As much as people love them, TV shows eventually get cancelled. Whether they have told the story they want to tell, are cut down before their prime, or even on occasion mercifully put out of their misery, all shows must come to an end. There will even come a time when The Simpsons will call it a day. At a record 24 seasons (although I reckon 25 is a nice round number) animation’s longest running series is unprecedented not just in its general success, but that it has survived so long on a network that has gained a reputation for its cancellation policy.

Seeming to take the idea of audience quantity over quality all too literally, much loved shows that were adored by smaller audiences were often cut down on the basis of mere numbers. This has led to FOX being something that many are wary of. After their all to brief time producing Firefly (too obvious for the main list, but I had to mention it somewhere), Joss Whedon and co.’s next offering, Dollhouse, suffered from rushed storytelling in a desperate bid to race against the axe they knew was coming.

More than just those aired on the FOX network, the sister company 20th Century Fox television also produced a number of series for other networks which, you guessed it, were cancelled long before they should have been. Although there are those which came back to TV screen thanks to DVD sales showing FOX that the quantity of audience was there all along, Family Guy and Futurama being great examples, most are simply cut down with no remorse, never to see the light of day again.

Here is a list of five shows that belong to the Fox family whose potential went (largely) untapped.

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This article was first posted on July 3, 2013