In 2018, no network or streaming outlet showed mercy when it came to cancelling shows. While many shows met unceremonious ends after low-rated seasons, there were plenty of shocking decisions made in the past 12 months.
Over at ABC, the success of Roseanne quickly turned sour after Roseanne Barr sent one outrageous tweet too many. Netflix ended a handful of shows — including three Marvel shows — simply because they do not own them. And FOX killed its entire comedy block at the end of the 2017-2018 TV season so it could go in a new direction this fall.
The decision to cancel a show usually boils down to ratings, but there were plenty of shocking special cases throughout the year. Scroll on for a look at 10 cancellations we still can't get over.
Photo credit: ABC
The Roseanne revival season was such a success for ABC that it supplanted The Big Bang Theory as the most-watch sitcom of the 2017-2018 season. After its mammoth debut in the ratings, ABC quickly renewed it.
However, one fateful day in May, Roseanne Barr decided to tweet a racist message that finally crossed a line — she compared former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett to the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes characters. Hours later, ABC cancelled the show.
Since ABC had signed the other Roseanne actors for another season, the network scrambled to come up with a replacement. They greenlit The Conners, which finds the family recovering after Roseanne Conner's death from an opioid overdose.
The Mayor was one of the best reviewed original sitcoms from the 2017-2018 TV season. However, in January, ABC took it off the schedule and cancelled it because of low ratings. The last three episodes of the season were dumped on Hulu, which also declined to pick up the show.
While its cancellation stings, fans can find solace in the fact that star Brandon Michael Hall quickly moved on. He now stars on CBS' God Friended Me.
Kevin Can Wait
CBS cancelled Kevin Can Wait in May, as part of its planned shake-up for Mondays this fall. The show never recovered from the negative press surrounding the sudden decision to kill off Erinn Hayes' character after the first season so Kevin James could be reunited with his King of Queens co-star Leah Remini. Some fans of Haynes' fans, still feeling burned, even celebrated the show getting the axe.
The CW is infamous for letting low-rated shows survive, especially since it has a deal with Netflix ensuring every show gets uploaded to the streaming service. However, Life Sentence was not so lucky. Lucy Hale might be beloved by Pretty Little Liars fans, but not enough of them tuned in to see her play a woman trying to adjust to life after learning she no longer has a terminal cancer.
In May, Fox shocked comedy fans with a bloodbath, cancelled Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Last Man on Earth and The Mick all within hours of each other. Brooklyn Nine-Nine's cancellation was particularly hard to get over, since the show has a dedicated fanbase. The search for a new home started almost instantly, but Netflix and Hulu both turned the show down.
Thankfully, it landed at NBC, thanks to the show's connections to the network. It stars Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg, was co-created by Parks & Recreation's Mike Schur and is produced by NBC's sister company Universal TV.
The Last Man on Earth
The Emmy-nominated The Last Man on Earth was also part of FOX's comedy bloodbath. The show starred SNL alum Will Forte as a man convinced he was the last man on earth, but soon learns others have survived. Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Mel Rodriguez, Mary Steenburgen and Cleopatra Coleman co-starred. Although the show never earned big ratings it also had a loyal fanbase that has now been left with a cliffhanger finale.
Great News was 30 Rock creator Tina Fey's attempt to strike lightning twice. Although created by Tracey Wigfield, the show had Fey's fingerprints all over it, and she even made an appearance on the show in a clear last-ditch effort to drive up more interest.
While it had a likable cast, including Andrea Martin, Nicole Richie and John Michael Higgins, the show never attracted a big audience. Briga Heelan starred as an up-and-coming cable news producer whose intern is her mother, played by Martin. Great News lasted two seasons, and those who missed this funny show can check it out on Netflix.
This one hurts, but was not entirely unexpected. After cancelling Iron Fist and Luke Cage, Netflix waited until fans had a chance to watch Daredevil's third season to cancel the most-acclaimed Marvel show it had. The show's third season was quickly beloved by critics and fans. However, Disney has its own streaming service in the works, and Netflix clearly was no longer interested in carrying content created by their rivals.
“Marvel’s Daredevil will not return for a fourth season on Netflix,” the company said in a statement. “We are tremendously proud of the show’s last and final season and although it’s painful for the fans, we feel it best to close this chapter on a high note. We’re thankful to showrunner Erik Oleson, the show’s writers, stellar crew and incredible cast including Charlie Cox as Daredevil himself, and we’re grateful to the fans who have supported the show over the years. While the series on Netflix has ended, the three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come, while the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel.”
In October, Friday was "Netflix Kills a Marvel Show" Day. Both Iron Fist and Luke Cage were cancelled on Fridays that month. While Iron Fist's cancellation seemed plausible, work on Luke Cage season three reportedly already started when it was cancelled a week later.
"Unfortunately, Marvel’s Luke Cage will not return for a third season," Marvel said in a statement. “Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful to the dedicated showrunner, writers, cast and crew who brought Harlem’s Hero to life for the past two seasons, and to all the fans who have supported the series.”
Orange Is The New Black0comments
Marvel shows were not the only ones hurt by Netflix's wrath. In October, Netflix cancelled Orange Is The New Black after a successful six-season run. Like the Marvel shows, it is also not produced by Netflix. OITNB is made by Lionsgate TV.
A seventh and final season will be released next year, and Lionsgate is reportedly considering a spinoff.