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It takes courage to fall in love with a show as it makes its debut on TV. The world of television is fickle, and the Studio Gods are capable of culling without mercy. So if you went ahead and defiantly placed your heart in one of the 2016-2017 seasonal debuts anyway, you made an admirable choice. But was it worth it?
Here’s a list of shows that have been renewed or cancelled after just one season.
13 Reasons Why
Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why was never meant to have a second season. Based on the standalone book by Jay Asher, the show details the suicide of Hannah Baker as she walks the audience and characters through the reasons she died.
It received criticism for a number of missteps: never addressing the issue of depression, romanticising suicide, sensationalising rape, and centring the story of a woman’s suicide on the pain of a man.
Nevertheless, it was enthusiastically received by the teen audience, and despite the lack of source material (and the massive structural shift a follow-up will have to endure), Netflix has renewed it for a second season.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Hulu has also jumped on the bandwagon of renewing standalone book adaptations. The Handmaid’s Tale has been well-received critically — and was announced as saved just one week after its premiere.
The futuristic dystopian show tells the story of women used for their fertility, and subjugated to varying degrees of violent opression.
According to Variety, the show is Hulu’s most-watched series (including both original and acquired shows) and the company are hoping to bring those viewers back in 2018.
— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) May 3, 2017
Timeless, NBC’s family-friendly time travel series, receives notable mention for being brought back from the dead. After cancelling the show brought about major outcry from fans, NBC reneged on its decision and renewed. Now I’m not saying Timeless is Jesus, but I’m also not saying that Timeless isn’t Jesus.
— Timeless (@NBCTimeless) May 17, 2017
This is Us
A show NBC didn’t hesitate to renew is This is Us, the fan-favourite family drama that had viewers emotionally on-edge for an hour every week. In fact, the studio was so sure of the show that it renewed it for two more seasons. The show has even been moved to the coveted Thursday night slot, set to compete with ABC’s Scandal, which will be airing its final season in the fall TV season.
It’s time to prep those tissues.
- American Gods
- Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency*
- The OA
- One Day at a Time
- Santa Clarita Diet*
- The Good Place*
The Young Pope
Okay, so I’m not entirely sure this one counts as a cancellation because it’s unclear if HBO’s The Young Pope was ever meant to be longer than one season anyway. Interestingly, though, a spin-off entitled The New Pope has been confirmed and will follow much in the way of True Detective: with an almost entirely new cast but within the same world.
The show, telling the story of the fictional first American pope, was the most expensive Italian production ever, and was Sky’s first proper hit in Europe. Here’s hoping the new show gives us just as many memes.
— Horse Washington (@stodgeoff) January 5, 2017
Emerald City was meant to be NBC’s answer to ABC’s seemingly invincible Once Upon a Time, but only one season aired before Dorothy was forced to pack away her ruby slippers. Accruing only 38% on Rotten Tomatoes, the show was described as “the Game of Thrones/Wizard of Oz mashup nobody asked for.” Ouch.
Powerless was meant to be The Office meets the DC Universe. It followed colleagues at the Department of Research & Development at Wayne Security who specialised in products for humans whose lives were inconvenienced by superhero antics. Alas, they couldn’t create anything for the inconvenience of NBC noticing dismal ratings, and were pulled off the air before even finishing the first season.
- Time After Time
- American Gothic
- Good Girls Revolt
- The Black List: Redemption