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Screwed By The Network / Live-Action TV

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  • In a rare instance, networks themselves can get screwed over, mostly by cable and satellite providers.
    • The most infamous recent case involved a dispute between Dish Network and AMC's family of networks. Dish pulled all AMC-related channels in June 2012, and the channels didn't return until late October (despite mass public outrage over the move). Though Dish claimed it was a matter of renegotiating costs of each channel (a usual reason why channels get pulled: some channels demand too much for the content they provide, and providers are reluctant to let subscribers' bills go up as a result), AMC heads insisted it was because of Dish holding a grudge for a past issue involving Cablevision when they bought the satellites for Voom HD, a now-defunct suite of HD channels offered by Cablevision, and some Fox affiliates in the New York area.
      • Evidence that AMC may have a case about Dish involves Dish pulling another channel, this time with a local station in Youngstown.
      • In order to prove a claim about AMC not being watched enough, Dish pulled a sneaky (and very dirty) move during the final weeks that AMC was on the service: they moved the channel to a deep part of its 1000's array of channels (all the way to the 9500's, where "public interest" channels like Free Speech TV and Link TV cater to niche audiences) to see if people would notice the move. However, what Dish was banking on, and what they got, was that because people were never told that the channel would be moved (or to where), and because it was near impossible for people to find the channel it was on (since it was on an ungodly and rarely clicked on high channel number), no one was able to watch it, thus no one did (the DVR recording slots didn't follow either). Dish claimed this was proof enough that there was no value in keeping the channels on the lineup.
      • Further proof that AMC has a case: all their hit series, including Breaking Bad, continue to score sufficient ratings despite Dish's reluctance to renegotiate. Indeed, far from merely "sufficient", Breaking Bad scored its highest ratings ever in the first run of episodes after Dish pulled AMC. The Walking Dead made AMC's case even more plain, as its premiere was the highest-rated "entertainment" (read: non-sports) telecast of anything in the first three weeks of the fall season, as well as shattering its own previous ratings record (5.8 Adults 18-49 rating, vs. a 4.7 for the season finale the previous March) despite Dish having not yet restored the network. Needless to say, it didn't take long (about a week) for Dish to restore AMC once that happened.
      • Also helping was that AMC was in a winning position with the Voom lawsuit against Dish. After it was a certainty Dish would lose, they capitulated pretty fast.

  • While Amazing Stories (or Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories, as The BBC insisted on billing it) was no classic, it still deserved better scheduling than it got from Auntie, with episodes being flung onto the lineup at whim (and even going from BBC1 to BBC2 and back) and turning up anywhere from early in the morning ("Family Dog") to mid-afternoon ("The Mission") to early in the evening ("You Gotta Believe Me") to late at night ("Mirror, Mirror"). If anyone managed to catch the entire run when it was screened terrestrially in Britain (Sci Fi, to their credit, gave it a coherent run), you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.
  • This happened to Atlantis. BBC gave the premiere to the first season a lot of hype. After that, the show went on smoothly. The second season had promos for the premiere shown before episodes of Doctor Who but then got ignored with a small number of promos. BBC decided not to renew a third season and the show got left with a cliffhanger ending in which the villain of the series had won.
  • The BBC picked up the rights to show Barney & Friends on their CBeebies channel after an eight-year hiatus in 2007. Despite Hit Entertainment splitting the episodes in half to accommodate ten-minute time slots, they did nothing with the show, instead replacing it with their two newest original shows at the time, which were The Large Family and Nina and The Neurons.
  • The Chuckle Brothers were never informed by BBC about their decision to cancel ChuckleVision despite the Chuckles being told by Lorraine Heggessey, who was the head of CBBC in the 90's, that they had a lifetime contract.
  • The Dirk Gently TV series was off to a good start. Then it was canceled due to budget cuts within the BBC. The series was specifically under BBC4, which decided to focus on importing foreign shows and cut producing their own.
  • In 1985, BBC controller Michael Grade (you know, the one Chris Morris called a c**t in Brass Eye) canceled the original series of Doctor Who (a show he reportedly loathed) until public pressure resulted in the cancellation being modified into an 18-month hiatus. To his credit, Grade allowed the series to continue afterwards but... then decided to fire then-star Colin Baker. Grade later claimed that he did the former out of spite and the latter out of dislike for the actor's style.
    • Further, when he returned the show in 1986, Grade scheduled it against popular Soap Opera Coronation Street, which was a major factor in the show's 1989 death.
    • Coronation Street wasn't the only time slot killer. Part of the Sixth Doctor era aired at the same time as The A-Team, and Season 18 just happened to premiere at the same time as ITV's syndication of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, putting Doctor Who at its ratings nadir.
    • It's also worth noting that several parties have alleged that the real reason that Grade fired Colin Baker was because he was a close friend of Baker's ex-wife and after having witnessed their messy divorce, had a personal vendetta against Baker. Whatever the truth, one thing that people agree on is that Grade did not want Baker working for the BBC.
    • Other changes made by the BBC that didn't sit well with fans included cutting the length of the seasons in half, and there was a very unpopular experiment in Season 22 (1985) of producing 45-minute episodes instead of the usual 25 (20 years later, of course, no one cared about either).
    • Subsequent historical publications have suggested that Grade wasn't the only person who sabotaged the show in the late eighties: Jonathan Powell, the controller of BBC1, also wanted it canceled, and has said in interviews that he regrets that he didn't do it earlier. In his case, there don't seem to have been any personal motivations involved, just general dislike of the show and all genre shows.
    • The revival series wasn't immune to this, either. Jane Tranter, the BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning who greenlit the series' return, claimed that BBC Director-General Mark Thompson asked her to drop the commission because Grade had become BBC Chairman, but it was too far gone to stop by then.
    • The revival debuted on the US Sci Fi Channel in 2006 (a year after the UK, and after Sci Fi initially rejected the series for being "too British") and was screwed from the start. Varying minutes of material were cut from episodes for time ("Journey's End", originally 65 minutes, was cut down to 45), the trailers for the show the channel ran often revealed hefty spoilers, and finally they got rid of the show completely in 2009. BBC America picked it up and has been treating it much, much better than Sci-Fi Channel did. The Canadian network CBC also mishandled the series after a promising first season in which they even had the stars record unique intros to each episode, but eventually the CBC lost interest in Doctor Who, which was later picked up by the cable network Space and handled much better.
    • Christopher Eccleston's tenure as the Ninth Doctor seems to have suffered from this. Despite propelling the show back into public consciousness and gathering tons of critical acclaim, every time the BBC and BBC America repeat old episodes they always start with David Tennant's era.
    • For a while, the BBC had a tendency to air the series at differing times through the season, sometimes at a different time each week, and rarely after 7 PM (sometimes even before 6 PM). Strangely, the show seemed to dip in the ratings the earlier it was scheduled, whereas episodes aired after 7 were consistently among the highest-rated, but the Beeb didn't seem to register this fact, nor did it seem to realize that fans would appreciate having more than a couple weeks' notice of when a new season will actually start, as has been the case for a number of revival-era seasons.
    • Series 9 (2015) was consistently scheduled on Saturdays as the lead-out to Strictly Come Dancing — meaning it always started after 8 pm, which lead actor Peter Capaldi argued in a postseason Newsweek interview was too late a start time for a family-oriented show with a large kid fanbase. A September start meant the first four episodes (including the once-a-season Dalek story) had to compete not only with shows like The X Factor but rugby matches. Later in the Story Arc-driven season, the Beeb released massive spoilers about the final three episodes to Radio Times and the press in general — even in their own trailer in the case of "Face the Raven", which revealed Clara's shocking death. It's possible they were trying to goose declining same-day ratings, but way to undercut the most acclaimed season since Series 5 for the fans!
    • Subverted for most of Series 10. BBC Controller Charlotte Moore announced in early 2016 that Series 10 would air in Spring 2017, meaning the only new episode airing during 2016 was the annual Christmas Episode for 2016 — the first time a whole year passed with no new Who episodes or specials since the show's revival. The subversion is that this was to prevent the show being upstaged by national events like the Olympics and UEFA European Championship and allow it to return to the springtime airings, avoiding the main problems Series 9 faced as outlined above. It also allowed showrunner Steven Moffat (who wasn't too bothered) to work on the fourth season of Sherlock and the new Who spinoff Class (2016), which he also was executive-producing, without becoming overworked; the Troubled Production of "Let's Kill Hitler" in Series 6 explains why this is a good thing. Sadly, despite excellent reviews, the ratings still wound up hitting series lows by the end of the run, and finally the BBC again blew major spoilers for the Season Finale — this time months in advance.
    • The animated reconstruction of "Power of the Daleks" had a nice, cushy timeslot (7:25 PM Central, 8:25 Eastern) on BBC America for its first two episodes—-and then abruptly got shifted to 10 PM Central/11 PM Eastern for the remainder of its run, to make room for more reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation! Way to show respect to a lost serial on its 50th anniversary, guys...
    • Peter Capaldi's tenure is mistreated by BBC America in repeats. Of his 40 episodes and specials, eight of them — a fifth of his tenure! — are not regularly rerun simply because they're extra-length (i.e. longer than 42 minutes) and too difficult to edit down without losing coherency. Unfortunately, this results in gigantic Plot Holes and Time Skips since these stories include his introductory adventure, multi-part Grand Finale, and many game-changing plot points in-between. How did he and Clara reunite after "Death in Heaven"? How did Santa Claus end up in the TARDIS? What happened after Mayor Me teleported the Doctor away in the wake of Clara's death? Did he ever find Gallifrey as his previous self hoped to? Why does River Song's memory mean so much to him in Series 10, and what's Nardole's connection to both of them? Did Bill Potts have to remain a Cyberman? Viewers who want answers to these and other questions will have to get the DVD sets, Amazon Prime, or on-demand cable, or wait for Marathon Running...
    • Class (2016), a spinoff that launched on the BBC Three online channel and later had a turn on BBC One, was given ludicrously odd timeslots for a young adult show — by some accounts, this was due to the fact that there were precisely zero straight white men in the regular cast, although there are more convincing reports that BBC executives weren't comfortable with the show's graphic violence and casually positive attitude to teenage sex. (BBC America treated it better by giving it the Doctor Who Series 10 lead-out spot the following year.)
  • The Goodies were shafted by a BBC executive who never liked them. They were denied funding and retreated to ITV, who canceled them after one season and a Christmas special.
  • The Goon Show founder Michael Bentine went on to make an acclaimed series of surrealistic comedy for the BBC, It's A Square World. Very, very few of Bentine's shows survive today. Michael Bentine alleged that when he refused to incorporate political satire into his shows at the behest of very senior BBC executives, not only did the BBC rip up a contract for more shows, it deliberately wiped all the tapes so that Bentine could not profit from repeat fees or overseas sales. If this is true, then the BBC execs cut off their collective nose to spite their face, in screwing over an artiste who would not play ball at the price of destroying a critically admired comedy show.
    • As a small consolation, Bentine did later (and presumably under different management) remake most of his best sketches for BBC radio, playing all the parts himself, and the radio shows have survived.
  • When the BBC originally aired Monty Python's Flying Circus, they broadcast it at inconsistent hours and preempted it with the Horse Of The Year Show. This is the reason for some of the show's Biting-the-Hand Humor and malicious jokes about BBC television programming. Terry Gilliam even had to buy the original tapes from the BBC to prevent their destruction, as TV studios at the time were in the habit of taping over shows they no longer wanted.
    • Python also suffered, due to its original scheduling time, from the BBC's "regional opt-out", a device allowing BBC regions, at certain times of day, to override nationally scheduled programmes with material of great regional interest, such as Cumbrian Dry-Stone Walling Techniques or Pig Slurry: The East Anglian Farmer's Friend. Some British regions therefore never even got to see the show on its first run.
      • This issue resurfaced on the 30th Anniversary Week in 1999, where at least on paper, episodes of Python were being repeated nightly for seven days. Viewers in the North West tuning in at 10:00, expecting to see a classic Python episode as per national schedule, were less than thrilled to find BBC North West was running thrilling highlights of the Rugby League fixtures. Despite BBC North West promising to screen the scheduled Python at a later date, said date never arrived.
  • The BBC in the UK showed the first two seasons of Orphan Black only a short time after broadcast in the USA, but the third season was reduced to a weekend small-hours broadcast and a ten-episode season dump on iPlayer, with very little promotion, months after it had been broadcast in the US and all the serious fans had illegally downloaded it.
  • Magician and shock comedian Jerry Sadowitz's BBC comedy series The Pall Bearer's Revue owes its short five episode lifespan to this. According to Sadowitz, then-controller Alan Yentob hated the show and saw it as a threat to his job so did everything he could to conceal it and make sure as few people as possible saw it. As if that wasn't enough, he claimed that Sadowitz was difficult to work with, which led to him gettingblackballed from the corporation.
  • Robin Hood had arguably already killed itself with the death of Marian, but The BBC didn't help matters at all with its "promotion" of Series 3, which essentially amounted to one trailer for the series (and a few other episode-specific ones), and Jonas Armstrong and Joanne Froggatt guesting on The Paul O'Grady Show. This attitude culminated in the finale being shunted to BBC Two in favour of tennis just hours before it went out (not that it mattered much, since the series had been released on DVD prematurely). Irrespective of fandom's reaction to Series 3, it's hard to deny that it got a raw deal from the network.
  • Robot Wars suffered this at the hands of The BBC around the time of Season 5 (which had already aired on BBC Choice but not on BBC2). The BBC were trying to use it to get people to get satellite or cable to get their extra channels. The result was that they aired Robot Wars Extreme twice and by the time Season 5 did air... Season 6 had already been filmed (and started immediately after Season 5 ended).
    • After the Channel Hop to Five, Robot Wars was constantly shunted around the schedule on either Saturday or Sunday. This was its last season.
    • Then several years later, it happened again to the BBC-led revival. It was cancelled out of nowhere to "make room for new and exciting programs" after three successful series (with Series 10 in particular being considered one of the greatest ones the show ever had) and just after starting to do International events (including a notable crossover with Michael "Fuzzy" Mauldin from Battlebots), finally acknowledging the existence of (and showing footage from) the original series again, getting a number of schools and universities involved in designing and building for the series, and the new toy line starting to take off. Needless to say, the resulting fan outrage was apocalyptic.
  • The BBC agreed to co-fund Rome with HBO to the tune of $15 Million per season (which is a lot of money to a British broadcaster), but treated it like an embarrassment when it came time to air the show. They decided to play up the sex scenes in the promos and re-edited the first three episodes into two, losing an hour of character and story development in favor of the sex scenes and blood, to the utter fury of the director Michael Apted. The British audience was not impressed and immediately tuned out, resulting in poor ratings. The BBC, apparently unrepentant about their mistake, then pulled out of funding for Season 3 and put Season 2 on at about 11:00 PM on Friday nights.
    • The BBC's withdrawal concerned the higher-ups at HBO, who consulted the accountants. The accountants informed them that they could not afford the show without the BBC's 15% budget contribution, and the show had only gotten good American ratings for Season 1 due to a strong lead-in from The Sopranos, which would not be airing ahead of Season 2. HBO decided to pull the plug before Season 2 was written, giving the producers plenty of warning (but only 10 episodes) to resolve the 24-odd further episodes of plot they had planned. Of course, when Season 2 aired, it maintained its audience and HBO could have afforded to have kept it on the air even without the BBC, but it was way too late by that point as the cast had scattered to other projects.
    • Incidentally, the BBC claimed the initial editing was done because British audiences were aware of the historical background, unlike their American counterparts; director/executive producer Michael Apted claimed it was done in the name of ratings. Who was right? Well, the BBC screened all four seasons of the famously low on historical accuracy and high on sex appeal The Tudors, which unlike Rome is set in Britain...
  • The various Star Trek series were also badly served by the BBC on broadcast in Britain. They were always shown in the early-evening slot on BBC2 and seen as nothing more than expandable filler that could be dropped if any afternoon sports events, such as cricket or tennis or golf, overran. In the summer months, they could be dropped completely so that sports events taking advantage of the longer daylight hours could run on; Star Trek episodes were reinstated if rain stopped play, making them convenient filler, and often ran out of sequence. The British premiere of Star Trek: Voyager was allowed to run for its first thirteen episodes in an early evening slot — and was dropped, at a crucial stage in the plot, to allow the World Snooker Championships to have the slot. When it returned eight weeks later, the BBC did not pick up where the series had left off: it went back to Episode One and started all over again. None of these things killed ST-V in Britain, but they did not help either.
  • The American rights for Trailer Park Boys were picked up by BBC America and it was gone after just two episodes. Compare that to Corner Gas, which has had a strong run on WGN and in syndication. Luckily, the complete series is available to rent on Netflix.

    Canal+ (France) 
  • When billionaire Vincent Bolloré took over Canal+ in 2015, he had the airing schedules of the News Parody puppet show Les Guignols de l'Info reduced, fired most of the writers, made sure it became less and less political and had puppets of celebrities like Justin Bieber and reality TV personalities put forth. The show's audience ratings sank rock bottom and it was eventually terminated in October 2018, three months after its 30th anniversary.

  • In Canada, the CBC has a reputation for nurturing critical and commercial hit series... then treating them like absolute dirt for no discernible reason. Many series produced and aired by CBC over the years have enjoyed massive critical acclaim (some of which have gone on to be classics in the genre), a meaty percentage of the Canadian viewing audience, and tons of overseas sales. Then, whatever the reason, the shows are abruptly yanked off the air with no fanfare whatsoever. Alternately, they're starved of air time, given just 13 shows one season, 9 the next, a TV movie the next, and then drop dead of malnutrition. It's been speculated by many fans and media outlets that this happens because the network has a middle-school corporate culture and a powerful political movement that wants to eliminate public broadcasting. Notable examples include:
    • Beachcombers was yanked after its Season 19. It had met with some fan criticism for more suspenseful and action-oriented stories, but it was still very popular. Unfortunately, when the CBC's funding was cut back, they used it as an excuse to cut the popular show. Even now, years later, they're dragging their heels on releasing the series on DVD, and any reruns on other networks are of the last few seasons only.
    • For most of its seven-season run, Da Vinci's Inquest was the most-watched show on Canadian television. The second the show's ratings started to drop (when it relaunched as Da Vinci's City Hall, the show was yanked from the schedule. Better yet, a TV movie wrapping up all the plot threads from the series, The Quality of Life, was kept on hold for four years due to Executive Meddling, and finally dumped on a Friday night with no promotion.
    • The CBC in Canada also mistreated the new series of Doctor Who. After heavily promoting it the first season, airing the episodes only a few weeks after UK broadcast and even getting the star to record intros for each episode, it appeared as if the CBC forgot it had a hit show on its hands (this isn't hearsay; an article in the Doctor Who Information Network's Enlightenment magazine states this as well). With Series 2, the gap between UK and Canadian airing got even wider, edits (which were necessary due to the realities of airing on commercial TV) became more noticeable, and one episode (the 2007 Christmas special, Voyage of the Damned) never aired at all despite its resolving the cliffhanger at the end of Season 3. By the time the CBC aired "Journey's End" — which was mercilessly edited down, eliminating most of the plot in the process — and skipped the 2008 Christmas special altogether, fan outcry for another broadcaster became deafening. Eventually, Space Channel picked it up a few months into 2009 and has so far aired the episodes unedited — and, beginning in 2011, usually on the same day as the UK broadcasts.
    • Intelligence (2006) was canceled shortly after it won the Gemini Award for Best Dramatic Series (its fifth Gemini in two seasons). According to rumor, it was axed for political reasons: the newly-elected Tory government was looking for an excuse to eliminate the CBC altogether and the elimination of a show with a markedly critical view of the American government was supposedly intended to placate them.
    • Despite having been written by a lauded Canadian author (Douglas Coupland, who remained involved during production), jPod was treated incredibly poorly by the network, despite the fact that it was exactly the sort of relevant, thoroughly-Canadian drama they promote. It was moved to the Friday Night Death Slot, and the twelfth episode was never aired — in its place, the CBC ran a half-hour of men's figure skating and a rerun of Royal Canadian Air Farce (which was also canceled just a couple seasons later for no explanation). jPod just happened to be the only CBC show targeted at a younger demographic.
    • This is Wonderland: A show that garnered a whopping twelve Gemini Awards during its run, the series launched to a massive wave of critical acclaim. After the third season finished, the network yanked it off the air with no explanation.
    • Northwood: was a Vancouver-produced teen drama/soap opera that aired on the CBC from 1991 to 1994, that was intended to be a sort of Canadian answer to shows such as EastEnders, and perhaps most notably starred Lochlyn Munro (Riverdale). It inherited the time slot held by the highly popular Degrassi High (which Munro actually denounced in the press in favour of Northwood), and arguably suffered big time for it; while it did gain somewhat of a fanbase, its replacement of Degrassi triggered a great deal of pushback from fans of that show, and critics weren't too pleased with it overall. As the series progressed, the CBC kept changing the show's timeslot, and in January 1994, announced its cancellation, claiming the series had reached its logical conclusion, but creator Nick Orchard maintained the show was purposefully done away with by the CBC.

  • 2 Broke Girls did well for most of its run on the network, but it was too expensive to keep it in the first run since CBS did not own the show. It constantly had its time slot shuffled around during the last few seasons.
  • The CBS Prime Time Soap 2000 Malibu Road was canned after just six episodes... but not over ratings, which were quite fine — it was because Aaron Spelling didn't want it competing against another of his shows.
  • American Gothic (1995) premiered at 10:00 PM on Fridays, a fairly-good time slot. There was plenty of press, promotions, and a lot of hype. The show aired, got rave reviews from critics and fans alike...and then, for no apparent reason, scheduling issues began cropping up. Whether the executives in charge at CBS changed and wished to do away with the success of their predecessors (though CBS was transitioning from the disastrous cheapskate Tisch era of the network to Westinghouse ownership; the final-year Tisch era had left a Fox-lite schedule with post-NFL transition disasters such as an Andrew Dice Clay sitcom where he plays a family man, Bless This House, and Central Park West with the new owners), didn't understand how good a thing they had, or didn't understand the show at all, all sorts of problems began plaguing the show. It would be preempted; there would be no episode shown, something else randomly stuck on in its place with no explanation; there would be gaps of several weeks between new episodes, sometimes filled by reruns but usually not; episodes were shown out of order, or never aired at all. Then, without warning, the show was completely yanked from the line-up and vanished for many months. Granted, the show was unusual, not for everyone, and very different from most of CBS' usual fare, but with so many praising it for its daring and disturbing nature, you'd think they'd have gotten a clue. Luckily, the creators knew long enough ahead of time that the plug was being pulled and managed to wrap up the main plot points, but even these final episodes were withheld for a long time before being suddenly plunked on TV one right after another as a three-hour movie "event".
  • Bridget Loves Bernie was ranked #5 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1972-73 season but was still cancelled after that season due to protests given the subject matter dealt with the marriage of a Jewish man and and Irish Catholic woman, culminating in a failed terrorist attack against one of the producers.
  • Central Park West is an interesting case. The show was originally a way for CBS to bounce back after their disastrous 1994-95 season. The network threw their entire marketing clout behind the show, which was touted as the hottest and sexiest drama to ever air on a network, and bolstered it with a massive advertising campaign - huge banners on buildings, bus advertisements, commercials, you name it. For a reason only known to the executives, CPW's first two episodes were scheduled against anniversary episodes of the two biggest prime time soap operas airing at that time (Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place). It also had to deal with the big affiliate shuffle in the wake of the Fox/NFL deal, where the new CBS stations just wanted to make sure viewers knew where they were on the dial first before getting into things such as network promotion. The show was trounced in the ratings, which would've led to its cancellation had CBS not already invested so much money into the program (roughly $13-15 million for the first season alone).
    • The show was continually preempted, aired on different days (which led to its being trounced by Party of Five) and then taken off the network while the show was Retooled. When it came back, half the cast was gone and the show's theme was changed to a Dynasty-esque clone. However, it didn't last even a handful of episodes before CBS pulled the plug for good.
  • Crazy Like a Fox was a hit as soon as it debuted in 1984 thanks to a plum 9 pm Sunday slot following Murder, She Wrote. The show even cracked the Top 10 which was a massive achievement for the time. Midway through its second season, CBS decided to bring back its Sunday night movie showcase. Crazy was moved to Wednesday where ratings slumped then bounced around the schedule before being axed at the end of the season. CBS then saw how the show was doing quite well in reruns on the young USA Network and so ordered a reunion movie. Even though the movie got very good ratings, CBS still decided to drop what had been one of their biggest hits just two years earlier.
  • The Crazy Ones got low ratings due to it airing at the same time as Grey's Anatomy and American Idol, with little advertising. The stress that the show's cancellation caused may have played a part in star Robin Williams's suicide.
  • When Due South first premiered on CBS in 1994, it produced higher-than-expected ratings for the network (and for the CTV network in Canada). Because one of the CBS executives who endorsed the series was fired, the show was canceled. Then, after CBS' Fall lineup became DOA, the show was brought back again. After several months of beating Friends(!), the show was canned once more. This came after a press release praising the show's critical acclaim. It's a good thing the series was then picked up by Canadian and foreign investors.
  • In March 2016, Elementary was moved from Thursday nights to Sunday nights at 10. Its Thursday slot was replaced with the television reboot of Rush Hour, which was canned after eight episodes anyway. In 2018 this was reversed, with Elementary getting a Monday night slot at 10.
  • The US Eleventh Hour had consistently good ratings, but was canceled by CBS because it essentially didn't get the ratings of its lead-in CSI.
  • Family Matters:
    • At the very end of its run Family Matters was a victim of this. After declining ratings, the series was silently moved from ABC to CBS for its last season, where ratings became almost non-existent. Adding insult to injury, the final episodes aired during Summer 1998 (when TV viewership was typically down due to between-season reruns) and the Grand Finale received little promotion or recognition from CBS. The fact that it aired just a couple months after the Seinfeld finale probably didn't help matters.
    • It's also an example of an actress getting screwed over by the network. Jaimee Foxworth was inexplicably written off after Season 4 after demanding more money and a larger role for her part. The rest, they say, is history.
  • Gilligan's Island, despite having decent ratings, was canceled because one CBS executive hated the premise and wanted to give its time slot to Gunsmoke, which was the show that originally was going to be canceled. Luckily for James Arness, the exec's wife was a fan of the western show.
    • This came back to bite the network. Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of the show, was so angry at CBS that he vowed not to work for it again. The next show he created ran on ABC, which you may be familiar with.
    • Arguably, both sides got something out of this. Gunsmoke ran for 20 seasons, more than twice the running time of Gilligan/BB combined. However, Brady and Gilligan became two of the most syndicated shows of all time. Alongside spin-offs, reunion movies, and the 1990s Brady films that were a good-natured parody and deconstruction of the series, in the long run Gilligan/Brady have been much more successful.
  • The success of The Jeffersons notwithstanding, CBS still chose to cancel it two weeks after the end of Season 11 (the longest run of any Norman Lear sitcom), leaving Sherman Hemsley to find out in his morning newspaper, similar to how fellow actor Dick Van Patten found out about how ABC canceled his program, Eight is Enough. They didn't even get to shoot a farewell episode, leaving it to the Series Finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to provide the needed closure, when Louise and George buy the house.
  • When Jericho (2006) got canceled the first time, CBS decided not to announce its impending doom until after the cliffhanger season finale aired (it made the nuts all the more necessary).
    • The only consolation prize from all of this was that the writers were prepared for an either-or situation (two different endings, both filmed) and that CBS informed them of their cancellation before airing the series finale. Notice how networks now are giving more of their serial dramas (and their fans) ample warning of likely cancellation before their season finale airs to give writers some time to wrap up major storylines. The Jericho fans may have been a major influence in this change, which would make this seem like a bittersweet victory for fans of quality TV storytelling.
  • CBS thought it could improve Kevin Can Wait in its second season by replacing co-star Erinn Hayes with The King of Queens veteran Leah Remini, who worked with star Kevin James, in an effort to make Kevin Can Wait feel more like Queens. Unfortunately, things went haywire when Hayes' character was killed off, rather than made a recurring character, an event that was only mentioned very briefly in the second season premiere and quickly forgotten. Fans of the show, as well as critics, didn't take this well at all and lambasted the network, resulting in the Retool being seen as inferior to Queens. Not too surprisingly, CBS canned the series despite steady ratings out of a desire not to polarize the fan base further.
  • The very short-lived 2012 lawyer series Made in Jersey was canceled after only two episodes. A shame, since it had set out to undo some of the damage wreaked on the state's reputation by Jersey Shore by having the Jersey girl be the heroine instead of the butt of jokes, and by portraying New Jersey and its citizens in a favorable light instead of as cartoonish stereotypes. The New Jerseyans in the series were refreshingly portrayed as being just as noble as their brethren in New York, a nice change of pace from the usual Jersey-bashing fare put on TV by Hollywood and the New York media.
    • What really killed this one was the awful reviews and the Friday Night Death Slot. The show basically being a tourism ad for New Jersey only made things worse.
  • Mike & Molly was quietly canceled before the sixth season went on air. So quietly that Melissa McCarthy found out third-hand from an interview done by co-star Rondi Reed.
  • Murder, She Wrote was on the receiving end of this during the 12th and final season. The show had spent most of its run on Sunday nights and had gotten excellent ratings in the process. However, after Leslie Moonves became president of CBS Entertainment in 1995 before the 12th season began, he moved it to Thursday nights opposite Friends - a show that, ironically, he had previously helped to produce back when he was president of Warner Bros. Television. Many longtime fans of Murder, She Wrote angrily protested the scheduling change, and openly suspected Moonves of deliberately making the move in order to kill the show and, therefore, make room for new programs which he had greenlit. Needless to say, the move to Thursday was a disaster for the show as the ratings dropped from the top 10 all the way to 58 and led to the show ending its run.
  • CBS screwed over The New Adventures of Old Christine in its last season by canceling it despite it being their highest-rated show on Wednesday nights (it was pulling in 8 million viewers on average).
  • The short-lived series Now and Again was dropped into a Friday Night Death Slot with no lead-in whatsoever, despite its unique premise and high budget. While it initially did well (even defeating Chris Carter's lauded Harsh Realm in the ratings wars), CBS suddenly started to cut back on promoting the show in the spring and the ratings dropped as a result. According to cast members who spoke at conventions that summer, rumor has it that the show was being set up to fail due to internal politics and the CBS/Paramount/Viacom merger.
  • Despite lasting into a fifth season, Person of Interest seems to be falling into this category. Because it is not owned by CBS, they lose out on rebroadcasting rights, meaning they have far less reason to air in than one of their own shows, regardless of ratings. So the fifth season was left until summer 2016 (starting in May) and is the final season.
    • The creators really were screwed. According to BuzzFeed, they didn't find out about this until the spring 2015 upfronts that they weren't on the fall schedule.
  • CBS notoriously did this to an entire genre of television programs. From 1970-72, in what would later be called "The Rural Purge", the network cancelled most of their sitcoms and dramas focusing on country life or country folks living in the city. Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Mayberry R.F.D., Lassie, and Hee Haw were among the shows that got their pink slips during this period, as well as The Ed Sullivan Show; Pat Buttram (Mr. Haney on Green Acres) famously said 1971 was "the year CBS killed everything with a tree in it". Networks began to move away from rural settings to more modern shows set in suburbia and aimed at a younger demographic, such as The Brady Bunch over at ABC. In CBS' defense, their new shows such as All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, M*A*S*H, The Bob Newhart Show, Maude, Good Times, One Day at a Time, and The Jeffersons were all successful, often wildly so, with critics and audiences.
    • Essentially, this bookends NBC's cancellation of Star Trek — Nielsen's demographic breakdowns of a show's ratings had become more specific between 1969 and 1971, thus if Trek's early demise (good demos but low overall ratings) was the before, the 1971 CBS Rural Purge (of shows with good overall numbers but lousy 18-to-49 ones) was the after.
    • Similarly, in 1979 CBS canned Wonder Woman and The Amazing Spider-Man while never going forward on the Doctor Strange and Captain America pilots... not because their ratings were poor, but because CBS didn't want to be seen as "The Super Hero Network". Only The Incredible Hulk (1977), which, at that time, had just been featured on a very well-received episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, survived.
      • If certain rumors are correct, This may have bitten CBS in the ass later on. Cue the 2010s, where superheroes and comic properties are less "juvenile embarrassments" and more "sub-divisions of the U.S. Federal Mint" in terms of their overall appeal, and Marvel is looking to expand into television. According to said rumors, veteran Marvel execs remembered CBS's attitude and were adamant that the network would NOT get a piece of the pie. Of course, that history would have been irrelevant since the 1990s, considering Marvel's owner, Disney, owns its own mainstream TV network, ABC, so there is no reason to show their own property on a competitor's. Furthermore, the competing video-on-demand service to CBS', Netflix, had a great reputation for being relaxed about content standards and was eager to get a piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe pie.
  • Unforgettable had Top 20 ratings and was first in its time slot, but got almost no buzz at all and didn't do better than what The Good Wife did the previous season, so it was canceled at the end of the season...only to be Un-Canceled for a Summer run in 2013 upon CBS realizing Lifetime and TNT were kicking the tires of the show to bring it (and CBS "It Girl" Poppy Montgomery) to their network.
  • WKRP in Cincinnati: CBS changed the show's time slot a dozen times in four years, leading to its early cancellation. Although the show was getting decent ratings on Monday nights at 9:30 PM following M*A*S*H, CBS moved it out of that slot as they wanted to free it up for House Calls, which starred former M*A*S*H regular Wayne Rogers, and they also felt that the rock n' roll music and the sex appeal of Loni Anderson were better-suited to an earlier slot, which at that time was thought of as mostly aimed at young people. During the third and fourth seasons, CBS continued to move the show around repeatedly, so much so that cast and crew members claimed that even they didn't know when the show aired. This time slot shuffling hurt the show's ratings and it was eventually canceled in 1982. It probably didn't help matters, however, that MTM co-founder and president Grant Tinker had left the company to become chairman and CEO of NBC the year before.

    Channel Four (UK) 
  • Channel 4 seriously bungled the UK transmission of the first season of Angel due to a bad case of What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?. They initially attempted to broadcast it at 6 pm, due to an assumption that any fantasy show had to be family teatime fare. Despite severe censorship cuts, this still got them formally reprimanded by the Censorship Bureau (due to the sexual content of the second episode, "Lonely Hearts", and the third episode "In the Dark" having many torture scenes and a villain who was stated to be a paedophile). The rest of the season was dumped in a late-night timeslot, and the show never took off in the UK to the degree that its parent Buffy the Vampire Slayer did.
  • Programme creator Phil Redmond felt that this was the very reason that his Soap Opera Brookside was canceled by Channel 4 in 2003.
  • Channel 4's 2004 comedy series Garth Marenghis Darkplace, a spoof "rediscovered" forgotten low-budget British horror-fantasy show from the 1980s, failed to find many viewers and subsequently only had a single series. This was largely blamed on Channel 4's mysteriously failing to do much in the way of promotion for the show, despite signing-up the Perrier award-winning character of the title (played by comedian Matthew Holness). Despite only attracting a small audience on its initial broadcast, word of mouth and DVD sales brought a strong cult following. Even more absurdly, Channel 4 responded not by commissioning a second series but by instead commissioning a spoof chat show (Man to Man with Dean Learner) featuring many of the same actors playing the same characters. Not only did this also flop, but it attracted nothing like the cult following or appreciation of the "parent" series. Why Channel 4 didn't just recommission Darkplace remains a mystery.
  • The comedy-drama Sugar Rush was apparently going to have a third season, but it was canceled by Channel 4 after the second season, which, while not ending on a Cliffhanger as such, does end in a somewhat open-ended fashion. Actresses Olivia Hallinan and Lenora Crichlow, who played Kim and Sugar respectively, were among those displeased with the cancellation, and it was later revealed that Hallinan had a contract for a third and fourth season. The fact that it was rumoured to have been canceled to make way for the eighth series of Big Brother did not help.

    Channel Five (UK) 
  • British fans of The Lying Game could be forgiven for thinking Channel 5 was trying to dump it from the word go: beginning on Five*note  at the end of January 2012 and airing on Mondays, it had a mid-season break at the same point in the story as ABC Family ("East Of Emma"), following which there was a four-month break (twice as long as ABC Family) before the series returned and picked up in September...for two episodes, before another brief break while the series moved to FiveUSA on Saturdays and in a mid-afternoon slot note  And then it got moved again to Sundays!
    • For the second (and final) season it went back to Five* and aired on weekday afternoons at 1pm, which as season two has 10 episodes meant it was burned through at a rate of knots (so most interested viewers could only watch on Five's website). Maybe if it had been a procedural... it's doubtful Five would have bought season three had there been a season three.

  • Despite Empire being a massive hit back in the United States, Rogers put the Canadian broadcasts of the show on Omni Television (a group of stations that airs ethnic programs and many reruns of Two and a Half Men). Granted, had Empire aired on sister network City at the time, it would've forced off Modern Family, one of their bigger shows. However, because Omni was smaller than other broadcast networks, this would cause Empire to not really take off in Canada. Even when the show moved to City for the second season and aired an hour before FOX, most Canadians would take the American airing anyways since they almost always air previews for the next episode and other extras, unlike most Canadian broadcast networks. As a result, halfway through Season 2, City decided to pull the show and stream the remaining episodes to Shomi (a subscription video-on-demand service jointly owned by Rogers and Shaw Communications).
    • Shomi would also end up screwing Empire (among other "exclusive" shows) when the service decided to close in November 2016. Since neither City nor Omni picked up the third season, and FOX's streaming apps & Hulu are exclusive to the United States, Canadian viewers looking to (legally) stream the latest episodes or past seasons are out of luck unless another broadcaster or streaming site steps in.
  • Murdoch Mysteries was canceled after five seasons, despite critical acclaim and being one of the few very popular Canadian Series. CBC would later un-cancel the show, where it's been running strong and has since been both the top show on CBC Television and frequently, if not almost always, one of the Top 30 shows in Canada, something that CBC has otherwise been having trouble in.

  • CNN+ was shut down only a month after launch, putting hundreds of careers on the line including those of high-profile names who were lured away from other networks, such as Kasie Hunt from MSNBC and Chris Wallace from Fox News, with promises of editorial and creative freedom. The explanation given was that CNN management barrelled ahead with the launch of a pet project ahead of major leadership changes and a merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery without considering the new parent company's streaming plans.
  • Connie Chung Tonight had pretty good ratings throughout its run, only to get suspended along with several other CNN shows once the Iraq War started in 2003 (Chung was relegated to reading news headline during that time), unlike the other CNN shows however, Tonight did not return to the network despite being under contract.
  • The reboot of Crossfire in 2013 was pretty much raked over the coals for bringing back the tired "partisan-debate-across-the-table" format which got it canceled the first time, but after network management changes and cutbacks, along with the network's coverage of the missing Malaysian Airlines planes, it ended up going on several long hiatuses and was finally put out of its misery in October 2014.
  • The retooling of CNN's sports news flagship show Sports Tonight in 2001 into a sports phone-in show could either be seen as a laudable attempt to compete with SportsCenter, or a suicidal move by the network to get rid of the last spoke of Ted Turner's 'we cover everything' remit and become a straight news network; the attacks of September 11th, 2001 gave CNN a very convenient excuse to kill the show entirely.
  • Rachel Nichols came to CNN from ESPN with the promise of her own weekly sports show, Unguarded. However it quickly became an unpromoted shell game of a show aired late on Friday nights with zero promotion, and with CNN's cutbacks, it was canceled in October 2014. She waited out the rest of the contract with a skeleton crew and signed back with ESPN the first moment she could.

    Comedy Central 
  • Didn't tune in on the day a Comedy Central show was broadcast? Too bad, so sad, that episode is lost forever. Your only chance is to wait for some random schedule several months from the end of the season's run, usually well past your cable company's guide service, and expect it to run the season incomplete and out of order. The fact that Ugly Americans managed to last more than one season having been treated like this is a miracle in and of itself; most other CC shows haven't been so lucky. This would change with Comedy Central's online presence.
  • Chappelle's Show got this in reverse. Dave Chappelle infamously left the show during production of its third season and would only return to the show provided that the episodes that were already filmed weren't shown, as he felt the humor in those shows went beyond making fun of racism and homophobia and actually encouraged it. Comedy Central went and showed them anyway with Charlie Murphy and Darnell Rawlings (The "Ohhh! He stole that guy's PIZZAS!" guy) as hosts. Dave Chappelle not only did not return but left television and movies entirely, opting to focus on his stand-up career.
  • Important Things with Demetri Martin got this treatment in the middle of its second season. They took a hiatus and got moved to a 3:00 AM death slot for seemingly no reason at all along with The Sarah Silverman Program. It does re-run, but only at 7:00 AM.
    • Unfortunately, this is pretty much par for the course with Comedy Central, hence why it gets a Once per Episode lampshading (and occasional lament) on the very much Adored by the Network Tosh.0, which will go to commercial by replacing its own name with that of a show the network previously screwed.
    Daniel Tosh: We'll be right back with more...I'm not happy about this one...The Sarah Silverman Program.
    • For whatever reason, the network has had some shows, such as The Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show, run their pilot episode in the 3AM death slot. Unsurprisingly, most of these shows don't last long.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 was initially adored by the network, who was still young and could use the show as an easy way to fill its schedule; they even signed the show for a three-season order early in its production. But as time went on, MST3K was constantly moved around the schedule and the popular midnight showings were constantly threatened for removal. The show's very vocal internet fanbase made their displeasure known, but this actually antagonized Comedy Central to the point they frequently ran ads that mocked MSTies and their "bellyaching". Executives also came to hate the length of each episode and tried to have the show riff old sitcoms rather than full movies, but the creators refused. After the three-season order ended with season 5, MST3K was renewed for a full sixth season due to interest in the movie (which was itself screwed by its studio; see the Film subpage for details), but for the seventh season, Comedy Central only ordered six episodes, which were quickly burned off within a month. By then, the network was under the new leadership of Doug Herzog, who professed not to understand the show's sense of humor and resented having it left to him as a legacy program from the previous leadership. He used the excuse of "lackluster ratings" and the show becoming an oddity on the schedule as the network started building an identity to finally cancel it in 1996. MST3K quickly found a new home on the Sci-Fi Channel; see their folder for how they screwed it over.

    The CW 
  • The first thing the network did after The WB and UPN finalized their agreement to merge was to cancel all black-focused sitcoms from its predecessor UPN, the only major network that still gave a damn about them. And cancel it did; three such shows were canceled at the beginning, while any other survivors were killed off the first few years of the network's life.
    • Girlfriends, which survived the initial mass culling, was canceled after two years. It was one of the galling of all, as it had been one of the longest-running black-led sitcoms at the time of its end. Although the Writers' Strike was partly to blame, its fate dispelled any doubts that The CW was trying to focus solely on its white audiences.
    • One on One was the most notable victim. Originally created to replace the similarly-axed Moesha, it ended up suffering the same fate (Executive Meddling during the last season, an unresolved cliffhanger, etc.). The show's fifth and final season aired while UPN and The WB were in serious negotiations, which resulted in the decision for the mass canning. The series was canceled three days after the new network's debut, using the weak excuse that there were no available slots to air the show. Of course, nobody bought it.
  • Aliens In America, despite receiving good reviews and having decent ratings, got the worst treatment by not only being moved to Sundays but never even airing the later episodes. Needless to say, its ratings were pretty much destroyed (Doesn't help that the Writers Strike caused the last few episodes of its first and only season to never be finished).
  • The Game (2006), spin-off of the aforementioned Girlfriends, was canceled after three seasons despite getting solid ratings. BET then picked it up and gave it another go. For six whole seasons. Its debut on BET was the highest-rated sitcom premiere on cable TV in history, making the CW look foolish as a result.
  • The last seasons of Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars had so much executive meddling from Dawn Ostroff and the other people at UPN who somehow fell upward into the executive suite of the new network that the slam-dunk "Girl Power Tuesday"' dream lineup which had been gushed about by critics and fans at the time of the merger ended up failing miserably. This was due to The CW forcing the shows to hire writers that didn't know anything about either show's canon (certainly not helping was The CW not allowing Amy Sherman-Palladino to continue with Gilmore Girls), insulting the intelligence of their fanbase by hyper-focusing on the lead actors of each show when both programs had been built on ensemble casts, forcing Veronica to abandon the season-wide arcs of the past for "crime of the week" episodes, and finally the "Content Wrap" (an advertising concept created by the network putting a brand front and center in a non-subtle way) deal with American Eagle Outfitters which forced the Aerie Girls onto fanbases that considered them completely against the spirit of both series.
  • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight's two-part series finale was never aired; it was put on 4Kids' website to watch. The announcement that the last two episodes would be online was actually made immediately after the last broadcast.
  • Life Is Wild premiered in a Sunday-night timeslot and was sure to be canceled after the first season. And then it did, as well as Hidden Palms.
    • Both of them were victims of The CW deciding to throw out The WB's plan to expand their horizons and go into more expensive programming (UPN was infamous for spending as little on their shows as possible). As Life is Wild was shot on location in South Africa, it was screwed from the moment UPN and WB executives walked out together on January 24, 2006.
  • The CW rented out the Sunday-night slots for the 2008-09 season to Media Rights Capital. The shows — 4Real, In Harm's Way, Easy Money, and Valentine - didn't get any advertising whatsoever. They scored such terrible ratings that The CW repossessed the timeslot and put in reruns of The Drew Carey Show and Jericho (2006), plus movies. The ratings immediately jumped back to pre-rent-a-block levels (although still test-pattern low), and after the season The CW gave up completely on Sundays for nearly ten years and gave the time back to their stations. It returned to Sundays in the fall of 2018, but with only two hours which were easier to program.
  • Dawn Ostroff, the network's first president of entertainment, dislikes sci-fi and focused on shilling out dramas the likes of 90210 and Gossip Girl. Needless to say, that spelled out trouble for The WB side (and you thought only UPN was screwed).
    • Ironically, one show that Ostroff tried to screw repeatedly and never succeeded in was Smallville. Repeatedly firing and replacing writers, sometimes in between seasons, moving the show from its very popular timeslot on Thursday to Friday for no reason, and cutting the budget of one season in half and giving it to The Vampire Diaries, it was obvious she just wanted this show to die. But despite all the changes, Smallville managed to hang onto good ratings and the series ended on its own terms and not on hers.
    • Supernatural received similar treatment, and people involved with the show have begun to publicly state that Ostroff was out to kill it. While it stayed on Thursdays and followed The Vampire Diaries up to Season 5, the following season it was moved to the Friday Night Death Slot running against Grimm and Fringe. Supernatural got the last laugh, however. The show survived the death slot for two full seasons and moved to Wednesdays. Ultimately, Supernatural ran for fifteen seasons, ending in 2020, while 90210 and Gossip Girl ended during the 2012-2013 season, a year after Ostroff resigned and replaced by Mark Pedowitz, who began reorganization of the network and — get this — actually likes sci-fi (thus the Arrowverse was born).
  • While Reaper did get the dignity of a second season, it still got screwed over by CW. Like the many other shows they screwed over, Reaper suffered mostly through lack of advertising. Go look at the ratings for each season 2 episode — they plummet, and plummet hard, about halfway through. One cast member later mocked the network's protestations of innocence, saying "They say they're disappointed? We're disappointed!" and points out how the network basically refused to promote the show.
  • Reba, despite high ratings, was canceled by The CW due to the fact the show isn't what is considered the network's target demographic. Oddly enough, The WB renewed it for two more seasons, but CW, since it was new at the time, only gave it 13 episodes, and aired it on Sunday nights.
  • The network's "Red Wedding" of 2022 saw the cancellations of ten series (comprising half of the scripted series that were on its 2021-22 schedule), many of which had devoted fan followings regardless of their overall ratings performance. While ratings played a major factor for the ending of some series (like Dynasty (2017), which managed to run for five seasons despite being the lowest-rated scripted series on broadcast TV for most of its run), others (namely Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow, which were axed strictly because Warner Bros. chose not to continue leases on their respective soundstages, and Legacies, which is thought to have been canned because of high production costs) were dropped because they became more costly to produce. The spate of cancellations was the result of three factors: 1) CW parents Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global exploring the sale of (at least) a majority share of the network to Nexstar Media Groupnote  2) the 2019 termination of a streaming deal with Netflix (which had acted as an additional revenue stream that helped keep many of the shows, like Dynasty, on the air longer),note  and 3) the companies' growing difficulties continuing to profit from international syndication sales of CW shows.
  • Despite decent ratings, The Secret Circle was canned by The CW after one season. Apparently, it's not even going to get a DVD release, although the complete series is available for streaming on Netflix.
    • Though the reason it lost out its spot to Hart of Dixie came down to cost: Hart of Dixie was much cheaper to produce with similar ratings.

    Discovery Channel 
  • Discovery Channel seriously screwed up Dinosaur Revolution — there were originally six episodes planned (plus another six-episode companion series), but for some reason, only a mere four materialized. There were to be no talking heads and no narration, and the stories were to be told purely through the visuals and animal vocalizations...but that was changed too, as the two sister shows got merged together. This format change also caused some confusion among viewers, as the show was meant to be a comedy with dinosaurs acting like cartoon animals, yet the finished version was presented as a serious documentary. The worst example is the fact that the last two episodes were set to air on September 11, 2011, but were hastily rescheduled to September 13 and moved to the Science Channel, where only a few dino fans managed to watch them.
    • In an effort to make up for this mess, they eventually released a theatrical movie titled Dinotasia which attempted to salvage most of the series and present it as it was originally intended, but even so it had to be subjected to some major cuts, and the film became a critical failure.
  • Mythbusters was bumped to Saturday nights in 2013 in what was seen as a definite attempt to kill the show by Discovery. What confirmed it though was the final episode of the show's 2014 cycle seeing all three members of the build team, Kari, Tori, and Grant given the 'good luck in future endeavors' treatment suddenly at the end of the episode due to alleged 'budget cuts'. Judging from former companion show Sons of Guns being pulled a week later due to deviant behavior from that show's star, the money from that show could've gone right back to Mythbusters immediately. The show lasted two more seasons with Adam & Jamie alone and an extreme change in format; thankfully the final episode featured a reunion with all five Mythbusters seeing the show off.

  • E!'s The Daily 10 was announced for cancellation coincidentally, about a week after guest host "Psycho" Mike Catherwood made an extremely crude and lame "prison rape" joke about Adam Lambert, who is openly gay. Naturally, regular hosts Catt Sadler and Sal Masakela were screwed out of a job because of what Catherwood did.
  • For some reason, E! decided to convert its main news show, E! News from a traditional Los Angeles-based evening entertainment newscast to a morning show at the start of 2020, where E! had absolutely no presence over the years outside of sitcom reruns and infomercials. It moved to New York with completely new hosts (and a cramped studio whose previous purpose was a place to put MSNBC talking heads behind a New York background), and was now inexplicably forced to compete with the 20+ other New York morning and talk shows for celebrity appearances, and what celebrities they could get were rejects from in-house competitor (literally several floors down) Today. The low-viewed experiment would have just been futile in the end, but COVID-19 shut down the show in March 2020 permanently after only two months in New York, along with E!'s entire 2020 live programming strategy (which also did in a reboot of The Soup), likely putting the entire network in danger of shutting down after the Kardashians move to Hulu. The only live hosted programming left on the network (Daily Pop & Nightly Pop) is likely only on the air due to long-term deals and those hosts' willingness to do the shows from home. The news operation does continue online, but it has no public face or show on E! to drive viewership.
  • Catt Sadler would quit the network altogether in December 2017 after she found out that her male co-host who’d started at the network only a year before she did and has the same level of education she does was making twice as much as she did.
  • In December 2015, The Soup ended its run after being on the air for 11 years. It didn't end because of dwindling ratings, mind you. According to host Joel McHale, after Chelsea Handler left E! for Netflix and the death of Joan Rivers, E! no longer had a very strong comedy brand. To make matters even worse, E! stopped airing repeats of episodes in order to avoid paying writersnote . To add insult to injury, E! asked the writers of The Soup to stop making fun of the Kardashians, who had become E!'s golden goose.

    France 3 (France) 
  • The first and most successful iteration of the morning and afternoon kids puppet show Les Minikeums ran from 1993 to 2000. France 3 youth programs manager Eve Baron then decided, despite great audience scores, to drastically change it in 2000, renaming it MNK, reducing the lineup to 6 puppets, suppressing the comedic skits, and replacing the colorful sets with a grey futuristic city background in CGI. Audience dwindled and the show was terminated in 2002. It was revived 15 years later in 2017, with a new lineup.

    G4/The Esquire Network 
  • The Screen Savers, among most other Tech TV shows. The G4 execs fired most of the existing TechTV talent (the shining example being Leo LaPorte), moved some shows around, canceled other shows, and retooled shows like The Screen Savers into Attack of the Show!.

  • Global dropped Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers after only a few episodes because of only TWO complaints from parents who believed the show was too violent for children. Kids' cable channel YTV also aired the show, and they dropped the show after the same number of episodes, leading to a joke from one of the channel's hosts where he made fun of a complaint on the air. Unless viewers had cable so they could watch it on FOX, there was no other solution because the franchise was stuck in limbo for many years.
  • When Modern Family did a Channel Hop from Citytv to Global for its final season, it often started later than intended because it aired immediately after Survivor and sometimes, that show went overtime. NTV, an independent station in St. John's, Newfoundland that gets most of its programming from Global, constantly switched Modern Family's timeslot and not even airing new episodes at several points. At least on Citytv, the show had consistent promotion, a timeslot that coincided with ABC's airing, and two strip-syndicated episodes every day at the same time.
    • When NTV aired ER, it aired at midnight Newfoundland time, leaving fans with faulty VCRs and/or no cable annoyed. This has happened with many other popular shows, including NYPD Blue and How I Met Your Mother.
    • Gilmore Girls, King of the Hill, and Malcolm in the Middle have all had the misfortune of airing new episodes at 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Since these shows had significant teenage fanbases, this was probably for the better so they could have something to watch while their parents cooked dinner or if they were bored at dinner time (Sunday dinner is a tradition in Newfoundland).
    • At times, NTV has screwed over Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! because though Wheel airs at 5:00 p.m. and Jeopardy! airs at 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, both shows have aired in late-night timeslots in the past, when both shows were airing new episodes as opposed to summer reruns.
  • Global constantly preempted Party of Five for sports, leading teenage fans to write angry letters to the network demanding that the show air at its intended time. This was especially hard for viewers who didn't have cable to watch it on Fox.

HBO has a remarkable record for almost never doing this to its shows, with most getting either a full run, or at least partial closure, as well as decent treatment otherwise: no screwed up schedules, no PR letdowns, etcetera; this applies even to its most critically drubbed series such as Arli$$, The Mind of the Married Man and Jonah From Tonga. Still, there have been a couple examples.
  • Carnivàle was actually partially screwed over because the network thought too much of it due to when it was greenlit, expecting the extremely dense supernatural period piece to post better numbers than breakout hit The Sopranos. In the words of show creator Daniel Knauf, "They just hadn't had failure, so they were a little crazy. If they hadn't been, I don't think they would have ever done Carnivàle in a million years." He did go on to point out that their ratings at the time would still make them very successful on HBO today, though. There was also a considerable amount of Executive Meddling in plots, particularly in the second season.
  • In the summer of 2022, following the Warner Media/Discovery Inc. merger, HBO Max announced that they would be shutting down production of their originals made in the Nordic countries, Central Europe, Turkey, the Netherlands and Brazil as a cost-saving measure. Some unnamed projects that had already been greenlit are still going to get made as of this writing, but might then get licensed to other streaming services instead of being released on HBO Max. To top it all off, the service also removed all of these series in order to open up for license agreements with them.
  • Rome got a bit of this, being deemed too expensive and canceled after two seasons, although they had time to wrap up current plots. HBO execs later admitted canceling it was a mistake, partly done due to a loss of funding from the BBC... see the entry under that folder for how the BBC screwed them.
  • Despite Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's intention to wrap up the story with the fifth season, HBO canceled Westworld citing the low ratings and the expensive costs to produce episodes. Though the main cast is still paid for the unproduced season. And just like several HBO shows that got booted out from HBO Max because of the merger of Warner Brothers and Discovery, Westworld is not spared from this though it would be dropped off into other streaming services that are free and ad-supported.

  • The treatment of Barney & Friends in the United Kingdom was harsh, to say the least. In 1994, ITV picked up the rights to air the show and didn't promote it as often as their other preschool programmes like Tots TV, Sooty, or Magic Adventures of Mumfie. When it did air, it aired at 7:00AM on a Saturday with little promotion and would often be preempted. The Children's Channel was a little nicer with the show, airing it daily-but at the same time as CITV's preschool shows! Unfortunately, at the same time TCC went off the air, CITV moved Barney to 5:30 AM on weekends, and it was canceled 2 months later.
  • Crossroads was never a stellar piece of drama and in fact became a by-word for So Bad, It's Good. But the death-knell of the show was spurred by the regionalisation of ITV. In The '70s this meant that Northern regions such as Granada and Yorkshire were six months ahead of Southern English regions in screening the long-running soap opera. ITV management decreed that national coverage should be harmonized. Rather than giving the south double doses of the show till the region caught up, a solution was created where In-Universe, main character Meg Richardson (Noele Gordon) featured in a special episode. This began with Meg in her office talking to her son Sandy - then she looked right into the camera and started to address the viewers. Sandy looked 'startled' and said something like "you're not allowed to do that". The character then addressed the viewers directly, summing up what for many British viewers would be six months worth of missing, now never-to-be-seen, storylines, so as to bring viewers up to date. Viewers had been forewarned by the continuity announcer prior to the show that "Noel Gordon was to give a special announcement". But a bad, some might say deliberate, decision by TV execs broke the spell for viewers and the writing was on the wall for this show.
  • Sapphire and Steel got badly screwed as a result of the regional ITV franchise changing hands from ATV to Central. What turned out to be the final story had its transmission delayed as a result, and the issues of the TV Times for those weeks wrongly showed the transmission as a repeat (whether this was deliberate sabotage or due to a miscommunication related to the network instability remains a mystery).
  • Sledge Hammer! passed under the radar in Britain as while various ITV regions bought the show, it was never seen in London where both Thames and London Weekend rejected it for screening.note  (And yet Thames had no qualms about subjecting luckless viewers to Dusty's Trail.) This illustrates the sad fact that in this respect, Britain Is Only London. It doesn't matter how good or worthwhile an imported TV show is - if it isn't screened in London where the decision-makers and the big-name critics are, you might as well forget it. In The '80s and The '90s, Granada also screened some fantastically good cop shows from France and Germany - but these passed without a ripple as they were only being seen in unfashionable backwater places like Manchester and Liverpool. Three decades later, BBC4 rediscovered non-American crime shows...

  • Noah's Arc (essentially Queer as Folk with blacks and Latinos) was canceled by Logo after Season 2 despite being the highest-rated and most critically-acclaimed show on the channel along with bringing some much-needed representation to gay media. Network execs were shocked by the outcry from fans and said they'd bring it back if The Movie was a success. It was, but Logo didn't keep their word.

  • The highly-publicized case involving DirecTV and Viacom-owned channels is unique in which one side kept claiming it was the other's fault for pulling the channels. DirecTV said Viacom forced them to remove the channels despite DTV not wanting to remove them, while Viacom kept harking that it was DTV's sole decision. Nonetheless, the dispute was mainly over a series of movie channels called MGM+ (then known as Epix) that Viacom wanted DirecTV to add as an "all or nothing" endeavor. However, even that's disputable depending on which side you ask (Viacom said it wasn't forcing Epix on DTV, while DTV says otherwise). Even then, the issue was soon resolved, with a deal in which DTV has the option to add Epix.
    • The channels still remain in limbo for DirecTV, and it doesn't seem as though DTV is in any hurry to add the channels since they claim that the channels were the reason for why rates for customers would've gone up if Viacom had their way to begin with. More to the point, DTV didn't even mention the Epix channels at first, only being forced to when Viacom claimed that talks "broke down", making DTV counter with the reason being the dispute over Epix.
  • It's a bit more complicated than that; the movie rights Epix had used to be with Showtime when Viacom and CBS were merged together, but after CBS took Showtime in the 2005 split between the two companies, Paramount decided to raise the price for their films (which around that time, and still are outside a few titles, weren't grossing very well), and CBS wasn't willing to pay it. So Viacom decided to keep those movie rights in-house and poached some other rights for other studios like the budding Lionsgate and the flailing MGM from Showtime and created a pay package around it. Most of the major cable companies held out as long as they could since they considered Viacom's creation of Epix to be useless and a blatant consumer cash-grab outside of a few highlight films; even in 2014 its film inventory more resembled the free This TV with a few more modern movies than HBO, it has no original series outside of stand-up specials, and features only D-list boxing and MMA promotions of interest only to the families of the fighters. Those major providers eventually relented when it was packaged in with MTV and Nickelodeon carriage agreements that they pretty much had to keep on Viacom's terms, though Comcast, Cablevision, and U-Verse, along with many smaller providers have held out from carrying the channel; it was one of the factors which caused Suddenlink and Cable One to just throw the Viacom networks off the air entirely. Basically, the channels really have no reason to exist outside of a Tantrum Throwing excuse by Viacom that Showtime didn't want to pay more for films that flopped to add to their schedule, and besides creative cable providers who spread the cost out creatively by bundling it into regular channel packages, has not really made any dent in the market at all, while Showtime has thrived with an expansion of their original series and grabbing film rights from smaller studios to make up for their losses in library content.
  • As of 2019 though, the situation has gotten a little better. Lionsgate bought Starz in 2017, and due to antitrust concerns, decided to sell their stake in the network. A few months later, Viacom decided to also sell, with MGM buying both stakes, and now owning the network in full. In the meantime, competent executives and creatives were hired for the network and it was decided to veer towards much more original content. The network, also knowing that the price under the three-company ownership was unjustifiable, reduced their carriage price, and also began to offer it in an online form for a very reasonable $5/month. There is a possibility it may re-lose the Paramount library to Showtime with the 2019 re-merger of Viacom and CBS, but at this point without Viacom's management meddling, it looks to be recovering.

  • Comcast became involved in a slight controversy in which they were accused of screwing over a channel. In 2008, at the height of the presidential race, Comcast decided to move MSNBC (which had just begun seeing ratings successes by airing progressive-leaning primetime hosts as opposed to Fox News Channel's right-leaning ones, thereby tapping into a yet untapped demographic) to a digital tier that had a higher asking price in many markets. Some thought the move was to push the right-wing agenda more (as Fox News was never moved from its expanded basic lineup), and the move came at an odd time: when then-candidate Barack Obama was gaining popularity. However, this was quelled immediately due to Comcast also moving G4 (a channel it owns) to the same tier.
    • In an interesting twist, though, Comcast now owns NBC, which means that it basically owns MSNBC now. Despite that, it has yet to move the channel since that time.
  • The end(s) of Countdown With Keith Olbermann were apparently this. To hear it from Olbermann, MSNBC bosses wanted to muzzle his political commentary after the unfortunate death of Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert, who championed the show. MSNBC initially tried to suspend Olbermann after he donated money to Democratic congressional candidates in violation of network policy, but an outcry from Olbermann's viewers led to the suspension ending early. Then, a few months later, Olbermann was forced to abruptly sign off from Countdown permanently about 20 minutes after being told he had been released from his MSNBC contract.
    • Comcast was once again accused of trying to punish MSNBC for its progressive stance by ending Countdown, which took place just a few days after Comcast took over NBC Universal and, with it, MSNBC. Several left-wing bloggers came up with fevered conspiracy theories claiming that Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell were the next ones who would be axed, and vowed to never watch the channel again. In truth, Comcast had little to do with what had been an internal conflict between Olbermann and MSNBC honchos.
    • In MSNBC's defense, Olbermann is notorious for being very demanding and difficult to work with. The fact that he was given a lucrative job and a powerful position with Current TV, and managed to get himself fired within one year was a testament to some serious male Prima Donna behavior that went on behind the scenes. The righteous outrage from Olbermann's fanbase was noticeably muted the second time he was given the boot.
    • This had actually been the second time Olbermann had been fired by MSNBC. He hosted a prime-time program in The '90s called The Big Show, but was canned when he mocked the network's gratuitous coverage of the Monica Lewinsky scandal in a college commencement address.
  • Phil Donahue's exit from MSNBC in 2003, before the start of the Iraq War, is considered a notorious case. Despite being MSNBC's most successful primetime host, Donahue made the mistake of openly opposing the war at a time when the network was still trying to emulate the right-wing jingoism of Fox News. MSNBC fired Donahue because, according to a leaked memo, he was a "difficult public face for NBC in a time of war."
  • In February 2016, Melissa Harris-Perry publicly complained that MSNBC's coverage of the presidential primaries kept preempting her eponymous weekend show, and refused to continue hosting until the situation was rectified. Instead, MSNBC announced that they and Harris-Perry would part ways, effectively canceling her show permanently.

  • The Turn of the Millennium was when non-music-related shows took over MTV's schedule, pushing music videos into the late night and early morning hours. Most importantly, the rise of online sources meant that people no longer needed to watch MTV to get their music video fix, which led to MTV diverting even more hours away from music programming. In 2010, the network officially dropped the "Music Television" subtitle. Since December 2016, MTV has all but abandoned playing music outside of special occasions like the Video Music Awards.
  • Finding Carter was canned by MTV after two seasons due to low ratings after ending its second season on a cliffhanger. The number of episodes ordered was cut in half for the second season.
  • A likely justified screwing came with MTV's Happyland, a 2014 dramedy based in a Disney-esque theme park which had a plot where the lead character may be having a romantic interest in her previously-unknown half-brother, a relationship she does not know she holds. The network attempted to market it as a serious companion to Awkward.. After said lead actress decided to make light of said plot point at the summer critic's tour by commenting that "incest is hot, and we’re going to have fun!", any goodwill the show had immediately evaporated and it became known among TV critics on Twitter as 'that incest show' and the butt of many jokes among the TV Twitterati (along with the "in" obsession that year of the Parents Television Council). The network gave up any attempt to market the show, put it at an 11 pm slot usually reserved for repeats and shameful shows, and Happyland ended quietly after its first season with no buzz or fanbase to speak of.
  • Headbanger's Ball was a popular show that aired Saturday nights on MTV beginning in 1987. The Ball (as it was nicknamed by its fans) aired for two hours and played hard rock, Heavy Metal, and Hair Metal music videos. The show also featured interviews with musicians as well as "road trip" specials where the cast of the show would accompany bands to various locations around the world. It was one of the most popular shows on MTV and for a while was one of the network's flagship shows. The show even remained popular during the 1990s, when alternative rock and hip-hop became the most popular genres of music. But in January of 1995, Headbanger's Ball was abruptly canceled without warning. The host of the show, Riki Rachtman, was called by the network and informed that he would not need to come into work the following week. Rachtman pleaded with the network to allow him and the rest of the crew to make a "farewell episode" for the show, but the request was denied. Headbanger's Ball was Uncanceled in 2003, but many believe the new version of the show to be inferior to its predecessor.
  • I Love Money 4 got into a whole heap of trouble here and needs a good amount of explanation to get through. For years VH1 had relied on the ...of Love series such as Rock of Love and Flavor of Love as their big-hitting shows, but soon a double-whammy pretty much killed off all the different series and spinoffs at once — the first was a general decline in viewers which, while the numbers still made the shows the highest -watched ones on the channel, were still declining nonetheless. The much heavier blow came during the run of Megan Wants a Millionaire as one of the contestants, Ryan Jenkins, was found to have murdered a model and escaped the country, later found to have shot and killed himself. This caused the mid-season cancellation of the series and also shelving of the spin-off series I Love Money for which two back-to-back seasons had been shot (Season 3 containing Jenkins himself, rumored to have won the entire thing making any edit job impossible).
    • Soon, however, I Love Money 4 began appearing in the schedules without so much as a mention from VH1 other than the show being listed in production company Endemol's overseas ordering system. It was released quickly and quietly in the 11pm dead-zone and then through the series run, shifted from Wednesday to Thursday and back again to 10pm and back to 11pm once more.
      • Amusingly, because of a large word-of-mouth campaign, the viewing figures actually held up well and more often than not beat out the viewership of many of the highly pushed main shows. VH1 however still didn't take any notice and apart from a Rock of Love - Where Are They Now? special (which once again beat all other highly-pushed shows on the week), they seem to have ignored the series now as a whole.
  • In 1996, MTV created a sister network called M2. Later known as MTV2, it was dedicated entirely to music to answer concerns over the main network's shift in programming. After introducing the "two-headed dog" logo in 2005, hip-hop became the dominant genre and the channel more or less became "MTV with Hip-Hop and Rock videos". When Viacom's 2017 restructuring plan went into effect, the network scrapped its remaining original programming, and eventually stopped airing its early morning music video blocks, leaving it with nothing but rerun fare.
  • The indie rock-centric Subterranean, was pushed into the unsatisfactory timeslot of 1:00 AM on Friday mornings by MTV2 before being canned in 2011.

  • 30 Rock: The show's 2020 reunion special, which also doubled as an upfront presentation for NBCUniversal as a whole, saw it's initial NBC broadcast preempted by well over half of the network's affiliates, including (and notably) many affiliates owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Nexstar Media Group, Tegna, Gray Television, Hearst Television and Graham Media Group (as mentioned below), largely as these stations viewed the special as a glorified 60-minute commercial for Peacock, and also the fact that the special itself would be airing commercial-free, a fact that did not sit well with these stations, whose advertising revenues had been harshly impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • ALF:
    • As Season 4 came to an end, NBC wasn't guaranteeing another season but did promise at least one extra final episode to resolve the cliffhanger the season ended on. They ended up giving the show nothing in the end, and the series ended with ALF becoming a military prisoner.
    • There was a follow-up TV movie a few years later called Project: ALF. It featured ALF, still a prisoner but generally alright and still his old irreverent self, but the rest of the cast was written out with a one-line Put on a Bus. Also, it didn't even air on NBC, but on ABC.
    • There was also that talk show on TV Land, but let's not speak of that.
  • American Dreams: Performed fairly decently in its original Sunday-night timeslot, but it wasn't enough. NBC played a wise move and moved the show to Wednesdays at 10 in direct competition with CBS' Survivor: Palau and ABC's Lost. The show was canceled despite many fan campaigns, but the producers were able to film a brief finale to Wrap It Up, but NBC ultimately decided not to broadcast the finale, leaving many viewers hanging.
  • Betty White's 1950s variety show The Betty White Show featured a black tap dancer, Arthur Duncan, which didn't fly too well in those days with the southern affiliates. White, in no uncertain terms, told the network where they could shove their criticism and gave Duncan even more airtime. NBC responded by bouncing the show between numerous time slots, which affected its viewership, before canceling it at year's end.
  • Bionic Woman: The 2007 version didn't set the world on fire, but NBC nonetheless said it was sticking by the series when production and broadcast had to be halted due to the Hollywood writers strike. Cast members for upcoming episodes were announced, and NBC indicated several times that the show would be allowed to at least complete its 13-episode commitment. A DVD set of the episodes that had been aired was commissioned and promoted as "Season 1 Part 1". But this apparent show of support disappeared after a couple of months and NBC canceled the show anyway. (There are likely other series impacted similarly, and to be fair there were likely other issues such as actor availability at work in the decision to cancel, but this example is notable for the public show of support given the series before the network turned its back on it, thereby, if nothing else, casting the impression of it being screwed.)
  • Boomtown (2002): This show was an interesting experiment. It featured numerous characters, overlapping storylines, out-of-order timelines, and unusual visual techniques. It could conceivably have caught on as a cult show but unfortunately it didn't find an audience. NBC deserves credit for trying something different and for bringing the low-rated show back for a second season. However, the show was given a retool by NBC in season 2, removing most of the unique elements in an attempt to make the show more like Law & Order in hopes of getting similar ratings, but they canceled it anyways and refused to air the remaining season 2 episodes.
  • Breakthrough with Tony Robbins: Airing in Summer 2010, was screwed by NBC because it was the last program approved (for midseason) by programming non-wunderkind Ben Silverman before the merciful end of his tenure as president of the network. As anyone in the entirety of both NBC Universal and the universe but Ben and Tony knew nobody was going to watch what was pretty much a one-hour infomercial in primetime, the program got a cheap budget, the infamously lousy Tuesday at 8pm time slot, and was absolutely not promoted at all beyond the required synopsis and a Today fourth hour interview with Robbins (you get into Hota & Kathie Lee & Wine territory for a promo interview and you know your show is the network's shame of the moment). It also wasn't broadcast in HD, a Kiss of Death for a program in 2010 unless you're on public access. It died a swift and merciful death after two weeks to be shoved off to shame on, with the episodes finally (barely) seeing the light of day on the ever-cursed Oprah Winfrey Network.
  • Chuck: Was a mild example of this. While the show was a critical success, the show was never a huge ratings hit. This resulted in every season starting with season 2 being a potential final season. In fact, were it not for a large fan campaign and a sponsorship by Subway, the 2nd Season might have actually been the final season...
  • Community had a number of staff changes and Executive Meddling that ultimately cast the series to its grave. First, Season 4 was cut from the regular 24 episodes to 13, and the series was then announced for the infamous Friday Night Death Slot. Adding insult to injury, creator and showrunner Dan Harmon got replaced without his knowledge, and then the series was pulled before the premiere, with NBC claiming they "wanted to use the new hits on their schedule to better promote their upcoming series". This prompted a snarky response from the show, commenting that even though the show would premiere on October 19, the network "couldn't decide where to put October 19th." The real reason is that they needed to hold it and Whitney to replace other comedy bombs - in Whitney's case, Wednesdays at 8 in place of megabomb Animal Practice. Community returned on February 7 to the same Thursday night slot it's always held, once 30 Rock ended its run. Needless to say, the show was canceled by NBC at the end of its fifth season, although several have noted that it's lucky it got to have a fifth season, with its perennially low ratings as a result of the fifth season shakeup. Yahoo later picked the series up for a sixth season in hopes that the series would live on. That hope was shattered when, after the season ended, Yahoo declared it a financial failure and pinned it for having to write off $42 million in earnings, ultimately taking down its Yahoo Screen service and a couple of other shows with it.
  • Constantine: The DC Comics based-series aired in the Friday Night Death Slot, and NBC cut the original order of episodes from 22 to 13. Despite a strong online fandom and decent ratings, NBC elected not to renew the series.
  • A Different World: Season six's declining ratings led to NBC shelving the show from the schedule, in early 1993, while production continued. During the hiatus, NBC announced the show's cancellation. The series returned with the one-hour Grand Finale in May of that year, before leaving once more. The show returned one more time during the summer airing five of the remaining unaired episodes; the last three never aired on NBC, but later aired as part of the show's syndication package.
  • Freaks and Geeks: Not only was this show given an inconvenient Saturday-evening timeslot, but several episodes were left unaired (until Fox Family picked up the series) simply because the NBC executives didn't like them. For example, the episode "Kim Kelly Is My Friend" was left unaired because NBC felt it was too violent/scary for what they (wrongly) perceived as a children's show.
  • Hannibal:
  • Harry's Law: This legal comedy-drama about a fired Patent Attorney who opens a law office in an abandoned shoe store was successful enough to get a second season. NBC decided to retool the show, moving the law office upstairs and mostly neglecting the shoe store and comedy aspect. Despite the changes, Harry's Law was NBC's highest-rated drama - but with people in their 40s and older. So they canceled it after its second season.
  • Heroes Reborn: In an attempt to reboot the once-popular Heroes franchise, NBC greenlit Heroes Reborn, in a tough Thursday 8 PM timeslot dominated by Grey's Anatomy and later (after Thursday Night Football) episodes of The Big Bang Theory. If the ratings didn't kill the show, the poor reviews did.
    • For that matter, NBC didn't do the original Heroes any favors when they moved it up an hour to accommodate The Jay Leno Show. The show's already declining ratings fell even further as a result, leading to its cancellation after four seasons.
  • Hunter: This TV series was canceled in 1991 due to star Fred Dryer demanding a $50,000 pay raise that NBC refused to pay, though it being on after seven seasons and having several casting changes didn't help either. It did get closure though through several TV movies and was almost rebooted in 2003 as a weekly series again.
  • Imagine That: This Hank Azaria show aired two episodes, and that was it. He got three episodes for Free Agents on NBC in 2011, which was a workplace dramedy mismatched with Whitney Cummings's self-titled three-camera sitcom.
  • The Jim Henson Hour: Despite being critically acclaimed and being nominated for several Emmy Awards, the show aired in the Friday night death slot, right against Full House and Perfect Strangers, where it achieved very low ratings. After four episodes, it was moved to Sunday nights. However, the show performed even worse in the ratings, and NBC canceled the series after only 9 of the 12 episodes had aired.
  • Joey: This Friends Spin-Off got screwed by NBC in its second season when it was moved to the timeslot opposite American Idol (a fate nearly as bad as, if not worse than, the Friday Night Death Slot) and of course its ratings soon declined considerably. Even worse, the show was suddenly canceled mid-season with no warning, leaving eight episodes unaired in the U.S. The only way to see them (other than downloading them of course) is to import the somewhat pricey season 2 DVD from Canada.
  • Kings: When this show first premiered, NBC had put it in the 8:00 PM Sunday timeslot. However, despite the show's unique concept, strong cast, and high production quality, NBC decided to relegate the fledgling series to Saturday nights after airing just four episodes, where steadily declining ratings eventually killed it.
  • Little House on the Prairie: Averted, but barely. By the late 1970s, NBC was desperate for a unique, original, innovative hit that network executives were hoping the public would be clamoring for ... something different. Little House was one of the network's few hits, if not ratings winners. So why mess with a good thing? After the end of the fourth season (1977-1978), someone apparently decided that a logical ending to the series was at hand: the timeline was at a point where the real-life Mary Ingalls lost her eyesight (due to a number of illnesses), so a script was commissioned where Melissa Sue Anderson's character would lose her eyesight and move to a school in Burr Oak, Iowa. As a secondary storyline, an economic depression hits southern Minnesota, and Walnut Grove (where the series was set) takes a seemingly fatal blow. In the end, the families of Walnut Grove, including the centerpiece families of the Ingalls, Olesons, and Garveys, decide to move elsewhere. This was at one point, at least according to some sources, intended as the series finale ... and its replacements were intended to be such "innovative" series as Supertrain (The Love Boat, set aboard a passenger train), and Cliffhangers (an attempt to revitalize interest in the old serial dramas of the 1930s and 1940s). But whatever the reason, good sense prevailed and a fifth season was ordered ... thereby averting the trope.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: In its first two seasons, the splashy spy series became one of the most popular shows on American TV and sparked a homegrown variant of Bondmania. For the third season it was decided to capitalize on the then-current "camp" craze popularized by Batman and transform UNCLE into a spy comedy with ridiculous storylines and scenes like one in which the hero dances with a gorilla. Audiences abandoned the series; the decision to revert back to a more serious storytelling model for Season 4 was too little, too late, and the once-popular show was canceled by midseason. Had the decision not been made to change the tone, there's every chance UNCLE could have run for several more years.
  • Marry Me (2014): It looked to have it pretty good, it aired in the 9pm Tuesday slot after The Voice, but, midway through the season, it had its lead-in of The Voice taken away, and without its lead-in ratings collapsed. The show was pulled from the schedule by the time The Voice returned, and there are four episodes that remain unaired.
  • Medium: This show was one of NBC's strongest performers (which isn't saying much), but was constantly put on hiatus and was treated like filler on its Monday lineup. Then CBS picked it up...and won the Friday Night Death Slot. The return of Jay Leno leading to the removal of all of NBC's 10pm shows at the time was also a factor.
  • Miami Vice: This show itself was screwed by putting it on opposite Dallas, then moving to Sunday night. In addition, the network was so eager to open up the show's timeslot, just after it was moved back to Friday nights, that they "burned off" four Season 5 episodes just before the finale. While two of them were largely inconsequential, the other two ("World of Trouble" and "Too Much, Too Late") wrapped up storylines going all the way back to Season 1. The latter also featured the final appearance of Pam Grier's character Valerie and gave more context to Switek and Tubbs' decisions in the finale. The episodes didn't air on television until USA picked up the syndication rights a year later, but are included in the DVD box sets.
  • My Name Is Earl:
    • In Germany, this show got the worst treatment in existence. The first run of season one was at 11PM on Fridays. The show got canceled after 6 weeks due to low ratings. Two years later they brought it back at the smart timeslot of 1AM on the night of Friday to Saturday. Surprisingly, it worked, and the show has better ratings than the ten viewers before. They aired two-and-a-half seasons at this time slot and occasionally had a rerun on Saturday afternoon, which seems to have drowned because of the more popular rival channel having Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother at that time. They now announced to show the remaining episodes, now on Saturday/Sunday nights at 3AM. I have no idea how a show could generate viewers at these slots, or do they accept Tivo now?
    • The show also got screwed in the US when NBC chose not to renew it for a fifth season in favor of the failed Jay Leno Show experiment. TBS was offered a chance to pick it up but turned it down and creator Greg Garcia chose to do Raising Hope instead.
      • Garcia was aware that the show's ratings had declined in Season 4. He asked the network if they were going to renew or cancel the series. He said he could make the final episode of Season 4 a series finale that wrapped up various plotlines or a cliffhanger that would hopefully draw viewers for the fifth season premiere. NBC told him the series would be renewed and he should make the cliffhanger. Garcia did and then NBC canceled the series.
  • The New Normal: This show was canceled after only one season due to mixed reviews and controversy over its crude humor and dialogue. The only consolation fans got was that the season had wrapped up neatly with Bryan and David getting married and Goldie giving birth.
  • Night Court:
    • The showrunners had plans to conclude Harry and Christine's romantic arc with a wedding in Season 8 as it was supposed to be the final season. A surprise renewal caused the writers to try and keep it going, and eventually losing momentum, in Season 9. NBC then told the writers to not write a series finale, leading them to believe that a tenth season was going to happen, but then, on the final day of shooting, gave everyone notes saying that the soundstage had to be completely cleared by the end of the day and brought in extra security to make sure that no one tried to linger once production wrapped.
    • Reinhold Weege, and most of the cast have stated that throughout the 9-year run, NBC execs were never really enthusiastic about the show. They never understood the show's humor, or why it was so popular. They only kept it on because for most of the run it got big ratings, and there was a fear that if it was canceled prematurely, someone would be fired.
      Markie Post: "Their attitude was always, 'Hey! The Cosby Show! Hey, Family Ties! Hey, Cheers! And... oh, yeah... Night Court..."
      • Part of what allowed the show to survive was likely the fact that the Bottle Episode was the standard for most episodes, greatly reducing costs compared to other shows that were always sending their characters out into new environments.
  • Our House, a 1986 drama series starring Wilford Brimley as a cantankerous old man who must look after his late son's wife and children, earned positive reviews from critics, but could never develop an audience thanks to competing with ratings juggernaut 60 Minutes and frequently being preempted by overrunning football games. It limped through two seasons before being canceled.
  • Quantum Leap: This show was also moved around to different time slots, and fans overwhelmed the network with mail to keep it on the air. The series finale was just supposed to be a season finale. A rather depressing title card was added to the very last shot of the series in order to wrap things up.
  • Revolution: Many fans are crying foul, because NBC has decided to put this show on a four-month hiatus after episode 10 aired in late November 2012. NBC did not pick it up for a third season after ratings took a huge dip without The Voice leading into it and with the competition against American Idol.
  • Rex Is Not Your Lawyer: NBC managed to screw an actor along with a show once. One reason David Tennant left Doctor Who after an acclaimed run was to shoot this pilot, which had a guarantee that the show would be picked up. But after a test screening where audiences didn't exactly understand the concept, they simply canned the show without reshoots and went back on the guarantee. As a result, Tennant was screwed out of not one, but two shows due to focus groups!
  • Saturday Night Live: Norm MacDonald was fired from the "Weekend Update" segment of this show in 1997 at the insistence of NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer, who claimed that MacDonald was "not funny", despite his popularity: Norm's appearances in sketches and on "Weekend Update" were frequently greeted with extended applause breaks, to the extent that he once had to quiet down the Studio Audience during a mid-monologue sketch involving host Sarah Michelle Gellar by saying, "Alright, I've gotta do this skit now." (One rumored reason for Ohlmeyer's distaste for MacDonald was the comic's constant quips about O.J. Simpson beating a double murder rap because Ohlmeyer and Simpson were friends.) He later got his revenge by being asked to host the show a couple of years later, during which he poked fun at his firing, and said that while he still wasn't funny, it was okay because the show had gotten "really bad", thereby making him look much funnier by comparison.
  • Scrubs aired at absolute random during its later seasons as it aired between Tuesdays and Thursdays on various time slots, and the seventh season had only 11 episodes, as NBC only signed the show for 7 seasons. Luckily, ABC picked it up for two more seasons.
  • She Spies: Had this happen twice. It started out pretty well, with its first four episodes being aired on NBC. After that, the show was dumped into first-run syndication, with some markets airing it at unholy hours in the morning. However, the show was still pretty successful, and it got renewed for a second season. However, they decided to completely retool the show, taking it from a light-hearted action/adventure/comedy series (like a gender-flipped version of Chuck) to a straight action series (basically, yet another lukewarm rip-off of Charlie's Angels). As it turns out, the comedy aspect was one of the show's strengths. It was canned soon after.
  • Southland: The show got a fairly well-rated, if not blockbuster, short run for its first season. And then it was canceled to make way for Jay Leno's ill-fated 10 PM show. Fortunately, TNT swooped in to pick it up.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • The granddaddy of all Screwed by the Network examples is this show. After two seasons of middling ratings, NBC announced its intent to cancel the show. However, a national campaign of letter writing, led by a fan named Betty Jo "Bjo" Trimble, resulted in an unprecedented back-down by the network. NBC renewed the show for Season 3...but also cut the show's budget by approximately half and placed the show in the Friday Night Death Slot, when the show's demographic was likely to be doing anything but watching TV. Episode quality, and consequently ratings, suffered meteoric falls (although it was responsible for some of the series' most memorable episodes), followed by cancellation at the end of the season.
    • It didn't even screen in Knoxville during the first season, meaning local Trekkies would have to wait to watch the first season until the series was picked up in syndication by WVLT, then an ABC affiliate going by the callsign WTVK.
    • There were actually two letter-writing campaigns: the more-famous Bjo campaign that got the third season made, and an earlier, lower-key campaign during the first season spearheaded by "The Committee", a group organized by Harlan Ellison. The Committee campaign's effectiveness was likely minimal; by the time it got up to speed, NBC had already decided to renew the show for a second season, and in Inside Star Trek, then-Desilu Studios/Paramount Television head Herbert F. Solow surmised that RCA, NBC's parent at the time, championed the renewal since it was shown that Star Trek was moving a lot of (new and expensive) color TVs. The Bjo campaign was far more successful, but Inside Star Trek revealed that it started as an AstroTurf campaign, instigated by Roddenberry and funded by Paramount through Gene's expense account.
    • Interestingly, many of the cast and crew involved in the show later declared that the show's cancellation was the best thing to happen to the franchise — instead of the slashed budget taking its toll and resulting in a steady decline in quality, Star Trek cemented itself in the public consciousness as an excellent show killed before its time, which left fans clamoring for more and led to the creation of eleven films and five subsequent series, the second of which would win critical acclaim and eighteen Emmys in the process, and another of which would garner the highest critical ratings of any Trek series and pioneer Character Development and serialized plotlines and Myth Arcs several years before that became common on network television.
    • Like the CBS example above - Star Trek: The Original Series and its two later shows had a bit of Laser-Guided Karma on NBC. Syndication caused TOS to get new fans every year and stoke nostalgia among Trekkies and those who grew up with it while The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine ran in syndication beating network programming, including NBC's.
  • The Tonight Show:
    • In a tragic and inexplicable move, NBC decided to move this show, hosted by Conan O'Brien, from its regular 11:30 time slot to 12:05. Because he knew it would push out Late Night, do more harm to The Tonight Show than help, and because he was just plain tired of being dicked around by the network, Conan threatened to quit the show and leave the network in protest. NBC paid him a penalty of $44 Million to leave while Jay Leno took The Tonight Show back. Conan was so badly screwed by the network that even his direct competitors are furious on his behalf: David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, George Lopez, and Jimmy Kimmel have all directly reamed NBC for their atrocious behavior.
    • Not to mention, in a rare example of knock-on screwing effect, the ill-advised decision to park Jay's talk show — and promote it exclusively and not Conan, even in the nightly lead-ups — five nights a week at 10:00 PM managed to screw Conan and every NBC station due to the decision to cancel five nights of prime-time scripted drama, causing ratings for the late local news to tank across the country. It arguably didn't help Jay, either.
      • Supposedly, the reason for this change was because NBC was tired of shelling out money for prime-time dramas that no one watched and ended up tanking and realized it was cheaper to just produce a variety show for Jay (who was leaving The Tonight Show anyway) so he could stay with the network.
    • Conan and Andy did "The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour" from April-June, then moved to TBS.
    • Conan got screwed by NBC again with the handling of his production Outlaw, which not only got the Friday Night Death Slot but got canceled after just five episodes due not getting the desired 18-49 demographic (who probably don't even watch TV on Fridays). Its replacement, School Pride, got far worse ratings but didn't seem to be on any sort of cancellation threat...until the producer died.
    • NBC started the whole Tonight Show mess by offering O'Brien Tonight in order to prevent the same problem that occurred when Letterman quit NBC after they refused to give him Tonight after Johnny Carson retired. O'Brien was announced as the new host of Tonight more than five years earlier, during a special segment on Leno. But in the intervening years, Leno decided he didn't want to leave and started making noises about leaving NBC if he was forced to stick to the plan. Hence, they gave him the prime-time basically Leno changes his mind and NBC gives him what he wants while screwing O'Brien over, causing O'Brien to jump ship to TBS later. Of course, O'Brien's departure never mattered to the honchos at NBC, as Jimmy Fallon, who took over when Leno retired the second time, became the new king of late nightnote .
    • Even a small number of affiliates have screwed this show over in previous years. During the 1980s, three different affiliates pulled the Carson incarnation from their schedules; among them, WTMJ in Milwaukee (which showed Trapper John, M.D. and later Magnum, P.I. reruns instead while Carson was seen on WVTV), WMAR in Baltimore (now an ABC affiliate, WMAR replaced Carson with Thicke Of The Night, WBFF aired Carson in WMAR's place), and WSMV in Nashville (which aired reruns of Three's Company, with WZTV picking up Carson).
  • Undateable is a rare example where the screwing didn't work, it was given a summer burn-off with very little promotion from NBC and was absolutely savaged by critics. Surprisingly, it caught on with audiences and did very well for a summer series. Enough for a renewal, albeit with a slightly shortened second season, which picked up steam with a well-received set of live episodes that critics found much better than the first season; it went on its third season with all live episodes, and was NBC's comedy flagship for the season. Unfortunately, the third season ended up in the Friday Night Death Slot, which preemptively shut down any growth it could have gotten. Despite the gimmick of being the first show with all-live episodes in nearly twenty-five years (not since Roc in the early '90s had it been attempted), NBC ended the show after the third season failed to rate beyond lukewarm levels.
  • In an example of a station chain screwing over the network, NBC has to deal with WDIV in Detroit, KPRC in Houston and (more recently) WSLS in Roanoke being owned by Graham Media Group, the former broadcasting arm of the Washington Post (under their ownership, known as Post-Newsweek Stations). Long after most American television stations have stopped pre-empting network programming as much as possible under contractual obligations to their networks (and to keep viewers from heaping irrational death threats on their switchboard operators), WDIV, KPRC, and to a far lesser extent WSLS seem to think it's still 1987 and people still love to be nannied by their station's general managers and will accept their shows anywhere they throw them. Several examples include:
    • KPRC for years pushed Late Night in both its Letterman and Conan iterations well beyond sane times, airing it around the 2:30-3:00 a.m. half-hour instead of its regular 11:35 p.m. Central berth for reruns of syndicated daytime talk shows and a rerun of the station’s 10:00 p.m. newscast. Conan mocked this in a 1997 segment by driving around Houston waiting for KPRC to roll the tape for an episode of his show, talking to locals about it (who had never heard of the show, no thanks to KPRC), and ending the piece by putting in coins into a bus station TV seat to watch it at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. Eventually NBC forced the stations to air the program at its regular time. Carson Daly's show was still stuck in the purgatory of 2:05 a.m., 90 minutes after its regular time. That situation improved a little with Lilly Singh's show A Little Late premiering at 1:35 a.m. in September 2019 (an hour delay), giving the show's title a very true meaning on that station.
    • Both KPRC and WDIV had long held firm in not carrying the Kathie Lee & Hoda hour of Today in any capacity, either in its morning run or in its late-night repeat airing (along with the former overnight repeat of CNBC's Mad Money). The two stations saw fit to keep the fourth hour off the airwaves of southeast Texas and southeastern Michigan, airing news or one of those deadly dull 'local lifestyle shows' which are pretty much long infomercials for siding contractors or roofers, along with insulting 'women's talk' even a Victorian lady would find offensive in place of either run of Today‘s fourth hour. Eventually WDIV began to carry the fourth hour at 2:00 p.m. By 2019, KPRC began to carry it at its intended 10:00 a.m. timeslot, while WDIV moved it to 11:00 a.m. (one hour later than NBC recommends, but at least it’s a reasonable time slot) before finally moving it to NBC's recommended 10:00 a.m. timeslot in 2022.
    • KPRC and WDIV preempt NBC programming much more in primetime than many stations would find acceptable. Though it's laudable that they're carrying local programming in primetime, often this is of little interest to viewers where the stations carry things like flower shows, compilations of their sweeps '(item in your house) will kill you!" news stories or the terrible 3am movies found on their This TV subchannels which are only re-run on the main signal in three-hour time slots to air gobs of local advertising in blatant cash grabs by the stations. WDIV at least moves those NBC shows elsewhere, note  presently in-house to the station's MeTV and Cozi TV subchannels, with the consequence of the NBC programming still being carried in standard definition, on top of losing availability on satellite and a very small number of cable providers. Houston viewers rarely get that choice and are stuck with Hulu, Peacock,, or (if they are on the outer fringe of the market and if they're lucky) nearby NBC affiliates to catch them. Other preemptions include primetime infomercials and religious specials which in other markets are usually carried by weaker stations.
    • Other KPRC/WDIV preemptions are inexplicable. Neither market ever saw a minute of Sunset Beach except on their UPN stations, and Passions was bounced around for years on other stations in both cities before NBC put their foot down and forced them to carry the soap. Both stations must have general managers who had a terrible night in Vegas once because they absolutely refuse to carry anything on NBC which involves televised poker.
    • When over half of NBC's affiliates preempted the 2020 30 Rock reunion special during its original broadcast (as mentioned above); KPRC, WDIV, and WSLS were no exception, each station preferring instead to air local good-things specials under the umbrella title Something Good.

    Nippon TV 
  • In 2000, Nippon TV joined the list of people screwing All Japan Pro Wrestling — they canned the weekly TV show, which they had aired for nearly 30 years, and signed a deal with former AJPW president Wrestling/Mitsuharu Misawa (now head of Pro Wrestling NOAH). However, Nippon kept their 15% share of the company and made it so they couldn't get a TV deal with another network, taking the once-large company off the air. Keep in mind that this was about a week after Misawa announced he was leaving the company and taking almost all of its employees to NOAH, and at the time AJPW owner Giant Baba only had three people under contract (two wrestlers and a referee) with free agents and independent wrestlers rounding out the rest of their cards.
    • Nippon TV actually backed the separate promotion a year before it happened (and it only happened in 2000 as opposed to 1999 out of respect for Baba, who died that year). This isn't appreciably different from Baba's split with the earlier Japan Wrestling Alliance in 1972, which was also coordinated with Nippon TV (leading to their stake in the company).

    Sci-Fi/Syfy Channel 
  • Season 2 of Alphas received barely any promotion and was moved from 10:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the middle of its run. (keep in mind, this show is noticeably Darker and Edgier than the type of programming usually shown in this hour) Then the network waited for three months after the finale to formally cancel the show, which ended on a massive cliffhanger that will never be resolved.
    • This actually served as a plot for an episode of The Big Bang Theory, with Sheldon upset over the cliffhanger, due to his compulsive need for closure. At the end of the episode, he calls up the show's writer to ask how they would've ended it, only to comment that it was terrible and "no wonder your show got canceled."
  • Caprica. One of the factors of Caprica's cancellation was Syfy's decision to re-promote Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome from a web series back into a backdoor pilot movie, and choosing to favor it alone over having two Battlestar spin-offs airing simultaneously.
  • The adaptation of The Dresden Files was canceled because, like so many other Syfy shows, it wasn't hitting the demographic the network wanted (18-to-35 males vs. the female audience the show brought in). On top of that, Syfy was fairly tight-lipped to the production crew as to whether or not the show was canceled - at least, until Paul Blackthorne (who played Harry) jumped ship for another show.
  • Eureka was screwed over by Syfy. They ordered what was supposed to be a sixth season - the final one - with six episodes. A week later, they then canceled the show and took back the season six order, leaving the writers scrambling to wrap up the series, although with enough time to lampshade this action repeatedly in the final episode with similar treatment to the namesake Town at the hands of the Government.
  • Farscape was renewed for a fourth and fifth season by Sci-Fi, and the show's writers plotted out Season 4 under the assumption that story threads, including the season cliffhanger, would be resolved in Season 5 because hey, Sci-Fi gave them two more seasons. Four days before production ended on the final episode shot of Season 4 (and several weeks after the actual finale had been filmed, owing to episodes being shot out of order), Sci-Fi abruptly canceled the series; it was too late to change the finale, and the best the writers could do was sneak in a few extra character beats into the last episode filmed. The writers were given a rare opportunity to wrap up the arc in the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries (produced independently and, ironically, broadcast by Sci-Fi) but it was still a case of having to take a full seasons' worth of story threads and condense them down into a four-hour miniseries.
    • In Australia (where it was made), Channel 9 screwed with it even further — during the airing of Seasons 2-3, episodes were moved (out of order) to 5:30 PM and 11:30 PM...and due to "censorship" of the earlier time slot edited/deleted over 20 mins on each episode and deleted anything that sounded like a swear word.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 suffered the same fate of a network head who didn't care about the show and wanted it dead on Sci-Fi as it did on Comedy Central (see above). In this case, it was Bonnie Hammer, who replaced Rod Perth, a fan of the show who renewed it for a tenth season as one of his final acts. On the other hand, Mike Nelson maintains that one of Hammer's priorities upon taking charge was "I'm going to kill that fucking puppet show", which she did right after that tenth season.
  • Sliders got hit with this badly. From the very get-go, FOX (and later Sci-Fi) tried their best to screw with the show and mostly succeeded by the end of its run. Series creator Tracy Torme was in a constant battle against FOX executives, including producer David Peckinpah, who deliberately forced out John Rhys-Davies after the latter allegedly insulted him at the show's launch party. FOX and Torme squabbled over everything from the serialized nature of the show to executive oversight, the show was canceled at the end of its first season (only to be brought back by a massive fan campaign), and the move to Sci-Fi only made things worse. Torme quit in frustration, and Peckinpah made things worse by causing everyone to get screwed over on-set - actress Sabrina Lloyd was humiliated at points and essentially forced out when they brought in new cast member Kari Wuhrer, actors Jerry and Charlie O'Connor were locked in ongoing negotiations with the network over what they perceived to be unfair treatment, Peckinpah himself was demoted out of spite by FOX and the whole situation spiraled out of hand. By the time it limped to the end of its fifth season (a wonder despite the executive meddling), the network used the first opportunity it had to scuttle it and claimed that the actors were let go because of salary issues.
  • Bonnie Hammer and Mark Stern, while separating the schedules of Stargate SG-1 and Battlestar Galactica in what would end up the last season of the former and penultimate season of the latter, put the former after a remake of Knight Rider (and against Monk, which not only tops Nielsen cable ratings but is also on USA, whose scheduling is also done by Hammer and Stern) and delayed the latter's season premiere until six months after the finale last season. When the ratings fell, they canceled the former (on the 200th episode airing party, no less) and moved the latter to an even worse timeslot.
    • "Bonnie Hammer = Satan" has been around for a while. Ask any Forever Knight fan about the treatment their show got on USA Network. The last four episodes were the first original dramatic program on Sci Fi... because USA Network dumped the last four episodes on a channel that, at the time, had about 500,000 subscribers.
    • Not to outdo themselves, they seemingly swore to repeat history with Stargate Universe and Caprica, after a first season in the usual franchise time slot for the former and an inexplicable seven-month hiatus for the latter, both shows were shoved into arguably the worst possible time slot, Tuesday nights, against some of the most popular shows on television, left to die while the "Sci-Fi Friday" timeslot was given away to...wrestling.
  • Despite having its episodes aired horrendously Out of Order, Tremors managed to become Sci Fi's highest-rated program at the time. Nevertheless, it was canceled on the grounds that it didn't hit the demographic that Sci Fi wanted.
    • This becomes doubly brain-wracking (if perhaps somewhat karmic) when one considers the demographic in question was the audience that had already been watching Farscape (which aired side-by-side for its final season with Tremors)...which Sci Fi canned without warning (leaving the series ending on a cliffhanger) to replace with a stylistically similar show...
    • Sci Fi also didn't promote the series, deciding instead to promote Earthsea, and effectively threw Tremors under the bus. They didn't hit a big enough demographic because a lot of Sci Fi fans didn't know the show was even on the network.

  • When The Adventures of Shirley Holmes was picked up for seasons 3 & 4 after being dumped by Fox Family, Showtime Family Zone twisted the show's knife by burying the show on weekdays at 3:00 PM-when the target audience was just returning from school-and on early afternoons duing weekends. By comparison, most of Showtime's other family imports (such as My Life As A Dog, 2030 CE and Jake And The Kid) aired in evening timeslots. Notably, the latter two shows were also screwed by the weekday slots, as each had only 26 episodes (compared with Shirley's 52) and therefore burned through their entire runs in just over a month!
  • Dead Like Me's executive meddling caused the writer and team to split after three episodes.
  • When Odyssey 5 first premiered in 2002, it managed to pull in the highest ratings ever for the network (a mark that took a decade for the network to beat)...but then the network moved the show from a cushy Sunday-night slot to the Friday Night Death Slot immediately, which led to a fast ratings drop and a cancellation after just 13 episodes. It wasn't until 2004 that Showtime finally aired the remaining episodes.

  • Any program that airs on local stations during the college basketball season will get screwed over, as the stations that carry said games know they will get higher ratings and ad-money than said programs usually do. Most syndicators are fully aware of this and generally refrain from airing any new episodes of the shows until the season is over. This means that unless your station that carries the games is part of a duopoly, don't expect to catch a rerun of The Jerry Springer Show or Maury during February and March. This could change when the Atlantic Coast Conference ends its contract with Raycom Sports in 2019 and launches the ACC Network with ESPN, though.
    • If you're a syndicated program airing on a CBS station during the March Madness tournament, then unless you are lucky that said station is part of a duopoly with another station with little to show during the tournament (although if the other station is carrying their state high school basketball tournament, that's another buzzsaw), you will get preempted. At best, you're sent to a graveyard slot. At worst, you're skipped over entirely.
  • One ABC station in northwest Florida aired 3rd Rock from the Sun at 3:30 AM Central every Saturday/Sunday morning, right between two infomercials. One MyNetworkTV station in northwest Florida (its sister station) barely aired it in a good timeslot, but it failed…
  • Gerry Anderson was bitten twice by the finicky syndication market. UFO (1970) and Space Precinct were two (somewhat) adult-oriented series that programmers couldn't figure out what to do with as they usually associated Anderson with marionette shows for kids. As a result, neither series was able to survive beyond one season due to the US syndication markets not handling them properly.
    • Their treatment in Britain was somewhat similar, with some regions airing UFO at 8pm while others ran it in earlier slots.
  • PTEN, the ad hoc "network" that produced and syndicated Babylon 5, doubly screwed over what was arguably the only show it produced that anyone was watching by canceling it, then selling it. First the network told series creator J. Michael Straczynski while prepping for the fourth season that he was only getting one more season. This caused Straczynski to remove all the B-plot material from the scripts, resulting in one of the most quickly-moving, action-oriented, you-don't-want-to-miss-this season the show has ever had. TNT buying the show and un-cancelling it left Straczynski with nothing but the "filler" he had excised from Season 4, making the fifth season (which was already planned to be the last) slow-moving and disappointing by comparison.
    • PTEN screwed around with this show much more than that. For one thing, they insisted that one condition of its second-season renewal was that a "hot-shot pilot" in the vein of Han Solo be added to the cast. This resulted in the creation of Warren Keffer, a character who was deliberately used as little as possible and Killed Off for Real at the season's conclusion.
  • Reportedly, this happened to Legend of the Seeker. The rumor going around is that the fans of Terry Goodkind's book series were furious at the way the books had been adapted for TV and that Disney-ABC was afraid to promote it. However, the ironic twist was that the show had taken the advertising budget, poured it into show quality, done some interesting stunt casting (Charisma Carpenter and Jolene Blalock, for starters), and had caused the ratings to slowly climb in its second season. Unfortunately, The Tribune Company, the show's main syndicator, got into financial trouble and decided not to renew the series for a third season, and after a failed deal with Syfy Disney just let the axe fall down.
  • Hard to believe today, but in the late 1980s, Star Trek: The Next Generation didn't set every local station on fire, and there were reports of it being relegated to late-late night time slots in some markets until programmers realized it was actually a hit.
    • Paramount had little to no faith in the spin-off Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In its first two seasons, it was airing concurrently with TNG, by then a confirmed hit, and almost all the advertising dollars were spent on the parent show. After that, Star Trek: Voyager was launched, which was not only a ship-based series in a similar vein to TNG, but was the banner series of their newly-launched network, UPN. Amid all this hoopla for any Star Trek series that wasn't DS9, the ratings continually dropped per season, despite its quality rising.
  • Steve Harvey's second talk show was screwed from the word "go". In 2016, after five seasons of solid ratings and two Daytime Emmy awards, Harvey decided to wind down his self-titled talk show in favor of a new one based in Los Angeles, produced by IMG and simply titled Steve. Unlike the previous series, which was a co-production between Endemol Shine and NBCUniversal (the latter of whom distributed the series and owns the copyright to it), Harvey would have full creative control and own a stake in Steve. NBCUni, who returned only as distributor, was furious at being left out of the arrangement as it meant they wouldn't receive the bulk of the new show's profits. Thus, when the second season premiered in 2018, NBCUni announced that it would drop Steve from its stations effective the following year in favor of a new talk show hosted by Kelly Clarkson, which NBCUni would wholly produce and own all the rights to. Harvey went on record saying that NBCUni never told him about the decision beforehand. IMG and Harvey attempted to find a new distributor for Steve, but no one was interested (not helped by the fact that ratings were consistently falling since NBCUni's announcement), and the show was canceled in May 2019. Thankfully for Harvey, Facebook Watch revived the show the following year.
  • Spanish public broadcaster TVE became famous for securing the rights for the hottest American series and then dumping them in their low-audience second channel La 2 and changing their slots around at least once a month, with the legendary 1 AM slot being left precisely for the most popular series at the moment. Lost suffered this treatment, among others.

  • On a couple of occasions, TBN refused to air programs for political reasons. Hal Lindsey, a controversial End Times evangelist, left TBN when the network objected to his Islamophobic commentary, but later returned in a different formatnote . A few years later, Jack Van Impe, another End Times evangelist, removed his program from TBN after they pulled an episode in which he criticized other evangelists, which reportedly violated a TBN policy forbidding personal attacks.
  • In June 2016, The Church Channel was retooled into a new collaboration with the Australian Hillsong Church called the Hillsong Channel, pushing aside many traditional programs for the more cheerful and youth-skewing views of Hillsong, which seemed especially jarring as it launched the day after Jan Crouch's death. (TBN rebranded it as TBN Inspire in January 2022, distancing it from Hillsong amid controversies surrounding the church.)
  • Since the death of TBN founder Paul Crouch in November 2013 and his wife Jan following in May 2016, his children assumed full control of the network and dropped a whole slew of programs dealing with pre-dispensationalist (read: pro-Rapture) Bible prophecy. The moves could have been made to appeal to younger viewers or were a result of theological differences within the Crouch family. The network also shifted some of their more extremist shows over to the less-viewed Church Channel and made room for more centrist programming, along with inspirational-based Hollywood films such as A Walk to Remember — a move that would've been seen as heresy when Paul was alive. The network has also let some of the carriage for their subchannels inexplicably expire or end; Olympussat, which carries the TBN networks for many cable providers, dropped both teen network JUCE TV and Jan Crouch's alleged pet project, the children's network Smile of a Child, for other networks; Charter dropped them when Olympussat did for Jimmy Swaggart's SonLife network. Unless a TBN station exists in a market (and with the digital transition, TBN is also letting many of their over-the-air stations go to commercial operations, either putting on multiple subchannels or flipping them in the spectrum auction), those channels are now unseen in some places.
  • Mike Huckabee's Saturday night talk show, which launched in 2016, seems especially jarring on a network where politics is usually talked about in definite code in order to get the most money out of their viewers as possible by not angering those whose politics might be different or who loathe being preached who to vote for in a church or faith setting.
  • In June 2015, the schedules of JUCE and Smile of a Child were merged into one so that TBN could launch a new Spanglish network, TBN Salsa, which basically tells those running TBN's Spanish service, TBN Enlace USA, that their channel isn't as important. Spanglish networks like MTV Tr3s and mun2 (now the sports-focused NBC Universo) have had major problems getting any traction, and adding religion to that mix could be seen as a desperate move by TBN to stay relevant among Hispanic-Americans.
    • TBN Salsa itself was screwed from the get-go by having its distribution limited to subchannels of its over-the-air stations, not being made available on the iTBN streaming service. TBN hasn't even bothered to make its programming listings available online, either via its main website, that of TBN Salsa, or via online/mobile television listings services (which still incorrectly still list 24-hour listings for Smile and JUCE on separate subchannels in their broadcast station listings in TBN's OTA markets). TBN eventually dropped Salsa in May 2019, initially replacing it with a placeholder SD version of the main network feed before splitting JUCE TV and Smile back into separate 24-hour feeds (with JUCE being placed in Salsa’s former DT5 subchannel slot, only for it to be replaced in January 2020 by the Christian/secular family movie channel Positiv).

    TF1 (France) 
  • The event that finally killed the sitcom Les Filles d'à côté stone-dead - as well as other long-runners on French TV, the most significant casualty being long-standing morning kids show Club Dorothée - was the fact that the main French broadcasting channel TF1 abruptly severed all contracts and connections with the creatives of AB Productions in 1997, for reasons which have not been publicly explained. This conclusively ended Les Nouvelles Filles D'à Coté after a total of 326 episodes of the franchise. As well as at least four other AB shows on TF1.

  • Crusade, the sequel to Babylon 5, suffered all of these from the ground up, complete with Executive Meddling writ large. JMS later learned that TNT (which had also aired the Post-Script Season of B5) had done research and learned that the B5 and Crusade audience was completely failing to make the jump to the rest of the network's programming, and vice versa. It decided to scrap the sequel, even as it was in production...except that they couldn't do it without breaching their contract with Warner Brothers. So they decided to make it impossible, giving unbelievably-bad notes (including demanding a fistfight in the first episode). The production team did its best, but the show was quite literally doomed from day one. TNT's plan was to ensure that the show couldn't move to another channel (namely Sci-Fi, who wanted it) and become a success by insisting that they would only allow that to happen if the other channel also took on the B5 reruns, and then slapped a massive price tag on them that no channel could possibly afford to pay. Sci-Fi, not surprisingly, passed and the show was lost forever.
  • TNT screwed with Memphis Beat by hardly ever promoting the show during its two seasons despite the fact that the show starred Jason Lee and had none other than George Clooney as executive producer. Instead, TNT put most of its marketing power on Franklin & Bash and its other in-house productions.
  • Monday Mornings: Opinions vary whether the marketing and promotion was good enough. Ratings were lower than expected, and the network opted not to renew it after the first season which lasted only 10 episodes. However, few series gain a big audience or devoted following right from the scratch, and needless to say, lots of Medical Drama geeks were intrigued (the most enthusiastic ones compared it to a best new thing since House or praised its rare realism), and lots of people watched the show for the stellar cast or David E. Kelley's reputation. It's sad that this was not enough to merit a new season.

    TVE (Spain) 
  • The most blatant case is 14 de Abril: La República (2011). Despite being a Spin-Off of the very popular period soap La Señora and the good ratings of its first season, the network has just plain refused to air or even release in DVD the second season, which is already filmed. TVE's excuses range from economic problems (even though every other show frozen for this reason in 2011 has aired, and TVE has ordered new shows since) to the claim that 14 de Abril's high ratings don't matter because it was only watched by old people. It is obvious that the real reason is political: La Señora was set in The Roaring '20s, but 14 de Abril takes place in the more ideologically charged Thirties - specifically, the second season takes place from 1932 to the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The first season was already the target of a hate campaign by conservatives, and the 2011 elections were won by main conservative party PP, the one that got to say what TVE can air or not as a result. In 2018, socialist party PSOE managed to remove the conservatives from power through a no-confidence vote that was backed by other parties, appointing a new, less politically-inclined board of directors for TVE, which will finally allow the unaired second season of La República to see the light of day within the 2018-19 season.
  • El Caso. Adored by the critics, TVE released its premiere on a Tuesday night against a UEFA Champions League match that went to overtime and very shortly before Easter holidays, a sure-fire way to lose viewers on its second episode, and then stubbornly kept it on its slot despite low ratings and strong competition from Antena 3's Allí abajo and Telecinco's La que se avecina. It was unsurprisingly axed after the end of the first season, and some reports claim right-wing TVE execs didn't want the show to go on since they felt uncomfortable with the Francoist Spain setting of the series.
  • Isabel was advertised as the network's next big thing until mere months before its planned release at the end of 2011, when TVE went suddenly mute and the release was pushed back to February and then to the fall of 2012. The reason was a government-ordered budget cut: a show's cost in TVE (which is a public broadcasting company) only becomes official when it airs, so by not airing it the cost was not accounted and the network could claim less money spent, even though the first season was already paid and completed. By summer the show was considered canceled in practice and the production company even dismantled the sets. Only its very good ratings and the entry of phone company Telefónica as a second producer when the first season finally aired caused TVE to pull a 180º and greenlight a second and third season. Then Telefónica demanded that none of its produced seasons could be watched for free on TVE's website...
  • Los misterios de Laura, a series proposed in 2008, was greenlit but only for half a season, which happened to be a success in 2009. A second season was ordered but was frozen until 2011. It happened to be a success again so a third season was ordered... except this time they decided to wait a bit longer so everybody would have had time to forget about it, and it was finally released in 2014, three years later. Its future is yet unknown, but the ratings have dropped in the new season. It still got enough traction to get an American remake by NBC, The Mysteries of Laura.
  • The Ministry of Time, in spite of one of the most fanatical fanbases seen, good ratings and great critics, has been constantly screwed by TVE for the same reasons Victor Ros was canned. Only the fanbase pressure ensured Season 2 would actually be made, and this one would have been the last one if it were not for more pressure and Netflix coming to the rescue.
  • The series Víctor Ros, based in Jerónimo Tristante's books, was notably successful in ratings and very well received by the critics, much more than the TVE average production. However, the executives decided for some reason it was not successful enough and canceled its second season (however, it was Un-Canceled later on and its second season is currently airing as of November 2016).

  • UPN is an example of an entire network screwing itself. Star Trek: Voyager was (and for most critics of the channel still is) UPN's flagship series, and the strong Trek fanbase and viewership was one of the reasons, outside of SmackDown (see the entry on Pro Wrestling for how Paramount screwed THAT over), that kept the network afloat. After Voyager, Enterprise was created. Unfortunately, many believe that even Enterprise was screwed over in its own way by the network leading it to become the third-shortest-running Trek series (next to the three-season Original Series itself and the two-season Animated Series).
    • To expand on Enterprise being screwed over, an ongoing issue with the series was the fact UPN apparently had little control over what its affiliates actually aired. As a result, the series was chronically preempted in major markets in favor of local sports coverage, with Enterprise (and other UPN shows) being rescheduled to local-specific time slots that weren't counted by Nielsen ratings. UPN itself also aired a repeat of Enterprise on the weekend, and this too was not counted in the Nielsens despite anecdotal evidence indicating many viewers were choosing to watch the weekend broadcast instead of the Nielsen-counted timeslot (the evidence for this is provided by series co-star Connor Trineer who, shortly before the series was canceled, took to the pages of Starlog magazine to plead with viewers not to watch the weekend showing but instead watch the showing that counted). The fact UPN failed to achieve nationwide coverage was also blamed for the show's lower-than-expected ratings (in some markets it aired on local versions of the Home Shopping Channel!).
    • UPN's parent studio, Paramount, also meddled to make sure UPN's New York area station, WWOR-TV, never carried UPN over its national superstation feed, quickly ensuring both the WWOR's superstation death with a zombie feed of Hazel and Dean Martin Show reruns, along with WWOR's local schedule being watered down under Paramount's influence to the point that Fox grabbed it in 2001 and turned it into the market's 'leftovers' station. Meanwhile, their competitor, The WB, was quite happy to let WGN's superstation feed carry the network until 1999 when they had enough good local carriage and had established their viewership much better than UPN ever did. The same behavior befell Los Angeles affiliate KCOP, which was competing strongly with Fox's KTTV in 1995, but by the time it was sold to Fox, had been weakened in a way that destroyed the station's local legacy.
    • Viacom's full ownership in the network and the sale of Chris-Craft owned UPN stations to Fox resulted in WPSG in Useful Notes/Philadelphia and KBHK-TV in Useful Notes/San Francisco becoming UPN's de facto flagship stations (taking the distinction away from WWOR-TV in Useful Notes/New York City and KCOP-TV in Useful Notes/Los Angeles).
    • It's been argued that Enterprise's alleged lack of fanbase support contributed to this, however such issues were being reported from the get-go, long before the series had been given a chance to establish itself, and similar issues were reported as affecting supposedly "better supported" series on UPN too. And there's still that issue of UPN cannibalizing its own ratings by re-broadcasting Enterprise on the weekend...
  • Moesha was a very tragic example, as the execs at UPN were the ones that demanded the infamous storyline of Frank's infidelity and Dorian being his son, the series creator strongly objected to the storyline and the Retool and was let go. The ratings sharply declined following the introduction of the infidelity plot, and then UPN canceled the show on the same day that the cliffhanger season finale aired, leaving many loose ends unresolved (they were supposed to be resolved on the spin-off The Parkers, but that never happened, presumably due to Brandy Norwood getting tired of her character and the show). It's like they had already made up their minds about what they were going to do to the show before the season had ended.
  • Nowhere Man was one of UPN's highest-rated and critically-acclaimed shows, but it was canceled after one season only to be replaced by Homeboys in Outer Space, which hardly lasted any longer.
  • The execs claimed they gave Veronica Mars the best spot possible — against House, a show that pretty much commanded Veronica's demographic.
    • The Australian run was even worse, airing late at night on Fridays and stopping mid-season for months at a time because of Big Brother.

    USA Network 
  • Vanderbilt MD's premiered in November 2014 to little to no interest from viewers, and absolutely no marketing at all as it seemed to be ordered before everything on USA's reality slate except Crisley Knows Best failed miserably and the fear the show might cannibalize Bravo's Married to Medicine. After one 11pm episode premiere, the rest of the show's run was stuck in the absolute purgatory of 6am Saturday mornings, where it was surrounded by Infomercials. Not helping was reactions like this from the cast, who thought they were signing up for a good show which would show the lives of patients and medical residents, but instead had the same tired confrontational reality tropes.
  • Weird Science, which was based on the 1985 John Hughes film of the same name, produced 88 episodes over a total of five seasons from 1994-98. Six of those 88 episodes did not air on USA but on SyFy. The first two premiered on July 11, 1998, with the remainder premiering as pairs of episodes on July 18 and 25, 1998. It should be noted that the last episode to be first run on USA was "The Genie Detective" on April 11, 1997, which was from about a year and a half earlier. While not officially confirmed, a possible reasoning behind the abrupt cancellation of Weird Science is due in part to Barry Diller trying to clean up the network's image to sell and make a profit from it.

    The WB 
  • Angel was suddenly canned to the confusion of those making the show, as it was consistently high-quality with high ratings. The reason the network gave was even more confusing: the show was so popular and good that they wanted the series to end on a high note instead of letting it die in obscurity. Possibly the only example of a show being canceled (ostensibly) because everyone liked it too much.
    • Word of God says that the network wanted to wait until the end of the season to consider renewal. Joss demanded an answer at mid-season and Jamie Kellner canned it, seemingly out of spite.
      • Worse, Word of God was that this had happened for the last several seasons of the show. Joss finally snapped since the show was, as established, quite popular. For some reason, the network dropped the ball on what probably would've been the best season yet for fear of Joss actually gaining enough leverage to know if those scripts he'd been writing for next season were a waste of time or not.
  • The WB screwed Birds of Prey (2002) by trying to turn it into Smallville (which, coincidentally, was by the same producers).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer was screwed by The WB, although UPN picked it up.
  • Jack & Bobby wasn't treated very favorably by The WB — it was hardly advertised at all compared to most of the network's other shows, and after Winter break there was no advance warning of any new episodes airing, so unless you used an episode guide you'd never know the show was even still on. To be fair, it did get a much more significant amount of advertising towards the end of the season, but the damage was already done as the ratings were far too low for it to have a chance of renewal. Further, Jack and Bobby wasn't exactly an easy show to sell based on marketing — the ads made it look like a typical WB teen drama, not even hinting at the story of Bobby being President in the future (being told through flashforwards). Those looking for a teen drama were caught off guard by the political storyline, while those who didn't mind the politics didn't watch because it didn't look too different from every other teen drama on the network. In the end, the show's unique premise was its undoing.
  • The WB was so quick to cancel Run of the House that it didn't even get to finish its first and only season (the last few episodes were only ever aired overseas). It wasn't like the show's ratings were that bad, either, as it had What I Like About You as a lead-in.
    • Twins and Related were also victims of this.

  • The 9/11 attacks resulted in an innumerable amount of preemptions on broadcast networks and cable channels for a number of days after that day in 2001, though rightfully so. It also forced a delay of the start of the television season to late October and early November (along with the Emmys). Some new series never established any promotional momentum out of the attacks and were quickly canceled.
    • PBS member stations adjusted their schedules to accommodate children and adults who were loath or fearful of watching continuous news coverage (though with extended coverage of The Newshour) with additional hours of children's content and Britcoms rather than their usual primetime schedules.
    • Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and several other game shows didn't air their premiere weeks due to news coverage pre-emptions outside of select markets. Winnings were still awarded despite them not airing. On the other hand, a daily revival of Card Sharks (which was already stuck with a poorly-received new game format) lost all promotional momentum and was quietly off the air after Christmas.
    • Entertainment news magazines having fun covering stories like the Chandra Levy case and shark attacks in Florida quickly found themselves having to shift editorial direction away from topics that seemed crass after such a horrible event.
    • Saturday morning blocks didn't air that weekend (example: One Saturday Morning and Fox Kids), or were shuffled around (example: Nick Jr on CBS and TNBC) to allow continuous news coverage.
    • Television in New York was in a situation of chaos for at least the next four years, as stations both had to adjust to a "new normal" for their news coverage, and try to find new transmitter facilities, which were atop the Twin Towers (and resulted in the deaths of their station engineers). Normalcy didn't return until the Empire State Building's facilities were adjusted to make room for multiple analog and digital television stations in 2006.
    • It's theorized by anime fans that 9/11 was used as an excuse by Cartoon Network to finally cancel the original 1978 Mobile Suit Gundam from the Toonami block. The show was put on hiatus with a handful of episodes unbroadcast, along with Cowboy Bebop from the block with the official reason being the wartime death and destruction for the former and certain plot elements for the latter would hit too close to home for audiences in the wake of the terror attacks on New York and Washington. After a brief period, Bebop returned to the airwaves, with two sensitive episodes being stricken from rotation (a third would be discontinued in 2003 after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), but Gundam never returned, save for a late-night New Year's broadcast celebrating fan-favorite Char Aznable and to quietly wrap up the show. Fans theorize that it wasn't the One-Year War that killed Gundam, but the dated '70s animation that was turning off younger viewers who had first been exposed to the franchise through Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.
  • WGN America's run of Even Stevens and Lizzie McGuire was this. Originally aired during mid-afternoon time slots, they were very quickly moved to overnight graveyard slots, a time when the shows' target audiences weren't awake, and then removed from the channel entirely shortly afterward.
  • In the UK, LazyTown appears to have become this after leaving Cartoonito and moving to Boomerang. The only times it aired were in the dead hours of midnight when absolutely nobody would be awake, and even then only the revival series was shown.
  • One of the first indicators that Brazilian network Loading would be a short-lived experiment was how their news show on e-Sports was canned after just two editions, each having something the higher-ups disapproved: the first was a report criticizing a streamer (part of the channel's main financier's eSports team) who was possibly freeloading on donation money, and the second was a eSports team criticizing Riot Games (a sponsor for the channel). The whole crew was fired, without having even received work benefits yet, and would all state the channel wanted to censor them before the mass dismissal.
  • Majors and Minors, a musical competition show on The Hub, suffered from Invisible Advertising, despite promotion online and having several famous names like Avril Lavigne and Jordin Sparks working on it. The show ended after four months as a result, making it the network's shortest-running show.
  • Power Rangers has had a rather incomplete broadcast in the Netherlands as Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers, Power Rangers Zeo, Dino Thunder, SPD, Mystic Force, Jungle Fury and RPM were never aired, while Power Rangers Turbo aired after Power Rangers in Space and was advertised as a summer vacation special. In this case, it is impossible to blame just one network, as the Netherlands did not have any channels specifically dedicated to children's programming, only programming blocks, so the show experienced transfers to multiple different networks, with some of these networks undergoing massive retools, in which Power Rangers had no real place. A good example is how the Superhero oriented Dutch Fox Kids retooled itself into the more Lighter and Softer Jetix, which focused more on comedic cartoons, where Power Rangers did not really fit into. Unfortunately, there wasn't another channel willing to broadcast Power Rangers, meaning the show wouldn't be aired in the Netherlands. The only way Dutch fans of the show could watch these aforementioned seasons was either by tuning in on German networks, so they could watch a German dubbed version of the show, which many Dutch children can't understand, or, after the rise of DSL connections, by watching them on the Internet through less legal means. Fortunately, with the rise of Netflix, Dutch fans can now legally stream the show.
  • In recent years, this has been a rather unfortunate but recurring issue for Sesamstraat, the Dutch adaptation to Sesame Street:
    • The show is a frequent victim of schedule changes. During a majority of its run, Sesamstraat started just after dinnertime, creating the Dutch expression "First Sesamstraat, then go to bed." However, changes in schedule made it so that the show aired much earlier, at a time most families were still eating. This caused the show to have a huge drop in ratings.
    • There is also much squabbling about which channel will broadcast the show. For a while it would look like Sesamstraat would move to a paid channel, rather than one of the easily accessible Dutch Public Broadcasting Service channels. According to longtime actor Aart Staartjes (who played the role of Mr. Aart from 1984 until his death in 2020), this would be a deathblow for the program, as it was already struggling with the constant schedule changes. He even threatened to quit with his role, as he really did not like all the bureaucratic squabbling happening around it.
    • On December the 5th, 2011, the annual Sinterklaas episode was spontaneously canceled because the live broadcast of a political debate was protracted. The network, not wanting to suddenly stop the debate, decided to cancel the Sinterklaas episode, which was originally scheduled to start after the debate. All the while millions of parents and children were waiting in front of their televisions for said episode to begin, in vain. This decision caused national outrage, with many angry Dutchmen, including several Dutch celebrities, voicing their displeasure on Twitter. The chief editor of Sesamstraat told the newspapers the cast and crew were absolutely livid by this decision, as the Sinterklaas episode takes up a lot of time and money to film, which was now flushed down the drain.
    • In 2019, it was announced that NTR would not produce new episodes of the show for the next two years (likely meaning the show has gone on hiatus), though the network will continue to broadcast reruns.
  • Threesome had the misfortune to premiere on Russian channel 2x2 just at the time the law prohibiting propaganda of non-traditional (read: gay) relationships to minors had passed. Since the show had an openly gay character, the series was abruptly pulled from air after one episode. After five months the series was brought back on Mondays at 1am, with no advertisement to speak about, and was never seen again.
  • Ultraman Nexus fell victim to this. The series is definitely one of the Darker and Edgier installments of the Ultra Series franchise and with its dark themes, including, but not limited to people being eaten alive by monsters, government conspiracies trying to hide said monsters, and Mind Rape, is actually aimed at teens or young adults like its preceding Ultra Q Dark Fantasy. The network TBSnote , however, thinking that Ultraman is exclusively aimed at children, placed Nexus at a time slot meant for children. This resulted in the show gaining very low ratings, as the intended demographic missed the show due to its time slot and children did not watch the show due to how dark it was. Ultimately, the show abruptly ended, leading to the cancellation of Ultra N Project where it was supposed to be part of, but was still fortunate to receive a finale, albeit a rushed one.
    • On the plus side, lessons were learned as a result of this, and the next time an entry in the franchise was aimed at adults, it was given the proper treatment.
    • Ultraman Max also had difficulties. TBS and TsuPro relationship was pretty dreadful at this point. TBS was quite upset about the failure of Ultraman Nexus in ratings.note  however they still had a contract with TsuPro so they demanded a new show to replace Nexus as quickly as possible, with three months worth of time for pre-production. This caused the series to be extremely rushed and only have 39 episodes made for it and to shelve any movie ideas. And then TBS killed the kid block Max was supposed to air on but for some reason, Max was the only show that wasn't moved to a different timeslot. Causing this Lighter and Softer show meant for kids to be sandwiched in between a morning variety talk show and an hour-long program about Japanese museums. However, despite the struggles, Max was a mild rating success and helped the company bounce back after the failure of Nexus.
  • Blood Ties was originally supposed to be one 22 episode season. However, Lifetime split it in half, advertising, and marketing, it as two seasons. They also never actually aired the last two episodes on television during the original run, instead choosing to make them viewable only on their website. Despite fan requests to Lifetime and other stations, including the station then known as Space, the show was not picked up.