Since we’re on the subject, I thought I’d list my personal Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations…

September 11, 2017: Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations!

10. Deadwood

To many, it was an acquired taste, but David Milch’s anti-western was unlike another.  Although I wasn’t totally won over at first, the show gradually became tops of my viewing list.  There was talk of some follow-up movies…that never came to be.

September 11, 2017: Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations!

9. Quantum Leap

This one was particularly cruel because the series finale was actually scripted as a season finale given the fact the show’s producers were told they’d be coming back for another season.  They didn’t.  And that downbeat final reveal of Sam Beckett’s fate was tagged on by the network.

September 11, 2017: Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations!

8. Firefly

Of course, this one will make most every scifi fan’s list.  It’s amazing how much love and support this series has generated given it aired only a single season.

September 11, 2017: Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations!


Series creator Susan Harris apparently had a five year plan for the show.  Sound familiar?  This one stands out for me because it was my first experience of a show going out on a cliffhanger.  Was Jessica actually executed by firing squad??? Sixteen year old me was livid!

September 11, 2017: Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations!

6. Twin Peaks

Pete and Audrey caught in the bank explosion!  Ben Horne bloodied and left for dead!  Agent Cooper possessed by evil Bob!  Well, finally, after 25 years, we have answers.

September 11, 2017: Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations!

5. Farscape

Much love for this show.  So much love that, after its premature cancellation, I lobbied to get series leads Ben Browder and Claudia Black on Stargate.

September 11, 2017: Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations!

4. Stargate: SG-1

Yes, ten seasons is a magnificent ride, but there were still stories to tell.

September 11, 2017: Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations!

3. Stargate: Atlantis

This cancellation came so out of left field and seemed so illogical.  What a great opportunity to have a fan favorite series pass the torch to a new spinoff with an amazing Friday Stargate double-bill!  Nope, it was not to be.

September 11, 2017: Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations!

2. Stargate Universe

This one hurt as the series was really gathering steam in its second season – only to hit the cancellation wall.  Somewhere, out there, Destiny’s crew is still in stasis, crossing the vast void between galaxies.

September 11, 2017: Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations!

1. Dark Matter

Did you have any doubt what would take the #1 spot?  This one is especially frustrating for the fact that I had a five year plan going in.  I have all the answers! Now, it would seem, the rest of the story will go untold.

Update on the DM front: It’s crunch time.  Conference call tomorrow!

60 thoughts on “September 11, 2017: Top 10 Most Devastating Cancellations!

  1. Joe, I am soooo glad you included SOAP on your list! This was a weirdly funny, dark show, that I had to get permission to stay up for. I can hear the theme in my head right now. Da-da-da-da, dadadada… (Ear worm city)

  2. Almost Human went the way of Firefly, with the additional insult of having the original episode order shuffled. It would be a better candidate than SG1, for example – even the best series get stale after five seasons tops, for example Burn Notice S6 and S7 got tiresome to watch and Agents of SHIELD’s last season started dragging.
    But I have to say, I admire John Rogers for ending Leverage on his own terms and having only one really bad episode in the final season.

  3. At least Farscape and SG-1 got their chances to wrap up loose ends with follow up movies. The cancellation of SGU still stings. But not in the way Dark Matter does.

  4. Joe… no offense meant but… you forgot Star Trek (TOS)

    “He’s dead jim”

    Paramount made the same mistake after 3 Seasons that SyFy just made

    1. Couldn’t agree more – I’d also add Star Trek: Enterprise to that list.

      Keep fighting the fight Joe.


  5. Cross my fingers..I shouldn’t because it has all to deserve a new Home.I’ll be there refreshing page to know the results.

  6. Stop making me feel old by saying you were 16 when Soap was canned! I have aches, pains, grey hairs, wrinkles, and a wife. They all do the job fine. I don’t need no stinkin’ reminders.

  7. Although I didn’t watch SOAP (though my parents) did, it’s hard to argue with any of the other ones. DM seemed worse than any though – it seemed to just come out of the blue so much – didn’t, and doesn’t, make sense.

    “There was talk of some follow-up movies…that never came to be.”

    That also sounds sadly familiar.

    Good luck tomorrow!

  8. Another thing Imo.Series that start too slow to build their story of characters works against them .It’s need serious Action like 3/4 of the episode especialy on first season .Of the list mentioned .Farscape was my best follow by all Stargate except sgu.I would place Dark Matter second to Farscape but depending of the final seasons it could tie it.And could surpass all of them with a spin off..
    “RAZA” 😉

  9. I think you should hold back on death announcements for DM until all efforts at resuscitation have failed.
    You never know, there may be a financial equivalent of Dr house out there somewhere.

  10. They never did explain who or what that Evil Al character was in Quantum Leap(He appears in the episode called The Boogieman in Season 3). It would have been a great twist had they confirmed he was the Devil.

  11. And lol my top 12 cancelled list in no specific order.
    -Second Chance
    -Falling Skies
    -Terminator Sarah connor chronicled
    -Almost Human <==this one hurt me 🙁
    -ST Voyager
    -Traveler (2007 serie)

  12. I’ve never seen Deadwood or Twin Peaks.

    I didn’t realise Quantum Leap was cancelled like that although that does explain the ending which broke my heart. Although there was quite a bit of shark jumping in that final season.

    Firefly was amazing and I hope the execs at Fox that made the decision to cancel it were fired.

    I think I came across Soap very close to its end . . . maybe halfway through season 3 or something. I loved it but I don’t remember being devastated by its disappearance. Australian TV in the late ’70s and early ’80s was very random and shows would come and go, shown in the wrong order at variable times and days of the week. Very much like Australian TV today, come to think of it! I’ll have to locate a copy of Soap so I can watch it again. Maybe after my rewatch of Newhart.

    I still haven’t made it to the end of Farscape. I’ll have to pick it up again. I think I was into the 3rd season.

    Of course I’ve seen all the Stargates. I thought SG-1 ended well and we got a couple of good movies out of it, too. I was very unhappy about the end of Atlantis after such a cool climax. I was annoyed how Universe ended but I don’t think I’d invested enough time in it to really care (sorry!). Maybe I’m just getting jaded in my old age.

    Dark Matter . . . well, ’nuff said.

    I can’t think of any cancellations that truly devastated me other than Firefly. Babylon 5 was messed around with so much that the final season was a shambles but doesn’t really qualify as a cancellation.

    I guess the most devastating “cancellation” for me was when The Lord Of The Rings was put into turnaround by Miramax. But the devastation came from being suddenly unemployed! And it had a happy ending thanks to New Line.

  13. Some of my picks..

    Journeyman – As close to a new Quantum Leap as we ever got. Killed after just one season.

    Day Break – Groundhog Day The Series! A great idea for a series, but I expect a lot of viewers were baffled and thought they were watching a repeat! Doomed from the get-go.

    Jericho – A show that had such a dull first mid-season that it got prematurely canned before the second mid-season ramped things up by about 50,000 notches! Canned… then canned again, just for good measure!

    Pushing Daisies – If ever a show screamed “We’re in HD!” It was the beautiful visuals on this one. Still not sure why this one got canned.

  14. I’m on Hulu currently watching S10 SG1 and S3 Atlantis. I know both will end and I don’t want them to at all. How I never got into these shows when they were on I’ll never know…I just didn’t. I had no idea there were so many of my favorite actors, story types, and space ships! Then in the middle of S3 for Dark Matter you tweet asking who should be on S4 from Stargate, which somehow started a chain reaction that lead me to discovering this Universe (all three shows) from the beginning for the first time. Thank you Joseph!

    As for Dark Matter I really hope somehow this universe comes back.

  15. I didn’t know Quantum Leap’s last ep was a season finale. I’ve been angry all these years wondering how the producers and writers could be so coldhearted! I forgive you all! And now the heartbreak begins again. What could have been…

    Firefly. *sob*

    Likewise Soap and all of the shows on this list, except I never watched more than an episode of Deadwood. Not my cup of tea but I do like Ian McShane.

    Okay. It’s up to you and Dark Matter to break the vicious cycle! Go get us two more seasons!

  16. I have still not gotten over the cancellation of Atlantis!

    SGU WAS, as you say, picking up steam. I had not like the 1st Season at all but stuck with it out of loyalty to the franchise. Just when I was really starting to love it….BAM it was gone.

    Dark Matter….it WILL be back….quite sure!!!!!!
    SyFy will regret that cancellation!

  17. Totally agree with your 1 and 2 choices. The cancellation of SGU was totally wrong and disappointed me to no end.
    Now feel the same about Dark Matter.

  18. You know, I haven’t thought about some of those shows in years! I remember sneaking out of bed to watch Soap. That show was off limits at our house. Although, it didn’t seem any worse than the daytime soaps my mom used to watch.

    I’ve always wondered why the network sabotaged Firefly. They aired the episodes out of order, changed viewing days, etc. Did Josh Whedon piss off Fox? Do you know the dirt?

    Line Noise: Did you work on “The Lord of the Rings”?????

    I should have stopped at one glass… Anyways, have a good evening!

  19. Another show that was hastily wrapped up in a very messy way ( at least in my opinion) was Caprica. There was so much promise of a fantastic prequel leading up to finding out how man created the Cylons. after the brilliant remake of the Battlestar Galactica they owed it to us fans to see it through. But a one show wrap up was all we got when they were cancelled.

  20. I loved SOAP and its spin-off Benson. I agree with your list but would like to add:
    Defying Gravity
    Almost Human
    Survivors (BBC series)
    Space: Above & Beyond
    Life on Mars (USA version)
    ST: Voyager

    I can’t even imagine how exhausted you must be with the move, “the cancellation”, the rally and search for a “new home” for DM. I hope the tweet fest and social media storm is drawing the right kind of attention. Fingers crossed, prayers up, positive thoughts …

    I hope everyone who has been in Irma’s path and those that are still experiencing her wrath are warm, safe & dry. I think this is the first time Tennessee has officially had a “tropical depression”. The winds are howling!

  21. Come on conference call !!! Good luck Joe !!!

    I have gone from 3 to 20 Followers! Wow!! Anybody got more than that?!!

    Don’t answer that… 😆 I followed you all back. Some pretty heavy hitters in that group! Thank you all. You are too kind.

    Got to go to bed. Between work and parents (give you update later Tam) and Twitter Storms, I am exhausted. I’m going to go from working-to-death to not working at all when I retire at end of year. That is the carrot thats dangling at the end of my nose that keeps me smiling.

  22. I would like to add: Star Trek: Enterprise. Cancelled after four seasons, left the fandom with many open ends. There were still lot of stories to tell, e.g. the Romulan War,

    1. I loved the In a Mirror, Darkly Parts 1 & 2 episodes. They were planning to go back to that universe had it been renewed too. Such a shame. Mirror universe episodes in general are just so fun, you get to see characters you know and love in different positions/different moral compasses.

      Joe needs to do an episode of Dark Matter set entirely in a mirror universe if he gets the show renewed.

  23. Can I also add The Dresden Files and Forever to that (ever) growing list please?

    I guess there must be many many more that got canned too soon, but these stand out to me.

    I also feel like having closure now I’ve found out that the last episode of Quantum Leap was a season finale not a series finale. Was the last season ever written? It would make a great series of books. Mind you we have Fan Fiction for that I guess.

  24. From Stradbroke Island off the coast of Australia. LOVE the show and am supporting the show as much as we can from over here 🙂 Joined the twittter spheres and requested seasons 4, 5 and 6 on the Netflix tv show request page. Can we do that multiple times or would they figure that out?

  25. I share much of your list. Not a huge surprise since we’re about the same age, and both Sci-Fi fanatics.

    Deadwood was a huge bummer for me. The writing was absolutely brilliant.

    I’ve said my peace oh, a few hundred times on all three Stargate cancellations. So no need to rehash those vulgarities. And as of right now, I refuse to accept that Dark Matter is a permanent cancellation.

  26. I loved all your choices, ones I would have chosen. Thanks for sharing.
    ~~ How are Akemi and the pups doing in your new place?
    We made it thru Irma, still have power, sooo just working on cleanup. and thankful.

  27. I would add to that, Caprica. After the very good Battlestar Galactica, that was a fun serie to see the story that lead to BG. That something that was never really explain in BG, why the Cylon turn against the human. They alluded to a few things over the serie, but never gave the full story. Caprica was that. They ended it with some sort of a wrap up but never really made the bridge to BG. That was the 1st SyFy scr**-up that got under my skin.

  28. “Now, it would seem, the rest of the story will go untold.”

    That doesn’t make me feel good.
    But best of luck with the conference call.

  29. Soap, all my friends in HS loved that show. Canceled the year I graduated.

    The only show on the list that I didn’t watch was Deadwood. We didn’t have HBO at the tim.

    I loved all the Gates. I didn’t dawn on me till the end of the first season of DM that you were behind them.

    Too many of your shows are on my list.

    You do great work…thanks for all you have done

  30. For shows I would have wanted to see more of, I would include Warehouse 13, and Eureka (In addition to the first two Stargates). For miserable cliffhanger series finales I would add Alphas, and second SG:Universe. I am surprised no one has mentioned Sanctuary, another show that shouldn’t have gone out on it’s cliffhanger. Actually, I think SyFy is responsible for the vast majority of my top ten list. I actually made myself a promise to not start any new series on SyFy after Warehouse 13 ended, which I broke for Dark Matter. I wish you good luck in finding a new home, and will help however I can. I would love to see what you have planned for the next two seasons!

  31. So agree with this list of heartstoppingly awful cancelations. We grew up watching Armed Forces Television and you could never tell something was canceled because when a series ended they’d restart from episode 1×01 again and repeat indefinitely. To this list I’d add Wonderfalls and Terra Nova.

    Not sure if you’re looking to move to Japan just yet but there is an Amazon name that screams “Joe”, working in TV development in Japan:

  32. Parmi cette liste des annulations les plus déplorables il y a 8 de nos show prérérés!!! Are we doomed or what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. I loved SGU so much that when it was yanked away from my loving embrace, I literally mourned as if a beloved family member had died. Truly. I know that sounds really corny and melodramatic, but I mean it literally. I hurt for a year. I signed petitions and sent snail mail letters. I sent emails and tweets. And I told SyFail, in no uncertain terms that I would be boycotting their stupid network. I came back because of Dark Matter. I’m gone from SyFail again and see no reason to change. Good luck with your resuscitation efforts.

  34. I also want to add a few. I agree with a number of the ones named here of course (Firefly, SGA, SGU and of course Dark Matter)
    But also:
    Almost Human – still baffled by it’s cancellation
    Odyssey 5 – what a gem that was
    Enterprise – mentioned a few times and this should have gotten 7s too.
    Alcatraz – would have love to see more of that show
    Defying Gravity – One of my fav space shows, without the soapy stuff that is.
    Threshold – Carla Gugino as the lead, nuff said

  35. It’s my sincere hope that the gap created by Dark Matter’s cancellation somehow results in you coming back around to a new Stargate show. You’re clearly right when you say that the franchise has a lot of life left in it, but a new movie sequel wasn’t the way to go. I’m glad those talks seem to have died down.

    SyFy finding the means to put out a new Stargate show would be a great step forward for a network with a pretty unimpressive recent track record.

  36. Hope you had some good luck with the conference call, Joe. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed. xo

    I remember the day SOAP got cancelled. Folks in our sometimes silly hometown were treating it as if there was a death in the family.
    People kept calling poor Helen, Billy C’s mom, conveying sympathies and asking what can they do and if she needed anything
    don’t hesitate to call upon them. There was even a rumor, some neighbors went so far as showing up directly at Helen’s door with comfort foods.
    I can only imagine how insane the irrational out pour of support must have felt to her. It was just a job. Surely folks had to know Bill
    would find more opportunities in the biz soon enough.
    Albeit to many people in NY back then the character, Jodie Dallas, that Bill had brought to life represented so much more than a simple hatch of comedic fiction. Heck! There were even neighbors that never watched SOAP but still called ABC studios and screamed at innocent office workers and phone operators about how wrong their homophobia is, how SOAP was a ground breaking show changing the face of television entertainment
    and how they were gonna boycott ABC unless they gave Bill his job back!

    As much as I loved Helen,
    who desperately tried to teach me to golf one day in Eisenhower park, without success, and who managed to talk me into volunteering at a couple rummage sales at the local temple even though I wasn’t Jewish,
    Bill was so much older than me, already grown, married and on his own, living elsewhere before I’d even completed elementary school
    so I didn’t know him growing up.
    It was Helen, his brother Joel, Birdie & Max who I spent my youth around and even though I too much enjoyed SOAP and Bills character on the show, I didn’t really understand at the time why so many people were so upset.
    It wasn’t until much, much later I realized it was out of a form of political protest.

    Yep, agree with ya about Quantum Leap & Firefly.
    Loved those shows, almost as much as I loved ST Voyager.

    By the way Gang: Crystal is raising money tonight beginning 8 pm et
    for victims of Harvey and Irma.

    Hope everyone can join him. Even if you cannot donate $$ – You can help with RT’s.

  37. I just heard it’s official that Disney will be leaving Netflix and they are taking everything Marvel and Star Wars related with them. That is going to leave a hell of a gap in their collection of shows to watch ( that means Defenders, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the Iron Fist, Star Wars rebels and clone wars ) will no longer be shown on Netflix. I think this will further increase the chances of Dark Matter being picked up by Netflix because Netflix will be on the lookout to fill the gap that the loss of Disney owned properties has created 😉

  38. It’s so sad. I liked a lot Stargate series and now Dark Matter. I’m still trying to find in dvd the second season of Stargate Universe (In Spain, we watched on tv but never released in dvd). If we can save Dark Matter for a fourth season (or a movie), this would be nice. And if David Hewlett or another Stargate series actor\actress appears again, much better! Greetings from Spain, and thanks all fans for supporting Joseph 🙂

  39. Star Trek Voyager and Penny Dreadful. Both series they had to cram in an ending in a couple episodes…

  40. Definitely agree with the list; however, I never watched Firefly. No hating. Haven’t watched Deadwood either. All the other ones I definitely did watch. Jericho didn’t get a fair shake either.

  41. Hello from France Joe, crossing fingers from the other side of the ocean .
    So sorry. anyway I would like to had Defiance to this list…and so many more. I don’t understand why Syfy and others don’t reserve some money to at least provide an ending story to not abandon viewers. We hate them so much for that.

  42. Dark Matter is the first devastating cancellation that I’ve taken such an active part in voicing, and that’s been because of the way fandoms interact throughout social media. Go #TeamRaza

  43. Reminds me of Babylon 5 and the filming of the series end episode a season earlier in case it was cancelled. Also the spin off series Crusade only lasted one season but was meant to go on for a further 4 seasons, and none of the episodes were televised in the correct order making it slightly confusing to follow at times.

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