2008 – 2009 Cancelled TV Shows: 12 ABC Series That Won’t Be Back for 2009 – 2010

The UnusualsABC announced their new schedule for the 2009 – 2010 season this week. Compared to its competition, the network is doing reasonably well but several long-running shows are losing steam and ABC still has some trouble spots in the schedule. There were a few surprises at the upfront presentation.

ABC has a history of renewing one or two struggling freshman shows. This time around it was Castle and Better Off Ted. They’re keeping Scrubs around for another year, surely because of syndication profits. And they’re also bringing back True Beauty, likely because it’s inexpensive and is compatible with other ABC shows. Word is that there will be some changes made to the series’ format when it returns.

Coming back next season are 20/20, America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Better Off Ted, Brothers & Sisters, Castle, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Scrubs, Supernanny, True Beauty, Ugly Betty, and Wife Swap.

Over the Summer, you’ll be able to see The Bachelorette, Here Come the Newlyweds, I Survived a Japanese Game Show, Primetime, Surviving Suburbia, and Wipeout. Who Wants to be a Millionaire is returning for a special run in August. New Summer fare include Dating in the Dark, The Goode Family, and The Superstars.

Which ABC show shouldn't have been cancelled?

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ABC is bringing out a lot of new programming next season, looking for a new hit. In fact, they’re completely revamping their Wednesday night schedule. New shows coming next season include Copper, Cougar Town, The Deep End, Eastwick, FlashForward, the forgotten, Hank, Happy Town, The Middle, Modern Family, Shark Tank, and a new version of the NBC classic, V.

And now, for the bad news. There are quite a few casualties. Here are the shows that won’t be back next season.

According to Jim
This old-style sitcom about a headstrong contractor and his beautiful wife was successful in its early seasons but, by season five, the ratings really started to decline. Still, the network kept renewing it and the sitcom managed to survive for eight seasons.

Boston Legal
The quirky legal drama that centers around attorneys at the Boston law firm of Crane, Poole and Schmidt. Due to a decline in viewership and attracting an older demographic, the network closed the show after five seasons.

A remake of the short-lived 1990s series of the same name, this show didn’t last as long as the original. Will we ever find out if Trevor is really Cupid — in either version?

Dirty Sexy Money
Even lawyer Nick George couldn’t save the Darling clan from being cancelled. ABC opted not to order a full second season and hasn’t gotten around to airing the remaining four installments.

Eli Stone
A successful lawyer begins to have visions that put his life in turmoil and take him on a personal and spiritual journey. ABC decided against ordering a full second season.

Homeland Security USA
A documentary-style show that follows men and women who help to keep our nation safe. ABC thought that the public would find this interesting. They didn’t and the network cancelled it.

Life on MarsIn the Motherhood
Based on a web series, this sitcom looks at the challenges of juggling motherhood with work and love lives in a complicated modern world. The sitcom was pulled after four episodes and the last three installments will run next month. It won’t be back for season two.

Life on Mars
A remake of a UK show of the same name, the series was struggling to hold onto its audience for its first handful of episodes. Then, the network put it on hiatus for three months and things got even worse. Thankfully the producers had enough time to wrap up the ongoing mystery.

Opportunity Knocks
The Aston Kutcher reality game show was pulled from the schedule after three installments were aired. The rest may see the light of day eventually but they aren’t making any more.

Pushing Daisies
The piemaker with the magic touch couldn’t save his own series from the grim reaper. It ran for two short seasons and the network has yet to air the final three installments.

Samantha Who?Samantha Who?
This sitcom looked very successful when it had a strong lead-in like Dancing with the Stars but few bothered to watch this Christina Applegate show without it. The final episodes are likely to air this Summer.

The Unusuals
An off-beat cop show that took over a Wednesday night timeslot from Life on Mars. ABC wanted this one to work but not enough people were interested. The show won’t be back next season.

Will you miss any of these cancelled shows? Has ABC made any mistakes or have they gotten these right? See any they shouldn’t have renewed but did? Be sure to leave your comments below!

Canceled and renewed TV show

100 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Zig says

    I don’t find many shows to watch on network… that’s why i was disappointed when The Unusals were cancelled. I loved the quirky characters and if given time, like the shows on USA, the sories get better and the characters work well together and become more believeable. Please bring it back!

  2. Bring The Unusuals Back!!! says

    ABC, everyone is disappointed with your decision to cancel The Unusuals. I think you should bring it back and promote it better. I truely believe you will see a change in ratings.

  3. Ashley says

    I can’t believe the Unusuals was canceled, that show was one of my favorites. ABC I am not impressed! My mom really liked the show too…of all of the shows canceled I would like to see this come back. I am also sad that Eastwick (as crazy as it is) is canceled. Not happy!

  4. Lori says

    My family and I really liked The Unusuals! It was a great show – why didn’t you let it take hold – advertise it a little. I also look forward to Castle – leave it alone please.

  5. Erika says

    Why in the world would I allow myself to get hooked on any more abc shows when the network has proven that anything I like will be taken off the air, without notice. I LOVED Eli Stone and many others before it, but I’m boycotting any new shows from abc. I don’t have the time or energy to get invested in another and have it cancelled on a whim. Seems like the network needs to adjust show expenses and expectations for first year performance to coincide with “reality” no pun intended.

  6. Vinny says

    Pushing Daisies was an awesome show. it pissed me off when ABC cancelled it due to a slip in ratings during an episode. the executives are never happy with the shows they broadcast

  7. KS says

    I vote for The Unusuals! My hubby and I loved this show. It had a Great sense of humor. You did have to keep up though, we like that about shows. Bring it Back. Bring it Back!! Bring it Back!! Please!! Please!!

  8. Jeff says

    I really wish the networks would stop insulting our intelligence with all the f*ck!ng “reality” shows and actually produce something of quality. Oddly enough that seems to be the first shows that get cancelled. Has this country become so dumbed-down that this is what tv has come to?

    Eli Stone, The Unusuals, Life on Mars, Pushing Daisies, all had unique qualities not seen anywhere else. I don’t really buy into the ratings the they supposedly were not getting.

    This is why I find myself more and more NOT watching ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX and more often watching stuff from discovery/syfy.

  9. Kim says

    I’m so disappointed to see Samantha Who is gone! There are so few comedy sitcoms on anymore-the characters on this show were fun to watch, and the ever developing story line kept it fresh-you never knew what she would remember :) There are so few shows my husband likes to watch with me, and this was one of them-ABC you got it so wrong keeping all the horrible reality shows you play and canceling this one

  10. tequawrm says

    First i lose mid season Scrubs only to have a free season that is the end then i find out that im loosing both THE UNIT and BOSTON LEGAL and later MY NAME IS EARL. Can’t i have something to laugh at, i mean on top of that Bush isn’t in office either, there is no comedy on anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Carol Montes says

    I think its a shame that Samantha Who and Cupid are gone. Both great shows. I never make it a point to comment about shows. I usually just move on, but these I would love to see again. I wish they would at least make it an online series. Something to think about.

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