As The WB and UPN’s successor, The CW came in on the heels of some of television’s favorite cult classics. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, and Dawson’s Creek were all part of the greatest hits list prior to the big network merger in 2006. Soon after they joined forces, The CW rose to power using a formula that has continued to create some of television’s most beloved shows.
The CW has found so much success in how it's distinguished itself, with a weekly lineup that has become the who’s who at Comic-Con. Part of the beauty is that unlike, other networks, The CW has never been afraid to take chances. That being said, there are occasions when the network just can’t seem to figure out when to call it quits.
Whether it was a case of jumping ship or jumping the shark, The CW has had a few scenarios in there that have left us scratching our heads. Overall, it seems no matter what The CW puts out, viewers remain devoted mostly because the content is just so good.
These are some of the programs we wish we could’ve seen more of and a few that (although we love) we know we should probably say goodbye to.
Here are 10 CW Shows That Were Canceled Too Soon (And 5 That Need To Go).
15 Too Soon - No Tomorrow
In 2016, this cute and quirky comedy made its way onto The CW. Set in Los Angeles, the show followed Evie, played by the adorable Tori Anderson, as she seems destined to meet Xavier, played by the hunky Joshua Sasse.
Aside from the obvious romantic plotline, the series excitingly paired the two opposite personalities as they braced for the end of the world. With eight months to live, one by one, they begin to check things off their “apocolyst.” Only problem is, they never make it to the end.
After one season, the series was canceled, leaving the question of not only what was to become of them but also that big, bad asteroid that was heading toward Earth. While they did provide some closure with an epilogue, sadly, there would be no future for No Tomorrow.
14 Too Soon: Frequency
Frequency should have been a home run for The CW. Not only was it created by one of our Supernatural favorites (Jeremy Carver), but it was inspired by the sci-fi film made in ’00 that carried the same name.
This time, the role of Detective John Sullivan would be changed to a female lead (NYPD detective Raimy Sullivan), played by the stunning Peyton List. The show also boasted actors such as Nashville’s Riley Smith and the multitalented Mekhi Phifer. Unfortunately, it never survived past the first season.
With a few variations from the original, the series made it roughly halfway through what the movie would’ve been. Luckily, only days later (like No Tomorrow) an epilogue was released, revealing what became of the characters, including, of course, Frank Sullivan. If you’ve seen the film, chances are you already know how it ends. Once again, it proved that Frequency was way ahead of its time.
13 Needs to go: The 100
From the beginning, The 100 has never been afraid to introduce new players or brazenly take out our favorite ones with no warning at all. Just when you think the series can’t possibly survive the loss of another main character or wonder how they’ll get out of once again going from the frying pan into the fire, they find a way to miraculously pull through.
Even though the show is typically unpredictable, this last year had people not only doing things that were totally out of character but left us with scenarios that made you question the direction of the entire show.
Season 5 picks up in 2018 and fans are on the edge of their seats waiting to see what’s next. Although, there is much to love, we have to wonder how long they can keep this up. Will The 100 live to see 100 episodes? Will The 100 live at all? Guess we’ll find out soon enough.
12 Too Soon: Veronica Mars
Veronica Mars was so beloved it even got its very own film seven years after it was yanked off the air. The series was supposed to be aimed at teenagers yet managed to appeal to adults, too. It was magic.
About a high school student (Kristen Bell) who moonlights as a private detective finds herself constantly immersed in scandal, Veronica Mars was a carryover from UPN. Every season had its own mystery amid the soap opera-esque relationships, which made it so you really never knew what was going to happen next.
While some might admit that the show began losing momentum in its third season, it was eventually the writers’ strike that would bring on its demise. Thankfully, fans fought to see a proper ending eventually and got the justice they deserved – even if it took nearly a decade -- when the Veronica Mars movie made it to theaters.
11 Too Soon: Reaper
This clever little comedy that debuted in ’07 had Sam, your average lackluster post-high school grad, searching for purpose in the world while pining away for the girl of his dreams. After discovering that his soul belonged to the Devil, Sam was forced to become a bounty hunter, reaping souls (along with his best friends and dream girl) working with Satan himself – who was played by the ultra-cool Ray Wise.
While Reaper was a show that came about just after The CW changeover, it happened to be the perfect recipe and was well-received. Unfortunately, it would become another victim of the infamous writers’ strike that claimed so many others at the time.
Talks of other networks, Kickstarter campaigns, and comic books fueled fans’ hopes but eventually they died down. After two seasons, the network killed the show and our dreams for more went along with it.
10 Needs to go: Dynasty
If The CW was going to reboot any show, opting for an ‘80s soap opera seems like an odd choice; especially considering their demographic. In the 1980s, Dynasty was a smashing success - adults loved it.
It’s reasonable enough to see how you can keep a formula involving the Carringtons and the Colbys, switch up a few key characteristics to put a modern spin on things, and stick it on The CW in hopes of a hit. After all, with actors such as Grant Show, a familiar face from Melrose Place, you could kind of envision the direction they might be hoping to go with this one. But is this what the fans want? The jury is still out.
The network, which does all too well immersed in the world of superheroes, might be veering out of its comfort zone here and asking for a bit of real-life drama in the process.
9 Too Soon: The Secret Circle
Somewhere between The Craft and Charmed lived The Secret Circle. Everybody loves a good witch (especially fans of The CW) so most people were not happy to see the show go, claiming that the network never gave it a fair shot.
Starting off with 22 episodes seems like a good jumping off point, but after ratings began to decline halfway through the first season, The CW drew the line. The books already had their own fan base so when the series was nixed, there were a few campaigns to keep it going, none of which saw any success. It’s no secret that when this coven got canceled, fans were brewing up what they could to keep it going.
While the series did move to CW Seed for your binge-watching pleasure, unfortunately, there would be no “Saving The Circle.”
8 Too Soon: The Messengers
The show about a mysterious object falling to earth, causing a group of strangers to die only to return to life with some supernatural powers seems like it would be the one of the best shows on television, let alone The CW. So, what happened? Especially since it was on a network that catered to this kind of stuff? After one season, the people who were tasked with stopping the apocalypse couldn’t even keep their own series from getting axed. Even though The CW did eventually air all 13 episodes, it was the ratings that made this one struggle. Right out of the gate it saw its share of challenges. Whether it was an unfortunate time slot or the fact that three of the network’s greatest hits just happened to take off at the same time, The Messengers sadly just seemed doomed to fail.
7 Needs to go: Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Whose Line Is It Anyway? was one of the best shows on television – in 1998. Originally based out of the UK, the series has featured the comedy stylings of some of the greatest.
These days, while former host Drew Carey holds down the fort at The Price Is Right, your other favorite comedians Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles and Wayne Brady (who also hosts Let's Make a Deal) are still up to their same tricks. The very funny Aisha Tyler has served as host since its 2013 revival and the show has just officially been picked up for a 14th season (its sixth on The CW).
While these incredible comics still prove they are some of the most talented we’ve ever seen, sometimes you actually have to stop and ask yourself - what year is it anyway?
6 Too Soon: The Tomorrow People
The Tomorrow People was one of those sci-fi shows that at one point had done well in the UK. Naturally, bringing it to the States and putting it on The CW made perfect sense.
Created by Greg Berlanti (who some might say could be superhuman himself), the series was all about humans with paranormal abilities being hunted by the military. Again, seems like a no-brainer. So where did those signals get crossed?
Originally, it was paired with Arrow and was performing well, until the ratings fell drastically over the course of a season. They even switched nights in hopes of gaining better viewership but that actually had the opposite effect. Eventually, its fate was sealed and after only one season, they pulled the plug – leaving fans with plenty of cliffhangers to grasp onto. Unfortunately, this show would not live on to see any more tomorrows.
5 Too Soon: Aliens in America
Since the days of UPN, it has not been easy to place a proper sitcom on The CW. Granted, Aliens in America aired just after the merger (2007-2008), and it was regrettably not what the network was going to find its success in.
The comedy about an awkward teenager from Wisconsin, whose family takes in a Muslim foreign exchange student from Pakistan, could not have been more ill-fitted for this network. Other than the title, which ironically, probably would have garnered more of an audience had they been referring to actual aliens, it was just not the direction The CW was headed.
What’s even more troublesome is that the series welcomed rave reviews. Years later, it still warrants a “wow, that was a great show” response. Intelligent, funny, and thought-provoking, sadly Aliens in America couldn’t find the right place to call home.
4 Needs to go: Valor
As one of The CW’s newest shows, Valor jumps on the “military life” bandwagon, following the likes of others such as SEAL Team and The Brave. Funny enough, it would appear that bravery is exactly what the network is exemplifying here, as serial drama is not really in their wheelhouse. So far, fans are not taking kindly to the switch up.
While the scripted series attempts to be compelling, it’s working up against a modest budget and a home that will likely soon be closing the door on them. It’s a valiant effort on the part of both The CW and the showrunners. However, if the past is any indication of whether or not this will be a successful mission, let’s hope we can make this ending as quick and painless as possible.
3 Too Soon: Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers
In 2011, people were looking to get grasp on daytime television. The days of Ricki Lake, Montel Williams, and the Oprah Winfrey Show were winding down. The world needed a hero. Who better to step up than Dr. Drew Pinsky?
As the longtime host of Loveline, Dr. Drew not only pioneered the way for countless other advisers, but he also managed to help a wide range of people through other outlets such as Celebrity Rehab, Sober House, and Teen Mom. Naturally, a daytime talk show called Lifechangers would be the next step in the process.
Or, as it turned out, not so much. While the show lived up to its name, and Drew, along with a panel of experts, certainly did a lot of good for their guests, The CW was again, just not the right place for fixing people’s problems. In the end, changes were made and the show was canceled.
2 Too Soon: Gilmore Girls
To this day, Gilmore Girls lives on to be one of The CW’s greatest hits. Even after seven seasons, it still wasn’t enough. Fans wanted more. In ’07, talks of a limited run were quickly squashed and thanks to what was an inability to come to a financial agreement, as well as conflicting schedules, longtime admirers were forced to say goodbye to GG.
Another holdover from The WB, this was a hard one to let go of. While the original CW send-off brought things full circle for fans, it still wasn't an adequate way to quench their thirst. Nine years later, in 2016, Gilmore Girls got their reboot. Netflix aired four 90-minute episodes. Not to be outdone, this one left things with the cliffhanger of all dramedy cliffhangers.
Although this was the initial ending the showrunner intended did fans finally get some satisfaction? Only time will tell.
1 Needs to go: Supernatural
In the history of any network, there has never been a show quite like Supernatural. Aside from having the most dedicated fans, it holds the record as the longest running sci-fi series in U.S. television history. As it now embarks on a record-breaking 13th season, the series shows zero sign of slowing down.
While we’ve seen the departure of many characters (most recently Crowley, played by Mark Sheppard) the president of the network has stated that he’s happy to keep Supernatural going as long as the principal actors want to keep doing it. So far, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins seem to be on-board. The Winchesters have survived so much, but just how long do we expect them to “Carry On” for?
Are there any more shows from The CW you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments
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