Television shows often get to live out at least one full season, as networks figure they might as well air episodes already produced even if the ratings stink. But some shows have done so poorly in the past that networks cannot possibly waste a timeslot on them, leaving them to be pulled really quickly.
Lately, networks have shown more patience with shows, as live ratings have become less important. However, the one shocking early cancellation this year came from the streaming realm. Warner Bros.' DC Universe chose to cancel the comic book series Swamp Thing after only one episode was released.
The exact reason for the cancellation is still unknown, with theories about mistaken tax break paperwork to Warner Bros. reconsidering the entire future of the DC Universe streaming platform running rampant on the web. Even producer James Wan said he was confused, but told fans to enjoy the rest of the season.
Here's a look at eight other shows that were canceled extremely quickly.
Photo credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images
Television is filled with plenty of notorious incidents, but none is as bizarre as the Turn-On fiasco of 1969.
ABC ordered the show from the producers of NBC's hugely successful Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In in the hopes they could repeat that success.
The show's off-beat humor that touched on sex and the antiwar movement all seemed ahead-of-its-time. So far ahead that the show was taken off the air in some markets before it was even over. A second episode never aired.
Each episode was originally set to have a guest, and the first episode's was the late Tim Conway.prevnext
'Viva Laughlin' (2007)
No matter how big a star you are, chances are you have a failed TV show on your resume. That even applies to Hugh Jackman, who starred in Viva Laughlin, a musical comedy co-starring Lloyd Owen, Mädchen Amick and Ellen Woglom. Melanie Griffith was also in the show.
Only two episodes aired before CBS yanked it from the schedule. The New York Times called it possible "the worst show in the history of television."prevnext
'Day One' (2010)
NBC went through a period of loving high-concept TV projects with a touch of science fiction after the success of Heroes. That still continues to this day, with Manifest earning a second season.
Some of these projects have been flops, and then there is Day One, a post-apocalyptic show starring David Lyons. NBC was really excited about it, ordering 13 episodes before cutting it to four. Eventually, they decided to just air the pilot as a TV movie, but even that never happened.prevnext
Katherine Heigl's post-Grey's Anatomy bad luck seemed to reach its low point with Doubt.
CBS cancelled the legal drama after just two weeks thanks to terrible ratings. The show also starred Elliott Gould, Dulé Hill and Laverne Cox.prevnext
'Emily's Reasons Why Not' (2006)
Emily's Reasons Why Not joined the notorious club of shows canceled after only one episode aired. Like many of these shows, it could not possibly live up to the high expectations ABC set and the Heather Graham-starring series was quickly axed.
The romantic comedy starred Graham as a woman whose therapists suggest she list the reasons why every relationship she has had failed. Reviews were terrible, and for some inexplicable reason, all seven episodes aired in Spain.prevnext
During the same season ABC launched The Middle, Modern Family and Cougar Town, the network also launched Hank, Kelsey Grammer's attempt to star in a new sitcom.
The show only lasted five episodes. Grammer told Jay Leno he thought the show was so unfunny, he called series producer Warner Bros. TV to have production stopped.prevnext
Hieroglyph was a notoriously ambitious project Fox had hoped to air by 2015 and was ordered straight-to-series. However, suddenly, the network announced production on the show would stop in June 2014, and the show was canceled before a single episode aired.
One episode was finished though, but it never saw the light of day. There were reportedly behind-the-scenes clashes during the making of the Ancient Egypt-set drama.prevnext
'Of Kings & Prophets' (2016)0comments
ABC aired the first two episodes of Of Kings & Prophets before pulling the plug on the expensive, Biblical-era drama. The network hoped to give it a major fall launch, but it ended up holding it back until midseason, and it was slotted in the network's infamous "death slot" - Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
Coincidentally, that fall, ABC aired Wicked City in the same slot and it was canceled after three episodes.prev