2018 delivered a slew of high-profile TV cancellations of all shapes and sizes, from Netflix's Marvel superhero exodus to all the genre-based series that got their plugs pulled in the past 12 months. While most of the TV shows we lose year to year face permanent deaths, a select few are sometimes lucky enough to get rescued by another network, and 2018 definitely followed suit in that respect.
Below, you can find the five biggest TV cancellations that got reversed in 2018, allowing fans to gear up for new, narrative-continuing seasons. Note that some shows' new seasons aren't set to premiere until 2019, though their renewals were announced in 2018. Let's kick things off with a show that's pretty cool-cool, cool-cool-cool-cool.
After four years of really successful pranks and mostly successful police work, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and its highly talented ensemble were hit with a cancellation announcement by Fox. The news was fairly surprising, given how critically lauded the cop comedy has been, with many finding the writing to have gotten better as years have passed. Alas, the show's viewership and ratings had dwindled from year to year to the point where it couldn't be ignored anymore.
Less than 2 days after Fox shut things down, NBC mercifully stepped up to save Brooklyn Nine-Nine from befalling the fate of other cancelled Fox comedies such as The Last Man on Earth and The Mick. The comedy will be airing as part of NBC's Thursday night sitcom lineup along with Will & Grace and The Good Place, though without star Chelsea Peretti, who is exiting ahead of Season 6.
In the past five years or so, Syfy has taken strides to re-earn its genre-based moniker, with the apex of that effort arguably being its adaptation of The Expanse novel series, written by James S.A. Corey (a pseudonym used by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). Set in a fully colonized solar system filled with interesting characters, ships and situations, The Expanse is the somewhat rare TV show that has absolutely gotten bigger and better each year, and Season 3 earned the most critical acclaim to date.
As such, it was a huge blow to fans when Syfy cancelled The Expanse before the heavily lauded Season 3 was halfway completed. Since Syfy had no ownership stakes in the series, its distribution plans were highly limited beyond linear airings, making its decision to cancel _The Expanse _understandable, if not an agreeable one. Just a month after the highly publicized "#SaveTheExpanse" fan campaign kicked off, Amazon announced it was stepping in to rescue the sci-fi drama for Season 4 and potentially more down the line.
Last Man Standing
The one entry on this list that actually faced cancellation disappointments before 2018 even got here, Last Man Standing started its existence at ABC, where star Tim Allen had previously experienced a heap of success with Home Improvement. Even though the comedy earned perfectly consistent numbers, especially for any show with a Friday night time slot, Last Man Standing was put on ABC's chopping block at the end of its sixth season.
Fan fervor kept the renewal discussions going through all the failed early attempts to get Last Man Standing picked up at networks such as CMT. One year later, Fox decided to further shake up its already changing schedule by renewing LMS for Season 7, adding a more politically conservative voice to its comedy slate. Though not all of the original stars returned, their replacements have been welcomed, and Last Man Standing is boasting some of the best viewership totals of any comedy series in 2018.
ABC's Designated Survivor rapidly went from a celebrated hit to a struggling bubble show in an astonishingly quick span of time. Kiefer Sutherland likely inspired the immediate success, as the series brought in tons of viewers and even broke records for DVR viewing. However, behind-the-scenes problems made things creatively challenging, and Designated Survivor went through some more big shifts in going from Season 1 to the instantly fizzling Season 2. (Not to mention the later casting shake-ups during Season 2 proper.)
ABC cited creative issues as the biggest reason behind the show's cancellation, which was announced just a few days before Season 2's cliffhanger finale. Unfortunately, fans had to wait months before Netflix officially ordered up Designated Survivor for Season 3, though rumors had been floating around for some time. Luckily, Netflix also has the first two seasons available for streaming, so fans can catch up ahead of the third season's premiere in 2019.
As a show honoring and adapting Neil Gaiman's fallen angel of the Sandman comics, the Lucifer TV show is something of a failure. So it's a good thing that didn't matter to the millions of fans who were extremely interested in Californication creator Tom Kapinos' revised take on the devilish entity in Lucifer's first three seasons on Fox. It's also a great thing that star Tom Ellis has been such a magnetic lead, which makes it easier to forget about those comic book origins.
Unfortunately, the outwardly vocal fanbase just wasn't big enough to justify its continued survival on Fox, which cancelled the supernatural drama days before its Season 3 finale. The network did run two unaired episodes later that month, though reactions weren't enough to reverse the cancellation. So it's a hell of a good thing that Netflix later finalized a deal with Warner Bros. TV to resurrect Lucifer for Season 4, which will have ten new episodes (and Tom Ellis' bum) ready for fans in 2019.
Thankfully, 2018 also brought about the returns of some other great shows via highly hyped revivals, such as Roseanne (which was retooled as The Conners after Roseanne Barr's ousting), Queer Eye, and Double Dare. As well, this year also brought news of exciting future returns, like Hulu resurrecting Veronica Mars.
While waiting to check out new episodes of all the shows listed above, stay up to date with all the latest premieres with our midseason TV schedule.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.