TV Shows That Should've Been Canceled This Season

We've loved Ken Jeong ever since he jumped out of that car trunk in The Hangover and waggled his hilarious manhood in our faces. Plus, the fact that he's actually a real-life medical doctor gives this show some added street cred. So we really want to like it, except for one problem: it's bad. And offensive. And offensively bad. Naturally, of course, it was renewed, which is no real surprise—after all, Two and a Half Men proved over and over that sitcoms don't have to be funny to get renewed. Still, Dr. Ken deserved to be cancelled, if only to free up Jeong to do other, better projects instead. Pretty please?


HBO's much-ballyhooed drama about the '70s music industry didn't exactly live up to the hype. In fact, Vinyl was a complete mess. Rather than pull the plug, though, HBO has decided to double down on their own personal disaster area, by renewing the series for a second season and bringing in a new showrunner with a new vision for the series. We're actually going to stick with our old vision for the show: not watching it. It's hard to believe HBO cancelled Deadwood, but brought this stinker back.

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

It's kind of like Doctors Without Borders, only instead of healing wounds, it inflicts them on the viewing public. That was our takeaway from season one of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. Sure, the show is just getting started, so maybe it will find its legs. Then again, maybe not: America's collective television critics gave it a miserable 28 Metacritic score, significantly lower than the score for Lifetime's ironic remake of Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? So ... let's not, okay, CBS?

There is no justice in the world, a fact made apparent every time great, high-concept TV shows quickly get the boot, while the worst shows imaginable just stick around forever, like houseguests who won't take the hint even after you stop restocking the toilet paper in the spare bathroom. Well, we may not be able to influence which shows get canceled, but we can definitely complain about the ones that don't. So here's a look at some shows that really deserved to be canceled this season, instead of the shows we liked.

Fuller House

This one's on all of us. The ill-conceived revival of the inexplicably beloved '90s schlockfest Full House was roundly dismembered by critics, and generally disliked by fans. Despite how bad Fuller House's first two seasons were, Netflix renewed it for a third season for one simple fact: people watched it. Maybe they were rubbernecking a train wreck, but they still watched it, and that's the bottom line. Networks are like puppies: if you want to train them right, you can't reward them for bad behavior. Do yourself a favor and skip this show so Netflix eventually gets the point.

The Big Bang Theory

How The Big Bang Theory continues to exist is beyond explanation. Even at its earliest, long before it overstayed its welcome, it boasted a fairly problematic premise: nerds are funny because they're nerds. They then pit the nerds against non-nerdy, beautiful women because the two couldn't possibly ever go together. It's basically been that ever since, only now the nerds are dating the non-nerds. Also, the nerds are much less overtly nerdy than they used to be, meaning it's now nothing more than a standard sitcom with the occasional Stephen Hawking joke. That should not be enough to keep Bang on the air for what feels like half a century.

What's more, the biggest star of the show, Sheldon, rarely acts like Sheldon anymore. He used to be hilariously (kind of) astute about everything, unable to grasp humor in a Drax The Destroyer kind of way and just generally aloof about anything except his most core interests. Over time, though, he's dropped that and is basically just a normal guy with a high IQ who shouts "bazinga!" when the script needs him to. He mugs, smiles, and laughs more, and that's great if he were a real person. But as a character, it screams "We ran out of ways to write this guy, so let's soft reboot him as just some dude." Or you could just stop writing him and the show. That works, too.


Arrow is one lucky duck at this point. Thanks to the fact that it exists in the same shared universe as fellow CW hits The Flash, Supergirl, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow is able to skate by unscathed after turning in its dopiest, most melodramatic cheesefest yet. Propped up by the better shows that surround it, Arrow just keeps plugging away with some of the most unrealistic action sequences since The A-Team, backed up with so much emo gnashing of teeth, Fall Out Boy thinks they're overdoing it. While the CW is coming up with new, alternative universes for its heroes to explore, maybe it can create one for us where Arrow got canceled.

Fear the Walking Dead

For years, fans of The Walking Dead have urged non-fans to give its spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, a try even if they aren't horror fans, because the series isn't really about zombies — it's about human nature! Well, that's cool in theory, except that the humans on the show are mind-numbingly boring. While we all have an emotional investment in Rick and Carol and Glenn, there's no such attachment to the unrelentingly dull characters on Fear. At this point, we're definitely Team Zombie. Cancel this bald-faced cash grab so we have one less reminder of how tedious being alive can be.

America's Funniest Home Videos

When America's Funniest Home Videos premiered in 1990, it was a huge deal. People sent in funny clips of themselves or their loved ones doing stupid things, we laughed at them, and all was grand. But then the 2000s came along, and the internet bequeathed us a little site called YouTube. Very quickly, viewers could log on and, at any time they wanted, see funny clips of people making fools of themselves. You didn't have to wait until ABC aired the show, and you didn't have to slog through boring videos of babies if that wasn't your bag.

AFV served its purpose for a while, but that purpose ended about a decade ago. Yet the show is still slogging along, with a new host and everything. Long-time hosting vet Tom Bergeron (who actually hosted the show longer than Bob Saget) left in 2015 and was replaced by Alfonso "Carlton Banks" Ribeiro. Regardless of host, though, there hasn't been a reason for this show to exist in years, and unless YouTube implodes, that's not changing anytime soon. Best to just put AFV out of its misery and give Ribeiro something else to do, like host a dance show because he's actually a pretty good dancer.

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, Once Upon A Time seemed like a fun, original idea for a show: fairy tale characters are real, but a magic spell made it so they don't know who they are anymore. The problem is that the main goal of the story — break the curse — was achieved at the end of Season 1. So that means we got five seasons of artificially extending the story because ratings demanded it. By Season 3, they had actually brought the curse back, by way of an evil Peter Pan, which is kind of like Rescue From Gilligan's Island, where they escape the island only to wind up back on it by the end. There's telling a story, and then there's continuing to tell it long after it's worn out its welcome.

Finally, in Season 6, the story "ended," with the Final Battle vanquishing darkness and all the characters looking to start over again. The show is, too. Instead of ending, it's just getting rebooted with an almost entirely new cast. Why even bother, though? What story can this show possibly tell that it hasn't already done to death? The whole point of a fairy tale is the "happily ever after" part. If this show would end, everyone involved would get that.


Supernatural creator Eric Kripke had a specific plan for how the show was going to go: five solid seasons telling one good story, then a natural end. So it's probably a surprise to him that the show just keeps getting renewed, year in and year out. Actually, it seems whenever this happens it's a surprise to everyone, from the fans to the stars themselves. Supernatural had a good run, but that ended quite a while ago. Now it's just playing out a tired string of rehashed material. Enough is enough.

Wayward Pines

Wayward Pines desperately wants to be Twin Peaks, so hopefully it will emulate Twin Peaks in one key way — by getting canceled. Wayward Pines executive producer M. Night Shyamalan has stated that he envisions the series running for three seasons, but that's at least one more season than the rest of us are envisioning. Weird just for the sake of being weird went out with Lost. These days, if fans are going to invest in a show's mythology, they want it to mean something. Wayward Pines does not seem likely to pay off on its promises, so it'd be preferable to cut the cord now, than dive any deeper.

Grey's Anatomy

Let's look at the cornerstone of the ShondaLand empire: Grey's Anatomy. Shonda Rhimes gets full props for leveraging the success of Grey's Anatomy into her own entire block of programming. Having said that, it seems clear from the relative quality of her other shows that Rhimes must be getting tired of figuring out ways to keep the old jalopy that is Grey's on the road. Her newer offerings, like How to Get Away with Murder, just feel fresher and more innovative than yet another back-closet romance in the halls of Seattle Grace Hospital. Both Rhimes and the audience would be better served if Grey's Anatomy just ends at long last — that way, she could come up with something new and exciting, and actually get to focus on it full-time. Let's make it happen, ABC!

Kevin Can Wait

Apparently, Kevin James can only play one character: Kevin James. He played that role extremely well in The King of Queens, so when it came time to start another show, he went right back to the well, playing Kevin James in Kevin Can Wait. This time, instead of an overweight goofball with a hot wife, he's an overweight goofball ex-cop with a hot wife. That's almost the entire difference between Queens and Kevin.

Content-wise, you could watch every episode of this show without finding more than a handful of original, interesting jokes. It's very much a "this worked then, let's do it again" approach to writing, and all it does is expose James and his staff as being unable to produce anything else. And it's not enough that Kevin has Queens' premise and jokes: it's also got Queens' main actress. Leah Remini, who played James's wife in Queens, went from guest star in Season 1 to full-time player in Season 2, replacing Erinn Hayes who played James's wife in Kevin. All that remains is for the two characters to get married, thus finally admitting that this is Queens Part 2.

Kevin Can Wait may be the most unimportant show on the air right now. Nothing about it stands out in any way. Would anyone notice if it disappeared? Hard to say, but hopefully, CBS tests this theory out sooner rather than later.