While some major television series planned to go out with a major spectacle (The Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones), other shows weren’t so lucky. In a network-based world filled with fractured demographics and eroding ratings, genre television took a major hit when TV shows ended or were cancelled without any notice this year. It’s a repeating process for cable networks and even the streamers aren’t immune.
Are broadcast stations pulling the plug on genre television quicker than the tried-but-true comedies and dramas that steadily build audiences?
Rummaging through the cancellation pile, here’s some of the more noteworthy programs that will officially end in 2019:
- The Good Place
- The Man in the High Castle
- Mr. Robot
- The Tick
Gotham‘s gone, while Pennyworth prepares to launch on EPIX. The CW currently airs The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and soon to be Batwoman, so how many DC properties is too many to air on television?
It seems The Punisher ultimately met the same fates as Daredevil, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, as Disney prepares to release its own streaming service and all signs point toward these shows airing on Disney+ instead of Netflix in the near future. While the final episodes of Jessica Jones have yet to air, the writing’s on the wall for that series, as well.
Preacher and Supernatural have yet to air their final episodes, while Legion‘s last season has already begun (Catch it while you can!). The writing was on the wall for The Gifted, as the FOX buyout all but ended this series’ fate. It probably had something to do with Legion‘s last stand as well, although reportedly Showrunner Noah Hawley always envisioned the complete series as three seasons… regardless, looks like that Legion–Gifted crossover will sadly never happen.
So, what exactly happened to Deadly Class?
Based on Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s Image Comics series, Deadly Class was produced by Sony Pictures Television, which ended Season 1 with multiple storylines unresolved. To say it’s a shame to stop a series with unanswered cliffhangers is not fair to fans of the series, which featured teenagers training to become assassins in San Francisco during the late ’80s.
Class featured Benedict Wong (of Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Infinity War fame), but Lana Condor (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) was the break-out actor who made the show watchable. Having Anthony and Joe Russo as Executive Producers, it’s not clear why this series underperformed (maybe they were too busy working on the two Avengers movies). Ratings were never great for the show and for some reason there was no streaming deal in place to help offset the costs of the series and grow the audience. At some point, the show may resurface elsewhere, but for now, Deadly Class ends with an incomplete grade.
The Passage attempted to adapt Justin Cronin’s dystopian vampire Apocalypse for network television. It was a tough sell, especially when the antagonists (Don’t call them vampires!) are jailed and can only terrorize their enemies through dream-like psychic links. At the conclusion of Season 1, the monsters are loose and the world’s end looms near. Too bad this storyline was saved for the conclusion, as there were many episodes that could have been spiced up with a little more action.
This, too, like Deadly Class, looks to be a very expensive endeavor to return to the small screen, but feels most promising for a streaming service to revive. I really did enjoy watching both series and I’m sad they’re gone, but with syndication and streaming services offering a glut of programming options, many TV shows never go away forever… they just reappear on a different channel.