The Learning Channel’s decision to cancel “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” comes as a surprise to many fans and TV bloggers, given that filming had been completed for a new season.
The decision left us thinking about other series — popular or not — that have unexpectedly been terminated over the years.
Law & Order (2010)
NBC’s decision to cancel the game-changing series — second only to “Gunsmoke” as the longest running TV drama series in history — was met with near universal surprise and disappointment.
The series, which debuted in 1990, was noted for its myriad cast changes and guest stars who went on to considerable fame in movies.
Law & Order spawned no fewer than five spinoffs, the most notable of which (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) is in its 16th season on NBC.
Ghost Whisperer (2010)
The spooky drama starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as an antique store owner with the ability to see and communicate with ghosts got the ax in May 2010. CBS, citing rising production costs and a decline in viewership, opted not to bring the show back for a sixth season.
The decision to cancel the show was surprising given that in its fourth season, 14 episodes drew more than 10 million viewers, a remarkable number for a “graveyard time slot” on Friday evenings.
Zap2it has declared “Ghost Whisperer” the second “most missed axed show” after a poll determined that nearly 20 percent of viewers would miss it.
While it wasn’t a smash hit, the original series boasted the most-watched premiere (2.5 million viewers) in the history of Spike TV.
Its abrupt cancellation came as a surprise given that the first and only season ended with a cliffhanger and several unresolved plotlines. Additionally, in the weeks prior to the decision, executive producer David Goyer publicly spoke about a second season as if it were a near certainty.
Speculation on the network’s reasoning for canceling “Blade” centered on the show’s demographics, which surprisingly skewed toward females. Since Spike’s various original programs and movies were geared more toward males, the thinking was that the network may have had trouble filling commercial slots for “Blade.”
Almost Human (2014)
Fox’s sci-fi/crime drama received critical acclaim during its lone season — even garnering an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special and Visual Effects — but that wasn’t enough to save it from the chopping block earlier this year.
The futuristic show got off to a sluggish start last November, but picked up ratings to the point where many industry observers believed it would be renewed. But once the network’s drama pilots (including “Gotham,” “The Red Band Society” and “Empire”) began to pick up steam, the days were numbered for “Almost Human.”
The adult animated sci-fi sitcom suffered from time slot schizophrenia during its five-season run on Fox. Developed by “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, the show languished in a 7 p.m. Sunday time slot in 2003, often being pre-empted by NFL games.
The time slot issue, along with rising production costs and a perceived decline in popularity of the show, was cited by many entertainment bloggers as a reason for Fox’s decision to pull the plug.