Looking for your favorite sci fi / fantasy show on the Fall 2016 schedule and can’t find it? Well, even though there are over forty genre entries set to hit Prime Time between September and December (find out how to keep track of them all at this link), there are still quite a few that didn’t survive into the current season. Below is a rundown of the shows that were cancelled or ended last season as well as a look at the ones that are currently headed into their final year. And you can find a list of even more recently cancelled or ended shows from the last few years at this link.
(Links are to each show’s page on this site where you can find additional information about it.)
Agent Carter (ABC, Cancelled after Two Seasons) – This show received plenty of accolades from fans and critics, but for some reason just couldn’t draw in enough viewers. Props to ABC for giving it a chance after its low-rated first year, and unfortunately a deal could not be worked out to keep it going on Netlix.
Beauty and the Beast (CW, Ending after Four Seasons) – The CW has decided that four low-rated seasons of this show was enough. They claim that it played well internationally and perhaps it will continue on with an encore run in global syndication.
Beowulf (Esq, Cancelled after One Season) – The British ITV network hoped this would be its Game of Thrones, but it failed to find much of an audience across the Atlantic or in the States with its run on Esquire.
Containment (CW, Cancelled after One Season) – This show basically got squeezed out of The CW’s overcrowded schedule, and no I don’t believe it was designed as a “limited run” series. Its ratings weren’t that bad for a CW entry, but the network just didn’t have enough room for another WB show.
Damien (A&E, Cancelled after One Season) – This was actually a pretty good idea for a reboot, acting as a sequel to the original 1976 The Omen and ignoring the ersatz theatrical follow-ups. But it suffered in execution and a mopey, EMO Damien just didn’t interest too many viewers, leading this to join the growing heap of one-season-and-done shows.
Deadbeat (Hulu, Cancelled after Three Seasons) – This supernatural comedy starring Tyler Labine never generated much attention and apparently Hulu decided that three seasons was enough for it.
Galavant (ABC, Cancelled after Two Seasons) – This quirky and fun Disney-Meets-Monty-Python musical / comedy could never find a decent audience despite the fact that it fit in pretty well with the Sunday 8 PM EST family friendly hour. Give ABC credit for bringing it back for a second year despite low ratings, but unfortunately it never caught on. It is likely destined for cult infamy, though.
Grimm (NBC, Ending after Six Seasons) – NBC has announced that this show’s upcoming sixth season (which bows at mid-season on January 6th) as its last, and that comes as no surprise considering its ratings drop-off this past year. But it does get the chance to wrap up its storylines and it will have had a decent run of over 120 episodes.
Houdini and Doyle (FOX, Cancelled after One Season) – This looked very much like yet another spaghetti-against-the-wall attempt to find the next surprise hit on television, but it certainly failed to stick and joins the ever-growing pile of one-season-and-done-shows.
Hunters (Syfy, Cancelled after One Season) – This Australian import got lambasted by the critics (a 0% Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes with fourteen reviews), and failed to find much of an audience. Syfy quickly moved on from it as they currently have plenty more shows in the development queue.
The Leftovers (HBO, Ending after Three Seasons) – HBO announced that this show will be ending after its upcoming third season which comes as no surprise considering its low viewership in its first two years. But at least the pay channel is giving it a chance to wrap up its major storylines as best as possible.
Limitless (CBS, Cancelled after One Season) – Sci fi-averse CBS took out yet another one as they axed this fan-favorite after only one season. Its overnight ratings were not great, but CBS boss Les Moonves previously called those stats “worthless”. This show was the network’s ninth highest rated based on delayed viewing, but it still got cancelled. It was allegedly shopped to other venues, but nothing came of that and a promising show was once again cut short by that network.
Minority Report (FOX, Cancelled after One Season) – FOX decided to go the procedural-with-a-twist route for this show, and that did not register well with the audience. It started out with poor numbers and they only went down from there, leading to the show’s episode count being cut and of course the eventual cancellation.
Orphan Black (BBCA, Ending after Five Seasons) – BBC America announced that this show will be wrapping up after its upcoming fifth season which is not a surprise considering its slipping ratings the last couple of years. And moderate to low rated cable shows have been targeting binge-worthy runs of around five seasons and fifty episodes of late. This has been a well-respected show and at least its network will allow it to wrap up its major storylines.
Penny Dreadful (SHOW, Ended after Three Seasons) – Whether this show was really cancelled (instead of ending “as planned”) is a matter for debate, but fans were certainly surprised to discover that its third season finale was also the series finale. The numbers were definitely low for this show and it was expensive to produce, so perhaps Showtime loudly hinted to the producers that it was time to wrap things up.
Person of Interest (CBS, Cancelled after Five Seasons) – CBS never really respected this show and it ended up as yet another sci fi entry cut from their schedule. But at least it was given a final season and the opportunity to wrap up its main storylines. It had a decent run and will be recognized as an important genre entry, even though it might have had one more good season in it.
Powers (PSN, Cancelled after Two Seasons) – It’s always hard to tell the status of shows on the streaming services because the viewership numbers are kept under wraps. This one was likely expensive for the Play Station Network and they apparently decided that it was not drawing in enough subscriptions to justify its cost. Whether it gets shopped around to other venues remains to be seen.
Second Chance (FOX, Cancelled after One Season) – This show struggled with behind the scenes shake-ups before it debuted and viewers were likely also confused on what it was supposed to be about. It actually wasn’t too bad of a show and had some promise, but it couldn’t find the audience it needed to stay alive.
Time Traveling Bong (CC, Ended) – I can’t say for sure if this was always intended as a three-part “event series” or a tryout for an ongoing run. But apparently Comedy Central felt the viewership was too low to justify continuing it past its limited, three-episode order.
Teen Wolf (MTV, Ending after Six Seasons) – MTV announced that this show’s upcoming sixth season will be its last, which was not a surprise considering its viewership dropped notably this last year. It gets the chance to walk out on its own terms and I believe that its sixth season will be split into two, ten-episode runs, so it will still be around through at least 2017.
Vampire Diaries (CW, Ending after Eight Seasons) – This show’s upcoming season will be its last which comes as no surprise. It was once the flagship series on the fifth place network, but has seen its viewership drop considerably the last few years. It will get the chance to wrap up its storylines in its final year and possibly move some characters over to spin-off series The Originals if that one survives into a fifth season.