The Best Television Shows to Be Cancelled After One Season

The Secret Circle

For every great television series out there that gets to tells its full story over the course of several full seasons, there are just as many, if  not more, shows that have their stories cut short after just one season. While these series never get the opportunity to do everything that  their creators may have dreamed of or have the chance to fully develop all of the characters within their world, a lot of them do become immortalized as cult classics, one season wonders that people encourage their friends to binge watch on Netflix because even though the whole story isn’t told, the first chapter is good enough by itself to warrant a recommendation. So here are my recommendations to all of you. These are the best televisions to be cancelled after one season.

Photo via The CW

Chris is the Managing Editor of TVOvermind. A graduate of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, where he majored in English and Film, he has been writing for TVOvermind for over two years and has written about several different television shows, such as New Girl, Breaking Bad, Glee, and Homeland. Contact him through Twitter (@ckinger13) or email (
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  • Charles

    The Middleman on ABC Family was cancelled after one season. It was a great show.

    • Chris King

      Charles, I’ve heard how good The Middleman is but have never got the chance to watch it. Definitely will be putting it on my list of shows to check out!

  • John

    It’s Your Move

  • Mark R. Mnich

    Where’s “Profit?”

  • Stacey

    you forgot Pushing Daisies!

    • Chris King

      I’m embarrassed to say that I still need to watch Pushing Daisies. I’ve been wanting to watch it for so long but just haven’t found the time yet. As soon as I do, I’m sure I’ll add it to this list!

      • Jay Bubbles

        Pushing Daises is/was an excellent show. My favorite next to Rubicon,
        but it had more than one season and won an Emmy. This list is for those
        that only had one season. Do you remember the rash of sci-fi tv
        pilots? Surface was the best but ended on the best cliff-hanger with no
        resolution. To this day it makes me think twice before getting
        involved in an NBC pilot show.

  • Dave Tamillow

    If you go back to 1993 (only 6 years earlier than “Freaks and Geeks”), you could include “The Adventures of Briscoe County, Jr.” starring none other than Bruce Campbell! I STILL miss that show! I agree with the majority of your other choices, though, esp. “Terriers” and “F&G”. Stacey’s right, “Pushing Daisies” should be on there too. So go watch it already… lol!

  • Sue Karr

    Nothing Sacred!!!
    Rumor had it at the time that ABC caved to pressure from the Church.
    It was wonderful…especially John Cullum singing Dona No is Pacem.

  • Julie Grob

    We really liked Miracles, which was a spooky show based around the Catholic Church, paranormal events, and an impending apocalypse, as best I recall. Very atmospheric and nice performance by Skeet Ulrich.

  • VictoriaMiller

    Wonderfalls. I mourn it still.

  • Azrael

    The 1995 science fiction epic of Marines battling an alien menace, Space: Above and Beyond. Created and written by Glenn Morgan and James Wong, it was planned for five seasons ala Babylon 5. It was cancelled after one by, guess who, FOX. I sense a pattern here. And that was a show nominated for two Emmys and a Saturn Award.

  • willy Flynn

    Are you kidding me..”Life on Mars” was the best show..not to make this list is a travesty.

  • Nicole Bateman

    Fear Itself will always be my favorite. Dollhouse would have been another good Whedon one to add but I suppose technically it is two seasons long which would disqualify it. Still angry about how they ended it though..

  • Jonathan Evan Stern

    Two suggestions, Firefly and Clerks the Animated Series. Both are were highly intelligent shows that morphed popular genres (sci-fi westerns and adult cartoons respectively) into something wholly unique.

    • Chris King

      Jonathan, I’ve never heard of Clerks the Animated Series, but since I’m a fan of the movies, I will definitely have to check that out at some point. As for Firefly, I couldn’t agree more with you. It’s one of my all-time favorite shows, which is why it’s the first one I talk about on page two. Thanks for commenting!

  • Wolf

    No Firefly? Seriously????????????

    • Chris King

      Firefly is on this list. It’s actually the first show I talk about on page two.

  • Richard Daniels

    what about crisis, hostages, gang related all great shows cancelled after one season and now witches of east end after 2 hollywood sucks

    • Nina

      I loved gang related. i was surprised at how badly it did.

  • Lisa Williams

    Back in about 2006, ABC had a show called “Eyes,” with Tim Daly in it. It was great, but it got the usual ABC treatment — move it all over the place, ignore it and then cancel it. And definitely agree about “Wonderfalls.”

    • Kat

      ABC only cares about Shonda Rhimes’ ridiculous shows. I’m surprised they show anything else.

  • Jarret

    American Gothic from the mid ’90s.

  • DJ Lawless One™

    Worst Week?

  • Marc

    I was really getting into Flashforward when it got canceled.

  • Suzette

    Golden Boy was terrific but took a few weeks or so to get used to the future flash forward scenes they used for storytelling .
    Really miss the excellent acting by Chi McBride and Theo James. The show was fantastic!

    • Nina

      OMG Golden Boy was SO Good. That was a big disappointment! I also enjoyed Rush on USA.

  • Amanda

    i love you for putting trophy wife on this list. It was SOOO funny. best new comedy of the last couple of years. It was phenomenal. devastated it was axed =(

  • Aunt Bec

    My FAVORITE cancelled show, The Black Donnellys, which was created by Paul Haggis just after his winning turns at consecutive Best Picture winners, 2004’s Million Dollar Baby and 2005’s Crash, was a brilliant show.

  • Thanatos

    What about “The Tomorrow People”? Or “Almost Human”? Two shows that had a lot of potential and were cancelled at the end of their first seasons. Not going to mention “Dracula,” which was a guilty pleasure.

    • Ed

      Tomorrow people did get canceled! Funny just today I asked about that show while watching the flash. I couldn’t get into Dracula and I Like all vampire shows(the Originals being my favorite)
      I Don’t care about the rest, except Firefly they shouldn’t have cancelled that..

  • Chantelle Smith-Hall

    I really enjoyed GCB, as well.

  • Lauren Howie

    I liked the fox show about a reunion and all the people were connected – it had the redhead from the mentalist on it. I also likes life on mars and journeyman. Oh and life as we know it. I don’t think that one made it two seasons. And better with you on ABC made me laugh so hard but it got axed.