Cancellation Watch: Rundown of This Season’s Cancelled Sci Fi and Fantasy Shows – Daredevil, Into the Badlands, Z Nation, The Gifted, and More

By | May 11, 2019

Yesterday was “Black Friday” for the broadcast networks as they made their cancellation announcements ahead of next week’s Upfronts when they present their 2019-20 schedules to the advertisers. Quite a number of shows were sent to the Network Executioner, but among the sci fi and fantasy entries only FOX’s The Passage was included in that batch. There could be more breaking news this weekend, and fans are eagerly awaiting word on The Orville, but Black Friday was pretty quiet for genre shows this year (last year it brought the cancellations of The Expanse, Lucifer, The Last Man on Earth, and more).

Below is a look at all of the sci fi and fantasy shows that have been cancelled throughout the current season, and I expect a few more to be added to this list over the next week or so. You can see the list of this season’s renewals at this link. For a full rundown of the shows still awaiting word on their fate, go to this link. And you can vote for your favorite show that has not been renewed in our season end poll at this link. Also be sure to stay tuned to this site for more breaking news over the coming week and join the #CancelledSciFiArmy on Twitter as we fight to save our shows.

Cancelled Sci Fi and Fantasy Shows from the 2018-19 Season:

Channel Zero (Syfy, Cancelled after 4 Seasons): This horror anthology that drew from the “creeppypasta” tales popular on the internet received some good marks from critics along with decent buzz from the sci fi community, but it never found much of an audience. Syfy gave it an early renewal through its fourth season, but then did little to promote and let it fade away after its fourth year aired last Fall.

Counterpart (Starz, Cancelled after 2 Seasons): This sleeper sci fi series delivered an espionage tale taking place across parallel earths and drew high praise from critics, especially for J. K. Simmons’ excellent performance in the dual lead roles. Sadly, this one never got much promotion from its network and failed to develop much of an audience across its two seasons. Starz cancelled it and the show’s production company is trying to shop it around, but the prospects for a third season look pretty dim at this point.

Daredevil (Netflix, Cancelled after 3 Seasons): This was one of the most heart-breaking cancellations from the season as Netflix and Disney are going through a messy divorce while the Mouse House prepares its own assault on the streaming world. Fans are working hard to save this show, and there is some hope that it, along with the other Defenders entries, could move to Hulu. But if that happens it will be a while because Netflix has a lock on the rights to the shows for two years.

The First (Hulu, Cancelled after One Season): Hulu probably hoped that this space exploration drama could become its next event series along the lines of The Handmaids Tale, but this one failed to garner much in the way of critical praise and apparently not enough of an audience to justify keeping it around for a second season.

The Gifted (FOX, Cancelled after 2 Seasons): The cancellation of this show likely was in part due to Disney’s buyout of the Fox entertainment properties and plans to reboot the X-Men franchise while bringing the characters into the Marvel Universe. The drop-off in the ratings from The Gifted‘s first season didn’t help either. Fans are hoping that this one might shift to Hulu or Disney+ for a third year, but I have not seen too much in the way of activity on the social nets at this point and I am thinking it might be done.

Into the Badlands (AMC, Cancelled after 3 Seasons): This post-apocalyptic martial arts drama took a notable drop in its ratings during its third season and AMC apparently lost faith in it. It does have a notable international following and fans are lobbying hard to save it (it currently leads in our season end poll). So perhaps it could shift to a different venue for a fourth season.

Iron Fist (Netflix, Cancelled after 2 Seasons): Like Daredevil, this is another of the shows that fell because of the Netflix / Disney split up. There is hope that this one along with the other Defenders entries could shift to Hulu, but that could take a while.

Jessica Jones (Netflix, Cancelled after 3 Seasons): Yet another show lost because Disney decided to break its partnership and compete head-to-head with Netflix. If the other Defenders shows find a second life on Hulu or another venue, expect this highly-praised series to join them. Note that the third season of Jessica Jones is scheduled to debut this Summer.

Midnight Texas (NBC, Cancelled after 2 Seasons): This supernatural drama did fairly well for NBC in its first season which aired in Summer 2017. But the audience did not stick with it when it switched to the Fall schedule in 2018, and it ended up getting sent to the Network Executioner. Fans made some noise on the social nets in an attempt to save the show after the cancellation, but nothing much has come from that yet.

Nightflyers (Syfy, Cancelled after One Season): Syfy surely hoped that with George R.R. Martin’s name attached to this show and with the space-based setting fans had been demanding, it would deliver a hit for the network. But it failed to find much of an audience and the odd decision to air it nightly across two weeks did little to help. It got the ax after one season, and fans didn’t put up much of a fuss about it.

Origin (YouTube, Cancelled after One Season): YouTube did little to promote this space-based drama, probably because the streaming service was already rethinking its approach to original programming. Origin was certainly expensive to produce and YouTube does not appear to have a desire to throw billions at scripted shows in order to compete with Netflix and Amazon. It’s unfortunate, though, because this was quite a good sci fi show and could have delivered a few more good seasons. The show’s production company did try to shop it around, but it does not appear to have found any interested buyers.

The Passage (FOX, Cancelled after One Season): It took FOX years to finally get this property out of Development Hell, and the resulting series was actually quite good. But it drew moderate ratings at best and then found itself a casualty of the house-cleaning that followed the Disney buyout of the FOX entertainment properties. Whether fans will lobby for a second season of this show remains to be seen.

The Punisher (Netflix, Cancelled after 2 Seasons): Another of the shows that got cut down too soon due to the split of the partnership between Disney and Netflix. If the other Defenders shows find a second life on Hulu or another venue, this show–or at least the lead character–could join them.

Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix, Cancelled after 3 Seasons): This “zom com” has received decent marks from critics and appears to have done well for Netflix. But that streamer is more interested in churning through shows in order to bring on new subscribers and quickly loses interest in its veteran shows after about their third season. That strategy could come back to bite the company at some point.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix, Ended after 3 Seasons): This show’s third season was announced as its last in advance it did cover all of the Lemony Snicket books. But as mentioned above with Santa Clarita Diet, it may have fallen victim to Netflix’s lack of interest in keeping a show around for much more than three seasons. There might have been an opportunity to carry the show beyond the books if the streamer had a commitment to keeping this one around, but at least it did accomplish what it initially set out to do.

Shadowhunters (Freeform, Cancelled after 3 Seasons): This adaptation of the Mortal Instruments books performed well for Freeform early on and drew notable support on the social networks. But its numbers continued to slide through its third season and the network decided to wrap it up at that point. They did give it a final two-hour series finale, but fans were not satisfied with that and they are still fighting hard to see this one brought back for another season or so.

Stan Against Evil (IFC, Cancelled after 3 Seasons): This supernatural comedy performed relatively well for its low-viewership network, but IFC is apparently re-thinking its original programming strategy and this one fell victim to the network’s change in direction.

Travelers (Netflix, Cancelled after 4 Seasons): In Netflix’s defense, it did keep this time-travel show going for its third Showcase pulled out of the partnership. But as mentioned above, the streamer does not have much incentive to keep veteran shows going for too long when it believes it can pull in more subscribers with new shows.

Z Nation (Syfy, Cancelled after 5 Seasons): This was one of the surprise cancellations of the seasons seeing as another year of this zombie-pocalypse romp would have put it very close to the episode threshold for a syndication run, and it’s not an expensive series to produce because it comes from the king of cheapies The Asylum. I would have thought its production company might try to work out a deal with Netflix, because that service is streaming the earlier seasons of Z Nation and has also partnered with them on Black Summer. But it does not appear that there is any attempt to move forward with a sixth season even though fans did make an effort to save the show.

More from

Keep up with the ratings developments and the status of all the currently airing sci fi and fantasy shows with our Weekly Roundup posts. Join the #CancelledSciFiArmy on Twitter to bolster our ranks and help us fight for the struggling and cancelled sci fi and fantasy shows.

Check out our Sci Fi TV Schedule for debut and season finale dates and follow our Weekly Listings for a rundown of the shows airing in the current week.

A look back at guilty pleasures and old favorites that may not have stood the test of time with Retro Sci Fi TV.

2 thoughts on “Cancellation Watch: Rundown of This Season’s Cancelled Sci Fi and Fantasy Shows – Daredevil, Into the Badlands, Z Nation, The Gifted, and More

  1. Tom Swift Sr.

    There were only *three* seasons of “Travelers”, not four.

    1. johnnyjay Post author

      You are correct. Got it confused with a different series. Looks like that one hit the three-season wall as well.


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