Fall TV premiere season is upon us, and plenty of new and returning shows will hit the airwaves in the not-too-distant future. There will, however, be some significant holes in the primetime lineup compared to what it looked like this time last year, as a number of key shows got the axe before the end of the 2017-2018 season. While some -- ranging from Brooklyn Nine-Nine to Lucifer to Designated Survivor -- were rescued by other outlets in the wake of their cancellations/series finale, not all were so lucky. Read on for a rundown of some of the most notable shows that are definitely not coming back to TV this fall!
Kevin Can Wait, CBS
When Kevin James' latest sitcom hit the airwaves back in fall 2016, it scored impressive ratings. Starring a comic actor who had anchored a long-running sitcom in the past, featuring big guest stars, and settling into an enjoyable if not exactly revolutionary format, Kevin Can Wait seemed destined for a long run on CBS. Everything changed when news broke at the end of Season 1 that Erinn Hayes' character was being killed off and Kevin James' King of Queen costar Leah Remini would step in as leading lady. Fans did not react well to the news that Donna was going to be unceremoniously killed off-screen, the numbers dropped, and CBS cancelled the show. Kevin should probably stop waiting.
Shades Of Blue, NBC
Shades of Blue brought and kept Jennifer Lopez to the small screen as star as a cop drama. While she also had TV appearances on shows like World of Dance, Shades of Blue showcased her as an actress rather than a TV personality. Co-starring Ray Liotta, it delivered some primetime intensity. The show was cancelled at NBC before the third season actually premiered, so fans who kept up with news could prepare themselves for the upcoming series finale. For her part, Jennifer Lopez has stated that she believes the show was right to end after three season. Ray Liotta, on the other hand, has said that he'd be willing to do another season even without Lopez. Only time will tell if he gets his wish. For now, Shades of Blue is done.
Taken hit the airwaves back in midseason 2017 as a TV origin story for Liam Neeson's legendary Bryan Mills of the Taken film franchise. The show starred Clive Standen as a young Bryan, and it premiered to solid numbers. The first season ended on a compelling twist, and Taken went through some major behind-the-scenes overhauls ahead of the second season that meant a very different status quo. Unfortunately, Season 2 didn't take off, and it was pulled from its Friday night time slot in April 2018, with its final episodes to air on Saturdays starting in May. The move to Saturday was basically the death knell for Bryan Mills' origin story, and it was cancelled less than a month after the announcement.
Once Upon A Time, ABC
ABC's fairytale series charmed many viewers into becoming diehard fans of characters like Emma, Henry, Snow, and Charming over the first six seasons. The show largely rebooted itself for Season 7, writing out many of the main characters and recasting (as required by a time jump) another. Throw in the show's move to a rough Friday night time slot, and the fix was more or less end. ABC's decision to axe the show didn't come as a shock, and it at least came early enough that the showrunners were able to craft a finale that wrapped up the loose ends. Not a whole lot of people tuned into the finale, but it closed the series without ending on some kind of crazy cliffhanger.
The cancellation of Scorpion is one that took many fans by surprise. Although it was far from the Eye Network's mostly highly-rated series, the action drama was largely consistent in its fourth and ultimately final season. It also fell just shy of the 100-episode milestone that can guarantee a show lives on in syndication, and some might have expected Scorpion to get at least a shortened Season 5 to hit 100 episodes. The good news is that the finale at least didn't end on a killer cliffhanger. That said, it did shake things up for the potential fifth season. Members of the cast shared their reactions in the aftermath of the cancellation.
The Librarians, TNT
The Librarians put together a fun cast (including ER alum Noah Wyle) for a wild premise that took the characters through mysteries, supernatural forces, and all manner of unpredictable twists that combined humor with drama. Bad news came for the fandom only a month after the Season 4 finale when TNT officially cancelled the series, and executive producer Dean Devlin's efforts to shop The Librarians to another outlet were apparently fruitless. The Librarians is checked out, likely for good unless the franchise goes back to producing the TV movies that first introduced the Librarians universe.
Shooter brought Ryan Phillippe to TV for his first starring role in an ongoing series, and the USA drama faced setbacks from almost the very beginning. The premiere was pushed back after a tragic shooting, and although it debuted and scored high enough ratings for a renewal, Season 2 had to be cut short after Phillippe suffered a serious leg injury. While Shooter did score a third season, it was cancelled back in August, and the search for a new home on another platform has evidently not produced the desired result. The good news is that the Season 3 finale didn't end on an agonizing cliffhanger, so at least viewers won't be haunted by scores of unanswered questions about Shooter.
New Girl, Fox
New Girl is a series that hung on through a number of major changes, ranging from switches in the cast to time jumps to scheduling shenanigans to accommodate leading lady Zooey Deschanel's pregnancy. The show actually seemed headed for cancellation after the end of its sixth season, and the cast put some effort into getting the show renewed for the seventh and final season. Season 7 jumped ahead in time, with Schmidt and Cece's daughter born and already adorable, Winston with a baby on the way, and Jess and Nick getting closer and closer to tying the knot. The series finale back in May tied off a bunch of loose ends and gave Winston time for one final prank, so there probably aren't too many viewers in the depths of despair that New Girl isn't coming back.
Code Black, CBS
There's no shortage of medical dramas on the small screen, and Code Black on CBS simply wasn't cutting it for the Eye Network following its third and what proved to be final season. The cancellation actually came while Season 3 was still ongoing, so at least fans didn't get the bad news immediately after the final episode aired. Despite boasting a cast including Rob Lowe and Marcia Gay Harden and pulling in ratings that might have flown on a less prominent network, it got the axe with no sign of a second life elsewhere. Fans could take a bit of solace in the fact that series creator Michael Seitzman revealed what Season 4 would have been about if CBS had renewed Code Black, so that's something!
Despite getting off to a very strong start on ABC back in 2015, the drama thriller seemed to be running on fumes before the third and final season premiered. Season 2 ended in a way that set the stage for very new status quo, and for Quantico, big changes didn't always mean good changes. The show also lost its original showrunner and a couple of stars ahead of Season 3. Despite Priyanka Chopra continuing to turn in engaging performances as Alex Parrish, Quantico got the cancellation order as part of ABC's cancellation bloodbath in the spring, although that wasn't the last time Quantico made headlines. Maybe Chopra can be Batgirl now!
Nashville finally sang its final note on the small screen this year, marking the end of a wild ride that saw it debut on ABC, get cancelled by ABC, and then get picked up by CMT. The show was shaken up in a big way back in Season 5 when a major character was killed off, although fans were treated to a return in the series finale. The show lasted one more full season before its final credits rolled, and the cast said goodbye to the series in some truly touching ways. Given that Nashville would have been done back in 2016 if not for CMT stepping in with the save, fans would have lost the series long ago.
In the weeks following its premiere, the Roseanne revival seemed destined to run on ABC for as long as Roseanne Barr and the cast were willing to stick around. The ratings were huge and plenty of people were singing the show's praises. The buzz took a very sudden turn for the worse after Barr posted some controversial comments on Twitter, and although she went on to claim that she only posted them because of Ambien, ABC axed her show and -- as we know now -- killed off her character. The rest of the cast will be back on the airwaves this fall, however, thanks to a spinoff (not involving Barr at all) called The Conners.
The Americans, FX
FX's period spy thriller followed a pair of Soviet KGB operatives living in the United States, raising their children, donning wig after wig after wig for their disguises, and trying to keep their true intentions hidden from their FBI agent neighbor. The end of The Americans was actually announced back in 2016, when it was also announced that it had been renewed for two more seasons. The set end meant that the show could bring most of the existing plots to a satisfying end, although the finale did end on a note that probably could have carried the characters into another season or two. The show was nominated for a number of big Emmys, and leading man Matthew Rhys took home a trophy. What a way to say goodbye!
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in the shows that will be back on the airwaves in the not-too-distant future, and you can find when and where to watch them on our fall TV premiere schedule.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).