The sad tale of the television show canceled well ahead of its time is a tale told too often. I told such a tale not too long ago with my Science Fiction Shows That Died Too Soon article. Not only do television shows seem like more of a gamble than ever, but networks seem increasingly less willing to take risks.
With the recent announcement that AMC’s jaw-droppingly good Breaking Bad was renewed for its fifth and final season, I realized that sometimes, when the stars align correctly and the gods smile upon us, television shows are allowed to live out their lives and end on their own terms. A bright, shining light in a sea of darkness, here are Four Science Fictions Shows That Weren’t Canceled.
Not only was Lost the most successful show in recent memory, it was one of the most successful shows of all time. This insanely popular serialized drama fused together bits of science fiction and fantasy, swapping genres as new revelations were made. It spawned legions of fans who, at the end of every episode, would rush to the message boards to feverishly discuss theories about any of the many mysteries the show held. If ABC had their way, Lost would still be running, but fortunately the creators stood their ground and negotiated a solid end date.
While it’s uncommon for science fiction shows to run their course, Babylon 5 is an absolute rarity. Now only did it end on creator J. Michael Straczynski’s own terms, but he had all five seasons plotted out from the start and it all went off without a hitch. Not only that, but its continued popularity spawned several made-for-TV movies. Babylon 5 set a precedent that is not likely to be reached again, but is often aspired to.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine/Star Trek: Voyager
Technically, yes, this is two shows. However, they’re both incarnations of Star Trek and they lived out strikingly similar lives.
They both ran seven seasons (as did Star Trek: The Next Generation before being canceled to pave the way for a film series). And they both escaped cancellation, with both shows ending because the crews felt they had run their respective courses. The next Star Trek series wasn’t so lucky as Star Trek: Enterprise was canceled after four seasons, ending Star Trek’s 18-year run on the air.
When will they “make it so” for Trekkers once more?
Here’s a show that was never canceled, even when it should’ve been. Smallville lasted ten seasons and had its fair share of ups and downs during that time, with unfortunately more downs than ups. However, when it was good, it was really good. The original showrunners left the show after the seventh seasons and Smallville carried a noticeably different tone for the remaining three seasons, for better and for worse. Fortunately, the final episode of the show wrapped up old storylines, saw the return of an old favorite, and kicked off the Superman mythos in proper fashion.