RIP: These TV Shows Were Laid To Rest In 2018
Television evolved in leaps and bounds in 2018. Streaming services like Amazon and Netflix introduced new shows that pushed the boundaries of the medium. As these shows have grabbed our attention, other shows have paid the price. Some old favorites aired their last episodes in 2018. Did you realize The Americans called it quits after seven seasons? Here are the best shows that were canceled before 2019. Some were critically hailed but lowly rated. Others simply finished telling their story. Either way, these shows may be gone, but they will not be forgotten.
Which TV show that ended in 2018 was your favorite?
The Middle – Nine Seasons
The Middle helped anchor ABC’s Wednesday night comedy lineup for nine seasons. Paired with Modern Family, no other network could compete with the American Broadcasting Company. Seen as a hilarious and honest take raising a family in the middle class, the show garnered critical praise and a sizable audience.
The decision to end The Middle came from the show’s creators. Its ratings were still strong at the time, and they wanted to be able to “go out on top.” The series finale became a sentimental and hilarious love letter to the fans, who will always remember the laughs they shared with the Heck family!
The Americans – Six Seasons
One of the most critically hailed shows of all time, The Americans was the poorly rated show that could. Airing on FX, it managed to last for six seasons despite extremely low ratings. Part of the reason was the awards it was reeling in, including a prestigious Peabody in 2014 and 18 Emmy nominations.
In case you missed it, The Americans was about married KGB spies posing as American citizens in Washington D.C. during the Cold War. Their mission is complicated when an FBI agent moves in next door to them.
Up next, a show that ended because of a cast member’s scandal!
House Of Cards – Six Seasons
The show that put Netflix on the map, House of Cards was a breakout hit when it debuted in 2013. As the seasons passed, the plotlines became more outlandish and critics started turning on the series. Uproxx was very harsh in its review of the fifth season, writing, “House of Cards has not been very good for multiple seasons now.”
After the fifth season aired, the show’s lead actor, Kevin Spacey, was fired for lewd and inappropriate behavior. The sixth and final season was led by Robin Wright and was considered a complicated return to form.
You’re The Worst – Five Seasons
Another critically beloved but lowly rated show, You’re The Worst took the romantic comedy and flipped it on its head. The show followed broken people falling in and out of love while dealing with clinical depression and PTSD. Heavy stuff for an FXX comedy!
Series creator Stephen Falk said at one point he imagined the show going seven seasons. Now that we know his vision for Jimmy and Gretchen won’t come to fruition, we’ll always wonder what could have been. At least we can sleep at night knowing they got married!
Once Upon A Time – Seven Seasons
Once the darling of ABC, Once Upon A Time ran a few seasons too long and got lost in its own Disney fueled mythology. The show started with a promising first season and LOST-like ratings. Its first episode was seen by 13 million people.
Its final episode, aired on May 18, 2018, was seen by a paltry 2.27 million. It’s fair to say, Once Upon A Time was a victim of its own storytelling. We guess there will be no happily ever after in Storybrooke.
Still ahead, Jennifer Lopez’s return to acting didn’t end well.
Shades Of Blue – Three Seasons
What could possibly go wrong with a cop drama starring Jennifer Lopez? That’s what NBC was betting on when they cast her opposite Ray Liotta in Shades of Blue. The show first aired as a mid-season replacement and kept its sirens blaring for three seasons.
When the show ended, Lopez thanked NBC for their support, and also thanked the character she played for helping her grow as a person. With the show over, Lopez made her return to the silver screen in Second Act, a movie about a woman reinventing her life.
Young And Hungry – Five Seasons
One of Freeform’s carryover shows when the network decided to push for a more mature audience, Young and Hungry ran for five seasons. After it ended, the network promised fans a movie but never delivered. Fans still got a sentimental series finale, however.
Unfortunately, the show was never going to work airing alongside edgier programming like The Bold Type and Grown-ish. A victim of circumstance, the show starred Emily Osment as a klutzy food blogger in San Francisco with a knack for knowing what people wanted to eat.
The Fosters – Five Seasons
The Fosters may have ended its five season run in 2018, but it is getting new life in 2019 with a spin-off series called Good Trouble. The new show will follow “Callie and Mariana, as they embark on the next phase of their young adult lives.”
Critically acclaimed, The Fosters dealt with LGBT themes, which was unheard of on Freeform at the time. For it’s sensitivity, the show won two GLAAD Awards and one Teen Choice Award. We can’t wait for the next chapter!
Love – Three Seasons
A high profile comedy created by Judd Apatow and streaming on Netflix, Love never found the audience it needed to stay on the airwaves past 2018. Like You’re the Worst, the show followed two broken people who fall in love with each other but struggle with relationships.
Sold to audiences as a “down-to-earth look at dating,” critics praised the show for its relatability and and realism. Gillian Jacobs was the breakout star of the show, showing a knack for incredible comedic timing as well as dramatic chops.
Next, do you remember which show that ended in 2018 put Hulu on the map?
Casual – Four Seasons
The streaming show that put Hulu on the map, Casual ended its four season run on top. Another modern look at dating, critics called Casual, “self assured” and “edgy.” In 2016, it became the first Hulu show to get awards attention, earning a Golden Globe nomination for best comedy.
Since becoming Hulu’s first big hit, the streaming service has expanded its offerings. Have you heard of The Handmaid’s Tale? Casual might have put Hulu on the map, but that show made it a must-pay-for service!
Portlandia – Eight Seasons
The weird show that could, Portlandia found a home on IFC in 2011 and showed off just how strange and hilarious Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are. After eight seasons, the two stars announced the show was ending because, “eight seasons is a lot.”
The remark felt appropriate for the odd duck show. It aired its final episode March 22, 2018. It’s hard to believe the show is really over. Maybe after a few years away, Armisen and Brownstein will get the itch to make a few more sketches together.
Major Crimes – Six Seasons
One of TNT’s most successful shows ever, Major Crimes played a major role in the network’s ability to compete with broadcast cable networks like ABC. A spin-off of The Closer, Major Crimes closed its doors in 2018 after airing more than 100 episodes.
The decision to cancel the show wasn’t easy for TNT, but the network was looking to rebrand at the time. These days you won’t find crime procedurals on the network. Instead, you’ll find more gritty fair like Animal Kingdom and Claws.
12 Monkeys – Four Seasons
As part of SyFy Channel’s promise to produce more science fiction programming, 12 Monkeys showed the network’s commitment to their word. Despite averaging 400,000 viewers a week, SyFy backed the show for four seasons, desperately hoping it would find the audience it deserved.
Critics called the show “bold” and “beautiful… one of the best sci-fi shows on television.” Sadly, the time travel show based on the Bruce Willis movie never found stability. SyFy gave its small but rabid fanbase closure, airing the final season in a binge-like- model over three nights.
In two slides we get to everyone’s favorite “new girl.”
The Originals – Five Seasons
A successful spin-off of The Vampire Diaries, The Originals cast a spell on its CW audience for five seasons. Following a vampire-werewolf hybrid in New Orleans, the program was developed by Julie Plec and found a perfect home on the younger skewing CW Network.
With the show ending, the CW announced Legacies, a spin-off that would focus on characters from The Originals and The Vampire Diaries. The show might be over, but its legacy is literally living on in 2019!
New Girl – Seven Seasons
New Girl snagged 11 million viewers when it premiered on Fox in 2011. It was an instant hit and made Zooey Deschanel into a star. Her quirkiness and comedic timing made her perfect for the role of Jess, a teacher who moves in with three dudes.
The final season of New Girl was compacted into eight episodes. It skipped four years into the future and took a look at the characters’ now stable careers and love lives. The series finale was seen by 1.47 million viewers.
Nashville – Six Seasons
Nashville faced cancellation once in 2016 when ABC decided to put an end to it. Fans were outraged that the lauded show about country music stars was done. CMT saw an opportunity and picked the showed up, saving it for two more seasons.
The final episode on CMT aired on July 26th, 2018, giving fans a true ending to their beloved series. Every character got a happy ending. Nashville starred Hayden Panetierre, who was most well known at the time as the cheerleader from Heroes.
Scandal – Seven Seasons
Shonda Rhimes is a goddess for ABC. Not only did she create Grey’s Anatomy, which is still on the air, she also created Scandal, which ended in 2018 after ten seasons. The show cemented Rhimes as the person for ABC to turn to when they needed a new hit show.
Helping keep the show relevant for its entire run was its impact on social media. When new episodes aired, Scandal would regularly become the top trend on Twitter. Tweets for the shows season three premiere were seen by 3.7 million users.
Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce – Five Seasons
Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce was Bravo’s first foray into scripted television. Created by Marti Noxon, it premiered in 2015 with 13 episodes. Noxon adapted the show from the Girlfriends’ Guide series of books. Each season after the first was given a clever secondary name based on where the characters were in life (Girlfriends’ Guide To Bossing Up, etc…).
Production for the show was a whirlwind. After its second season, Bravo gave it a three season, 20 episode renewal. All the episodes were filmed together and then broken up to create to the last batch of episodes.
American Vandal – Two Seasons
A surprise hit for Netflix when it came out in 2017, American Vandal took an absurdist look at life in high school. A school reporter sets out to unravel who graffiti’d every teachers’ car. Along the way, the audience is taught not judge a book by its cover.
The second season was released in 2018 and was met with similar praise. The location and characters were new, but the social commentary remained the same. A few months after the second season was released, Netflix announced there would not a third.
The Last Man On Earth – Four Seasons
Fans were furious when Fox announced the fourth season of The Last Man on Earth would be its last. The show’s writers didn’t know if they would get a fifth season and ended the fourth season with a cliffhanger. Fans were desperate for closure, but will never get it.
The show’s creators were proud of what they were able to do in four years, though. They said they wanted to show a flawed person who needed everyone around him to disappear to change him into the person he could have been.
Daredevil – Three Season
The first Marvel show on Netflix won’t be the last. After debuting it’s third season in 2018, the streaming platform announced it would not be renewing the dark and daring comic book adaptation for a fourth. The cancellation came months after Netflix decided to cancel Luke Cage and Iron Fist as well.
Of course, just because the stand alone story of Matt Murdock is over, that doesn’t mean the character won’t appear on other Marvel shows still airing. Jessica Jones is still running strong and has a new season coming up just around the corner!
Timeless – Two Seasons And A Movie
For a show called Timeless, it came as shock to fans to learn their beloved program’s time was up in 2018. Desperate to keep the show alive, they petitions NBC to change its mind. The plan partially worked.
Two give fans the conclusion the wanted, NBC gave Timeless television movie to wrap up all its loose ends. The movie aired on the Network in December and became a social media sensation. While it’s possible another network could come in a pick up Timeless, for now, the show is canceled and not coming back.
Falling Water – Two Seasons
USA took a major chance when they picked up Falling Water in 2016. The high concept science fiction program followed three people who don’t realize they are all having the same dream. When they finally figure it out, they also realize that the fate of the world rests in their hands.
The show never found footing. Critics weren’t very nice, calling it “an unimaginative concept lacking a redeemable payoff.” Viewers stayed away, and in 2018, USA was forced to give up on the show, once and for all.
Z-Nation – Five Seasons
SyFy channel hopped on the zombie bandwagon with Z-Nation after The Walking Dead became a huge hit for AMC. The campy take on the genre never took itself too seriously, and fans latched onto the B-movie quality of it.
Critics enjoyed the show too, and it quickly became a network staple and one of its highest rated shows. As happens with age, fan interest began flailing in the fifth season, and once it aired its season finale, SyFy announced it was actually a series finale.
Being Mary Jane – Five Seasons
This is a tricky one. Being Mary Jane technically aired its last episode in 2017, but BET promised fans that there was going to be a”movie finale” in 2018. After waiting nearly the entire year, BET announced the movie was still in the works, but would now be airing in 2019.
Essentially, the end of the show was officially announced in 2018, so we’re saying it counts for this list. As we continue on, you’ll notice other shows included with similar circumstances.
Ash V. Evil Dead – Three Seasons
Fans of Ash vs. Evil Dead were forced to wait after the third season finale aired to find out if the show would get a fourth. It would not. Starz says the cancellation was based on low viewership numbers. The first season averaged nearly 500,000 viewers per episode compared to 170,000 in the third.
Bruce Campbell, who has played Ash since the original Sam Raimi movie, thanked fans and said playing Ash was the ride of a lifetime and would always be grateful to Starz forgiving him one last hurrah with the character.
The Big Bang Theory – 12 Seasons
The Big Bang Theory lasted longer than anyone could have ever imagined. The little CBS show about science nerds was the most popular comedy on television during it’s run. Set to aired it’s final episode in 2019, the end of the series was announced before the start of the season in 2018.
The show reportedly ended when Jim Parson, who plays Sheldon Cooper, opted to not return for a 13th season. Producers refused to continue making the show without him, and decided in that moment to reshape the season to give Sheldon, Leonard, and Penny proper goodbyes.
Difficult People – Three Season
Difficult People had all the makings of a hit show. Produced by Amy Poehler and starring Billy Eichner as a struggling comedian, the show debuted on Hulu in 2015. Critics praised the show, saying it pulled off the impossible task of making the unlikable amusing.
When the third season finale aired in 2017, no one knew what Hulu was planning to the do with the show. Critics may have loved it, but it had failed to find an audience on the streaming platform. In 2018, Hulu officially announced the had been canceled.
Elementary – Seven Seasons
The Big Bang Theory isn’t the only long-running series CBS is asking fans to say goodbye to in 2019. In December 2018, the network announced the seventh season of Elementary would be the last.
The show, a modern take on Sherlock Holmes with Watson as a woman, was always a solid performer in the ratings. CBS never had a reason to cancel it knowing they could plug it in anywhere on any night and fans would find it. Somewhere during the sixth season, though, fans stopped showing up. Will they return to say goodbye?
Great News – Two Seasons
Produced by Tina Fey and premiering to stellar reviews, Great News just never felt like the right fit on NBC. The show lasted two seasons, airing its finale in January, 2018. In some regards, the show was lucky to have two seasons.
After Friends ended, NBC struggled to find hit comedies. The Office worked for nine seasons, and Parks and Rec was a strong performer too, but that’s been all. Surrounded by shows performing just as poorly as it was, Great News was given every possible chance by the network to catch on before pulling the plug.
Homeland – Eight Seasons
Airing on Showtime, Homeland has been one of the most critically acclaimed shows on television for eight seasons. If there has been any criticism of the show in recent years, it’s that it has, at times, been too large in scope. That won’t be a problem with its final season.
Showrunner Alex Gansa wants to take the show’s final swan song back to the basics, “We’re going to start fresh in season 8 and probably do a fairly big time jump between 7 and 8 and put any Trump parallels behind us” and “We’ll tell a very contained story, hopefully in Israel.”
I’m Dying Up Here – Two Seasons
Another Showtime show calling it quits, I’m Dying Up Here came to the network with tons of hype before being laughed off the stage. Produced by Jim Carrey, the show followed struggling comedians in Los Angeles in the 1970’s.
Viewers never took to the show, which was more depressing than funny at times. Similarly, critics weren’t sure what to make of show, giving it mixed reviews. After two seasons, Showtime decided the show wouldn’t get a third to find its voice.
The Last Ship – Five Seasons
Based on the novel of the same name, The Last Ship followed the crew of a military ship after a virus wipes out a majority of the population of Earth. TNT put all of their money behind the show, and was paid back with millions of viewers and critical acclaim.
Unfortunately for fans of the show, TNT canceled The Last Ship after five seasons while they rebrand themselves as “edgier.” Their shows might not rake in millions of viewers anymore, but they do attract younger ones.
Mr. Robot – Four Seasons
The show that brought Christian Slater back to the public’s attention will officially be ending after four seasons in 2019. The cancellation was announced in 2018, with the final episodes set to air more than a year after the season three finale.
More importantly that giving Christian Slater back to the world, Mr. Robot also introduced us to Rami Malek, whose lead performance is both heartbreaking and terrifying. In 2018, he really showed how amazing he can be, playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.
Mozart In The Jungle – Four Seasons
With four award winning years in the books, Mozart in the Jungle ended it’s dominant run in 2018. The show, based on Blair Tindall’s career as an oboist in New York, was picked up byu Amazon Prime, who released season on in 2014.
The fourth and final season was released on the streaming service in April. Shortly after Amazon announced they would not be producing any more episodes. Despite receiving a shelf full of awards, Mozart in the Jungle was one of Amazon’s less streamed shows during its run.
Orange Is The New Black – Seven Seasons
Along with House of Cards, Orange is the New Black helped put Netflix on the map when it premiered. The show, starring Taylor Schilling, was a hit with critics and fans, who couldn’t get enough of the darkly comic world.
The sixth season of the show was released on the platform in 2018, and a few months later Netflix announced the seventh season would be the last. Although Netflix doesn’t release viewership numbers, outside tracking sources having OITNB as one of the highest rated show online.
Outcast – Two Seasons
Airing its final episode in 2017, the nail was officially put in the coffin of Outcast in 2018. The show, developed by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, aired on Cinemax. The network, known for more risque programming, saw a chance to legitimize with the horror series.
A big marketing push came with the series premiere, and decent ratings followed. As more episodes aired, however, people began to tune out, preferring Kirkman’s other more famous show. Since the official cancellation was announced, Cinemax began focusing on more action shows.
The Path – Three Seasons
One of Hulu’s first high profile shows, The Path starred Aaron Paul in his first major role after Breaking Bad. The high pedigree doesn’t stop there; series creator Jason Katims was one of the hottest names in Hollywood writing the script after Friday Night Lights ended.
The Path forged ahead for three seasons with decent ratings and mixed reviews. During its run, it was only ever nominated for one major award, an Annie award for “Best Animated Title Sequence. It did not win.
People Of Earth – Two Seasons
There will be no third season for People of Earth, even though TBS initially renewed the show after its second season. The critically loved but poorly rated show was a hidden gem for TBS, and the network originally planned to keep it shining.
The show’s writers got to work on seasons three, but before cameras could roll, TBS changed its mind and canceled the show. If fans can get their hands on the scripts for the third season, then they can still have a little closure.
Roseanne – 10 Seasons
This one can almost be considered more of a re-imagining than a cancellation, but after its 2018 revival season, Roseanne was canceled by ABC. The network didn’t want to end the show, but felt compelled to after Roseanne tweeted some tasteless and offensive remarks.
Still highly rated, the show’s actors and writers (and network) were determined to figure out a way to keep some version of the show on the air. To solve the problem, they fired Roseanne and renamed the show The Connors. In essence, Roseanne might have been canceled, but it also found a way to keep surviving.