7 Shows That Will Probably Be Canceled, Even If They Don't Know It Yet

By Tim Surette

Jan 28, 2014

It's not even February yet, and in the television world that means it's wayyyyyyy too early to start betting on which shows will be canceled this year. So in the interest of keeping the internet full of wildly speculative articles that will be debunked as frauds a few months down the line, let's start betting on which shows will be canceled this year!

I've looked over the major networks' lineups and selected seven shows that I think are on the way out, based on the fact that they're pretty much already dead. Read on for some harsh truths, and if you're a fan of any of the shows listed below, it's time to start saying your goodbyes. 

Note: In favor of keeping things interesting, I left off the guaranteed goners like Killer Women, Betrayal, Hostages, and anything else that we already know doesn't have a shot at coming back. Also, I reserve the right to be entirely wrong about any and all of the shows on this list.

The Michael J. Fox Show and Sean Saves the World

Big stars! Broad comedy! Huge bombs! These two sitcoms were the centerpiece of NBC's new Thursday-night comedy block, and armed with one-time NBC comedy stars Sean Hayes and Michael J. Fox, the network figured, "What could possibly go wrong?" Well, how about everything? After a decent debut that drew more than 7 million viewers, The Michael J. Fox Show has circled the drain, dipping under 2 million total viewers for a mid-January episode. And while its neighbor Sean Saves the World hasn't suffered the same precipitous drop, that's only because it didn't have as far to fall. Sean premiered to an audience of just 4.5 million, but would murder puppies to achieve that number again, hitting a series low of 2.58 million viewers last week (yes, it's doing better than The Michael J. Fox Show). Even though there's a believable scenario where both of these shows survive based on their supposed star power and their network's knack for making brainless decisions, I'm guessing even NBC can't deny those numbers, and that they'll finish out their orders (22 episodes for MJF, 18 episodes for Sean) and then disappear forever. And then the network will look for other old TV stars to throw a bunch of money at.

UPDATE (1/28): Less than 24 hours after we published this story, Sean Saves the World got the axe. One show down, six to go! UPDATE #2 (2/5): The Michael J. Fox Show is also a goner!


Eric Kripke's post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama was once the biggest new show on TV thanks to a boost from The Voice, but NBC abandoned it in Season 2, essentially leaving the show on the doorstep of a house whose owner is on vacation forever (Wednesdays at 8pm). Yes, an off-season overhaul in the writers' room and the creative team's realization that they failed in Season 1 resulted in an inspired start to Season 2—but it was too late for fans who felt spurned by Season 1, and the uptick in quality couldn't be sustained (we got about four good episodes before the show fell apart). Revolution's ratings and discussions have slumped to series lows, and even the readership on my weekly reviews of the series has dropped off dramatically (I try not to take it too personally... but it's just so hard). NBC had to give the show a second season based on its fantastic start, but what would be the point in giving it a third? Time to re-roll the dice on another mediocre sci-fi series.

The Neighbors

Did you even know that The Neighbors was still on the air? I wouldn't blame you if you didn't. Well, it's in its second season after a miracle renewal, and ABC moved it to Fridays to die because it had nothing else to put on Friday nights. And that's the story of how a goofy single-camera sitcom about aliens living in New Jersey ended up sandwiched between Tim Allen's multi-camera comedy and Shark Tank; ratings-wise, the mismatched mash-up has gone about as well as you'd think for Larry Bird and the rest of his ET-filled family. It's posting sub-1.0s in the all-important 18-49 demo, creating a valley between Last Man Standing's 1.4s and Shark Tank's 2-pluses in recent weeks. No one likes a weak link, The Neighbors. And what's sad about all this is that even though The Neighbors was smeared against the wall by critics when it first premiered, it actually got kinda decent midway through its first season, and these days, it isn't nearly as terrible as some folks remember it. And yeah I'll say it: Reggie and Amber's relationship on the show is one of the best relationships of any network comedy. PROVE ME WRONG AND KEEP THIS ONE AROUND, ABC! Hey, it's better than Super Fun Night.

Beauty and the Beast

Sorry BatBers, your show is toast. The drama about a hunk with a scar on his face has been remarkably consistent in the ratings—consistently bad, that is. It hasn't cracked one million viewers all season, posting a 0.3 in every single episode. In fact, last week it got beat by the following competition during its 9pm time period: WWESingle Ladies 3, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Klondike, The Fosters, a rerun of The Big Bang Theory on cable, Vanderpump Rules, a Family Guy rerun, a Cleveland Show rerun, Brain GamesPawn StarsBad InkLizard Lick TowingRachael vs. Guyand South Park. Maybe more, but that was as far down as TVBytheNumbers' list went. But look at it this way: Beauty and the Beast cheated death last year when it should have been canceled, so Season 2 was like a bonus! A miracle born of boneheaded network programming decisions! A costly experiment that ruined The CW but benefited you! Congratulations... and enjoy the rest of this season, because once it's over, so is the series. 

The Carrie Diaries

See: Beauty and the Beast. The Sex and the City prequel has almost mirrored BatB in the ratings, but it gets a little more credit because it airs on Friday nights and everything is doing lousy on Friday. When Hart of Dixie looks down on you, that's really bad. To be fair, Carrie HAS risen to a 0.4 rating twice. But it also nailed a 0.2 one week, and this Friday's season finale will likely be the series finale, too. After all, the series lacks hunks in tights with superpowers or fangs, something that The CW seems very inclined to these days.


One of the most surprising disappointments of the current midseason is Intelligence, CBS's action drama with buckets of technology and "What if?" questions. After a HUGE launch on a Tuesday following NCIS (over 16 million viewers), the Josh Holloway series moved to Mondays, where its audience was massacred to the tune of a 10-million-viewer drop. 10 MILLION. This series is still very young (Episode 4 just aired last night), but so far it looks like a failure for CBS, and America's most-watched network doesn't have time for programs that post 1.1s in key demos. Away with you, Intelligence! And better luck next season with Mondays at 10pm, CBS.

What shows are YOU betting against this spring?

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  • bobc4012 Oct 06, 2014

    Add Madam Secretary to the list. It is CBS's blatant attempt to make Hillary look good when she was not a good SoS. Too many screwups, but CBS has its lips firmly attached to ....

  • turmoil23 Sep 09, 2014

    seems like americans like to watch hit shows or ultra crap reallities, everything in between gets axed, so sad

  • patpanchai Aug 11, 2014

    Hopefully The Vampire Diaries or better write the crying Nina Dobrev out of the script, let her die a horrifying dead, please.

  • Davy-Jones58 May 29, 2014

    I am really sorry about Revolution being cancelled. I really enjoyed the show, it just got better and better. Would it have had a better chance if it wasn't up against Survivor? We would record both of them so we could watch both, they were also both on On Demand. Anyway, it's a shame.

  • Ananas1111 Apr 28, 2014

    INTELLEGENCE SEASON 2! DO we know something??

  • LeePierce Apr 27, 2014

    Which shows are we betting against???? Geez, man, there are thousands of jobs at stake and you're acting way too cavalier about it. What if we wrote an article about which TV.com writer we wanted fired?

  • DebbieFried Apr 27, 2014

    I think Raising Hope as run out of steam. I thought it was hysterically funny until this season and now I stopped bothering to watch. I'd also like to know how Two and a Half Men has managed to stay on the air so long after Charlie Sheen's departure. Maybe the viewers are really just rubberneckers who can't look away from an accident.

  • davidgarrard7 Apr 13, 2014

    Revolution... It has a very interesting premise for a TV show... I like it but it started losing me after the AI started running Aarons life...and performing so called miracles. That sort of thinking is eerie to me... The AI want's to become our GOD with miracles and such..."Can I get a witness"...A Men brothers and sisters... Faith and belief in God is a personal thing...something that will doom the show if it continues on that path. Best thing to happen is for season three to be approved and a new way to beat the nanos is found...but it takes the season or seasons to achieve it... and all these things happen along the way... The path of where we are going needs to be known...someday...they will make it and get the power back on...:)

  • alyssaschroeder754 Apr 09, 2014

    Hart of Dixie hit a slump this season because they brought this Joel character in & the viewers hated him! I've seriously never seen a character hated so much. Many people stopped watching, but now that he's gone I think the ratings will go back up. It's a great show off you give it a chance. I didn't like the first few episodes but then all of the sudden I came to love it & I will stand behind it because it can be an amazing show!

  • ALeighHolmes Apr 06, 2014

    I love intelligence!!!! If they cancel this show I will be highly ticked !!!! They didn't even give it a chance! Plus they should not end a show with a cliffhanger, renew it so we can see what happens

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