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With some great TV shows being cancelled this year, we decided to write about the worst cancellations ever.

Selina and I decided to duke it out about which five TV series were most unfairly cancelled before their time. Read both and tell us which list you most agree with!

After I saw some of the comments in the poll about this year’s TV cancellations, I thought Selina should write a column about the worst cancellations of all time, because we’ve all been burned by a cancellation at one time or another. She thought this would make a good topic to bring back Dueling Columns.

Here are my top five shows that should never have been cancelled.

5. Awake

An open wound burns more than a scar. I tried to find out if there was a famous quote that conveyed this idea, but I was unsuccessful. Regardless, I really think this idea conveys my current feelings very well. I can’t tell you if I’ll feel the same way in five years from now or even next year, but I’m currently feeling burned enough where I have to place Awake on my list.

I found the premise of Awake very fascinating. For those who do not know, the show centers around the character named Michael Britten. Britten was in a terrible car crash with his wife and son, and he survived with one family member, but he is unsure whether his wife or his son survived with him. In one reality he’s alive with his wife until he goes to sleep. When he wakes up, he’s alive with his son. Every time he goes to sleep he wakes up in the other reality. He has a different psychiatrist in each reality that keeps trying to convince him that the other reality is fake.

The whole idea of half of a show (or maybe even a whole show) taking place in someone’s mind is absolutely fascinating to me. I’ve always been fascinated by the mind, but seeing it as a setting is something that I fell in love with in Inception and was just as fascinated by it in Awake. As cool as that is all on its own, the fact that Britten is a detective made it so much better. It was really interesting how he’d be working on a case in one reality and he’d find clues to solve the case in the other reality. It made him a much better detective than he was without this extra reality. It also has to be noted that he didn’t just get clues for one in the other, but they both helped each other out. If it had worked the other way around it would be clear that the reality where he was getting clues would be fake, but it didn’t work that way.

Unfortunately, I haven’t finished watching Awake even though it’s over. School caught up to me and I had to put it on the back-burner, so I’ll be finishing it up soon. With that in mind, I don’t know how it ends and I’m very curious to see how they wrapped it up.

Awake shouldn’t have been cancelled because it was a great concept that turned into a great show. Awake got generally favorable reviews from critics. As the Newsday review put it, “this is a show with a brain and a heart.”

The show wasn’t given the best opportunity to succeed as it was put in the 10 PM Thursday time slot and wasn’t given a whole lot of advertising. NBC should have given it another shot next year with a better time slot and more publicity so that it would succeed.

And if that’s not enough: Jason Isaacs.


4. Star Trek: The Original Series

To those who don’t call themselves fans of Star Trek, seeing it on this list may come as a bit of a shock. I certainly wouldn’t say that I’m a big fan, although I have seen a few episodes of the show and the first movie, though I don’t remember much of either of them as it has been a long time. I can say that I was very surprised to find out when I was doing research for this column that Star Trek had actually been cancelled.

Star Trek: The Original Series did poorly when it was originally aired and NBC cancelled the show. It would go on to become the juggernaut that it is today when it became a hit through syndication. Many more people were able to watch the show than when it had aired on NBC. As you may know, it went on to be a series that has included six TV series, eleven theatrical films (not including the upcoming film in 2013), many books, games, and so much more. It even led to the complete creation of the Klingon language. It is a huge pop-culture phenomenon with the “trekkies” right at its core.

I think it’s obvious that if NBC had to do it all over again there is no way that Star Trek: The Original Series would get cancelled. NBC would have loved to ride it for all that it’s worth, and it’s worth a lot because it has turned into quite the cash cow. If they could go back in time, I think NBC would run Star Trek: The Original Series for at least five seasons and probably somewhere in the seven-nine range. NBC made a mistake by canceling it, but at least for Star Trek it didn’t effect the franchise in the long term.

3. Firefly

This is the show on my list that is here 100% on trust. I have never seen Firefly nor the film Serenity, so I can’t tell you that I loved every minute of it and that I am mad that Firefly was shortened. I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you that I will. Everybody I’ve talked to that watched Firefly has told me how good it is, how I have to watch it, and how I’ll be upset that it was cut short. I hope to watch it soon. I’ll be adding it to my mix of Doctor Who, Sherlock, and the rest of Awake.

It’s a shame that they cancelled it because people seem to like it so much. This is another case where the network, in this case Fox, would likely go back in time and keep the show if they could. If Firefly were coming out now instead of ten years ago, I think it would have been renewed. Creator Joss Whedon is much better known now, and I think there would be more people now than there were then that would watch it due to Whedon. Before you Whedonites jump down my back, yes, I know you watched the show and supported him back then. There’s no contesting that. All I’m saying is that his fanbase has grown to a larger size than it was then. I’m a perfect example. I didn’t know who he was a year ago (not ashamed to say it), much less back then, and I have become a fan. After seeing The Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers, I will follow Whedon anywhere.

2. Kyle XY

About a year ago when I was trying to find a series to watch on Netflix, I remembered watching an episode of a show many years pervious that was really good, but all I could remember was that the main character didn’t have a belly button. It didn’t take long to find out that the show I was looking for was Kyle XY.

For those who do not know, Kyle XY is the story of a boy named Kyle who wakes up in the forest outside of Seattle wearing absolutely nothing at about the age of 16-years-old. Kyle has no memories of anything before waking up. Kyle doesn’t know anything that humans know, so he has to learn literally everything. Kyle doesn’t know language or even basic emotions and quite a bit of the show is focused on how he is able to develop. Luckily enough, Kyle is a genius, so he catches on very quickly and he was able to pick up the English language in no time. A lot of the show is based around the fact that Kyle doesn’t know who he is and he wants to find out. Kyle has no memories and it leads to others thinking that he has a severe case of amnesia and that his family must be looking for him. They all wonder why Kyle doesn’t have a belly button. This coupled with the fact that he doesn’t have any memories and that he is a genius leads to the idea that he may be an alien.

When I started watching Kyle XY, I was hooked instantly. There’s never been a show that I’ve watched that has kept me on the edge of my seat that much while watching it and thinking about it all day when I wasn’t watching it. (Note: I haven’t watched Lost yet, but I plan on watching it some time and look forward to getting this feeling then too.) The cliffhangers are absolutely incredible, especially the ones on the season finales. Unfortunately, the third season ended on a huge cliffhanger just like the first and second seasons, but the show was cancelled after three seasons.

Kyle XY shouldn’t have been cancelled not only because it was a fantastic show, but it was great Sci-Fi as well. I enjoyed it more than I’ve enjoyed any other Sci-Fi due to it’s ultra-suspenseful nature, and I’d call myself a Sci-Fi fan, though I haven’t seen as much as a lot of people. There was a lot of the story left to be told, and it’s a shame that it never happened. There have been plenty of fan campaigns to bring the show back, but sadly it’ll never happen.

1. Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks is, in my opinion, the greatest high school tv show that has ever aired. Everything about the show was perfection. The writing, actors, and music were all absolutely amazing.

Freaks and Geeks (obviously) centered around two different groups in a high school – the freaks and the geeks. These two groups were connected in the show as Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) was becoming a member of the freaks while her brother Sam (John Francis Daley) was a member of the geeks.

Lindsay Weir was a very strong student academically and a “mathlete,” but she doesn’t want that anymore. She used to fit in with the geeks, but she feels out of place and wants to be “cool.” She befriends the “freak” crowd that hangs out behind the school and smokes. Three of the actors who played the freaks have gone on to become huge stars. James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel all played freaks along with lesser known Busy Philipps.

Sam Weir was a geek along with his two friends Neil Schweiber (Samm Levine) and Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr). They did things that all ’80s geeks would do, including having a love for playing Dungeons and Dragons. As geeks, high school wasn’t the easiest thing for them as they always had to be wary of bullies. Bill Haverchuck will forever remain one of my all-time favorite characters.

The music in the show really added to the ’80s feel as it’s all famous ’80s music, including songs by The Who, Van Halen, Rush, Styx, Boston, and so many more. This made it incredibly hard to make the show available for DVD release, but it eventually was. It made it a pricy set, but it’s well worth it.

Unfortunately, Freaks and Geeks was cancelled before the first season even concluded due to terrible ratings (numbers, not opinions). Only 15 of the 18 episodes aired during the original run on NBC. The remaining three were included when the show ran in syndication on the Fox Family Channel. When the show ran on syndication, the original music wasn’t included, but it’s all there on the DVD set.

It’s really a terrible thing that it was cancelled because it was just so good. Its Saturday night time slot was very unfortunate because high school students are typically out with friends and not at home watching TV at that time. It would have also been aided by better promotion to adults to tell them that the show wasn’t just for kids, it was for them too.

If you take anything that I write here on Hypable to heart, let it be this: watch Freaks and Geeks. You won’t regret it.

Honorable Mentions

Taking cues from the comments on the poll about this year’s TV cancellations that Selina did, I feel like I have to mention Arrested Development, Veronica Mars, and Pushing Daisies, but I’ve never seen any of those shows and know literally nothing about any of them, so there’s no way they could make my list.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with me? Make sure to check out Selina’s list! Let us know your personal top five in the comments!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

    I think you’d be disappointed in how Awake ended.  The finale was so rushed, they put what, 5 episodes into one?  So you can imagine how much they had to squeeze in to make everything make sense.  In the end, it was okay but everything ended far too quickly and you could tell that the ending had been scrambled together.  

    And it has a bit of an Inception-like ending – I still don’t know what really happened. Again, it was okay but underwhelming.

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Louie Schuth

      I figured something like that would happen, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there would have been an altogether different ending if the show hadn’t been cancelled.

  • Nicole

    Awake hasn’t finished in the uk but I’m loving it, going to miss it when it stops :( and……. Hello to Jason issacs ;)

  • Claire

    OHMYGOSH. Freaks and Geeks!

  • christinachristina

    So you haven’t watched three of the five series you listed, at least not all in their entireity? Interesting.

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Louie Schuth

      I definitely didn’t expect that when I set out to write it, but I really felt that those were the shows I had to add to the list. I think I’ve seen enough of Awake to know it’s an amazing show, and I think the reasons for the other two are valid.

      • christinachristina

         They are valid. Not a bad thing, just interesting. You’ve convinced me to watch Awake. But come on! Get on Firefly already!!!

        • http://www.hypable.com/ Louie Schuth

          It’ll be soon, I promise!

  • Georgie_girl


  • jghike

    I can’t believe you haven’t seen those shows, especially the ones in your hounorable mentions. What have you been watching?! :P

    There a good article about Freaks and Geeks on Cracked.com a couple days ago you should read, it talks about how it didn’t really convey how the real freaks and geeks are treated in high school.

    The finale of Awake sucked. I stopped watching a couple episodes from the end, but saw the last five minutes of the finale, it was so confusing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Monkman/502331043 Robert Monkman

    Putting in a show in a show that you’ve not even seen? Don’t try and appeal to many SciFi fans there….

    I’ve been watching Freak and Geeks and whilst the acting is great and it is funny. It is soooo slow literally nothing happens. Whilst this is much more realistic it isn’t TV. We (in general) expect something bigger and faster and I’m not surprised the Network thought it wasn’t going anywhere because I don’t think the writers really intended it too

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Louie Schuth

      I guess I don’t really see the problem. Why do I need to have seen the show?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Monkman/502331043 Robert Monkman

        Because you’ve written an opinion piece entitled ‘Louie’s Top 5 Shows…’ and included something that you don’t actually know whether or not you agree whether it should of been cancelled

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1045615098 Riana-Tiana Menezes

    I completely agree with you that Kyle XY shouldn’t have been cancelled. It was one of those shows with really good actors, good dialogue, not inappropriate at all, and most importantly an extremely intriguing and suspense-filled  story

    • http://twitter.com/BrandiTiana Brandi Delhagen

      I agree!!! I absolutely LOVED Kyle XY! The cliffhangers were CRAZY!!! The ending was not an ending at all. I’m still a bit ticked about it getting the axe.

  • Eduardo C.

    You havn’t even seen The Original Star Trek series, and you still put it in? Sigh….

  • Alexis

    Freaks and Geeks – YES. 

    Also, please stop whatever you’re doing and go and watch Arrested Development. That is all.

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Louie Schuth

      But I’m watching AGT so I can write the recap! :P

      • Alexis

        I’m assuming AGT is America’s Got Talent. If that’s the case, you have two reasons to stop what you’re doing and watch Arrested Development. No one should be subjected to reality television, haha.

    • AliceHermione

      AGREED! Arrested Development is one of the funniest shows of ALL TIME. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/peggy.ruiz1 Peggy Ruiz

    I wish pushing daises wasn’t canceled. I loved that show

  • Jessica

    Kyle XY was such a good show!! I hate how they ended it. It wasn’t an end, even. And Freaks and Geeks! Both great shows.

  • 7Starrchasers

    i want to add Awake to selina’s list!

    • Eduardo C.


    • Jereome Bork

      Cool story bro

  • Samantha

    I’m amazed nobody’s brought up “My So-Called Life.”  It’s amazing and also heavily associated with premature cancellation. 

    I also think the-n’s “Instant Star” should have gotten one more season, but it’s far too niche to show up on hypable. 

    • Jereome Bork

      Because Claire Danes is a beeeyyyyyyaaatttcccchhhhhh

  • KK

    My So-Called Life. just watched all 19 episodes in about a week. amazing. 

  • Ev42

    I agree with some of these, have barely heard of some, but my comment has only one purpose: You’ve misspelled Joss Whedon’s name three out of three times in the Firefly bit.

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Louie Schuth

      Three out of four actually, but thank you for bringing it to my attention.

      • Ev42

        I didn’t count “Whedonites”, since it’s a fandom term and not “just” his name :) 

  • Dreamer

    I LOVED Pushing Daisies! It…just…gah… it was so amazing!

  • Guest


  • AliceHermione

    Arrested Development, Pushing Daisies, Veronica Mars, Firefly and Studio 60. Those are my top five I wish I had more of. Granted I will say Chuck as well BUT I got five seasons out of that so I can’t cry too much there. 

  • http://twitter.com/NatashaPeartree Natasha Pereira

    yes!! PUSHING DAISIES!!! i loved that show!

  • Jim

    Anyone remember Jericho?  Very cool show about post nuclear war America.  Very fascinating.  That was one I wish the didn’t cancel.  

  • Me

    Kyle XY was cancelled for The Secret Life of an American Teenager – yeah, I’m bitter.

  • sind57

    My whole family loved Kyle XY.  What really got me upset was how they left you hanging when they canceled the show.  A lot of shows that that won’t return usually will give the show a ending. It’s like reading a rivoting story only half way and then tossing the book away.

  • DownWithFOX

    Considering all the shows you’ve never seen, I really don’t think you’re qualified to write this article.

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