‘Cancelled’ is a word which strikes dread into the heart of many a TV fan and with good reason. There’s nothing more heart-breaking than your favourite series not getting another season… just ask the Firefly fans *sob*. But with some recent success reviving and saving some much-loved shows (most recently, NBC picked up Brooklyn Nine-Nine after Fox cancelled it and Amazon Prime saved The Expanse when Syfy dropped it), there’s no better time to call on the Netflix gods to bring back your favourite TV show.
Why Netflix you ask? Well, the streaming service has already had a fair amount of success bringing back shows such as Arrested Development, Gilmore Girls, and Full House. Plus, it’s shown it’s not above picking up excellent indie series for further seasons when they’ve been under-appreciated and dropped by their original channels (I’m looking at you Lovesick). And with so many superb series, which barely saw the light of day, there’s a whole host of cancelled TV shows out there ripe for a Netflix revival. Community, Deadwood, Penny Dreadful, Dollhouse, Agent Carter… Netflix could bring back any one of these cancelled TV shows and make a killing, so listen up Reed Hastings (that’s Netflix’s CEO to you and me), because we’ve got a few suggestions for you.
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The TV show: As one friend recommended it to me, Crazyhead is basically ‘Buffy but with swears’ – and really, what more do you need to know? This Channel 4 series sees two very unconventional demon hunters battle the forces of evil and save the world, all while trying to figure out their own personal demons and navigate their newfound friendship. Starring the very talented and hilarious Cara Theobold and Susan Wokoma, Crazyhead is a must for any supernatural fans, but if you’re looking for a couple of female protagonists for the modern age, you’ve struck gold.
Why Netflix needs to bring it back: Well, for a start, when Channel 4 decided not to make another season, the first season landed on Netflix – get yourself over there and binge the whole thing asap if you haven’t already – so it already lives on the streaming service. Plus, Crazyhead just feels like a Netflix Original. A niche genre series about female demon hunters with a few too many swear words and uncomfortable scenes for mainstream telly? It’s got Netflix written all over it. And it’s so, so good with the season 1 finale teasing a must-watch season 2 story arc that I just have to see! Please Netflix, please bring Crazyhead back.
20. Freaks and Geeks
The TV show: It’s amazing to think that one season of this show launched the careers of practically all of its leading actors. What’s most jaw-dropping, though, is how it was cancelled before any of the storylines were wrapped. Created by Paul Feig, he of Bridesmaids, Spy and Ghostbusters fame, and produced by Judd Apatow, it’s a period piece set during the 1980s about a bunch of high school outsiders.
Why Netflix needs to bring it back: Revivals are all the rage! Shows like The X-Files, Gilmore Girls and Prison Break are picking up years later to continue stories. Why not Freaks and Geeks? Lindsay’s future was left wide open: would she embark on the academic summit for the summer? But perhaps more importantly was the matter of James Franco’s Daniel. Last we saw, he was in the early stages of switching over from the freaks to the geeks. If the show were to pick up now, in real time, it’d be interesting to see how that change affected his future.
The TV show: Before Pushing Daisies and Hannibal, Bryan Fuller created a fantastic little series packed with all of his trademark oddities and a lot of heart. Hannibal’s Caroline Dhavernas stars as Jaye Tyler, a graduate working at a Niagara Falls gift shop who hears voices. Not evil ones, they’re actually trying to help her achieve something more with life, and present themselves through random objects. Like animal figurines. It’s quirky magic.
Why Netflix needs to bring it back: Fuller, and executive producer Tim Minear (who worked on Buffy), already drafted out ideas for seasons 3 and 4, continuing Jaye’s story. The rough ideas are there. All this needs is a writer and showrunner to sharpen up those plans for Jaye’s future, that happened to include her being institutionalised with ‘Joan of Arc syndrome’ and being looked upon as a spiritual leader. Sounds very Wonderfalls.
The TV show: The trials and tribulations of high schoolers and college kids is well-trod territory in television. That’s why Dan Harmon’s series stood out. It took a misfit bunch of students of all ages, led by Joel McHale’s smarmy ex-lawyer, and threw them into the community college setting. It’s self-aware, silly, moving, and perfect if you’re a popular culture obsessive.
Why Netflix needs to bring it back: Six seasons and a movie ring any bells? That was the show’s ongoing mantra, and for a while it looked like it wouldn’t make it to five seasons. It did and then landed an extra season at Yahoo Screens. Yeah, it didn’t do so well over there – it could do with a Netflix boost.
The TV show: This Canadian series brings together time-hopping antics into a police procedural setting. It’s stronger than Minority Report, which sorta dabbled with the same themes to lesser effect. The show centers on a cop from the year 2077 who jumps back to present day Vancouver to take out a terrorist group plotting to destroy corporations that will one day rule the world.
Why Netflix needs to bring it back: Continuum already suffered when the network cut short its final season to a mere seven episodes. It might have wrapped up that season three cliffhanger, but there’s still more to explore for officer Kiera Cameron.
16. Clone High
The TV show: A true cult classic pulled from the schedule for being a bit too edgy. Years before The LEGO Movie was a glint in their eye, Phil Lord and Chris Miller brought their animation skills to Clone High, a bizarre riff on pious after-school specials. The high school in question is populated by cloned version of historical figures, whose teenage selves are, ahem, rather different.
Why Netflix needs to bring it back: The show has the perfect trifecta: Lord, Miller and Scrubs’ Bill Lawrence. It’s the type of irreverent, un-PC humor that needs a chance to be see by an actual audience. C’mon, who watches MTV for the cartoons anymore?
The TV show: We’re talking the reboot, not the original one, that would make this a revival of a remake. Semantics, bah! Described as a “reimagining” of the ’80s version, the series follows the experiences of FBI agent Erica (played by Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell) as she attempts to figure out what a supposedly friendly alien race who call themselves Visitors really want with Earth. Can you see where it’s headed?
Why Netflix needs to bring it back: That ending. Things were left unresolved but with a distinct “everything’s going to hell” type of vibe for Earth. This definitely irked fans who would have enjoyed seeing Erica kick serious extraterrestrial butt.
The TV show: Scream’s Skeet Ulrich leads this thriller about a small town in Kansas in the aftermath of a nuclear attack on the United States. Jericho has citizens from every walk of life, making the town’s attempt to rebuild after the attack all the more compelling. With its interwoven plots and twists, it’s a great glimpse into how people really behave when the shit hits the fan.
Why Netflix needs to bring it back: Post-apocalyptic tales remain some of the highest-rated shows. Everyone loves The Walking Dead (and in my eyes Game of Thrones (opens in new tab) is one too, but that’s a theory for another time), so why not bring this back? It already survived its first cancellation after fan demand spurred on a second season; all the episodes are already on Netflix; and with a comic there’s plenty of material left to adapt.
13. Dead Like Me
The TV show: Another Bryan Fuller series that ended too soon dallies with similar themes and styles as his other shows: a spiky concept told with likeable characters. It begins as 18-year-old George Lass (Ellen Muth) dies – she’s killed when a falling toilet seat from the Mir space station smacks her in the head. George doesn’t go to heaven or hell. She remains on Earth as a reaper, working with an amusing bunch of co-workers who get to experience life beyond life.
Why Netflix needs to bring it back: Fuller bailed after five episodes, saying working on the show (that he created!) was the worst experience of his life. The quality of the series went a little downhill but the material and the concept warrant someone who’ll do them justice. What worked so well during the show’s brief two season run were the weird relationships between the reapers. Although a wrap-up feature supposedly ended their stories five years later, it’d be a blast to drop in on George and the gang again.
12. Stargate Universe
The TV show: Stargate Universe was a more people-focused show than the rest of the franchise, as it followed the crew of the Destiny, who were lost, Star Trek (opens in new tab) style, in space. It’s character driven exploration created an interesting take on the universe, making it accessible to both fans and newcomers alike.
Why Netflix needs to bring it back: It’s cancellation was largely attributed to failing viewing figures. However, that was partly due to it being reshuffled into increasingly less prestigious timeslots. At the time it was likened to shows like Battlestar Galactica and even Lost, with a lot of angry fans making their feelings known when it’s cancellation was announced.
11. Almost Human
The TV show: While at times hit-n-miss, Almost Human braved the cold of Monday nights on Fox and sadly didn’t survive. A sci-fi police procedural about a belligerent cop (Karl Urban) and his android partner (Michael Ealy) the show struck out into some unique territory with its gritty genre storytelling.
Why Netflix needs to bring it back: For Karl Urban’s sanity. Between this and Dredd, the guy needs a break when it comes to steady work.