The television industry is a cutthroat business. Of the plethora of shows that make it to the air, only a handful survive past their first season and even fewer last long enough to become considered successful. In recent years, however, some shows have been hauled out of mothballs after fan reception has been so great that the networks decided to give them a second chance.
For instance, Fox’s Family Guy was cancelled twice—only to be brought back after achieving record DVD sales and unprecedented popularity on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Another animated Fox offering—Futurama—was cancelled by Fox and then revived due to DVD sales, albeit on Comedy Central.
Considering that these shows were saved and brought back and that throughout the history of television shows like Star Trek and The X-Files were also saved thanks to fan intervention we’d like to offer this list of ten shows that were cancelled before their time and deserve a second chance.
10. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Capturing the dark grittiness of James Cameron’s T2 while ignoring the train wreck that was T3, this show revisited the series’ original hero – Sarah Connor – in her fight against the machines, protecting her son John who was destined to be the leader of the human resistance in the future war. The show debuted as a mid-season “filler” show in 2008 with only nine episodes in the first season.
In spite of this-or perhaps because of it-The Sarah Connor Chronicles immediately gained a fanbase and scored in the top 50 ratings for its time slot with over 10 million viewers. Critical reception was positive and fan reception was favorable which locked in a second season.
With a full 22 episodes to produce, a broader, continuing story arc was introduced and more time was spent developing a teenage John’s humanity, taking him through a series of young adult storylines (read: Teen angst) while simultaneously tackling the issue of cancer. These types of stories are necessary for character development; however, in the case of The Sarah Connor Chronicles the characters were not given a chance to develop.
The second season did not fare as well as the first, pulling in only half of the viewers reported for season 1, and the Fox network announced the show would not be renewed for a third season – to the dismay of fans, the show ended on a cliff hanger and left many unresolved plot lines. Cancelled before its time, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was a bright spot in the Terminator story and deserves another chance – and fans deserve a resolution to the cliff hanger.