While the main broadcast networks announced their renewals and cancellations a few weeks ago, the verdicts are still coming. Some shows certainly deserved their cancellations, but there have been more than a few disappointments.
NBC’s Timeless would’ve been on this list, but the network reversed the decision following fan outcry and some negotiation. Not all shows are that lucky though.
These are the cancellations that have disappointed me the most this year.
1. Sense8 (Netflix)
After just two seasons, Netflix put an end to this global, boundary-pushing series chock-full of vibrant, diverse characters. It’s rare to find a show with such a huge number of LGBTQ characters, so it was especially disappointing that Netflix chose to announce the cancellation on the first day of Pride Month.
The series was understandably expensive given filming took place across 13 different countries, but that massive effort only solidified the genuine portrayals of its characters. Especially with a huge main cast (consisting of the eight sensates), Sense8‘s greatest feat is the way it brought the characters to life in incredibly human ways. The show has its cheesy moments, but it is profound in its impact. From palpable emotional delivery to intense action scenes (including a phenomenal car chase sequence in the second season), and excellent, diverse characterization to dynamic cinematography, the series is of the utmost quality. Sense8 ends on a cliffhanger, with so much story left to tell. But it looks like we won’t get to see what happens next.
There won’t ever be another show quite like Sense8.
2. Pitch (Fox)
Pitch knocked it out of the park with a stellar premiere, and then it kept swinging all season (excuse the eye roll-worthy puns throughout). Kylie Bunbury is excellent in her role as Ginny Baker, Major League Baseball’s first female pitcher. The series tackles issues of diversity with fervor. Given the fact that Baker is a young, black woman, it was essential that Pitch explore the gender and race implications with the MLB. And this show never hesitated. The emotional backing, topical focus, and strong acting gives Pitch a powerful foundation. It wavers at points, with the episodes never quite reaching the high standard set by the premiere, but it remains a solid series nonetheless.
Unfortunately, Pitch struck out when it came to ratings. It may have helped if Fox had aired the show during baseball season like originally planned. But it looks like the 10-episode first season is all we’re getting.
3. The Get Down (Netflix)
Another Netflix series with a high budget, another incredibly disappointing cancellation. The Get Down is another show with a wonderfully diverse cast (are you seeing a trend here?). The cast primarily consists of black and Latinx characters, and there are a fix LGBTQ characters mixed in. It has beautiful cinematography, fantastic music, and a layered exploration of hip-hop and disco music. And it has a style all its own, with rapped narratives and comic-style animation in the second part of season one. It is an original, moving show.
Hopefully we’ll see the talented cast (which consisted of many previously unknown actors) in other projects.
These shows probably would’ve made the main list had I had a chance to watch them, but these critically acclaimed series certainly deserved better (and I’m excited to watch the seasons they aired before their cancellations).
Underground (WGN America)
While I have yet to watch Underground (it’s high on the to-watch list), I’m incredibly disappointed to hear it’s been canceled after just two seasons. Yet another diverse show, Underground is about slavery, abolitionists, and the Underground Railroad. It’s a surprise to see such a critically acclaimed series go, but there is hope that another network will pick it up. Producer John Legend tweeted saying the series is looking for another network.
American Crime (ABC)
Like Underground, I have yet to watch American Crime. Like Underground, American Crime is critically acclaimed. However, this series struggled on the ratings front. The anthology crime drama tackles different major issues in each season. The show doesn’t shy away from being political, making statements on gender, race, politics, and more. It could’ve covered a lot more ground had it been given more than three seasons.
Other Disappointing Cancellations
These weren’t the highest quality series out there, but they were still some of my favorites.
The Real O’Neals (ABC)
Although The Real O’Neals is certainly not the highest quality show on this list, it did center on an LGBTQ character. It’s disappointing to see yet another show exploring diversity on the chopping block. We’ve had a few LGBTQ-led comedies over the years, from Partners to The New Normal to The McCarthy’s, but they’ve been consistently canceled after the first season. The Real O’Neals made it beyond that one-season trend, but still only lasted two seasons.
This sci-fi drama explored Milwaukee in 2074, diving deep into climate change issues with its exciting, dystopian plot. The way Incorporated looks at the future is frightening, because at so many points it feels realistic. By the end of the first season, I was incredibly intrigued with the show’s world and had become attached to a few of the characters. But sadly, it’s the end of the road for Incorporated.
Emerald City (NBC)
Emerald City received a lot of mixed reviews. And that’s understandable. The storyline was all over the place at times. But it was also a new dark fantasy with a vast world, and that’s a niche that I can’t get enough of. Having a Latinx actress play Dorothy (Adria Arjona) is just one example of diversity on the show. It also has a compelling gender identity storyline with Tip (Jordan Loughran). Tip’s emotional and unique story is a clear highlight for the series, and it’s unlike any storyline I’ve seen on TV.
What cancellations disappointed you the most? Let me know in the comments!