11 Shows That Were Cancelled Then Saved

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When it comes to renewing shows, television networks are all about ratings. If the ratings aren’t there, the show in question will typically get canceled. It really doesn’t matter how critically acclaimed the show is. Time and time again, we’ve all watched our favorite shows get canceled, but what about the few times they are canceled only to receive a reprieve? Here are 11 shows that were canceled and then saved:

11. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

One day after Fox canceled Brooklyn Nine-Nine after five seasons because of scheduling conflicts, NBC quickly snapped it up. Following its cancellation, legions of fans had immediately taken to Twitter to voice their disappointment as did some Hollywood heavyweights including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Hamill, and Guillermo Del. NBC had wanted Brooklyn Nine-Nine back in 2012 when it first hit the marketplace but had been outbid by Fox. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has said that if he knew Any Samberg was going to be cast in the show he never would have let it be sold to Fox to begin with.

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10. Last Man Standing

When ABC declined to renew Last Man Standing after its six-season run in May 2017, the decision was met with outrage from the show’s loyal fans. They claimed that the show’s conservative political views played a part in the network’s decision to cancel it, but ABC maintained that it was a scheduling issue. A year later, in May 2018, the show got a second shot, as Fox picked it up for a seventh season, which is to begin in the fall of 2018.

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9. Nashville

Nashville aired on ABC for four seasons until it was canceled because of inconsistent ratings during its fourth season. After its cancellation, fans started a petition #BringBackNashville, which received more than 174,000 signatures. On June 10, 2016, CMT released a press statement that it had picked the show up for a fifth season and would air a full season of 22 episodes that would be available on Hulu. Nashville has since been picked up for a 16-episode sixth season, which will be its last.

Craig Sjodin / © ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

8. Community

Community aired on NBC for its first five seasons, but then was canceled in May 2014 due to low ratings. It didn’t take long for Yahoo to step in and save the series. The network agreed to fund and distribute a sixth season that included 13 episodes, which debuted on Yahoo Screen on March 17, 2015, and concluded on June 2. The show was canceled a second time because Yahoo couldn’t gather enough of an audience or long-term commitments from advertisers to make their investment back.

Source: The AV Club

7. Futurama

Futurama originally aired on Fox from 1999 to 2003. During the show’s run on Fox, it’s time slot was frequently changed, which brought in uneven ratings as fans weren’t sure when new episodes would air. It also didn’t help that the network failed to promote new episodes. Instead of actually canceling Futurama, Fox chose to stop buying new episodes and quietly let the show go out of production in 2003. In 2009, Fox announced that Comedy Central had picked the show up for 26 half hour episodes that would begin airing in June 2010; however, in 2013, Comedy Central decided not to order new episodes because of the show’s steadily declining ratings.

Source: Simpsons Wiki

6. Arrested Development

Despite receiving widespread critical acclaim, Arrested Development did not gain a sizable audience and with each season ratings continued to drop until season three when Fox finally canceled the show. In 2012, it was announced that Netflix had picked up the series for a fourth season, which premiered on May 26, 2013, and consisted of 15 episodes. Netflix is reportedly planning a fifth season, which they have to negotiate with Fox.

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5. The Killing

The crime drama The Killing received positive reviews from critics for its first two seasons, but after season two, AMC announced that it was not going to renew the show for a third season and started shopping it around to other networks. Fox then picked the series up for a 12-episode third season, but it was canceled again after season three only to be picked up by Netflix for a fourth season with six episodes, which were released on August 1, 2014.

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4. Family Guy

Despite having 16 seasons under its belt, Family Guy hasn’t had a smooth run. It first aired on Fox but was canceled after its second season, only to renewed by the network for a 13 episode third season. The show’s timeslot was moved around a lot and ratings suffered as a result, so when Fox canceled it again in 2002, it wasn’t a huge surprise. The Cartoon Network bought the rights and starting showing reruns starting in April 2003 and it quickly became the network’s top-rated program. With DVD sales high, Fox ordered 35 new episodes of Family Guy in 2005 and has continued to renew the series since.

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3. Prison Break

After running for four seasons on Fox, Prison Break was canceled in 2009. According to Fox president Kevin Reilly, the network’s decision to cancel the show had nothing to do with ratings and instead was because the show’s storyline had “played out.” In June 2015, Fox announced that they were going to bring the show back for a fifth season with nine episodes. The fifth season premiered on April 4, 2017, to mixed reviews.

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2. Scrubs

Scrubs always had mediocre ratings during its seven seasons on NBC. During the show’s last season, the writer’s strike disrupted production of the show and producers wavered over whether or not to air the remaining episodes. ABC rescued the show from NBC and aired it during the 2008-2009 TV season as a midseason replacement, but the show only lasted for two more seasons before it was canceled in May 2010.


1. Cougar Town

Cougar Town’s ratings continually dropped during its three-season run on ABC, which is why it was going to get the ax in 2012. Luckily TBS swooped in and purchased the rights to the series. The network ordered a fourth, fifth and then a sixth and final season for the cult favorite, which premiered on January 6, 2015, and then concluded on March 31, 2015.

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Cate has a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature and has been the Managing Editor of Fame10 for more than 6 years. Despite having a love for the works of Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy and Lord Byron, she also has an intense fascination with pop culture. When she isn’t writing for Fame10, she’s planning her next big adventure in Southeast Asia.