Another year of TV is in the books. Sadly, for some shows, 2019 ended with them not surviving the year. There were a lot of disappointing cancellations that shook and shocked fans. From network television to Netflix’s surprising amount of eliminations, it was a lot to take in.
It was a tough time to be a freshman series, as well as being a rough year to for Marvel series and spinoffs. From TV shows in the action-adventure wheelhouse to sitcoms and ambitious fantasy shows, none were safe. Without further ado, these were the most disappointing TV cancellations of 2019.
Things were cleared in Nina Dobrev’s schedule for a potential return to The Vampire Diaries’ universe early in 2019. Unfortunately for CBS’ Fam, the actress’ return to television ended up being short-lived. Dobrev weathered an anxiety attack to do Fam, only to have it get cancelled in the notoriously brutal month of May. Since the cancellation, though, Dobrev has landed a new project.
Fans had to raise a glass and pour one out for Whiskey Cavalier, as ABC decided to cancel the series, starring The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan and Scandal’s Scott Foley. Despite a brief hint of hope regarding its future, the cancellation ended up going through. While disappointing for fans, it paved the way for Cohan to return to the AMC zombie drama.
The TV adaptation of the beloved movie franchise went through a lot during its three seasons on the air. After a casting shakeup that saw Sean William Scott join the show and Damon Wayans, at one point, indicate plans to exit, Lethal Weapon set itself up for a potential fourth season. Disappointingly, fans will never get to see that setup pay off.
Suits ended its long run without Meghan Markle but with the hope of a hit spinoff in the Gina Torres-led, Pearson. After a considerable wait, the series finally debuted in 2019. Following a single season, USA cancelled the much-anticipated legal drama, in a move that now leaves TV without a show in the Suits universe.
Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger
As previously mentioned, 2019 was not a great year to be a Marvel series. After two seasons on Freeform, Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger joined the slew of cancellations to befall the Marvel Universe TV landscape. Adding to the disappointment was that the decision came as anticipation was mounting for the characters' exciting crossover with Hulu’s Runaways (which was later cancelled itself).
Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists
Fans hoping for the stars of Pretty Little Liars to get involved with the long-running drama’s spinoff quickly became disappointed. Following one season, The Perfectionists got cancelled to many fans’ chagrin. During its short time on the air, the spinoff provided a sad relationship update, a happy one, thrilling baby news, and the answer to a dangling plot thread. Silver lining?
The one-time Defender was gearing up to return for Season 3 when Netflix announced it had cancelled Jessica Jones. Making the superhero drama’s third season the show's last. Krysten Ritter may not be interested in reprising her run as the title character in the MCU. As fans await word on Jones and other characters’ futures, TV is undoubtedly down a superheroine.
While expected, considering the trend that started, The Punisher’s cancellation was still a huge gut punch. Fans of the Netflix show will never get to see what would have become of Frank Castle and Karen Page’s sizzling chemistry. Mercifully, the ending of Season 2 did not leave viewers with many other loose ends. That would have been an unmerited punishment.
Santa Clarita Diet
Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant’s dark comedy about a zombie mom living in suburbia was a fan-favorite among Netflix users. No matter how beloved it was, the streaming giant still decided to cancel Santa Clarita Diet after three seasons. So long, potential Season 4 storylines! The cast may be moving on, but fans are no less engulfed in disappointment over the cancellation.
Fans of the Fox-turned-Netflix series fought very hard to get another season of the supernatural drama. Following a successful Season 4, Lucifer fans got the shocking and disappointing news that Season 5 would be the show's last. A petition for another season was quickly circulated with the co-showrunner weighing in on the development. Regardless, a super-sized final season is on its way.
Despite a shocking Season 2 finale, Netflix decided The OA would not continue to unravel its many implications. The streaming giant cancelled the sci-fi fantasy drama in August. While a fan theory hoped it was a fake-out, months have passed without that positive turnaround. Fan outrage has followed, and protests have been had, but there will not be a follow-up movie.
In a super-surprising 2019 development, Netflix announced that the beloved animated adult series, BoJack Horseman, would end with Season 6. Star Aaron Paul subsequently spoke out with a different explanation for the show ending. Whatever the cause, BoJack Horseman’s creator talked openly about Netflix’s changing cancellation policy, as BoJack Horseman readies to say goodbye.
So much for Kevin Costner or the Olsen twins stopping by Fuller House. After some disconcerting rumblings and shut down rumors, Netflix announced Season 5 would be Fuller House’s last. Cue cast reactions and the emotional final day of filming. “Cut it out” Netflix! The second half of Season 5 awaits, with some wedding bells ringing to brighten fans’ spirits.
Academy Award winner and proverbial scene-stealer (in my opinion), J.K. Simmons came to television with Starz’s dramatic sci-fi thriller, Counterpart. Crazy reveals, and Simmons’s dual roles were not enough to get the series renewed for Season 3. In the end, the acclaimed show was cancelled for being a “very male show" which, supposedly, didn't fit Starz’s female-driven strategy.
People were warned, but it still did not help Fox’s dramatic thriller, The Passage, stick around. The TV adaptation was cancelled by Fox after a single season, meaning that Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s concerns that The Passage would share the single-season outcome of Pitch came true, which was a sad recurrence. Gosselaar did land back on TV via ABC’s mixed-ish, but no Saved by the Bell reboot for him just yet.
Noah Hawley’s ambitious superhero drama got renewed for Season 3 back in 2018. Fast forward to 2019, and Hawley explained why Legion would be ending with that third season. The show finished its run in the summer of 2019, but, thankfully for fans, Legion’s final season saw the introduction of Professor X and a series finale that may have needed some explaining.
All of these might not be disappointing for you, but many fans certainly felt the anguish of these cancellations. But, television is known for its highs and its lows. The month of May will be here before you know it, which means more shows will undoubtedly join 2019’s cancellations in television's great beyond. The medium continues making new strides, but the stinging disappointment of TV cut short still burns.
While television fans continue to mourn the disappointing cancellations of 2019, they have a lot to look forward to in 2020. Netflix (opens in new tab) has tons of new content coming this year. If that is not enough, this winter’s premieres are not cold comfort.
Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.
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