10 TV Shows Cancelled Before Their Time

Gone too soon.

hannibal mads mikkelsen

In the age of streaming, there seems to be more television available to watch than ever before, be it prestige dramas or lighthearted reality shows.

However, the nature of this new market means that production teams are finding it harder and harder to keep their shows on the air, thanks to obscured viewing and revenue figures seemingly hidden from the auteur as well as their audience.

These cutthroat practices unfortunately lead to excellent television being swept off our screens at the snap of an executive's fingers, sometimes after a mere single season, or even after it had previously been green-lit!

Fans have learned to make their displeasure at untimely cancellations known in person and on social media, with some hashtag campaigns actually saving our favourites from the cutting room floor and delivering them into the tender loving care of another network.

Sadly, no matter the collective outpouring of passion, this type of TV miracle is infrequent at best, and the past decade has seen us say goodbye to many stellar series long before they ought to have left us. If you're one of the many fans still hoping and praying for a revival of any of the shows on this list, we can only empathize. We miss them too.

Naturally, SPOILERS for the premature endings of the following shows lie ahead.

10. Nikita

hannibal mads mikkelsen
The CW

A little-known show that burst onto The CW in the early 2010s, Nikita was a rare example of a movie concept (in this case Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita) being altered and updated for television with great success.

Headed up by Maggie Q as the titular Nikita, the series was one of few then - or since - to feature an Asian female lead, let alone portraying a role as strong, capable, and multifaceted as Nikita.

Focusing on Nikita’s life following her escape from secret U.S. government organisation Division, the narrative sees her training Lyndsey Fonseca’s Alex to infiltrate them as a new recruit and take Division down from the inside, surrounded by an ensemble cast of shifting allegiances as the story progresses.

Unfortunately, despite good critical reception and decent ratings, viewing figures for the spy thriller steadily dropped as the seasons went on. While successfully renewed for a fourth and final season to wrap up the plot - which is admittedly more than a lot of the shows on this list got - the series order was reduced to a paltry 6 episodes, compared to the previous 20+ episode full seasons.

Fans felt this wasn’t nearly enough to properly resolve the story and character arcs that had been set up over the past few years, and rightly so. The final season ended up a squashed, stilted affair that killed off a core character for pure shock value and failed to offer the true, fleshed out conclusion that the show deserved.


Writer, gamer, and enjoyer of all things visual. Makes jokes more reliably than headshots.