Warner Bros. / ABC

Pop Culture | TV | Retro

10 Shows We All Loved That Were Cancelled For The Stupidest Reasons

Warner Bros. / ABC

There's been far too many times where popular TV shows were canceled way ahead of their time. Sometimes the studio ran out of money, other times the viewership just wasn't there. However, in the case of these 10 shows, the reasons they were canceled are honestly pretty ridiculous.

Hey Arnold!


The Reason: Nickelodeon didn't want its creator to work on anything else

Show creator Craig Bartlett was in high demand after the success of Hey Arnold!'s first few seasons, but Nickelodeon kept him from working on other projects. This lead to him leaving the company with the show unfinished, but he's coming back to finish it with the upcoming Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie.

Clarissa Explains It All


The Reason: Its lead actor was "too old."

Melissa Joan Hart had turned 17 by the end of what would end up being the show's last season, and the network decided she was too old to continue playing the character. Really.


Warner Bros.

The Reason: Warner Bros. didn't want adults watching it

When the show first took off on Fox, it did so thanks to being in a time slot where it was watched by both kids and adults. However, when Warner Bros. ended their relationship with Fox and got the rights back, they wanted to put it somewhere where only kids could watch it. As a result, viewership dropped off dramatically.



The Reason: Being sold to Disney

Doug originally premiered on Nickelodeon in the early 90s, but was cancelled a few years later due to being too expensive for the network to continue producing. Things seemed to take a turn for the better when Disney bought the show, but their version included numerous changes that didn't sit well with fans, so it was soon canceled for good.

If you think these reasons are stupid, wait 'til you see the rest...

Police Squad!


The Reason: You had to pay attention to it. (Seriously)

The show that would ultimately spawn the Naked Gun movie franchise and provided constant proof of just how awesome Leslie Nielsen was, it was cancelled after only six episodes. When pressed about why, ABC president Tony Thomopolous commented that it was cancelled because "The viewer had to watch it to appreciate it."

Pinky and the Brain

Warner Bros.

The Reason: They crossed it over with Tiny Toon Adventures

Initially a successful spinoff from Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain  took a bit of a drastic turn when Elmyra, the animal-obsessed little girl from Tiny Toon Adventures adopted them, and the show became Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain. Fans weren't happy with the change, and ultimately the show's viewership dropped off.



The Reason: Someone destroyed the sets

After a few successful but expensive seasons, ABC was ready to drop Batman from air. NBC stepped in and offered to buy the show off them, and all seemed set for the deal. However, in the interim, someone screwed up and ordered all of the show's sets destroyed. NBC wasn't willing to foot the bill for entirely new sets, so ultimately the show was canceled.

Freaks and Geeks


The Reason: The studio told the creators to betray their vision

Freaks and Geeks received a 12-episode season, after which studio executive Garth Ancier suggested to writer/director Paul Feig and producer Judd Apatow (names you probably recognize) that the cast occasionally win some form of victory over the "cooler kids." Both rejected the idea as being contrary to the point of the show, so Ancier ordered it canceled.


Warner Bros.

The Reason: Its creator demanded an immediate renewal

Angel was the incredibly successful spinoff of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that ran for nearly as many seasons, but ultimately ended on a massive cliffhanger. Turns out it's because creator Joss Whedon went to WB head Jordan Levin and demanded an immediate answer about whether the show was being renewed or not. Put on the spot, Levin said no, and then alter admitted that it was a mistake.

Reading Rainbow


The Reason: It wasn't educational enough (Seriously)

Best known for featuring Levar Burton of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame as a perpetually happy man who loved teaching children the joys of reading, Reading Rainbow was cancelled because of the Bush administration. Specifically, the former president's infamous "No Child Left Behind Act" enforced that it should be teaching children how to read as opposed to enjoying it, and PBS ultimately decided to cancel the show for fear of losing funding.

Which of these do you think were the stupidest reasons? Let us know in the Facebook comments!