Top 10 Most Rewatchable Cancelled Comedies
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
They may be gone, but they'll never be forgotten. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Rewatchable Canceled Comedies.
For this list, we'll be breaking down the most hilarious TV comedies and sitcoms that were canceled by their networks.
They may be gone, but they’ll never be forgotten. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Rewatchable Canceled Comedies.
For this list, we’ll be breaking down the most hilarious TV comedies and sitcoms that were canceled by their networks.
#10: “Clone High” (2002-03)
This one-of-a-kind series only ran for one season and was canceled due to low ratings and controversy over its depiction of a teenage Mahatma Gandhi. However, more than a decade later it’s developed a cult following thanks to its unique premise, which asked the question: what if the US government cloned a bunch of historical figures and stuck them in high school together? With teenage versions of Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra and JFK running around, the show had endless material to work with. So it’s a real shame we only have 13 episodes to repeatedly binge.
#9: “The Last Man on Earth” (2015-18)
Created by and starring the always-hilarious Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth” was unfortunately dropped in May of 2018. The show, which revolved around the post-apocalyptic life of Phil Miller, a hapless loser with a penchant for screwing things up, ran for a total four seasons; deftly meandering its own fictional landscape with endless raunchy wit. The show’s premise made for a fantastic sitcom, allowing viewers to vicariously live out a scenario that most have thought about but few would actually want to be in. Helped by his stellar supporting cast, Forte took us on a ride that was creative and wildly entertaining. We look forward to the reruns.
#8: “Family Matters” (1989-98)
A spin-off of the ABC sitcom “Perfect Strangers”, “Family Matters” managed to surpass its predecessor in no small part thanks to Jaleel White’s iconic performance as the Winslow’s annoying, nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel. The show ran for an impressive nine seasons before receiving the ax, but its legacy lives on in the form of frequent reruns on various networks. Even better, the show has been made available for streaming on Hulu. So if you have a few months to burn and you’re a fan of classic ‘90s sitcoms, you know where to go.
#7: “Happy Endings” (2011-13)
How and why this show didn’t last longer we will never understand. “Happy Endings” revolved around the exploits of a tightly knit group of friends living in Chicago. A dysfunctional bunch to say the least, the group nevertheless endeared themselves to fans and critics alike. So it came as a major shock when the show was canceled in 2013. Here was a program that was smart, funny, touching and a hit with viewers that was dropped for no good reason. Vulture.com listed it as one of the worst TV decisions of the year and we have a hard time disagreeing with them.
#6: “Scrubs” (2001-10)
After airing for nine seasons and pulling in strong ratings year after year, “Scrubs” finally said goodbye in 2010. The show made waves in its early years thanks to a truly incredible cast, which featured the unique comedic stylings of Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison and of course, John C. McGinley. The show, which was set in a hospital and focused on the lives of both the staff and the patients, was notable for its lightning fast wit, zany premises, and surprisingly hearfelt moments. Rewatchable barely scratches the surface when discussing this award winning and highly quotable sitcom.
#5: “Pushing Daisies” (2007-09)
One of the most imaginative shows to have ever aired on network television, “Pushing Daisies” revolved around a pie maker with the power to bring people back from the dead with the touch of his finger. The show could just have easily been a hard-hitting drama, but the creators went in a different direction and crafted a program that was endlessly quirky, highly stylized and side-splittingly funny. It was named one of the Top 10 New TV Series by Time in 2007 and was nominated for three Golden Globes and 17 Primetime Emmys during its two-season run, winning seven of the latter. Few shows are as pleasurable to re-watch as this one.
#4: “Better Off Ted” (2009-10)
Who doesn’t love a good satire? When it premiered in 2009 “Better Off Ted” drew considerable praise from critics thanks to its off-the-wall humor and wry social commentary, with some likening it to “Arrested Development.” Unfortunately the show, which revolved around the exaggerated inner workings of an R&D department, couldn’t hack it with viewers and was promptly canceled after just two seasons. The show touched upon the difficulties of working for a nefarious corporation while still trying to raise a child with a strong moral compass. Featuring an exceptionally funny cast and strong writing, “Better Off Ted” still has a lot to offer after multiple viewings, even if it’s far shorter than we’d like.
#3: “King of the Hill” (1997-2010)
Few animated sitcoms have delved into the trials and tribulations of living in middle class America with the deadpan-like grace of “King of the Hill.” Set in the fictional town of Arlen, Texas, the show focused on the Hills, a traditional family who constantly found themselves embroiled in untraditional situations. The show received numerous nominations and heaps of praise during its time as one of Fox’s flagship series, but was nevertheless canceled in 2010 due to low ratings. While rewatching a great sitcom is all well and good, a revival would be considerably better, which is exactly what creator Mike Judge continues to lobby for. Fingers crossed people.
#2: “Futurama” (1999-2013)
From the mind of “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, “Futurama” focused on Fry, a pizza delivery guy who is accidentally frozen in a cryogenic pod and unfrozen a thousand years in the future. Tackling the types of offbeat and ridiculous scenarios that only animation can do justice, the show was and continues to be a hilarious and often heartfelt viewing experience. Oddly enough, “Futurama” was actually canceled on more than one occasion; first in 2003 and again in 2013 after having been revived a few years earlier thanks to a considerable effort on the part of fans. Thankfully, rewatching this futuristic series never gets old.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
“Party Down” (2009-10)
“Perfect Strangers” (1986-93)
#1: “Freaks and Geeks” (1999-2000)
In the early 2000s, Judd Apatow effectively cornered the market on television shows that were critically acclaimed and beloved by fans, but only lasted one season. First he executive produced “Freaks and Geeks”, a show that’s widely regarded as one of the most honest, not to mention hilarious depictions of high school life ever put on television. The show helped launch the careers of James Franco, Jason Segel and Seth Rogen and has since been included on numerous “Best TV Shows of All-Time” lists. Apatow followed it up by creating “Undeclared”, a sitcom about a group of freshmen trying to navigate the college landscape. Two great shows, same result. Oh well, time for a double marathon.