20 Excellent Shows That Only Had One Season (PHOTOS)

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20 Excellent Shows That Only Had One Season (PHOTOS)

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20 Excellent Shows That Only Had One Season (PHOTOS)

Ratings can be a pretty clear indication a show isn't worth your time, but viewers were definitely wrong to ignore these shows.

Many have gained cult followings since their untimely ends, but whether they live on in our memory or on streaming services, we think you'll agree these 20 shows, listed in chronological order, deserved more than one season.

20 Excellent Shows That Only Had One Season (PHOTOS)
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My So-Called Life (1994–1995)

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My So-Called Life (1994–1995)

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Aside from launching the careers of Claire Danes and Jared Leto, the sharply-written drama dealt with teen issues in a very relatable and ground-breaking way for ‘90s television. 

Though beloved by critics and fans, ABC didn't have enough faith it would find a bigger audience and shelved it.

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American Gothic (1995)

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American Gothic (1995)

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Not to be confused with the same-name series CBS rightfully canceled in 2016 after one season, this dark drama featured a charismatic but sinister sheriff in a small town and an orphan boy with a very dark past and a strong connection with the supernatural world. 

Unfortunately, CBS aired the episodes out of sequence, which confused the complicated story, and the show was canceled before fans could have any closure.

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Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000)

Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000)

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Executive producer Judd Apatow and series creator Paul Feig have had some major successes on the big screen, but their TV venture together never made the grade. 

This charming teen drama set in 1980 had but one season, butand we've probably seen those 18 episodes at least 3 times. The show also launched the careers of Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, and James Franco.

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Undeclared (2001–2002)

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Undeclared (2001–2002)

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Another small-screen bust for Judd Apatow, this show about college life actually had a decent audience by modern TV ratings standards. 

But back in the early 2000s, networks were used to boasting 8-figure viewerships, so this Fox comedy never made it to its sophomore year.

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The Tick (2001)

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The Tick (2001)

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The live-action series based on the comic by the same name may have been ahead of its time. We think more sophisticated audiences nowadays, having had a steady diet of movies and shows based on comics over the past few years, could handle it now. 

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Firefly (2002)

Firefly (2002)

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Perhaps no one-season show has more of a cult following than this Joss Whedon space western. Fans cite several reasons why the show didn't have more viewers, including constantly moving timeslots and network interference with the sequence of episodes. 

Either way, the good ship Serenity only got 13 voyages on the small screen. However,  the cast reunited for a major motion picture that, while not a box office blockbuster, had a strong first weekend opening at #2.

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Wonderfalls (2004)

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Wonderfalls (2004)

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This quirky show would have been right at home on a network like The CW or maybe on Netflix, but it was sadly a decade too early. 

Premise: A gift shop clerk at Niagara Falls starts receiving instructions from animal figurines in the store, which lead her to help people in need. 

Reading that description back to ourselves, we can see why a lot of people didn't catch onto Wonderfalls. But trust us, it was really good.

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Life As We Know It (2004–2005)

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Life As We Know It (2004–2005)

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If only this show about a group of Seattle high schoolers (including a young Kelly Osbourne) had come a few years later. 

The series debuted on ABC, but it definitely would have been more at home on ABC Family — especially when the cable network revamped in 2006 to focus on young-adult content.

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006–2007)

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006–2007)

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We still don't understand this one. With a writer/creator like Aaron Sorkin and stars including Bradley Whitford, Matthew Perry, and Sarah Paulson, can anyone tell us why NBC canceled Studio 60?

Chalk it up to a case of the wrong network and the wrong time. Had Studio 60 only come a few years later, and on a premium cable network or maybe as a Netflix original, we're sure it would have had a much longer run.

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Terriers (2010)

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Terriers (2010)

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Yeah, we know. You've never heard of it. Well, it's your fault it got canceled! This show about sketchy private investigators flew under the radar until it flew off our televisions.

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The Secret Circle (2011–2012)

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The Secret Circle (2011–2012)

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Based on a book trilogy by L.J. Smith (the author of The Vampire Diaries), this show starring Britt Robertson, Phoebe Tonkin, and Chris Zylka was just as strong as TVD, but was canceled right when the story started getting good. 

Thankfully, the network seems to be willing to give its fledgling shows a longer grace period to find an audience these days, or shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin might be on this list, too!

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Ben & Kate (2012–2013)

Ben & Kate (2012–2013)

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This Fox comedy about an uptight single mom and her underachieving brother was well-received by critics but couldn't compete against ratings giants like The Voice and NCIS

It all worked out for Kate portrayer Dakota Johnson, though, who would later be cast in the Fifty Shades trilogy.

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Bunheads (2012–2013)

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Bunheads (2012–2013)

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We'll watch anything that involves Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, but especially if it stars Broadway royalty like Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop. 

We'll never understand why ABC Family — now Freeform — gave up so soon on this delightful show about a ballet studio and the former Vegas showgirl who ends up teaching there. 

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Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23 (2012–2013)

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Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23 (2012–2013)

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Technically, this ABC comedy had two seasons. However, they only aired seven episodes in Season 1, tacking the remaining episodes onto an extended second season order of 19. 

Unfortunately, the episodes were aired out of order, without regard for story continuity. This alienated its existing audience and confused possible new viewers.

Don't Trust the B— was removed from the schedule with 8 episodes remaining in the can. But you can find them all — in the right order! — on Netflix now.

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Go On (2012–2013)

Go On (2012–2013)

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Poor Matthew Perry cannot catch a break (you know, after that really big break in the '90s). 

This show about a grieving widower and his support group was surprisingly funny despite its premise, but viewers just didn't get it.


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The New Normal (2012–2013)

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The New Normal (2012–2013)

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We frankly loved this quirky comedy about a gay couple, Bryan and David (Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha), who have their surrogate move in with them, along with her precocious 8-year-old daughter. 

The New Normal also had great performances from NeNe Leakes, who played Bryan's production assistant, and Ellen Barkin, who starred as their surrogate's conservative grandma.

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Trophy Wife (2013–2014)

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Trophy Wife (2013–2014)

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Perhaps audiences judged this book by its cover — or rather they judged a show by its title and marketing campaign, which didn't do the sharp, sweet blended family comedy any justice. 

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Forever (2014–2015)

Forever (2014–2015)

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Here’s another show that may have suffered to pick up audience due to its silly-sounding premise.

The series followed an immortal medical examiner who solves murders while also trying to find a way to end his own life. 

Despite fans' campaigns to keep it on air, Forever was far more mortal than its protagonist.

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The Grinder (2015–2016)

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The Grinder (2015–2016)

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Acclaimed by viewers and critics, The Grinder starred Rob Lowe as a TV lawyer who thinks this somehow qualifies him to work at his family's law firm alongside his brother — an actual lawyer played by Fred Savage.

They deserved better.


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Limitless (2015–2016)

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Limitless (2015–2016)

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  • Based on the 2011 film by the same name, Limitless wasn't perfect, but the story definitely had potential to improve in a second season.

Unfortunately, the series lost viewers steadily over its first and only season.

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Ratings can be a pretty clear indication a show isn't worth your time, but viewers were definitely wrong to ignore these shows.

Many have gained cult followings since their untimely ends, but whether they live on in our memory or on streaming services, we think you'll agree these 20 shows, listed in chronological order, deserved more than one season.