It’s a sad reality of television viewing but some of our favorite shows are bound to get cancelled long before we’re ready to let them go. As the old Billy Joel song says, it seems like “only the good die young” while the lousy ones stick around for years and years.
Here’s a “quick” listing of shows that won’t be back for the 2010 — 2011 TV season. If your favorite is on the list, you have our condolences. If they’re not, keep your fingers crossed that they won’t soon be joining this little obituary column.
This list encompasses shows that have been cancelled from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010. In some cases, the last episode of a show aired months earlier but the network didn’t get around to canceling it until later. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, try the 2008 — 2009 page or maybe you’ve gotten lucky!
As the World Turns (CBS)
The network has decided to end the venerable soap opera after 54 years on the air, due to low ratings. Proctor & Gamble has pledged to try to find a new home for the series but hasn’t had success yet. It will go off the air in September. Petition link.
The Beautiful Life (CW)
This show about young models portrays the cut-throat and competitive world of high fashion. Starring Mischa Barton, Corbin Bleu, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Nico Tortorella, and Elle Macpherson, it was the first casualty of the 2009-10 season. The drama had poor ratings and was pulled after two episodes. The series’ five episodes have been posted officially on YouTube.
The Bill Engvall Show (TBS)
Comic Bill Engvall plays a family counselor who can’t always figure out his own crazy family. The rest of the sitcom cast includes Nancy Travis, Jennifer Lawrence, Graham Patrick Martin, Skyler Gisondo, and Tim Meadows. The series was cancelled after three seasons and 30 episodes due to a decline in ratings.
Blonde Charity Mafia (CW)
This docu-series revolves around a trio of influential young women in Washington, DC. It was initially developed for Lifetime before moving to CW. After delaying its airing, the network has decided to cancel their plans to broadcast it at all. The show may be sold to another outlet.
The Bonnie Hunt Show (syndicated)
This talk show has been on the air for two seasons but hasn’t been a big ratings winner in the competitive daytime market. The distributor decided to cancel it though original programs will continue to be produced until June.
A gritty drama about two Irish-American brothers; a politician (Jason Clarke) and a thug (Jason Isaacs). Others in the cast include Kevin Chapman, Annabeth Gish, Fiona C. Erickson, Brian Scannell, Kerry O’Malley, Fionnula Flanagan, Madison Garland, and Billy Smith. After three years, Showtime opted not to continue the series. The news broke when the third season was released on DVD as “The Final Season.”
The Cleaner (A&E)
This series revolves around a recovering drug addict who helps others beat their own addictions. The drama stars Benjamin Bratt, Brett DelBuono, Liliana Mumy, Grace Park, Esteban Powell, Amy Price-Francis, and Kevin Michael Richardson. The series ended after two seasons and 26 episodes.
Defying Gravity (ABC)
A group of eight astronauts undertake a mysterious space mission. The sci-fi drama stars Andrew Airlie, Christina Cox, Zahf Paroo, Ron Livingston, Laura Harris, Karen LeBlanc, William C. Vaughan, Malik Yoba, Paula Garces, Florentine Lahme, Eyal Podell, Dylan Taylor, Ty Olsson, Maxim Roy, Peter Howitt, and Lara Gilchrist. ABC aired only seven episodes. The network maintained that they would air the five remaining episodes at a later date but that seems highly unlikely. The sets have been destroyed and the series creator has confirmed the show is finished.
The Joss Whedon series follows a group of people who have their personalities wiped and replaced with other personas for projects-for-hire. It stars Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz, Tahmoh Penikett, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman, Olivia Williams, Reed Diamond, and Miracle Laurie. Despite low ratings, the series was renewed for a second season but the numbers fell too low for a third year. The show was cancelled and the last episode is set to air on January 29, 2010.
Three women (Rebecca Romijn, Lindsay Price, and Jaime Ray Newman) discover that they have supernatural powers once a handsome stranger (Paul Gross) comes to town. Others in the cast include Ashley Benson, Johann Urb, Jon Bernthal, Sara Rue, and Veronica Cartwright. The series didn’t attract enough viewers and was cancelled after 13 episodes. All are expected to air. Petition link.
Flight of the Conchords (HBO)
A unique comedy and music series, this show follows fictionalized versions of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. After two seasons, they decided to call it quits but may return in a special.
The Goode Family (ABC)
An animated sitcom about an overly politically-correct and dysfunctional family that stars the voices of Mike Judge, Brian Doyle Murray, Dave Herman, Linda Cardellini, and Nancy Carell. ABC cancelled the series in August after running all of the episodes. Comedy Central later picked up the series and, if it performs well, a second season could be commissioned.
Guiding Light (CBS)
After 57 years on television, the network decided to end this venerable soap opera. The ratings had been slipping for many years and the curtain came down after 15,762 episodes. Petition link.
Kelsey Grammer stars as a Wall Street CEO who’s fired from his company and returns with his family to live in his small hometown. The rest of the family is played by Melinda McGraw, Jordan Hinson, Nathan Gamble, and David Koechner. ABC shut down production after 10 episodes but only five were shown because of low ratings.
Head Case (Starz)
Alexandra Wentworth stars as an unconventional therapist that helps the Hollywood crowd. After three seasons, the doctor is out.
The Jay Leno Show (NBC)
The network wanted to save money by running cheaper programming five nights a week at 10pm. The official line was that they were pleased with the results but the local affiliate stations, whose newscasts were losing viewers as a result, weren’t. As a result, Leno’s show ends on February 9th and he’ll return to the Tonight Show on March 1st.
The Jeff Dunham Show (Comedy Central)
The ventriloquist’s show got off to a solid start but the ratings quickly dropped. The series was cancelled after one season but the cable channel intends to stay in business with Dunham.
Ian McShane headlines this series about a fictional version of the United States that’s ruled by an absolute monarchy. The rest of the impressive cast includes Christopher Egan, Allison Miller, Susanna Thompson, Macaulay Culkin, Sebastian Stan, Eamonn Walker, Dylan Baker, and Wes Studi. An expensive program to produce, the series didn’t attract many viewers. All 13 episodes were aired.
The Listener (NBC)
Craig Olejnik stars as a young paramedic who has the ability to listen to other people’s thoughts. Others in the cast include Enis Esmer, Colm Feore, Lisa Marcos, Mylene Robic, Anthony Lemke, Paulino Nunes. NBC pulled the series after eight episodes but all 13 were shown online and in Canada. NBC has cancelled the show but it’s been renewed in Canada. The producers hope to find another outlet in the US.
What began as a “simple” plane crash story has become into one of the most unforgettable series in television history. The large ensemble cast includes Matthew Fox, Naveen Andrews, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, and Terry O’Quinn. It was announced in 2007 that the show would end after six seasons. We’ll have to say goodbye in May 2010.
Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) is a police detective whose brilliance is only limited by his obsessive-compulsive disorders. Other series regulars have included Bitty Schram, Traylor Howard, Ted Levine, and Jason Gray-Stanford. Monk ended after eight seasons and 125 episodes.
The Philanthropist (NBC)
A billionaire playboy (James Purefoy) decides to use his wealth and influence to change the lives of others. He’s assisted by his best friend (Jesse L. Martin) and his friend’s wife (Neve Campbell). NBC aired all eight episodes but received low ratings. Though the network hasn’t admitted that it’s been cancelled, a “Complete Series” DVD was released in January 2010.
Raising the Bar (TNT)
A group of former legal students reunite at a law firm and in the the courtroom, often on opposite sides. The series features Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben, Currie Graham, Melissa Sagemiller, J. August Richards, Jonathan Scarfe, Teddy Sears, and Jane Kaczmarek. Ratings were strong for the premiere but quickly fell off and went too low to warrant a third season.
Reno 911! (Comedy Central)
This is a satirical program that follows a fictitious police department in Reno, Nevada. Over the past 88 episodes, the ensemble cast has included Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney, Carlos Alazraqui, Wendi McLendon-Covey. After six seasons, Comedy Central decided to call it quits.
Rita Rocks (Lifetime)
In this sitcom, Nicole Sullivan stars as an over-stressed mom who manages to find time to play in a local rock band. It lasted two seasons and 40 episodes.
Robin Hood (2006) (BBC)
A retelling of the classic legend that stars Jonas Armstrong, Lucy Griffiths, Richard Armitage, David Harewood, Keith Allen, Gordon Kennedy, Sam Troughton, Joe Armstrong, Lara Pulver, and Harry Lloyd. It was announced in August 2008 that Armstrong, who plays the title character, would be leaving the show after three seasons. A creative revamp was considered but a fourth season wasn’t ordered.
Ruby & the Rockits (ABC Family)
A teenage girl (Alexa Vega) tracks down her lounge singer father (David Cassidy) and the two move in with her uncle (Patrick Cassidy) and his family (Katie A. Keane, Austin Butler, and Kurt Doss). The series started out strong but ratings declined. ABC Family opted not to order a second season but all 10 episodes aired.
Saving Grace (TNT)
A hard-living detective, played by Holly Hunter, is set to solver her final case. The series is scheduled to end after four seasons in the Summer of 2010.
Surviving Suburbia (ABC)
A family sitcom that centers around a grumpy dad (Bob Saget), his family (Cynthia Stevenson, Jared Kusnitz, and G. Hannelius), and his sleazy friend (Jere Burns). The show had a decent start following Dancing with the Stars but fell apart on its own. All 13 episodes of season one aired and the show was cancelled.
Three Rivers (CBS)
This medical series follows those who help people in need to organ transplants. Starring Alex O’Loughlin, the show never caught on in the ratings and was pulled after eight episodes had aired. Petition link.
The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien (NBC)
The peacock network wasn’t seeing the ratings that it expected and wanted to push Tonight to 12:05am so that a half-hour Jay Leno show could air at 11:35pm. O’Brien wouldn’t do it so the show was cancelled and he left the network, presumably to start a new late night show elsewhere in the fall.
This San Francisco-based drama revolves around a group of brave first responders. The ensemble cast features Derek Luke, Cliff Curtis, Anastasia Griffith, Kevin Rankin, Aimee Garcia, Billy Lush, Jamey Sheridan, and Taylor Kinney. The show struggled in the ratings from the start and NBC initially decided not to order any episodes beyond the initial 13 installments. They later changed their minds and ordered more. There’s a slim chance that there will be a second season but ratings will have to rise significantly. Petition link.
The Tudors (Showtime)
The epic drama, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Henry VIII, is ending after four lavish seasons on Showtime. The series finale is expected to air on June 13th.
The Tyra Banks Show (CW)
The diva and host says that she’s decided to cancel the show to focus more on producing. Other reports have indicated that the series was due to be cancelled because of budget issues.
What do you think? Which shows from the list will you miss most? Which ones are you glad to see are gone?
Images courtesy NBC & ABC.