The 7 Best TV Shows Ever To Get Cancelled..

News hit this week that Whites, the BBC comedy starring Alan Davies as a world-weary head chef, has been cancelled after only one series. Rumour has it that the show was axed as part of a comedy cull at the BBC, necessitated by a reduced licence fee settlement. Davies said the news was the ‘worst of his career’ on celebrity soapbox twitter, with co-star Isy Suttie (Peep Show‘s Dobby) tweeting: “I am so sad.” We all are, Isy.

There have been plenty of shows axed that were less deserving of airtime – anyone remember Victoria Beckham’s chatshow? Fame Academy? – but Whites now joins a long list of programmes cut down in their prime. Woeful ratings or “controversial content” can sometimes resign brilliant shows to an early grave, so in tribute to those fallen brethren, here are 10 of the best TV shows ever to be chucked on the scrapheap.


1. Pulling

Lasting two series, Pulling was the heartwarming comedy drama that had all our hearts in our mouths (pre-Gavin and Stacey). Donna, played by Sharon Horgan, is 30 years old and engaged to Karl (Cavan Clerkin), a loving if underwhelming fiance. Axed in the same year it was nominated for two BAFTAs, the show can be seen regularly doing the rounds on UKTV and even got a US remake… which was then also axed after only a few episodes. Ouch.

2. Flash Forward

With twists that make Lost look like Last of the Summer Wine, effects that boggle the eyeballs and the kind of ingenious ‘high concept’ sci fi that would have made L. Ron Hubbard feel like a boorish amateur, Flash Forward was a shock to lose after just one season. Granted it cost, but isn’t the best art incredibly expensive? Don’t we deserve all those explosions, floods and car crashes? The premise is mindblowing; a mystifying event has caused everyone on the planet to lose conciousness for 137 seconds. One of the most ambitious TV projects of the last ten years, it’s worth getting the DVD for the effects alone. Or, if you’re suffering from post-Flash Forward blues, why not try reading some dodgy fan fiction on the internet (perhaps writing some of your own).

3. Hyperdrive

Hyperdrive encapsulated the kind of wonky, hit-and-miss, eccentric British comedy that later spawned Miranda Hart’s BBC2 vote winner Miranda. Also starring Hart along with Nick Frost (minus Pegg), and heavily influenced by Red Dwarf, it was cancelled by the BBC after a two series run in 2006/7. Frost is Mike Henderson, Space Commander of the HMS Camden Lock in a suspiciously flimsy year 2151 (you can almost smell the silver poster paint on the walls), with Hart as his Diplomatic Officer as they travel the galaxy. There are a couple of flat jokes, (which may have contributed to a poor showing in the ratings), but the moments of utter brilliance far outweigh the duds. Sorely missed.

4. Arrested Development

One of the funniest comedies ever to fall victim to the dreaded axe, Arrested Development gave us three seasons on FOX in 2003 – 2006. The show starred a young Micheal Cera, along with David Cross, Jason Bateman and Potia DeRossi as members of the Bluth family. Highly influential and unfailingly hilarious, the show grew to be such a cult hit that a movie is now in development, proof that brilliant writing can withstand even a network’s death sentence.

5. Demons

After True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Being Human and, of course, Twilight, vampires have been invading our screens pretty repetitively for the last few years. But another, rather forgotten contributor to this questionable oeuvre was Demons, an ITV six-parter from 2009 about a teenage (you guessed it) bloodsucker. Luke Rutherford, played by Christian Cooke, is informed by his Godfather that he is a direct descendant of Van Helsing. Sorry, what? Yeah, hardly the most original of ideas, but surprisingly the show worked. It was gloriously trashy, despite its over-eager performances (including a strange turn from Mackenzie Crook as a demonic hitman) and embarrasing ‘teen slang’. But, what else do you want from a teen vampire show?

6. Futurama

From Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons, as if you didn’t know) science fiction cartoon Futurama was initially a huge hit. Stephen J.Fry is a pizza delivery boy unwittingly frozen for thousands of years, and defrosted in the year 3000. With characters like Bender, an alcoholic robot, and one-eyed futurobabe Leela, it’s no wonder the show generated tonnes of merchandise and even three straight-to-DVD movies. It fell out of favour with the network in its fourth season, and got kicked around the schedules by big sporting events. Eventually FOX just decided to stop buying episodes, putting great swathes of the ironic t-shirt manufacture business out of work.


Good Morning Television was the stalwart of cornflake-munchers and coffee-slurpers everywhere, broadcsting from 6.30am to 9am every single morning from 1993 to 2010. Well, most mornings – even Lorraine Kelly doesn’t get up that early on a Saturday, but you get the idea. With such searing highs as Robert Pattinson’s admission that he would date a fan, to such emotional climaxes as Vanessa Peroncel’s impassioned denial of an affair with John Terry. GMTV gave us this and so much more, before it was cruelly elbowed aside to make room for “underperforming” (in the words of ITV bosses) PR disaster Daybreak.