The TV landscape is more competitive than ever, with roughly a bazaillatrillion shows currently in production. But with all these new series popping up all the time, there necessarily needs to be cancellations balancing the scales. Even though we're not even through the first quarter of the year, audiences have already suffered series-ending blows for a sizable number of fan-friendly shows.
So let's take a look at all the TV shows that viewers have already had to mourn in 2018. Major networks don't usually go heavy on announcing show endings until May shows up, but ABC let a couple slide early on, while cable and streaming outlets were far freer with their cancellation announcements. (Head to last year's cancellation list to see if any of the shows you're looking for got the axe in 2017.)
The fairy tale drama Once Upon a Time had already caused eyebrows to raise with its thematic reboot for the currently airing Season 7, and it wasn't immediately obvious how the ABC hit would continue on for many more years. Perhaps understandably then, the network didn't even wait until the season was over before announcing Once Upon a Time was coming to an end. As disappointing as that news may have been for many, at least it gave the showrunners a chance to wrap things with a definitive ending, as opposed to an awkward cliffhanger.
As his first big leading TV series role after his celebrated run on House -- with Veep being a co-starring role, and Night Manager being a miniseries -- Hugh Laurie teamed up with Hulu for the dark and quick-footed thriller Chance. Creators Alexandra Cunningham and Kem Nunn got two seasons to put Laurie and Ethan Suplee through some white-knuckle situations with all manner of dangerous people. Unfortunately, Chance never built up much of a buzz with the public, and Hulu decided that Laurie's character had enough stress for one series, cancelling it a little over a month after Season 2 ended.
It seemed like a match made in weirdo TV heaven when Kathy Bates teamed up with Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre for a broad pot comedy for Netflix. But whatever potential that combination mustered was put into a pipe and smoked out of existence, and Disjointed lived up to its name and then some. From the head-scratchingly loony cutaway moments to the über-sitcom punchlines, Disjointed could have been one of pop culture's most addictive weed-fueled efforts, but critical pans and viewer disinterest sealed the show's fate, and Netflix decided to cancel it after its 20-episode first season.
It's a TV story that has zero direct comparisons: The Librarians was a spinoff of a series of made-for-TV movies, which is already weird, and it boasted the star power of Rebecca Romijn and John Larroquette. But even though fans couldn't get enough, the number of said fans dwindled from year to year, and Season 4 wasn't bringing in nearly as many people as TNT would have hoped. (Of course, TNT also cancelled the highly watched Major Crimes out of the blue.) The network waited just a couple of weeks before announcing The Librarians' end, though there is hope that it could continue elsewhere.
There has been an interesting rise in TV western dramas in recent years, and USA delivered a well-realized look at Dust Bowl-era politics, with Killian Scott and Logan Marshall-Green leading a wining cast. But, here in 2018 where attention spans are seemingly as fragile as ever, perhaps wide swaths of TV audiences weren't quite set to watch a TV show that's all about bureaucracy, strikes, industrialism and small town preachers. As such, the show couldn't boast the biggest viewership, and USA decided to cancel Damnation after just a single season had aired.
Comedian Maria Bamford hooked up with Pam Brady and Mitch Hurwitz for the strikingly original comedy Lady Dynamite, and I'd wager a lot of money that this series wouldn't have gotten readily made at many other studios. Its surreal and tradition-bucking approach to TV storytelling kept fans and critics rolling, but it's possible there just weren't enough people doing that rolling, since Netflix cancelled Lady Dynamite a couple of months after its second season debuted. Sadly, that news didn't come with the announcement that a spinoff was ordered, to be centered on all of Maria's friends.
Though ABC let The Mayor get through 2017 without facing any cancellation news, the network decided not to bring the Brandon Michael Hall-starring comedy back from its midseason hiatus, cancelling it just a few days into the new year. Low ratings played a key role in The Mayor's early farewell, but the fans that did tune in thankfully didn't have to go without ever watching the rest of the produced episodes. The four installments that didn't air on ABC were then released on Hulu, which was also rumored to have been targeted to rescue The Mayor from its cancelled status. (It didn't happen.)
Comedian and cancer survivor Tig Notaro bravely brought a version of her life story to Amazon for the funny, touching and poignant One Mississippi, which won critics over even without a lot of mega-buzz going for it. The show's second season made headlines in part because of former executive producer Louis C.K.'s harassment scandal, and also because of Notaro's strong words about that situation. But after Amazon went public with its decision to shift its original series focus over to tentpole event shows, One Mississippi and others fell victim to the company's push away from comedy.
Showtime comedies haven't exactly been popping off lately, with White Famous getting its plug pulled just before 2017 ended, and Andrew Dice Clay's quasi-autobiographical Dice getting cancelled not long after. The once-offensive comedian found a renewed interest in acting in recent years, peaking in this half-hour showtime project about his fictional self's up-and-down career and family life in Las Vegas. Critics weren't altogether appreciative of it during its first season, making its one and only renewal something of a surprise, but the show's dismal ratings couldn't save it from getting cancelled the next time.
Hopefully all your favorite shows are still airing, and will be for as long as you're around to enjoy them. While waiting to hear about more renewals and cancellations, head to our midseason premiere schedule to take note of what is definitely on the way soon.