Year in Review: Top 10 Shows Canceled Too Soon - Featured

It's been a rough year for TV lovers. While we had the thrill of beloved endangered shows like Chuck pulling through, we lost a lot of other great ones from Pushing Daisies to Dollhouse. Check out the top shows I think died too soon in 2009, and add your most missed cancellations of the year in the comments below!


While I will say I, like many Dollhouse fans, have come to terms with its cancellation as long as it's getting the chance to get a proper ending. But, with all the hype, fan excitement, and fan campaigning to keep it around, it's still a big disappointment to see this one so short-lived. Yet another Josh Whedon project with great promise and strong fan following, but not enough promise or strength in fan numbers. Thanks for kind of trying this time, though, FOX.


This fall newbie got a bad rap before it even began. Even I, lover of all things cute and girl-friendship-powered and magic-related, wasn't interested in catching the premiere of this charming and magical little show. But, as it turned out when I did watch, it actually is charming, magical, and a really sweet story of female friendship with the fun twist of strange happenings in a small town. The chemistry of the actresses is great, and the storylines, though light, had great potential for what they were meant to be. I'm definitely sad to see this one go so very soon without even getting itself the chance of one full season.

Pushing Daisies

Okay, this is the last time I'll complain about this gem of a wonderful show getting canceled! It barely got to show its fresh and outstandingly unique face in 2009, but that is exactly why it makes this list of shows canceled too soon us Daisies fans would have liked to see more of this show for years to come! Thankfully it pulled through with a 2nd season when it wasn't looking so promising to make even that, but then sadly, like a few others on this list, just didn't make the cut for ABC last spring. This was one of the absolute best new shows last year, and I'm sad to be putting it on this list instead of a new list of best shows of the year, but as 2010 comes our way, it's time to put this one to rest... though it'll never be time to lay to rest the re-watching of its adorable episodes!

Eli Stone

Like Pushing Daisies, this was another endearing, sweet, and unique ABC highlight of last season that didn't get much life into 2009, also making it very rightly belong here in the most disappointing cancellation losses of the year. While with a more ordinary backdrop than Daisies, Eli Stone had a fantastic fantasy world as well, pushing the limits of religion vs. medicine in the most friendly way imaginable (including with song)! I had been concerned about how they would carry into Season 2 with Eli's impending brain tumor removal at the end of Season 1, but after they carried on so well and the show got even better in Season 2, this is definitely one I was heartbroken to see get cut this year.


This was another sophomore show, though NBC instead of ABC, that was really fantastic with an incredible cast and fascinating storyline as we followed an ex-cop reinstated after his 12 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit hunt down who framed him. The greatest part of this show was the main character, Charlie Crews, the cop/criminal in question, who became hardened, but also very enlightened via his reading while in jail. This one was a little more under the radar than most shows in danger of cancellation, so its cancellation, though with a somewhat satisfying show ending, was a big disappointment.

Lipstick Jungle

This was the Eastwick (under-appreciated female friendship gem) of last TV season which is a pretty easy comparison to make considering it even had the crossover cast member of Lindsay Price. Like Eastwick, Lipstick had a strong female core cast whose friendships became more and more endearing and real over the time we did spend with them. Also this show, while cute first season, got a lot stronger second season, making it yet another tragic casualty of early 2009 when it got the ax with hardly a series conclusion in sight.


I'm guiltily part of those who should have been watching and loving this one to keep it on the air, but while I didn't watch much of it, I do know it was an adorable show that others here at SideReel are very sad to see die. This one also had a very sweet and endearing vibe and cast, plus was more wholesome (but not boring!) quality programming than most of CW's teen dramas that have survived. Sigh, us CW fans and our love for the outrageous drama!

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

This is another one I didn't watch much of, but I believe belongs on this list due to overall huge fan disappointment. Being part of lots of awesome "save our show" efforts, I got the feeling this one could be the next Jericho, but even better as it seemed it could stay on once revived. But unfortunately not even the strong fan support here was able to make a difference. Turns out FOX felt guilty about letting down Joss Whedon fans, but not Terminator fans. Sorry kids.

Kyle XY

I must admit I adore almost everything ABC Family, and this wasn't an exception - and I know it certainly wasn't for tons of other ABC Family fans either! While the story of the alien boy with powers had been done before, there was something special about Kyle (maybe it was those blue eyes and rockhard abs) but also the warmth of the whole family Kyle became a part of. It was fun and fascinating to see Kyle learn about human life, fall in love with both his new family and first girlfriend, and do some downright kick-butt things with his powers. While this one did get a solid 3 season run which is much more than we can say about the rest of the shows on this list, it felt like such a solid show, especially with its home on ABC Family, that it was really too bad to not get to enjoy this one for a few more seasons.

Dirty Sexy Money

While the least disappointing early 2009 cut from ABC, DSM joins the list of canceled too soon ABC dramedies along with Pushing Daisies and Eli Stone. All of these shows were unique and fun newbies for ABC when they started, and all were disappointing to see go without much conclusion. This one was particularly frustrating seeing a mystery and disastrous family fall apart, come together, fall apart again... and then never have any of it resolved.

Which shows do you think were canceled too soon in 2009?



Default avatar cat
Dec 19, 2009 4:17PM EST

Dude where's Firefly?!? It should definitely be at the top of the list. I can't believe how many people found out they loved the show only to discover it was cancelled.

Dec 20, 2009 5:37AM EST

firefly wasn't on in 2009, great show though

Dec 21, 2009 1:58PM EST

I will be mourning Dollhouse for a good while...

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Dec 21, 2009 2:08PM EST

definitely Kyle XY ended way toooo early.disappointing ending.

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Dec 21, 2009 2:56PM EST


Dec 21, 2009 4:05PM EST

Pushing Daisy tops my list! I know it's time to let it go - but it's so hard to say goodbye :-( lol
I would have been upset if they cancelled Dollhouse at the end of season 1, but imo they messed up season 2 pretty badly so I'm not that sad to see it go.
I was also sad to see My Own Worst Enemy and Eleventh Hour go (or were they cancelled last year? - can't keep up with all the cancellations lol)
Firefly was way back in 2002, but I agree one of the worst cancellations by FOX EVER!

Default avatar cat
Dec 21, 2009 9:35PM EST

I'm so glad Life is on this list!! That show didn't get nearly the amount of appreciation it deserved.

Default avatar cat
Dec 21, 2009 10:19PM EST


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Dec 21, 2009 11:34PM EST

Reaper should have definitely made the list, I had the sense that they had huge plot lines for the next season. Also I too will mourn the loss of Dollhouse. Especially since this last season has brought it to a whole other level of television. I'm just happy it's going to get a proper ending. Oh well, at least I still have Chuck.

Default avatar cat
Dec 21, 2009 11:43PM EST

reaper should defiantly be up there it was an awesome show

Default avatar cat
Dec 21, 2009 11:52PM EST

Super bummed about DOLLHOUSE!!! WTF!?? That show is great! One of my favorite! Also bummed 2 hear that Eastwick is being canceled. That is a cute show with lots of potential to be something great!!

Dec 22, 2009 1:13AM EST

Fox blows fat donkey balls!! Go to Scifi (yes I'm still in denial about the name change) next time Josh!!

Dec 22, 2009 1:18AM EST

Er... or Joss...

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 1:51AM EST

Lets see... The hit list of great shows not mentioned.
1) The Unusuals - I was reluctant at first, but this turned out to be a VERY well written show about quirky cops without being dumb cops. I know why it failed, and it's the same reason It took me so long to actually see it. On first glance it seemed like too bizzar a concept to be what it was. Smart, funny, and a diamond in the rough.
2) Life on Mars - This show ripped from the BBC had a truly AMAZING cast, and great stories revolving around the rift of mentalities between life now and forty years ago. Not only was the show killed too soon, but the rushed last episode reveling the mystery's solution seemed badly forced, poorly written, disjointed, and just plain bad. A truly lackluster finale for characters that had endearing qualities that jelled so well together and acted perfectly.
3) Knight Rider - Just kidding. I so wanted this show to be good... I tried so so hard to like it. But, the writing (Or, lack there of) killed it.
4) Survivor Man - Less Stroud is amazing. This guy amazes me from just a film making standpoint. Yeah, he survives... and shoots the whole damn show himself. My favorite thing to point out is that whenever you see him walk half starved over a horizon... he has to come back for the damn camera and do it again when we aren't watching. Bad @ss.
5) Stargate Atlantis - I know, got five seasons and all, it wasn't as popular ast SG-1, and some episodes were feeling alittle contrived... But, it didn't feel like there was as much closure as I'd like. There will be movies.

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 2:43AM EST

I agree Eastwick and Dollhouse were both great shows, not the typical average shows about doctors, cops or reality crap. Eastwick was a great Witchy show, I loved it, and the reason it got cancelled was because ABC didn't do crap to promote the show properly. There's a definite possibility most of the readers don't know what eastwick is. Remember charmed?? Well eastwick is ALMOST like it, not really, but i love it just the same, The girls are super sexy, witty, smart and funny as heck, and they showed a true friendship that you just felt it. Darryl is a super sexy devil, that even if you know(suspect)he is evil, you just can't get enough of him! Us eastwick fans won't give up on it, We are trying to BEG the CW to pick up on it, since they(when they used to be WB) aired charmed, it was a big hit, why not try it with eastwick? Eastwick gets almost double of ratings, of what the cw's most popular show gets (gossip girl). Try and go and look for the eastwick page on eastwick, you will get lots of info there, also if you don't know what the heck i'm talking about, you can go there, and check it out, i promise you, if you like witch themed shows/movies, you will love this show ;).Dollhouse was another great show. That didn't get a fair chance. While it did get a second season, the friday slot, was just not cutting it, Fridays are the days most of us go out, and do everything we can. It probably would of done better on the weekend of monday-tuesday. somewhere like that, not too late though. It was a very interesting show, that led me to every episode. I love the cast , I love the environment, and the story line, most of all eliza dushku ;).
I just hope another network, other than ABC and FOX cuz (ABC jus sucks a**), i just hope they pick it up. PLEASE PLEASE, a really smart, intelligent network, pick these shows, and i guarantee you great satisfaction out of all these viewers moving over to your network. :) you won't regret it!

Dec 22, 2009 3:08AM EST

I think Kings and The Unusuals are both great shows, that deserved much more than they got, and both should be on the list.

Dec 22, 2009 3:14AM EST

Life on mars was 2007 and has a spinoff still on the air (ashes to ashes), reaper was total an abortion vic far too early

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 10:32AM EST

i hate when they cancel really good stuff and keep the crappy melrose place i watched one episode and its bullsht...i love dollhouse and i wish they didnt canceled it...also with pushing daisies...that show was awesome n it was sooo originali wish they cancel those crappy ones and keep the gud stuff...sarah connor, privileged...they dont deserve it c'monn!!!

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 11:17AM EST

Kyle xy, privileged, and eli stone , samantha who, Reaper they were the best ,,,,

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 11:20AM EST

i to hate all those girl shows....vampierdiary, dollhouse, melorose, 90210, come on man, why is it always the cool shows that get canceled????....hate it !!!

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 12:09PM EST

And Defying Gravity is not even mentioned... how sad

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 1:21PM EST

fisepigen: You think dollhouse is a girls show? Have you actually watched it? I think more guys would like it than girls. Plus mainly you mentions teen shows not girl shows.
Anyway basically I'm just devastated for Joss about Dollhouse. It's become an epic show and it's so sad it only has 3 episodes left. Joss is a genius and he just hasn't be properly appreciated since Buffy. All I can hope is he will go to the right network next time, not Fox who just screws him over every time. I'm going to enjoy dollhouse's final episodes in January immensely, then look forward to Joss' episode of glee in April. Can't wait to see what he does next.

Dec 22, 2009 5:05PM EST

I definitely agree with Pushing Daisies, Dollhouse and Eli Stone (in that order). All three shows made TV great with re-inventing TV stories and creating worlds of their own, that were captivating, thrilling, endearing and very funny.
While Daisies by far is the worst cancellation ever, I believe Dollhouse also has hsown great potential in the last four or five episodes that blew my mind. The storylines, the cast and the quality of the story and acting is FANTASTIC. I just hope we get a fair ending.
I always love the shows that are doomed. I'm just happy that Chuck is back and for some fantastic new Tv like Glee.

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 6:10PM EST

i'm mad about Terminator, Dollhouse and sorta Privileged. i never really watched Pushing Daisies, but i started to recently and i love it, it shouldn't have been canceled either.

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 6:35PM EST

So sad about Dollhouse, this show is getting better each episode, the last one aired was absolute genius !!
It's a shame all of Joss's fans who are not in the US can't help bringing the ratings up, because there are so many of us all over the world he would never ever have to worry about another tv project being cancelled !
The show is addictive, the actors are amazing ... it's definitely a bummer that they axed it !
Kyle XY was a really cool show too, there were a few "slow" episodes in the beginning of the third season, which is too bad because the end of it was a huge turning point and so the fourth season had the potential to be a great one !

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Dec 22, 2009 6:59PM EST

I totaly agree with many that say that they have canceled to many good shows this is year like Dollhouse, Eastwick. Other great shows that i will miss are like:
1. Knight Rider2.Samantha Who?3. Prison Break,

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Dec 22, 2009 7:02PM EST

try JOSS Whedon, not Josh.... and dollhouse was really not his best work
but i LOVED Kyle XY and Priviliged

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 8:02PM EST

new amsterdam. totally got fucked over with the writer's strike.

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 9:15PM EST

Defying Gravity. ABC wouldn't even finish airing the season (which had already aired in Canada.) Heck, they wouldn't even put them online so we'd know what happened! Great cast, different storyline, fun. sometimes I really hate ABC.

Default avatar cat
Dec 22, 2009 10:24PM EST

I agree with Kyle XY, Eastwick and Privileged!but are you forgetting The Beautiful Life. Gone Too Soon.!!

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Dec 22, 2009 10:33PM EST

The two major shows that disappointed me by their removal was Terminator and the Dollhouse, these are followed by Defying Gravity, Life, The Unusuals, Southland and The Beautiful Life which didn't get a running start.

Dec 23, 2009 2:06AM EST

Life was the only cop drama that ever really appealed to me. It had such potential, and great characters. I'm so very sad to see it go

Default avatar cat
Dec 23, 2009 12:44PM EST

I think it's sad that shows that are truly original are canceled...ABC tends to be the winner when it comes to this! Eli Stone, Eastwick, Pushing Daisies...and so many more amazing shows are just thrown away! ABC, you had the great idea of putting these shows on, allow them to take off!!! They are killed too soon, and viewers are left wanting more of something that they can't have. With TV becoming more and more reality based, these shows took us out of reality, and may teach us something along the way.

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Dec 23, 2009 7:27PM EST

Hardly anyone mentions Eastwick... ABC didn't give it a chance to kickoff and although the beginning wasn't entirely enthralling... by the third episode it became incredibly interesting. This show was canceled before it could even get fully started.

Default avatar cat
Dec 23, 2009 8:09PM EST

REAPER. Though I didn't think it's second season was as strong as the first, I still adored every second of this show. There could have been so much more.
Also sad about Dollhouse and Pushing Daisies :(

Default avatar cat
Dec 24, 2009 9:24PM EST

You made a typo. Doll House was created by JOSS WHEDON not Josh.

Default avatar cat
Dec 25, 2009 10:07AM EST

I'm actually pissed off about Dollhouse... what the hell is wrong with fox? that's the second amazing show from mr. Whedon that they've cancelled... glad to hear he'll be doing an episode of glee tho... even if it doesn't seem like his type of show...

Default avatar cat
Dec 25, 2009 5:39PM EST

I'm really glad life got a mention on this list, you really had to watch a few full episodes to really see that it was brilliant, which is why I think it failed - not an instant hook. Also of course dollhouse which is only getting better and pushing daisies - absolutely brilliant.

Dec 25, 2009 10:40PM EST

I cannot believe they canceled DOLLHOUSE!!! Im super mad, I loved it, its just sexy and good sci-fi! im not getting over it :(
I also like eastwick, i think i could have been promising

Default avatar cat
Dec 26, 2009 3:30AM EST

The Beautiful Life was canceled, but Ashton brought it to Youtube. You can check out new episodes there =)

Default avatar cat
Dec 28, 2009 3:33AM EST

Kyle XY was a special show with great character development and an easily likable family as the core of the show. I really wish they could have at least given it another 10-13 episodes or so to tie some things up. There was too much left to the imagination. ABC really screwed its viewers on this one. I think they screwed themselves too, b/c if other viewers are like me, they haven't even thought about tuning into ABC family since. ABC family was at least always in the back of my mind when channel surfing and that's all b/c of Kyle XY. Since it's cancellation I haven't even considered the network.
Honestly, I don't get why they canceled the show. It's ratings were fine, if not good, and they haven't replaced the lost audience. Seems to me like a bad business decision and a bad PR decision, all wrapped in one cr@ptastic package of stupid. Ah well, it happens. At least we got three good seasons, unlike the last couple of shows I watched that got axed to early (The Nine and Surface...both dead before their times).

Default avatar cat
Dec 28, 2009 3:44AM EST

The UNUSUALS belong on this list for sure.

Dec 28, 2009 8:53AM EST

i am very disappointed that they cancelled Dollhouse they didnt even give it a chance. The show concept was really good. How are they ever going to get anything off the ground if they keep cancelling it. Look at Heros and how much following it had and only us die hard fans pay it attention now. They need to start giving these shows time to grow on people.

Dec 28, 2009 11:45AM EST

Kyle XY and Privileged were both great shows and were very interesting. I for one think that they should put the show back on air

Default avatar cat
Dec 28, 2009 12:31PM EST

KYLE XY was such a good show !! im still shocked they cancelled it...!but im not gonna complain cuz they didnt cancel merlin like i heard they would and as long as they dont im ok..i miss so many shows ....... lyk firefly privileged pushing daisies etc etc :SS

Default avatar cat
Dec 28, 2009 7:40PM EST

Totally agree on Dollhouse, Life, and Pushing daisies. I also have to put forth Defying Gravity. What started slow really cranked up the action in the last few episodes that aired.

Default avatar cat
Dec 29, 2009 9:26AM EST

in my opinion defying gravity was one of the best shows this year and the fact it won't be getting further in it's story bothers me ... i think this could have lots of great follow ups :/

Default avatar cat
Dec 30, 2009 2:05PM EST

How is Kings not on this list? It was one of my faves!

Default avatar cat
Dec 31, 2009 2:28AM EST

Kings, Defying Gravity, Dollhouse, Eastwick, many shows its crazy! I mean kings was great should have gotten a second season. Defying gravity didn't even finish on american TV. I had to download off of canadian broadcast! WTF...ABC ought to be ashamed! IT should have been picked up by syfy or something along with Dollhouse and Terminator. The beginning of the 2nd season of dollhouse and terminator were slow but the mid to end picked up and were great! The networks never give shows a chance anymore...reality tv is cheaper so they go for that! sux!

Dec 31, 2009 4:56AM EST

KYLE XY was an amazing show, and agreed, it was another Jericho. With that said, ever since CBS canceled Jericho, I have not tuned into CBS, and that was back in early 2008. Now that ABC Family has canceled Kyle XY, I will also be blocking that network from my cable box.

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Jan 2, 2010 11:17AM EST

Definitively Terminator and Eastwick and I will be outraged if they cancel The Forgotten.

Default avatar cat
Jan 4, 2010 8:43PM EST

Life was the best show on tv until it was cancelled.It died due to poor advertising and time slotting..stupid nbc..would have done far better on cbs!

Jan 6, 2010 2:17PM EST

I'm going to really miss dollhouse they should totally not end it!!!Its like one of the best show on television!!!!!!!!!I LOVE DOLLHOUSE!!!!!!!!!!

Jan 9, 2010 9:48PM EST

Definitely TSCC and Kyle XY because they didn't even get a proper ending. Kyle XY was awesome because it was different. there was so much mystery still to unravel.

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Jan 17, 2010 11:56AM EST

how can anyone say the second season off dollhouse is terrible??in pure joss whedon style he is making an epic ending ill admit buffy and angel went on too long but they gota stop cancelling his shows!! tru calling good not amazing but firefly and dollhouse are amazing i wish he could bring them back!!
im gonna miss dollhouse hope he brings out something new soon!!

Default avatar cat
Jan 18, 2010 9:01PM EST

Dollhouse is at the top of my list! I just can't believe Fox would do that again. Pushing Daisies and Terminator:TSCC are definately up there too.

Default avatar cat
Feb 8, 2010 9:48PM EST

Dollhouse ! my baby!! NOOO!!! *cries*

Default avatar cat
Jun 14, 2010 10:10PM EDT

i watched 7 out of 10 of these shows

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