Every year, there’s a number of television shows which don’t make the cut once the ratings and budgets are tallied up. Some series move on to live in cult like infamy, while others fade quietly into the obscurity of popular culture. Here is my Best of 2016: Top 6 Cancelled Television Series We’ll Miss the Most.
Manhattan was a little show that came out of nowhere on a small network. The show was an early hit on WGN, which prior to Manhattan’s 2014 debut, hadn’t been known for it’s original programming. The series followed the scientists working in Los Alamos, New Mexico as the United States raced to harness the bomb during World War Two.
The period drama featured stunning performances by its’ incredibly talented cast. John Benjamin Hickey, Ashley Zukerman and Katja Herbers were three particular standouts in the versatile group. The dynamic conflict combined with the layered characters managed to take science and make it fascinating.
The two series run is available on on DVD, as well as on Hulu.
2.) AGENT CARTER
The cancellation of Agent Carter broke hearts. In fact, it still hurts. Agent Carter debuted on ABC, and followed the post World War II adventures of all-around SSR super-spy, as well as Captain America’s paramour (Hayley Atwell) as she moves towards the founding of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The series was glitzy, and had all the glamour and polish of a post-World War II period piece. Unlike its’ fellow Marvel brethren, it was more pulpy espionage novel than superhero series. However, it gave audiences two seasons of Hayley Atwell’s stunning (and refreshing) portrayl of Peggy Carter.
Both seasons of the show are available on iTunes.
3.) MASTERS OF SEX
A small tear was shed when Showtime announced this successful series would be ending. Masters of Sex followed the ground breaking work of mid-twentieth century sex researchers William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan).
While Michael Sheen is incredible in everything he does (excuse me while I fangirl), the series is further defined by the stellar performance of Lizzy Caplan. While Caplan has been around Hollywood, giving stunning performances as far back as Freaks and Geeks, the show really let her catch and hold her stride.
Masters of Sex can be viewed on DVD, as well as through Showtime streaming mediums.
4.) The Family
This ABC political mystery was given far little time to catch a foothold. Coming out of the Shondaland camp, The Family followed Warren Family. Matriarch Claire (Joan Allen) is an adept political climber, busy running for the governor of Maine. However, when her son Adam (Liam James) seemingly returns from the dead after being kidnapped a decade before, it comes to the surface that the squeaky clean family is not as perfect as they’d like people to think they are.
The series once again features great performances. Zach Gilford and Alison Pill are particular stand-outs. The Family also features an understated performance from the always amazing Rupert Graves. Unfortunately, trailers didn’t quite do the series justice, and they burned through an intriguing amount of plot in the first season. In an agonizing twist, the show ended on a cliff-hanger. The Warren Family drama was not cleaned up as the final credits rolled.
5.) THE MUPPETS
The Muppets are seemingly a large part of everyone’s childhood. As someone born in the mid 80’s, the revived Muppet movies, (Muppets Christmas Carol through Muppets in Space) were a pivotal series for me. As such, the further revamped The Muppets, which debuted on ABC in 2015 made perfect sense. The series put the Muppets we all know and love into a 30 Rock type of scenario, starring Kermit as the beleaguered series producer.
However, the show never quite clicked with viewers. Could it have been too intricate for the networks? Perhaps the freedom of a streaming medium would have done it more justice. Unfortunately, midway through the first season there was a creative shake-up. Despite improvements towards the end of the first season run, it just wasn’t quite enough to save the show.
6.) GOOD GIRLS REVOLT
The quick cancellation of Good Girls Revolt is one still sending shockwaves through the television community. Based on a true story of the Newsweek EEOC lawsuit of 1970, the series follows a team of female researchers struggling to make names for themselves at The News of the World in the still male dominated journalism field in the late 1960s.
The viewing numbers on streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime are closely guarded secrets. So, it’s anyone’s guess as to why the young series was cancelled. However, the critically acclaimed, well received Good Girls Revolt wasn’t given much of a chance to develop creatively. After all, the networks have barely started to finalize their cancellations. Here’s hoping it’s being shopped to other potential homes. It’s an agonizing cancellation, as many viewers were just starting to catch on with the show, myself included.
The first season of Good Girls Revolt can be watched on Amazon Prime.