart, and Will Kemp as Lord Darnley in ‘Reign’ (Credit: The CW)
Celina Sinden as Greer Norwood, Adelaide Kane as Queen Mary Stuart, and Will Kemp as Lord Darnley in ‘Reign’ (Credit: The CW)

The Vampire Diaries: When star Nina Dobrev left the show after Season 6, the clock started ticking. The writers stretched two more years out of the remaining cast members, but eight seasons is a long time for any drama. Better that TVD went out on its own terms.

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