“You don’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone” goes the old adage, and it’s no less true for our favorite TV shows. For us and many others, these series thrilled us, chilled us, and made us think, but in 2019, they got the chop. So just why did these shows end? Read on and find out!
1. Big Bang Theory
By the time Big Bang Theory hit its twelfth season it was one of the highest-rated shows on television. Not only that, but after 12 years running it had just been bestowed with the honor of being the longest multi-camera, live action, laugh track comedy in the history of television. So how could CBS take it off the air?
The answer lies in one of the show’s lead characters, Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons. Parsons had won four Emmys for his role as the hilariously obnoxious super-genius, and by season 12 was making $27.5 million a year. Parsons was ready for something new and the producers didn’t want to do the show without him. So Big Bang Theory said ‘Bazinga’ to fans and lowered the curtain in 2019.
2. Criminal Minds
With 15 seasons and 300 episodes, Criminal Minds seemed like a surefire hit. It was one of those TV shows that enthralled viewers on a weekly basis as members of the FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit put their psychology and detective skills to the test to track down some of America’s most notorious serial killers.
Viewers were stunned to hear the CBS announcement at the beginning of 2019 that it would be dropping this thrilling detective show. When pressed, CBS stated that while the show was good, ratings were steadily falling. Additionally, unlike streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, CBS has a limited amount of time allotted. With 16 new shows waiting to air in 2020, they had to trim away some of the fat.
3. The Kids Are Alright
Taking place in 1972, The Kids Are Alright follows an Irish Catholic family doing their best to raise their eight sons in suburban Los Angeles. The series debut was one of the highest rated on the network. It resonated with the 18-49 year old demographic that networks crave. So why, after one season, is this show coming to a close?
As the series went on, the viewership simply didn’t last, and by the end of season one it had fallen by 50 percent. But show creator Tim Doyle was reportedly at a loss trying to understand how The Kids Are Alright got dropped over other less well-performing shows. Whatever the reason, in May 2019 ABC sadly announced there would be no season two.
Starring Minnie Driver and John Ross Bowie from Big Bang Theory, Speechless was about the DiMeo family. Their oldest son JJ deals with both the challenges of high school and cerebral palsy by managing to be wittier and funnier than anyone else around him. Critics enjoyed the writing, and Speechless was nominated for several accolades including a Television Critics Association Award.
Even though the series ran for three seasons, low ratings and heavy sitcom competition meant that ABC decided to give it the axe. ABC executive Karey Burke called the decision “gut-wrenching,” especially considering that show creator Scott Silveri was a former production partner of hers.
5. Lethal Weapon
Based on the film franchise by the same name, Lethal Weapon starred Damon Wayans as Roger Murtaugh and Clayne Crawford as Martin Riggs (although he was replaced in season three by American Pie veteran Seann William Scott). While season one had high ratings, by season three that viewership had dropped by half. In May of 2019 Fox stepped in, canceling the show altogether.
Even though the show’s ratings had fallen, there were still an average of three million viewers watching season three unfold. According to reports by Variety and Vulture, there was evidence of an uncomfortable work environment, prompting the network to hire more security. When asked, Fox CEO Charlie Collier commented that the network was just interested in trying some new material.
NEXT: These are some TV shows ending in 2019 that you won’t want to have missed!
6. Jane the Virgin
Based in the sunny party city of Miami, Jane the Virgin follows the story of a young woman who, while engaged, is accidentally artificially inseminated by her former teenage crush. The show has been incredibly popular among fans and critics alike. Jane the Virgin even earned a Peabody Award in 2014.
The series had a successful five year run as viewers couldn’t turn away from the complicated story of Jane’s life. But in 2019, show creators decided to give the show a happy ending, something which is becoming exceedingly rare in television. Apparently the show was wrapped up to people’s liking: publications even commended the writers for not leaving any loose ends.
7. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Based on the real-life experiences of show creator and lead actress Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend follows the whirlwind story of Rebecca Bunch. She starts the show as a lawyer in New York City who, on a whim, leaves everything behind and moves to West Covina, California to pursue her teenage crush. Of course, she happened to briefly bump into him on the sidewalk one random day.
Both a comedy and a musical, the show was nevertheless praised for its honest and realistic portrayal of difficult real-life issues, ranging from modern dating all the way to mental health. The series ended in May of 2019, leaving fans and critics with an unexpected twist. Thankfully, it seems to have been praised across the board.
No, it’s not an undead spin-off version of the popular show, iCarly. Based on the comic book by the same name, iZombie follows Dr. Olivia Moore. After turning into a zombie, Dr. Moore changes fields, becoming a medical examiner so that she can satisfy her hunger for human brains without hurting innocent people.
After five seasons, creators Diane Ruggiero-Wright and Rob Thomas decided to give their fans a happy ending. The show has been given high ratings across the board. Fans were pleased with the show’s sharp and witty writing, and critics eagerly gave relatively high rankings of 7.9 on IMDb and 74 on Metacritic.
Similar to another DC Comics hero (maybe you can guess who), Arrow is a story about billionaire playboy Oliver Queen. After having spent five years shipwrecked on the mysterious island of Lian Yu, he returns home as a masked bow-and-arrow wielding vigilante determined to fight crime.
Most people, when hearing that a show is being cancelled, assume it has something to do with dwindling viewership. While that may have been a factor for Arrow, it was still a fairly high-rated show. The actors themselves expressed discomfort, particularly lead actor Stephen Amell, who stated that the show’s physical demands (such as the salmon pull-ups) were starting to take their toll on him.
Often compared to popular shows involving sword-wielding heroes, Vikings truly set itself apart. It was based in the actual historical story of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, the notorious 12th century scourge of England and France. The show has been extremely well-received, receiving a Metacritic rating of 74 percent and 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Unfortunately, when you have a show that follows history, things can happen in real life that don’t work so well on screen. The biggest problem for the History Channel series was that after the death of one of its main characters (which actually happened in recorded history), viewers didn’t connect to subsequent replacement characters, and sadly the series was scrapped.
NEXT: These ending TV shows left us crying for more!
Premiering on USA Network, the popular legal drama Suits became the network’s longest-running original series, debuting 134 episodes over the course of 9 seasons. With such a wide-reaching audience, Suits has even been adapted in countries like South Korea and Japan.
At the end of its ninth season, the Suits team decided to end the show by giving all of its characters a fitting sendoff. When interviewed about the end of the series, everyone from cast to crew had nothing but great memories from their time on the show, which is undoubtedly reflected in the quality of the program itself.
12. Mr. Robot
Praised by various cyber security and computer technology companies for its accuracy in portraying the cyber hacking world, Mr. Robot follows the story of Elliot Alderson, played by Oscar winner Rami Malek. Alderson is a cyber security engineer recruited by a group of “hacktivists” led by a mysterious anarchist, known only as Mr. Robot.
As Mr. Robot enters its fourth and final season, many viewers seem to be asking each other the same question: will this popular thrilling series have a happy ending? So far, the fourth season has been met with critical acclaim, much like the season before it. But it still begs the question: why is Mr. Robot even coming to an end? It’s a mystery not even the most skilled hacker has managed to uncover.
13. Friends From College
After two seasons of the comedy series, Netflix announced that it will not be renewing Friends From College for a third season run. In spite of a hilarious line-up cast including Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele), Fred Savage (The Wonder Years), and Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother), the series was met with mixed reviews, causing the streaming giant to cancel it.
The series followed a group of college friends/Harvard alumni who, after reconnecting in New York City, are challenged by their romantic lives, which often intertwine in awkward ways. While praised for the jokes, Vulture pointed out that many of the characters failed to evolve, possibly causing audiences to switch it off for something else.
14. The Punisher
Picking up where Daredevil season one ended, Frank Castle is back, now living a quiet life on the move since he exacted revenge on the people who killed his family, then faked his own death. But events have a way with catching up to this former Force Recon Marine. A murder attempt by a shady government organization will force him to decide if he wants to continue living in quiet anonymity, or become “the Punisher.”
Following season two, Netflix announced that they will not be making a third season of the Marvel superhero show. That’s not to say that lead actor Jon Bernthal isn’t going to be working anymore: according to sources from Deadline, he’s been cast in the new Sopranos prequel film.
15. Jessica Jones
Marvel superhero Jessica Jones is forced to end her life of anonymity after having failed to thwart an evil villain. Created for Netflix by Step Up and Dexter writer Melissa Rosenberg, Jessica Jones is a superhero show unlike any other. It received mountains of praise for its noir style of filming, and for delving into topics not usually explored in the genre, like assault and PTSD.
Fans of this award-winning show were left in the dust by Netflix’s abrupt cancellation of the program. While many of the characters were reportedly given satisfying conclusions, fans complained that story arcs for other characters didn’t tidy up so nicely.
NEXT: These ending TV shows are going to be hard to replace.
16. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Created by 30 Rock and SNL writer and star Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follows the story of the inexhaustible Kimmy who, after she is released from 15 years of captivity in a bunker by an apocalyptic reverend, begins a new life in New York City.
Nominated for 18 Primetime Emmy Awards, the show ended after its fourth season, going out on a high note that left many fans happy (though, possibly in tears that their favorite show was coming to an end). But fear not, faithful viewers! Rumor is that Netflix is planning an interactive follow-up movie, set to be released sometime in 2020.
17. Orange is the New Black
If you are a Netflix subscriber and you aren’t watching Orange is the New Black, then you aren’t in a very big crowd. In fact, the show has become Netflix’s most watched original series. Starring Taylor Schilling and Laura Prepon from That 70’s Show, OITNB follows goody-two shoes Piper Chapman, accused of smuggling illicit substances, and tracks her subsequent life in prison.
Not only entertaining as it masterfully blended humor and drama, the series and its outstanding ensemble cast were also commended for shining a light on problems within the American penal system, particularly for women and minorities. After a successful 7 seasons and 91 hour-long episodes, the show came to its dramatic conclusion in July 2019.
18. Santa Clarita Diet
Zombie movies have been a staple in American culture for decades, so much so that films like Zombieland have actually managed to make them funny. Santa Clarita Diet very much follows in that same vein, creating a horror-comedy series about a middle-class woman (Drew Barrymore) trying to balance her craving for human flesh with her responsibilities to her family and her career.
While fans weren’t thrilled to hear that Netflix was giving the series the chop after three seasons, most seem to agree that Santa Clarita Diet wrapped things up perfectly. We won’t spoil any endings for you, but suffice to say that viewers were happy that they chose to take a big bite out of this one!
19. Blue Bloods
The police crime drama Blue Bloods starring Tom Selleck follows members of the fictional Irish Catholic Reagan family in New York City. The show debuted on September 24, 2010, and ran for 10 seasons until September, 2019, but rumors have been circulating since February, 2020 that it’s all coming to an end. Fans and viewers are waiting with bated breath to find out if the TV series is really canceled.
On the one hand, social media sources claimed the CBS crime show drama had been canceled, but on March 3, 2020, the official social media handle of Blue Bloods stated that new episodes would be aired from the following week with, “When we realize it’s another #BlueBloods repeat tonight. Don’t worry, we’ll be all-new next week!” Many fans expressed great disappointment, while others have also speculated that the channel is pulling their legs and planning on canceling the show altogether. Unfortunately, there still hasn’t been an official announcement by the makers about the fate of the show.
20. The Man in the High Castle
This Amazon series, based on the chilling 1962 Philip K. Dick novel, takes place in an alternate universe where the Axis Powers won World War II. The United States has been divided into three pieces: the West Coast is now part of the Japanese Empire, the East is controlled by Nazi Germany, while the Rocky Mountains serve as a neutral zone where the seeds of rebellion are flourishing.
The series has been given consistently high ratings, and while some shows have difficulty wrapping things up, The Man in the High Castle didn’t face that problem. The fourth and final season premiered on November 15, 2019, and was met with critical acclaim, landing an 89 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
21. BoJack Horseman
Will Arnett voices BoJack Horseman who, as the name suggests, is some sort of half-man, half-horse creature living in a world of both people and anthropomorphic animals. He is a washed-up former ’80s family sitcom actor struggling to return to celebrity relevance while battling his inner demons in a show filled with celebrity guest voices.
After a successful season 5, Netflix informed creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg that they were planning on cancelling the show. Bob-Waksberg complained, saying his beloved and deeply complex cartoon had set up several cliffhangers which weren’t going to pay off. After some consideration, Netflix agreed to a sixth and final season, the second half of which airs in January 2020.
22. Game of Thrones
When Game of Thrones first debuted on HBO in April 2011, it’s unlikely that anybody could have imagined how it would one day evolve into the celebrated worldwide phenomenon that it has since become. Eight years later, fans all over the world were forced to say goodbye to the fictional land of Westeros after years of epic battles, interconnected story arcs, and unpredictable twists.
Considered to be an “achievement in TV,” Game of Thrones was awarded 58 Primetime Emmy Awards, along with a record-breaking total of 161 award nominations. While the show was given stellar reviews as a whole, the ending left fans sharply divided, and season eight only managed to garner a 56 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
With an all-star cast propelled by former Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep tells the story of Selina Meyer, a fictional vice president and towering narcissist navigating the halls of political power in Washington, D.C. The show delighted fans and critics, and aired for a total of seven seasons from 2012 to 2019.
While much of the show focused on the disconnect between how politicians sometimes act on camera vs. away from it, the show actually ended with a glimmer of hope for America. The acting and script in Veep were rewarded with numerous accolades, and the show was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series seven times in a row, winning three.
24. Silicon Valley
Stylistically following in the footsteps of popular shows with particularly awkward characters such as The Office and Parks and Recreation, Silicon Valley is the hilarious and popular Bay Area satire about a group of five lovable young men who founded a startup company in Silicon Valley.
Debuting in 2014, the show concluded in December of 2019, showing fake interviews with main characters taking place 10 years in the future. Showrunners Mike Judge and Alec Berg reportedly said that for them it was the perfect time to wrap up. Hopefully this just means that HBO is making room for more and better shows to come.
Based on an Israeli series, Homeland follows the story of Claire Danes’ character, Carrie Mathison. She’s a CIA officer who, while at the top of her field, also suffers from bipolar disorder. A Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy winner, the show was noted for its stellar cast as well as its honest portrayal of mental health issues.
Season seven ended in April of 2018 and left fans craving more. After more than a year and a half of waiting, fans and critics did some secret agent-styled sleuthing of their own — only to be dismayed by some unexpected information. Showtime announced in August 2019 that the award-winning series would be airing its eighth and final season in February 2020.
Following the lives of numerous individuals and couples living in Chicago, this anthology series explores topics like love, relationships, and a modern society that is constantly changing and deeply interconnected. While most episodes are stand-alone stories, some, like the relationship between married couple Kyle and Andi, are revisited each season.
Easy was widely enjoyed by audiences, with all seasons scoring high on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Megacritic. Season 3 began streaming on Netflix on May 10, 2019, and was described as bringing a “wallop of emotional intimacy.” Sadly, that season would prove to be its last after Netflix announced it would be discontinuing this popular show.
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