In the world of television, there lies several shows that died too young, pulled off the air before it was their time to go. It’s a truth that – for many of us – is hard to swallow, particularly when the likes of Jerry Springer and The Simple Life plagued the airwaves. Yet, this is part of life: television shows come and go and some networks change programs as quickly as some people change channels. Still, within the cancellations sit a brotherhood of coveted series, series whose stoppage caused us all to fight with our televisions, pushing its buttons and pulling its plug.
The following is our list of top five shows that deserved a chance…and a contract renewal.
5. Get A Life
A sitcom that aired on Fox from September 1990 to March 1992, Get a Life featured an always hilarious Chris Elliot as a 30 year old paper boy (aim high, kids), living with his perpetual pajama wearing parents and riding a bicycle because he didn’t have a driver’s license. Though this show was kind of out there – okay really out there – it was funny and often so ridiculous you couldn’t help put find it appealing. Get a Life should have got a chance.
4. My So Called Life
With adolescent angst seeping out its pores, My So Called Life was a show for the ages, the teenages. With a short stint on ABC in late 1994 to early 1995, My So Called Life had a so called short existence: only 19 episodes were ever made. A series that followed Angela Chase (played by Claire Danes), a 15 year old sophomore in high school, this show touched on the issues every teenager faced, touching teenager hearts in the process. Though it is widely believed that ABC was the one to blame for the show’s premature cancellation, Claire Danes also had a hand in it: she was ready to move onto movies. Seeing how Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo and Juliet was waiting, who can really blame her?
3. Once and Again
Once and Again may have been the best cast show in modern television history: each character seemed tailor made for the actor who played it. A show that told the tale of a single mother (played by Sela Ward) and her romance with a single father (played by Billy Campbell), this series realistically portrayed the struggles of blended families, especially when those families involve teenagers. It touched on important issues, without shoving lessons down viewers’ throats in an After School Special-like fashion. The television show was also highly engaging and well written, with dialogue that bordered on poetic and heart-swelling. Running on ABC from 1999 to 2002, Once and Again was a show that many could have watched again and again.
2. Freaks and Geeks
A show that made it okay to feel like an outcast, Freaks and Geeks ran on NBC from 1999 to 2000. A well scripted, well acted show pulled after only a handful of episodes, NBC was quickly labeled the “freak” by upset fans. The series featured the Weir siblings, Lindsay and Sam (played by Linda Cardellini and John Francis Daley), and the trials and tribulations they faced at McKinley High School in 1980 Michigan. With several of the characters falling into the “freaks” category and the rest labeled as “geeks,” Freaks and Geeks was well named and well received, at least critically. Though it was cancelled before given a fair chance, it remains one of the biggest cult shows of all time.
1. Arrested Development
Why this show was cancelled, the world will never know. Arrested Development, airing on Fox between late 2003 and early 2006, is remotes down one of the best shows to ever hit a television screen. A plot that centered on Michael Bluth (played by Jason Bateman) as the only sane member of a highly dysfunctional family, Arrested Development had it all: comedy, originality, comedy, heart, and comedy. When its development was arrested, fans everywhere were disheartened. This television show will go down in history as one of the worst cancellations ever.