Screwed By The Network / Western Animation

Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon have their own pages.

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    American Broadcasting Company 
  • Of the six episodes of Clerks: The Animated Series that were actually made, only episodes four and two were actually aired, in that order. This despite the number of running gags and ongoing plotlines that the series had, and the fact that the second episode makes sense only if you have seen the first (it's a parody of clip shows, because they only have one episode to mine for clips). All six episodes with vitriolic commentaries were later released on DVD.
    • Comedy Central later showed all six episodes in 2002, before also shoving the series aside. [adult swim] picked it up in November 2008, airing one episode every Friday night for about six months straight.
  • Recess was once Adored by the Network. But Walt Disney Television decided to end the series in 2001, not for any issue with ratings (actually, the ratings for the show were for a while, the highest rated Saturday morning cartoon), but because there was a policy to end a show once it reached 65 episodes. And it doesn't matter how popular it was, it had to end with 65. This policy was likely a product of the later years of Michael Eisner's time as Disney CEO, and was probably designed to get the series to the point it could be syndicated, then sell off the rights and reap the financial rewards.
  • Sonic SatAM suffered this badly. Its entire first season was plagued by preempts from college football. Then, when the second season hit, it turned out that it was a major contender against Fox's Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Then, with the Disney/ABC merger being planned, a new head honcho came in, actually declared that he was sweeping out everything connected to the old guy... and did so. Sonic would be driven out (and would lead to One Saturday Morning a couple years later) and Power Rangers would begin its 10-year romp on Fox (then, ironically move to ABC, get screwed itself, then move to Nickelodeon). Its legacy, however, continued in the Archie comic book series, which is still running to this day.
    • It didn't help that it never even aired in some markets, which were already starting to cut Saturday Morning Cartoons altogether in favor of local news and never saw it until it reached USA Network's Action Extreme Team.
  • Mary Kate and Ashley in Action! suffered the same fate as its animation studio, DiC Entertainment, pulled the plug on the Olsen Twins' animated series, lasting for only one year, despite having a DVD released by Warner Home Video, then made its move from ABC to Toon Disney (now Disney XD).
  • Hoo boy. ReBoot. It was ahead of its time in every way. And ABC and its censors absolutely hated it. They canned it after its second season. By the season finale, that feeling of contempt for creativity had become mutual as far as the writers were concerned:
    "It's the 'ABCs', they've turned on us! ...Treacherous Dogs!"

    CBS 
  • CBS screwed over its cartoon lineup in 1994 with budget cuts, so it could have a live-action line-up to compete with TNBC (note that CBS was third place even fourth sometimes in ratings back then). It was really bad in the case of Garfield and Friends which was still going strong in the ratings after seven seasons, the show's creators were so outraged by the poor treatment that they decided to end the show rather then letting it suffer from budget cutbacks. For unknown reasons the planned live-action block never materialized, with a revamped cartoon block taking over.
  • Later on, in 1998, they had a block of Saturday Morning cartoons, The Early Show for two hours, then another two-hour cartoon block led off by Birdz. That show was the first to go, getting replaced in spring 1999 with a cartoon based on Fisher-Price's Rescue Heroes toys.
  • Rescue Heroes itself got screwed. It received no advertising whatsoever, and aired right after The Early Show on the 11:00 AM timeslot. Combine the two together, and you have confused-as-hell kids wondering when the show was going to air, and wondering if the episode was new or not. Needless to say, CBS killed the series among others when their contract with Nelvana expired. While the show was later renewed for a second season prior to cancellation, it would take over a year for The WB to take notice and save it (see their section for more).
  • And when it screwed over Kewlopolis, all DiC cartoons including Strawberry Shortcake got the short stick. While most of the shows have already ended production and fully aired at least once when Kewlopolis got cancelled, Strawberry Shortcake had just finished airing its third season on Kewlpolis and was about to air season 4, the final season, when it got the boot. Adding to the complication was the four-way lawsuit between American Greetings, DiC, Cookie Jar, and Moonscoop over the franchise' ownership. Luckily though, the DVD releases did not stop and it became the only way Americans could watch the fourth season, which only wrapped up in 2012, 5 years after the Grand Finale aired in Europe!

    Comedy Central 
  • Comedy Central's broadcast schedule for Drawn Together was erratic, to say the least. When new episodes were not being screened, the show would often be off the schedule for months. Many viewers assumed the show was cancelled long before it actually was. It also had a gap of over a year between the first and second seasons. And one almost as long between the two halves of season 3.
  • The network abruptly stopped airing Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist in June, 1999. On Christmas Eve of that year, the network ran a marathon of 9 new episodes, which then never aired in the US again. Three final episodes were finally aired two years later in February 2002. For many, these last 12 episodes, which represents 2/3rds of the series' sixth and final season, went unseen until the complete series was eventually released on DVD in 2007.

    The CW 

    Discovery Kids/The Hub/Discovery Family 
  • Dan Vs. Even though it had great ratings and was considered to be a great and flagship show on The Hub, it just... stopped after 13 episodes in season 3. It was stated there would be a season 4 later in 2013, then Dan's VA Curtis Armstrong confirmed otherwise on his Facebook.
    • On October 6, 2014, just a week before The Hub would become Discovery Family, the network lost the airing rights to the show, it disappeared from the network's site, and its single spot on early weekday mornings was replaced with a second episode of The Super Hero Squad Show. Starz Media would later put up every episode of the show on YouTube before taking them down a few months later.
  • SheZow got screwed pretty bad by The Hub: it had limited airings during its initial run, then after it was dropped from the schedule entirely in April 2014, it later came back airing only on Sundays as reruns. It later found a place at 9:30a EST on weekdays, thankfully around June so the problem of its target audience not being able to watch it was mostly circumvented, with reruns of Teenage Fairytale Dropouts taking its spot on Sundays, then in July it lost that spot too and was pushed to a 4:00a EST graveyard slot on weekends.
    • Made even worse by the fact that a second season was commissioned by The Hub in October of 2013, before they reversed the decision only a month later. Then, like Dan Vs. above, the airing rights to the series were lost in October of 2014, and what graveyard slot it had left was replaced with reruns of Kaijudo. Though not renewed, it was later brought back in an early morning time slot on Sundays in November 2015, where it stayed until a few months into 2016.
  • Kaijudo itself, after having been previously swept under the rug, only lasted for that one particular weekend before it was taken off the schedule after the relaunch, a fate it shared with G.I. Joe: Renegades at the same time (the latter would later get an hour-long spot on weekday mornings before being replaced with the original G.I. Joe series).
    • The relaunch also saw the end of reruns of shows such as The Aquabats! Super Show! (which might have got screwed out of its rumored third season thanks to the relaunch) and Animaniacs (its counterpart Tiny Toon Adventures would get shuffled around over the next few months), as well as Fraggle Rock and every single live-action sitcom the network had (the latter to make room for the 12 hours of science and nature docs that made up the network's schedule at the time).
    • Some events that were supposed to happen if The Hub stayed on the air, including the addition of The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin and Pinky and the Brain, as well as another Hub Halloween Bash, were scrapped.
  • After the second relaunch, it was revealed that Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot had been put on the chopping board despite decent ratings, possibly because Hasbro has lost the master license rights to Just Play, most likely for mistreating the license (they obtained the rights to the franchise along with Strawberry Shortcake in late 2008, but didn't have a show until 2012, and toys only appeared in late 2013, and even then it was only distributed in the US, Europe and the Pacific, despite Hasbro having a worldwide presence). The show was rescued by Netflix however, who commissioned the Sequel Series Care Bears & Cousins, as well as acquiring the repeat rights to the show.
  • The problem with shows failing or being screwed on The Hub and Discovery Family is so prevalent it's much easier to list the exceptions. Let's generally say that anything that isn't My Little Pony or even closely related to it is sure to have a pretty short shelf life one way or another on either network. Even Transformers Prime was shown sparingly on the network after its finale before disappearing altogether, and Littlest Pet Shop was only able to last for four seasons.
  • After four seasons of successful ratings, the fifth season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is said to have fallen to this territory, though fans have contested this designation. There was a nearly-eleven-month-long break from season four to season five, despite a relatively strong advertising campaign. By that time the network relaunched from The Hub to Discovery Family (which may have played a role in the hiatus). Later episodes were very rarely promoted on the channel, aside from episode clips posted online. To make matters worse, the season 5 premiere promo ran nonstop every time a new episode is broadcast, weeks after the premiere originally aired. The seventh episode, which aired after a week-long hiatus to show My Little Pony: The Movie, ended up posting the what was then the lowest ratings ever for the seriesnote , then after the eighth episode it took a three week hiatus before the show's 100th episode was shown, after which ratings again took a hitnote . Ratings did start to stabilize after that, but then the season finale beat out the seventh and tenth episodes of season five as the lowest ratings ever for the series, which is incredibly unusual for past season finales in general (though some can also blame the fact that it aired on a Thanksgiving weekend).
    • Adding salt to the fans' wounds, the popular episode streaming website CinemaQuestria was struck with the legal hammer following the release of the seventh episode's ratings, and later on Hasbro began taking down episodes off Dailymotion. Predictably, fans didn't take Hasbro's actions lightly.
    • In July of 2015 it was announced that season 6 would be starting before the end of the year. This turned out to be a mistake: season 5 was being split in two with the second half airing at the end of the year (in other words, instead of a potentially months-long hiatus between seasons, it's during the season). Reaction from the fanbase has been predictably negative, though it's unclear if this situation is more the fault of Discovery Family or Hasbro. Fortunately, unlike season 5, Discovery Family learned their lesson and began promoting season 6's premiere weeks before it aired.
    • Some view the whole thing as bittersweet, because with Littlest Pet Shop getting chopped after four seasons (covered below), Friendship is Magic is now literally the only show keeping the entire channel afloat when just a few years ago, it actually had a solid lineup of programming. This had made some fearful for the future for both the channel and the show itself, and that the only thing that's keeping the series alive are the toy sales.
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012) proved to be a viable counterpart to My Little Pony and initially ran for a solid 3 seasons, but season 4 ended up being the last because of its toyline not doing well enough (though given what franchise the show's based on, this is at least a more understandable excuse than when the same was used for ThunderCats (2011) and Sym-Bionic Titan above).
  • Jem was screwed over thanks in no small part to its film adaptation tanking; its timeslot was handed over to Transformers Prime, which occupies the slot to this day. Sad, considering the film barely had anything in common with the cartoon. The only silver lining is that its 2015 comic book adaptation did well and was much more faithful to the source material.

    Disney Channel/Cinemagic/Junior/XD 
  • Disney has a rule that screws over any show it likes. It's called the 65-episode rule, 65 being the absolute minimum number of episode produced before it can be officially syndicated. After 65 episodes, the show's very unlikely to be renewed by Disney, unless it has been proven to be a major Cash Cow Franchise for the network. Many shows have fallen victim to this rule.
  • Blazing Dragons, a British animated show that portrayed the knights of King Arthur's Court as a bunch of incompetent dragons, was aired on Disney for a while, but was dropped in a time slot that was so late at night/early in the morning that it was rarely seen before being quietly scuttled away.
  • Motorcity, a well-animated Flash series about a hot-rod gang defending Motorcity from Detroit Deluxe's dictatorship. The show received the axe before the first season even finished being aired!
  • TRON: Uprising got postponed several months only seven episodes in, got postponed another month three episodes after that, and got shunted to a midnight timeslot on Mondays upon its return. It didn't get renewed for a second season, and the final three episodes did not air.
  • Disney Junior originally looked like they were unscrewing PB&J Otter by putting it back on air after not wanting to air repeats of the show for years. Then they proceeded to royally screw it over again by preempting it for Jake and the Never Land Pirates reruns in November of 2013, then putting it on at 2:30AM on Sundays before it was replaced with The Octonauts.
  • Cartoons based on Marvel Comics have, in recent years, been hit with his. For some shows, most notably The Spectacular Spider Man and Wolverine and the X-Men, this was due to Disney taking over Marvel and, as such, axing any TV show that requires them to pay another company for. For other shows, such as Iron Man: Armored Adventures and X-Men: Evolution though, they just silently end the series without any announcement. Evolution is notable for the final season, which while resolving the Apocalypse plot arc that had been building up since season 2, had a notably shorter episode count (with just nine episodes, compared the previous seasons which had an average of around double that), and was filled with several one shot story episodes that, really, ended with a lot of loose plot threads. Steven Gordon, Evolution's head character designer and occasional director and writer, has stated that, while he believes the show ended well, he does have some hard feelings for Marvel's decision to end it, as he noted they didn't appear to really care for the show at all despite many of the show's aspects and a certain original character later being adopted by Marvel's writers later.
  • Despite having a strong narrative and greatly improving with the second season, the television adaption of W.I.T.C.H. was canceled despite a very obvious Sequel Hook at the end of season 2. According to one of the crew that worked on the show, this was because the new higher-ups didn't like the show's premise and wanted to make way for more live-action sitcoms on Disney Channel. The fact that Greg Weisman worked on the show's second season should be no surprise at this point.
  • In October of 2014, Henry Hugglemonster was screwed over by Disney Junior for more airings of Doc McStuffins, just when merchandise had come out for the show. It now only airs during the early morning hours except on weekends, and let's face it: kids sleep late on weekends and when they wake up, chances are the family would go out on a day trip instead of staying home and watching TV.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes is a classic example of executives being given broadcasting rights, but then forgetting about it. New episodes of the show aired at midnight with reruns being aired at 4 in the morning. Rumours say that the cause of this was because the executives decided that the implications of the show's setting were too kid-unfriendly. Not surprisingly it ended after two seasons, the latter which had heavy Seasonal Rot due to this trope.
  • The Replacements had aired between Saturday and Friday nights at 9:00 for its first season, until Disney changed the date from Saturday/Friday nights to Monday afternoons at 5:00 for its second season.
  • After treating Nina Needs to Go! greatly in its first two seasons, Disney canned the show on the Disney Junior on Disney Channel block for Jake and the Never Land Pirates shorts, Big Block Sing Song, and the Palace Pets shorts.
  • When the second season of Doraemon's English dub began airing on Disney XD, it was set at the 1:00 P.M. slot. Sure, that's not so bad during the summer, but even after the summer it continued to stay in the 1:00 P.M. slot while the target audience was at school, and eventually they began pushing back episodes on and on.
  • Wander over Yonder. The show was initially picked up by Disney Channel in 2012, and began airing regularly in September 2013. Disney Channel treated it well for the remainder of the year. Then in January 2014, Disney Channel began showing less reruns of the show, eventually on January 25, 2014, after a rerun of "The Bounty" all reruns of the show were removed from the schedule. Even episodes scheduled to air in February 2014, were pulled from airing.
    • A few weeks later, the network announced the show would air new episodes on Disney XD, but said episodes would air on the Disney XD on Disney Channel block starting in July 2014. Then the entire show was removed from the block, and the network entirely, in February 2015, and hasn't aired since then, leaving 3 episodes from season 1 and the entire second season unaired. When the show was up for renewal after its second season, Disney XD decided it couldn't afford to continue the series after eighty episodes, so it was canceled despite protests from fans as well as series creator Craig McCracken. The backlash was so bad that fans resorted to setting up multiple petitions at Change.org calling for Disney XD to reverse course.
      • Worth noting that the season 2 finale was advertised as the series finale yet ends on a massive Sequel Hook that would've been resolved in season 3, and soon after it aired the show up and vanished from the schedule entirely, which made the network being completely dominated by reruns of Phineas and Ferb (which aired its finale less than a year before Wander did and actually got reruns of that finale) even more apparent.
  • Shows not produced by Disney (particularly those produced in Canada) tend to have a very hard time lasting more than a season on Disney networks that aren't Disney Junior. For several examples, the summer of 2013 had Disney XD bring in four new shows: Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, the 2013 Max Steel cartoon and Teletoon's Packages From Planet X & Camp Lakebottom, none of which were produced by Disney. By the next year, Max Steel and Pac-Man were the only shows that lasted on the network for more than one season, but after they were renewed, Disney XD suddenly had no interest in either show anymore and dumped both of them. The producers of both shows moved the programs to Netflix and iTunes, where they remain moderately successful. One would have to wonder if Disney has a dislike for Canadian animation.
  • After treating the show nicely for five years, Little Einsteins was only shown between 4:00 A.M. and 7:00 A.M. on the Disney Junior block, and it didn't help that it and Baby Einstein were Screwed by the Lawyers.
  • The 7D, much like Wander above, was cancelled in April 2016 during its second season, but also suffered the ignominy of having that season's intended 39 episodes shortened to 20.
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja likewise suffered from Disney XD's 2nd season curse: Started off great, then episodes got delayed, barely any advertisements, and finally was quietly cancelled to which the show ended on a cliffhanger (though at least wrapped up its storylines with Mirror Julian and the Sorcerer).

    Fox 
  • Futurama has got to be one of the few examples that has also come back with a vengeance (next to Family Guy, which premiered around the same time as Futurama and suffered a similar fate of getting canceled by FOX and revived thanks to the power of cable TV). After four seasons of being pre-empted by sports and inconsistent airing dates, which were often changed due to increasingly poor viewer ratings (but were probably caused by the continually-inconvenient timeslots) and little publicity from the network, FOX just decided to cease production of the show after the episode "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings" in 2003. Rumor has it that FOX didn't even tell the cast or crew which episode would be their last. The show was then constantly rerun for the next four years on [adult swim], which gave it enough reason for the crew members to create four made-for-DVD movies. Despite Family Guy coming back first and what seemed like an eternity in TV limbo, Futurama is now back on TV, with Comedy Central as its new home — until it was recently announced that Comedy Central was pulling the plug on the series. Matt Groening says he's going to once again find a new home for the show even with the the last episode's ending note 
  • Family Guy was constantly being moved in its early seasons, and was eventually cancelled — twice. No other show had ever been brought back on the same network after being cancelled twice, as doing so requires too much admission of having made an error or a large fanbase clamoring for it to be brought back. A cult fan following developed through [adult swim]'s reruns and the combination of ratings and phenomenal DVD sales convinced the Fox executives to revive the show. Now it's Adored by the Network as much as The Simpsons and American Idol.
  • Virtually every non-FOX animated sitcom such as Father of the Pride, Dilbert, and The Goode Family. Seriously, try to find one that's lasted more than a season. note 
    • In the network's defense, Father of the Pride was incredibly expensive, critics mostly saw it as a joke, and it happened to air around the time that Roy Horn (of Siegfried and Roy) was attacked by his white tiger and nearly died. In this case, it was more "The show was taken off because it wasn't doing well in ratings, the critics hated it, and was cutting into the network's budget."
  • King of the Hill was one of the longest running series second only to The Simpsons, but was hardly promoted during the later years of its run. Advertisements for the "Animation Domination" block it was on would come on, and the other shows on the block (The Simpsons, Family Guy, and others) would have the plots for the upcoming episodes announced, but King of the Hill would barely get a side mention. FOX even did try to cancel it, but fan protest had them hold onto it for a few more years.
    • From season 3 onward King of the Hill was routinely Screwed by the Network. Initially the show occupied an 8:30 timeslot between The Simpsons and The X-Files at the height of the popularity of both shows. Not surprisingly it garnered huge ratings. For season three however, it went to Thursday night against NBC's live-action shows. Viewership plummeted. FOX then moved it to Sunday at 7:30, where it was constantly pre-empted by sports. Only in its next-to-last season did the show return to 8:30. That's not mentioning the cancellation merry-go-round of the last three/four seasons.
  • American Dad! got this treatment from FOX for the longest time, and still does, to some extent, to the point where the network chose not to pick up the show for the 2014-15 season (it now airs with new episodes on TBS). New episodes of the show don't get much promotion and they tend to get the worst time slot. While The Cleveland Show, which hasn't had as much critical acclaim from critics and fans and didn't usually get very good ratings, got a ton of promotion, new episodes of American Dad! didn't get announced as often and unlike episodes of The Cleveland Show, they wouldn't usually get their plot synopsis' and guest stars announced in the advertisements. There was even a period in early 2011 where American Dad! was demoted to 7:30, usually the fate of shows on their way out, while FOX debuted Bob's Burgers in the post-Simpsons timeslot and sent Cleveland behind Family Guy. American Dad! still managed to hold on, but it clearly wasn't as loved by FOX as much as the other shows in the main block. note 
    • This treatment actually flipped after Cleveland's post-Family Guy run, when it was sent to the 7:30 slot in fall 2011 so the network could try out new shows in the post-Simpsons slot, while American Dad! was moved back behind Family Guy. It also got full plot synopses and guest star promotion reinstated - at the cost of the same for The Cleveland Show. With ratings eroding rapidly for The Cleveland Show and every other Animation Domination show (including Bob's Burgers) already renewed for 2013-14, and a new show looming over the horizon note , The Cleveland Show was cancelled in 2013.
  • Sit Down, Shut Up (The U.S. version). The show received a ton of promotion and had a nice cozy timeslot sandwiched between Fox's hardhitter cartoons, The Simpsons and Family Guy. Despite this, the show received poor ratings, got largely negative reviews about the show, was relocated to Fox's graveyard hour (the very timeslot that killed Futurama) and even had an episode removed from airing on Sunday due to dubious content ("Math Lab"). The show itself was eventually pulled from Sundays and announced canceled. However, the rest of the series was allowed to air on Saturdays at 12:00 AM (replacing reruns of MA Dtv after that show ended due to low ratings and budget cuts) and continued to rerun there until Spring when Comedy Central picked up the rights to the show, but Comedy Central aired all but two episodes (the pilot and "High School Confidential"). As of November 2014, Cartoon Network's [adult swim] Sunday night line-up is airing the show...right in the same timeslot that used to belong to King of the Hill (though KOTH now comes on at 8:30pm and 9:00pm).
  • Napoleon Dynamite got cancelled abruptly after only six episodes despite actually pulling in higher ratings then Bob's Burgers. This is actually somewhat justified. The gap between the show and the movie is too large for the show to have been culturally viable. Also, Fox had already renewed Bob's Burgers before the cancellation of Napoleon and they did not have enough room for both shows.
    • They later tried to screw over Bob's Burgers in season 5, after it had just won an Emmy over Archer and South Park. Season 4 episodes moved to 7:00 PM, though this was due to Cosmos and it got a fifth season. Later it moved to the 7:30 slot (the same one Futurama occupied) and the release of new episodes had slowed to a trickle. The season technically premiered October 3rd, but fans had to wait a month for the next episode, and then wait an additional three weeks for the third one.
    • Just before the end of 2014, it moved back to its 9:30 slot following the failure of Mulaney. Three months later, it shifted to 7:30 again following the debut of The Last Man on Earth. Bob's Burgers is an interesting and somewhat unique example of this trope, as it's usually preempted during football season, but the problem only lasts until the end of the calendar year. The premiere of Bordertown in Winter 2016 assured that Bob remains at the 7:30P slot for the distant future.
    • Now Bordertown is getting screwed. It aired at 8:30, as a mid-season replacement, but then The Last Man on Earth returned to its timeslot, resulting in its move to 6:00.
      • And on the first day it aired on its new timeslot, Fox didn't even air it at all, preempting its timeslot with NASCAR Racing.

     Freeform/ABC Family/Fox Family/The Family Channel 
  • The Animated Adaptation of Tabaluga was slated to air on Fox Family Channel in 1998 on the Captain's Treasure House block, but was pre-empted at the last minute for Mr. Moose's Fun Time. However, it was later aired on Fox's own boyzChannel, where the situation was worse. Since most cable providers weren't interested in the channel, very few households received it.

    MTV 
  • The horrific treatment Daria got at the hands of MTV. No consistent time slot, frequently preempted by an episode of The Real World or Road Rules, and finally buried, seemingly never to be released on DVD (save for the releases of the TV movies Is It Fall Yet? and Is It College Yet?). It was rerun on the teen channel The-N, but nearly all the episodes were edited for content or banned. It wouldn't be until many years (and many hours of trying to edit out the music due to copyright/licensing issues that were preventing Daria from getting released in the first place) later that Daria would get the DVD release it deserved.
  • In late 2011, MTV started to redeem themselves with Good Vibes and brand-new episodes of Beavis and Butt-Head. It didn't last for long though, as of 2012, both of them were taken off the air so MTV could make room for more reality shows, and because Good Vibes was a victim of the Friday Night Death Slot (technically, it was on Thursdays, but it was aired at a time in which most people would be away from home or possibly asleep). Not to mention, all episodes of the latter from the second episode onwards were aired Out of Order rather than in chronological order.
  • Undergrads and Clone High both got poor treatment, being cancelled after only a few episodes. Both series ultimately went on to do about a dozen episodes each and became minor cult hits on other networks like Cartoon Network and Teletoon in Canada.
  • Downtown received rave reviews and was nominated for an Emmy in 2000, but its last episode aired in November 1999 after frequent timeslot changes and subsequent iffy ratings. MTV's dicking around annoyed co-creator George Krstic to the point that he stuck a bunch of thinly veiled Take Thats to MTV in a later series he co-created, Megas XLR.

     NBC 
  • During the final three years of NBC's orignal Saturday morning block, all of its programming outside of Saved by the Bell suffered this. First, NBC canceled The Smurfs, at one time considered NBC's staple animated program, and gave it the rerun treatment for a year while struggling to headline new shows, like Captain N: The Game Master and the Animated Adaptation of The Karate Kid, the latter show of which was promptly axed due to low ratings. Both had to rely on word-of-mouth because NBC was too busy headlining another new program, Saved by the Bell. Then, a year later, another popular animated program, Kissyfurnote , was axed and its time slot replaced by NBA basketball. At the same time, NBC exhausted more advertising revenue toward Saved by the Bell, causing drastic budget cuts that severely affected the quality of the animated programs, yet the network ignored the complaints from animation studios and continued cutting budget. Then, in the block's final year, Captain N was shortened from an hour to half-hour and Alvin and the Chipmunks and the obscure Gravedale High were canceled in favor of new shows like ProStars and Yo Yogi!, the latter of which was ruthlessly savaged by both critics and viewers and permanently soured viewer perception of the quality of NBC's cartoons. As a result of the persistent ratings failures and inability to compete with newcomers such as Fox's children's block Fox Kids, NBC ceased production of all of their animated cartoons indefinitely, save for only Saved by the Bell since it was the most successful show of the block, and continued airing reruns of the programs until August 1st, 1992, when NBC pulled all of their animated programming in favor of a teen-oriented live-action block named TNBC, along with a Saturday morning edition of Today. Saved by the Bell and NBA basketball were the only programs to survive the transition. NBC's decision to drop their Saturday Morning Cartoon block is widely viewed as the beginning of the end for the genre.
  • NBC's handling of the UK/New Zealand production Stressed Eric basically consisted of "remove nearly every trace of the show's cultural identity and turn it into a ripoff of The Simpsons". Burned off into the summer of 1998 (and even banned by some NBC affiliates), it was lambasted by critics and died quickly. The second season never aired in the US.
  • NBC managed to screw over an entire western animation network. Namely, KidsCo, which was a joint-venture between NBCUniversal (NBC's global arm), Nelvana and Cookie Jarnote . Shortly after DHX Media bought over Cookie Jar and made Cookie Jar pull out of the dealnote , NBC pulled out as well, falsely claiming that the Asian market was too saturated with children channels (it wasn't. You can count the amount of children channels airing in the region with two hands) and that they want to put more focus into Sprout back in the US, which they just bought off PBS (also quite amazing that they have the balls to admit to that). This led Nelvana to shutter the operations as they determined that it is infeasible to continue solo, due to financial issues and lack of variety in content. And to rub salt on the wound, they had just moved the operations into a new high-tech broadcasting facility just months prior to the shuttering. Granted though, DHX is also a major culprit herenote , but it was NBC's withdraw from the operations which led to the final decision to shutter the channel.
  • They somehow managed to screw up a partnership with Hallmark, causing the shuttering of Hallmark Channel Asia. See, back in the early 2000s Hallmark and NBCUniversal had a joint-venture and they carried a whole lot of PBS Kids programming as part of the Hallmark Kids block on the channel, including Caillou. While a lot of the programming managed to find new homes in Asia upon the channel shuttering (notably, most went to Playhouse Disney Asia when that was launched), Caillou couldn't find a new network and thus has not aired in the region since. In a nutshell, Caillou became unavailable in Asia due to NBC's incompetence.
  • The two examples above didn't matter to NBC by the time their parent company purchased DreamWorks Animation, which will give them ownership of children's-oriented The DreamWorks Channel in Southeast Asia. This can go both ways- either it ends up making the screwing over of the above networks even more humiliating, or The DreamWorks Channel gets the dubious honor of joining KidsCo and Hallmark Channel Asia in the list of channels screwed over by NBC's partnerships. Fans of DreamWorks are watching NBC's moves very closely.
  • God, the Devil and Bob is a decent animated sitcom. Sadly, NBC canceled it after only four episodes due to a combination of lackluster ratings and pressure from Christian conservative groups, who saw it as mocking Christianity. The network reportedly used the controversy as a convenient excuse to kill off the series. The remaining nine produced episodes were doled out to [adult swim], eleven years later.

    UPN 
  • UPN started airing Dilbert, an animated adaptation of Scott Adams's mega-hit comic strip. At first they seemed very proud of it, all advertisements for all their network shows ended with "On UPN: Dilbert's network". Then they moved it up and ran it after a show called Shasta McNasty, which, in the words of Scott Adams, drew the kind of audience "likely to die in a bowling ball cleaning accident." Then they bumped it up even further, putting it after both McNasty and a hour-long program on extreme stunts.
  • Another show affected by the Dilbert screw, by virtue of airing right after it, was Home Movies. Its original run on UPN started in a bad time to start a series, on late-April 1999 and ratings were very low. This would carry on for 4 more weeks until UPN ultimately decided to cancel it with only 5 episodes aired. Later on, when [adult swim] aired new episodes, they originally aired when the block launched at 11:00, but was later pushed to 1:30 a.m.! Not to mention the long hiatus, and shooting off episodes as quickly and quietly as possible.

    The WB 
  • Mission Hill had a nasty case of this from The WB. According to the producers, the show staff was told their upfronts "didn't matter", and so they slapped together a poorly edited two minute preview of the show and submitted it. Advertisers panned it, and when The WB failed to prepare an episode for their schedule preview event, critics demolished the show, going off of the terrible two minute clip. Then, like salt in the wound, The WB placed it in the "death slot" for the target audience, 8 PM on Friday evening, directly before the beginning of a black sitcom block of shows, which was a completely different audience then Mission Hill's demographic. Even worse, The WB then put the show on hiatus after only two episodes, sat on it for eight months, then re-premiered it during the summer, aired another three episodes, then totally canceled it.
  • After getting rescued from CBS, Rescue Heroes ended up getting this treatment from their new home at Kids' WB! By the time it premiered on the block in July 2001, it had the same time slot as originally on CBS (11:00 AM on Saturday morning), but had a nice advertising campaign and variety of other Kids' WB programs to go with it, giving it a much better treatment. But two months later, the series moved to Wednesdays at 3:00 PM, this time with little advertising. This was to make up for the batch of new series premieres for the block that were pre-empted by 9/11 (they eventually premiered on September 29th of that year, two weeks after planned airdates). RH returned to Saturdays at 8:00 AM for repeats in May 2002, then was pulled again to conclude the second season of The Zeta Project. It was canceled later that year due to low ratings generated by its Wednesday afternoon slot.
  • Phantom Investigators: According to series co-creator Stephen Holman, the show was doing very well in the ratings, but Kids' WB! gave it the axe after running for a month in June 2002. The reason being that they were number one in the ratings with males in the six-to-eleven demographic, but Phantom Investigators was doing better with girls instead of boys. WB, not wanting to lose its' number one spot with young boys, cancelled the show after thirteen episodes and it has never aired on television again, nor received any VHS or DVD releases.

    YTV/Teletoon 
  • Teletoon picked up the rights to Teen Titans Go! and treated it well...until ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks came along and they dropped it all together because of fans who protested the network for airing Titans too much (not unlike Cartoon Network's treatment).
  • My Life Me was probably one of the only original series to get screwed over, in comparison to every other show (which Teletoon milks out in order to fulfill Canadian Content laws), presumably due to having a large Hatedom and being mostly liked only out of being So Bad, It's Good. However, considering Johnny Test is arguably hated even more, and the fact that it was delayed for over a year, and then given only a short run when kids were in school, and in some nondescript Saturday afternoon timeslot, there may have been more bitterness coming from Teletoon.
    • Consider Metajets, the only other original series screwed over worse than My Life Me, given a rare early morning repeat on Teletoon and Cartoon Network Canada, whereas My Life Me has never been re-aired since 2011.
  • Clearly someone at Corus hates My Life as a Teenage Robot, considering its rocky history airing in Canada. Debuting in January 2004 on YTV, it was pulled off by June before the first season finished its second run, only being brought back with little fanfare by the fall. Occasionally, they aired bits of the second season. Occasionally, they take it out of the schedule and/or replace it with either assorted Canadian shows or (as expected for Nickelodeon's Canadian counterpart) SpongeBob SquarePants. Then the third season debuted out of nowhere in September of 2007 (with even a pretty solid Weekday afternoon timeslot in YTV's afterschool block, ''The Zone'' (which aired it shortly before Nickelodeon in the U.S. did). But it was (un)expectedly replaced in October with Being Ian reruns.
    • 10 years after its Canadian debut, the show resurfaced in 2014, thanks to the Canadian version of Nickelodeon airing reruns of older Nickelodeon programming in graveyard slots and weekend marathons.
  • ANY show from Marvel on Disney XD that airs on Teletoon may qualify. Those looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy enjoyed being able to watch new episodes on Disney XD Canada day-and-date with the American channel. Meanwhile, season four of Ultimate Spider-Man and season three of Avengers Assemble have yet to air on Teletoon. The real kicker is that Corus Entertainment owns both channels.
  • Just like the Nickelodeon example above, The Fairly OddParents caught a case of this on YTV in Summer 2016. Unlike Nick, which shuffled reruns over to Nicktoons, YTV still aired the show... at 5am in the morning. Which show bumped OddParents from its longtime spot on The Zone and completely took over the weekday block in the process? Why SpongeBob SquarePants, of course!
  • Pirate Express was only on the air for a single week in April 2015, in which Teletoon dumped the entire series in episode blocks aired in the middle of the day, and they haven't aired it again since! Perhaps they hated it even more than My Life Me?
    • The same thing happened to the second season of Oh No! Its an Alien Invasion, after its Channel Hop from YTV, and several episodes of Endangered Species. While Teletoon kept Endangered Species on the schedule, they dumped multiple episodes of both shows in the afternoon and flushed down Oh No! like it was used toilet paper.

    Other/Miscellaneous 
  • The little-known French cartoon Wheel Squad. It reaches The Brothers Flub levels of this.
  • Any good animated or kids series airing on Malaysian free-to-air TV is bound to suffer this, while the more mediocre shows get to stay on for longer than they should. Privately-owned NTV7 and the government-owned RTM stations are the worst offenders. Examples:
    • Rugrats: When they moved to NTV7 from MetroVision (now 8TV) after a four year hiatus, this happened. Episodes were randomly censored (you may ask: it's a harmless kids cartoon! What could they possibly censor? Well, the infamous Zoo Story episode has all scenes containing pigs cut offnote  - despite the same episode airing on Nickelodeon Asia, which is available in Malaysia, uncut). The show stopped airing on Terrestrial TV in Malaysia four years before Nickelodeon would end the show once and for all.
    • Arthur: Did not make it past season four (though part of season five did air on Disney Channel Asia before canning the show entirely). In other countries, the show has made it to season 20 as of late 2016 and new episodes are still being produced.
    • Caillou - Totally screwed by NTV7, with only the original 5-minute shorts were aired. The forty episodes in between were dropped and the show was quickly replaced by Rocky and Bullwinkle.
    • Dragon Tales: Episodes skipped, random pre-empting of slot and did not pause the master tapes when cutting into ads, causing large amount of scenes to go missing. And they did not bother bringing in Season 2 onwards. It was on RTM1.
    • Between the Lions: same treatment as Dragon Tales, and halfway through airing, its slot was pre-empted for a whopping 6 months. It was on RTM2.
    • Charlie and Lola: Stopped halfway through season 1 and never mentioned again. It was on RTM2.
    • The Malay dub for Timothy Goes to School only aired on Astro'snote  in-house channel in 2001. The rest of the series later got screwed over and hasn't been aired in that country since then.
    • After treating Franklin well for 5 seasons (to give an idea on how well the show was treated, Season 5 aired a whopping 2 months before they did on Nick Jr in the US), TV2 abruptly decided to screw it over and ignored Season 6 as well as its spin-off, Franklin and Friends.
    • Like the CBS Kewlopolis example above, TV9 screwed over the 2003 Strawberry Shortcake series right after airing Season 3. This nearly happened on the Playhouse Disney network as well (although they aired four Season 4 episodes before pulling the plug), but a letter writing campaign in Asia organized by upset fans made Disney bring in the rest of the final season of the show, albeit 3 months after it aired in Europe. However, played very straight after the rights of the franchise shifted to Cartoon Network- see Cartoon Network entry above for more info.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has the dubious honor of not only being screwed by NTV7, but also to be screwed before it could even air: it was replaced with Lily The Witch in the last minute on the day and the slot it was supposed to premiere. The show ID overlay still read My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic even though the airing show was something different. The show finally started airing in July 2012, but with the same problem that US viewers faced with the Hub two years ago taken to extremes: not only it's aired at 8:30 AM on Saturdays, that's its only one time slot in the week. Miss it? God help you, especially with The Pirate Bay and various online file lockers blocked by the MCMC's internet censorship. Eventually subverted- the network eventually came to adore the show. After the producers caved in to the bronies and dumped all slice of life content, a move which alienated slice of life lovers in the country who were following the news of the production online.
    • Magic Adventures of Mumfie was supposed to be aired by NTV7 in the early 2000's, but was replaced at the last minute by Chibi Maruko-chan, simply because one of the main characters was a flying pig. Actually, in this case it's more towards Banned in China since the show has not been made available through other outlets thus far.
    • Little Princess was screwed over by NTV 7 after two seasons and the third season remained unaired in the country.
  • Cinémoi seems to be doing this with all three cartoons on their channel, especially The New Adventures of Lucky Luke; they've been showing the same 25/26 episodes (out of a total of 56) since the channel debuted on DTV in the US, the title of "A Better World for the Daltons" note  was inexplicably changed to "Flower Power for the Daltons" note , "The Daltons' Treasure" has sound-syncing problems, "Indian Roulette" and "The Last of the Buffalo" have commercials airing in the middle of the episode (most episodes wait until after the show ends to air the ads), and "For a Fistfull of Daltons" is shown twice whenever the lineup reaches it. Also, the episodes are aired at a completely random order, as opposed to the original series' episode listings, and HALF THE SERIES STILL HASN'T AIRED (including the episode that "For a Fistfull of Daltons" replaces), meaning that, ever since Cinemoi joined DTV's lineup in September 2012, they've aired the exact same episodes at LEAST five times by now.
    • The Magic Roundabout got screwed on Cinémoi when its timeslots were bumped up an hour earlier, in favor of giving Contraptus a full hour instead of three ten-minute shorts before Lucky Luke. Also, both shows have fallen victim to the same eternal rerun cycle as Lucky Luke has. Oh, and these are the only three cartoons on Cinémoi, and they only air in the morning.
      • Contraptus is listed as airing for a full hour or so on Fridays, even though Lucky Luke still has the timeslot....looks like Cinémoi doesn't really know what to do with the poor lonesome cowboy.
  • Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World received solid ratings and favorable reviews for its first 2 seasons and had a third in the works, only to be cancelled as part of LOGO's shift in programming from LGBT material to mainstream content.
  • Any non-educational cartoon aired on AFN Family (excluding Littlest Pet Shop and Scaredy Squirrel) will only air once every few weeks or even once a month. While most networks that air SpongeBob SquarePants treat it with lots of love, AFN rarely airs this show.note  And if you're a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan in the military, it sucks to be you for this reason. Not only that, their run is four years behind, even though they aired Equestria Girls.
  • Animax Japan used to play SpongeBob SquarePants for two hours; one hour aired from 7-8AM, and the other hour airing from 3-4PM. Then, they only aired the show twice a day at 8AM (a time when most kids are leaving for school) and 3PM. Then they replaced SpongeBob with Suite Pretty Cure ♪ and Dragon Ball Z reruns and moved it to 6AM on Thurdays, when most kids are asleep, and on Fridays at 7:00AM, competing with TV Tokyo's Oha Suta. Later, it was replaced by its' two favorite shows, GeGeGe no Kitaro and Chibi Maruko-chan.
    • The show then resurfaced in the summer of 2014 on NHK in a plush Saturday night time slot...and was pulled three months later as a result of poor ratings.
  • Italian network Boing used to play SpongeBob four times every day. Then a show by the name of Adventure Time came along, and they now only air it once on Saturdays and Sundays at 8:05PM. A year after this incident, the show was pulled and replaced by re-runs of Teen Titans Go! and One Piece.
  • Stripperella got screwed over by Spike TV...majorly. It aired on a late night block with much more juvenile and widely hated shows such as Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, and despite being generally liked by those who had seen it the fact that it was airing on Spike and was being hyped up for its nudity turned potential viewers off, despite its intelligent humor and well-done animation. Spike started pushing nudity even more in the second half when the ratings were declining (replacing the pixelation with a soft blur over nude scenes, hoping to attract pervert attention), canceled it after 13 episodes, and then gave it a poorly-mastered "uncensored" (though some copies report the pixelation still being there) DVD.
  • Hungary's RTL Klub kept endlessly shuffling the airtime of the first season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, at times pushing it back to the early hours or just neglecting to air episodes entirely, completely ignoring their advertised cartoon programming. Not only that, the media watchdogs also lobbied to get the series banned because they deemed its content unsuitable for a Sunday morning timeslot (and for other, absurd reasons). Although the rest of the series apart from season 6 did air on Cartoon Network, there was a severe drop in dubbing quality due to CN's more limited budget. It's not unreasonable to think that the 6th season would have been dubbed much faster as well, had the show stayed on RTL. Instead, it debuted only in December 2015 on yet another channel (AXN), by which time several of the voice actors were unavailable.
  • In Latin America, WordGirl premiered in August 2009 on the preschooler-oriented Discovery Kids channel. Although the channel gave it heavy promotion during the rest of 2009 and most of 2010, by the end of that year they suddenly decided to move the series to a late-night timeslot on weekends. It should be noted that the series received a lot of criticism from Latin American Moral Guardians that felt that it was too "violent" and that encouraged children to lie to their parents (due to the obvious element of Becky having to tell an excuse to her adoptive parents whenever she needs to become WordGirl to save the city), and constantly complained on the channel's now-defunct message boards. This may have been the reason for the channel to move the series to late-nights, until removing it completely in June 2012, with only the first two seasons dubbed and aired.
  • In December 2014, Italian channel RaiGulp started airing Gravity Falls... and they dropped it after a week, replacing it with reruns of Wolverine and the X-Men.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic suffered greatly from this in Germany. Hasbro licensed the show to Viacom Europe who intended to have it aired on Nickelodeon, the premiere being a year after the American one. By the time that Viacom could start working on the German dub, both Studio B and The Hub were fully aware of the bronies and had already started catering to them. Hasbro, however, had no idea what to do with the unprecedented brony phenomenon which was still pretty "underground" in 2011.
    So Hasbro didn't inform Viacom about the bronydom, nor did Studio B or The Hub because it was probably none of their business; in fact, Viacom wasn't even informed that Lauren Faust had changed My Little Pony's target audience from 4-to-7-year-old girls to 5-to-12-year-old girls plus both their parents. Viacom in turn couldn't inform Nickelodeon Germany, the station to air the show, about any of this since they simply had no idea about all this. Nickelodeon ended up with a show they didn't know what to do with, much less that it had become a Cult Classic in North America because they didn't even bother to look up what this new MLP material was all about.
  • The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin was only shown in timeslots when the target audience wouldn't be able to watch the show. It would usually air anywhere from 4:00AM in the morning to 3:00PM in the afternoon. It was quickly forgotten and cancelled, and was supposed to air in syndication again for the 1998-99 television series, but nobody was willing to pick it up. It was only ever re-run on Teletoon in Canada...where it only aired five episodes before being dropped for Mega Babies.
  • Magic Adventures of Mumfie was this on many PBS affiliates. The show was syndicated out to public broadcasters and not an actual part of the network's programs, which gave the networks a chance to decide when to air it. Many chose to air it in early morning timeslots, while others ended it with 6 out of 13 segments aired. The only affiliate that gave it proper treatment was Buffalo, New York's PBS affiliate.
  • Sonic Underground had this treatment in the US on the syndication block, Bohbot Kids Network. Episodes aired on weekdays very early in the morning note  at a time when its target audience were either still asleep or getting ready for school. To make matters worse, the episodes that were originally scheduled to air on Fridays were skipped and replaced with Double Dragon note  instead. As a result, only 32 of the 40 episodes produced aired.
  • When Showcase Cinema brought back the Kidtoon Films children's matinee series in 2016, they had to change at least four of the TV shows/movies they were going to show for four months in a row. Their Octonauts screening became a Shimmer And Shine screening, the Dora And Friends: Into The City! screening became a screening of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, the Zack and Quack screening became a Transformers Rescue Bots screening, and the Barbie Starlight Adventure screening became a screening of the 2014 CGI Maya the Bee movie. No reasons have been revealed for why the former three had to be changed, but the possible reason that the latter got changed was due to the fact that Fathom Events screened the movie in late July.
  • Do you live in Portugal? Do you like Jimmy Two-Shoes? Well then, tough luck. It only aired on SIC in the second half of 2011, and only once, at around 7:30am. To make matters even worse, there isn't a Disney XD channel, and it only aired once.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ScrewedByTheNetwork/WesternAnimation