TV Shows We Lost Too Soon In 2022

When it comes to changes in the television landscape, 2022 has been rough. Almost every streaming service or major cable network seemed to have some kind of major loss or merger. The result was a whole lot of cost-cutting, which unfortunately meant that some beloved shows got the axe, many before their time. The CW ended many of its superhero shows as the network goes through a total re-brand, Warner Bros. Discovery's merger led them to cut hundreds of millions of dollars worth of content, and Netflix lost $50 billion in value overnight back in January, leading to a year of heavy cancellations. It seemed like every time we turned around, something else was getting cut, and it's been devastating for fans. 

Some of the shows we lost only had a single, audacious season before getting cut short, while others have been around for years. Some, like the divisive and ridiculously expensive "Westworld," weren't exactly bombshells, while others, like the beloved Peacock comedy "Rutherford Falls," came as more of a shock. Whether the show's demise was a surprise or not, both the creatives who make the shows and the fans who love them deserve to see things through to the end. Here are some of the best series that we lost to cancellation in 2022. 

The Midnight Gospel

Netflix has a history of canceling shows after just one season, and unfortunately "The Midnight Gospel" was one of the many single-season shows to get the cut in 2022. The series really played with the idea of a narrative intercut with real conversations, like Richard Linklater's "Waking Life" but with space travel and some cute cartoons. Created by Duncan Trussell and "Adventure Time" creator Pendleton Ward, "The Midnight Gospel" follows a spacecaster (that's a space podcaster, basically) named Clancy who uses an illegal multiverse simulator to travel to faraway realms. The worlds are weird, and fans of "Adventure Time" or even "Rick and Morty" will find something to love in the insane designs. 

What made "The Midnight Gospel" so unusual was where it sourced its interstellar interviews. The series used audio from Trussell's podcast, "The Duncan Trussell Family Hour," so the interviews were all based on actual conversations with real people. The conversations and subjects ranged wildly, as Trussell spoke with people from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences, and their conversations could go in unexpected directions. 

"Netflix canceled "The Midnight Gospel" after just one audacious season, which is a shame because Trussell had plans for a second season. The series had a small but devoted following, and it's a bummer that we won't get to see more of Clancy's cosmic conversations. 


After a wildly uneven fourth season, the cancellation of "Westworld" wasn't exactly a surprise, but it still hurts. Fans who stuck around through the series' twisting, sometimes frustrating run were given a season finale that hinted at the endgame, but that end will never come. Season 4 was a mess, using both time jumps and digital worlds to confuse the audience and muddle the narrative, but there were moments of what made "Westworld" great in the first place. The season ended with some major shocks, as most of the central characters were killed unceremoniously, but at least the maze was finally coming full circle. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) was going to fix it all in the robot afterlife. Season 5 would have been the end, for better or worse, but instead we just have an eternal cliffhanger. 

With a literal world-ending season 4 finale that's about as satisfying as if the original "Star Wars" trilogy had ended with "The Empire Strikes Back," anyone who stuck it out through the end of the series is going to be left with a bad taste in their mouth. The salt in the wound is that HBO also pulled the series from its streaming service, HBO Max, and are putting it on their ad-supported streaming service instead (along with other canceled shows, like "The Nevers" and "Raised by Wolves.") These shows were created to be watched without commercial breaks of any kind, and whatever HBO's planning to do with them is just kicking fans while they're down. 

I absolutely loved big swathes of "Westworld," and while the series sometimes got caught up in its own mysteries, I cared about the characters, especially Dolores. Not getting to see her story to its conclusion is a bigger bummer than the show's own apocalypse. 

Archive 81

Another series that suffered an abrupt cancellation is Netflix's "Archive 81," a found-footage horror series whose first season ended with an absolutely brutal cliffhanger. The series followed an archivist named Dan (Mamoudou Athie), who sets out to restore a series of camcorder tapes filmed by a woman who went missing after a fire in 1994. The job is a little sketchy and the company he's working for is even worse, and things start getting scary when Dan realizes that there are connections between himself and the missing woman, Melody (Dina Shiahabi). 

The series mixed all kinds of great supernatural elements like a dimension-hopping demon, time-shifts, and dangerous cults, but it's also a deeply human story that centers on two human beings connecting over space and time. The first season wasn't wrapped up in any real way because it was supposed to introduce season 2, but Netflix gave them the axe and fans are left with half a tale.  The one good thing is that there is a podcast of the same story, so fans desperate to know what happens can listen in and find out. That's not quite the same as a TV series, but in this world of cancellations, sometimes fans have to take what they can get. 

Rutherford Falls

Small-town workplace comedies are pretty common, but there was nothing else on television like "Rutherford Falls." The Peacock series, created by "Parks & Recreation" creator Mike Schur, star Ed Helms, and Navajo filmmaker Sierra Teller Ornelas, offered a lot of fresh perspectives while also being really, really funny. The show follows Reagan (Jana Schmieding, the hilarious receptionist Bev on "Reservation Dogs"), an Indigenous woman who works at the local cultural center. She's a part of a fictional tribe, the Minishonka, but her experiences are clearly based on the real-life experiences of the show's Indigenous writing team. The series feels deeply authentic while also being fiercely funny, and while it shares some similarities with "Reservation Dogs," including a handful of cast members, "Rutherford Falls" is tonally different, as it's more of a warm, fluffy comedy with romantic elements. ("Reservation Dogs," by contrast, is a dramedy.)

Unfortunately, Peacock canceled the series right as it was starting to hit its stride, with season 2 character arcs that would have taken the show in some fun and fascinating new directions. The cast was brilliantly talented and included Helms as Reagan's best friend Nathan, Dustin Milligan ("Schitt's Creek") and Dallas Goldtooth ("Reservation Dogs") as Reagan's love interests, Michael Greyeyes as casino CEO Terry, Jesse Leigh as Nathan's assistant Bobbie, and Kaniehtiio Horn as Bobbie's nemesis, Feather. The show's cancellation is a huge let-down, but the creators are open to a season 3 somewhere else if another streamer is interested, so there's always hope of a revival in 2023!

Tuca & Bertie

It's been a wild year of cancellations, but it's been especially brutal for animation. The Warner Bros. Discovery merger led to HBO Max not only canceling animated shows but dropping them from the streaming service altogether. The Adult Swim series "Tuca & Bertie" was one of the many shows to get the cut, ending after two seasons on Adult Swim. (The series' first season aired on Netflix before being canceled and revived at Adult Swim.) The series followed BBFFs (best bird friends forever) Tuca and Bertie (voiced by Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong) as they try to navigate the awkward phase of adulthood where you should be old enough to know better but still make some adolescent mistakes. The series was created by "Bojack Horseman" writer Lisa Hanawalt and produced by "Bojack" creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg, and balanced serious topics with moments of animated hilarity. Thankfully, it never got quite as dark as "Bojack," but it also didn't have the acclaim or fame of that show, leading to not just one but two untimely cancellations. 

There are still some unanswered questions about where loud-mouthed Tuca and nervous Bertie would have gone after season 3 — could Tuca continue to manage her sobriety? Would Bertie and her boyfriend Speckle (Steven Yeun) finally settle down and raise a flock of little birds together? Would the two stay friends forever, or gradually grow apart? Unfortunately, the world may never know, because after two cancellations, "Tuca & Bertie" isn't likely to be brought back from the dead again. 

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

"Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" was unique among late-night news shows, presenting progressive issues with a fiercely funny feminist bent courtesy of host Samantha Bee. Bee started as a correspondent on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" before going on to host the TBS series, which tackled news stories, politics, and special topics with a satirical bent. There aren't a whole lot of women in late night, and even fewer in the late night news game, so when TBS announced that "Full Frontal" was canceled after seven seasons, it came as a huge blow. Only "The Amber Ruffin Show" on Peacock is left, the last show in female-led late-night news still standing. 

Satirical news shows took another hit when comedian Trevor Noah left "The Daily Show" after seven years as a host. (What is it with "The Daily Show" correspondents and seven years? Is there a curse?) Maybe the two can team up and create another series, or join former coworkers John Oliver or Jon Stewart on their respective shows at HBO and Apple TV+. 

Whatever Bee does next is sure to be great, but I will miss her passionate and informed take on a wide variety of topics. Thanks for seven years of laughs and knowledge, and Godspeed.

Gentleman Jack

"Gentleman Jack" is a historical dramedy based on the real-life exploits of Anne Lister. The series begins in West Yorkshire, England, in 1832, and follows a middle-aged Anne (Suranne Jones), who has moved back in with her family at their estate in Shibden Hall after her heart is broken by a woman who left her for a cisgender man. Her appearance and sexuality earned her the nickname "Gentleman Jack," and though she clearly doesn't find anything wrong with her love life, the narrow-minded people in town sure do. She ends up falling in love with a woman named Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle), an unmarried heiress who she initially only sees as a potential escape from relying on her parents' wealth, and the series follows the two as they try to navigate a lesbian love affair in the early 1800s. 

We have a lot of Anne's story because she documented her love life and various other adventures in her diaries, writing them in a secret code that wasn't translated for more than a century after she died. Her diaries provided a look into not only life at the time, but life as a lesbian in a time when those perspectives were mostly kept hidden. The series was bold and authentic, drawing from Lister's diaries to tell a compelling, sexy, and funny tale about a woman who was true to herself at any cost. "Gentleman Jack" was another unfortunate casualty of the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, as the show's small but fervent fandom weren't enough to convince the CEO to keep the series alive. 

First Kill

Sapphic stories really suffered the cancellation curse in 2022, because young adult vampire series "First Kill" was also canceled. Netflix staked the series after only one season, as they are wont to do, enraging the series' small but ferocious fanbase. "First Kill" was adapted by V. E. Schwab's short story of the same name, and was focused on the dangerous romance between a vampire named Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook) and a monster hunter named Calliope (Imani Lewis). The two have a love affair reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, starting a war between the vampires and monster hunters. 

Showrunner Felicia D. Henderson voiced frustration that Netflix failed to properly market the series, leading to its untimely cancellation, though I don't think anyone fully understands how the bosses at Netflix decide what to cancel, even the bosses themselves. (Is it a dartboard that they throw darts at while blindfolded? A Magic 8-Ball? An old woman reading the bones?) What we know for certain is that "First Kill" barely had a chance to get off the ground before it was cut down.

Raised by Wolves

This one hurts. "Raised by Wolves" was easily the weirdest thing on television, following a sci-fi story about human colonists in the far future trying to repopulate distant planets. Humanity all but destroyed itself by separating into two factions: The Mithraic, who follow a sun god and have strict religious practices, and the Atheists, who shun all religion. "Raised by Wolves" follows two androids, Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim), who land on the planet Kepler 22-b and attempt to raise a brood of human children there. Unfortunately, a Mithraic colony ship also crashes nearby, and the planet itself is extremely hostile.

Ridley Scott produced the series, which definitely has traces of "Prometheus" in its DNA. "Raised by Wolves" digs deep into religion, what it means to be human, the potential of artificial intelligence, and more. But it's also truly audacious and strange. The planet's natural flora and fauna are bizarre and beautiful, managing to somehow be more terrifying than even the maniacal Marcus (Travis Fimmel), who believes himself to be a prophet of the Mithraic god, Sol. Unlike "Westworld," "Raised by Wolves" wasn't interested in fans trying to explain or understand its mysteries, and instead just encouraged them to go along for the weird, wild ride. Season 2 ended with some pretty huge surprises, but unfortunately we may never know the final fates of Mother, Father, Marcus, and the rest of the survivors. The fans, along with star Salim, have petitioned for a revival, but the show's fate is in Sol's hands. 

The Midnight Club

Mike Flanagan has made a pretty successful career for himself adapting horror novels into television shows and movies, but unfortunately his adaptation of Christopher Pike's "The Midnight Club" was a rare miss for the director. The series received somewhat mixed reviews and had a low viewership, and much like "First Kill," Flanagan thinks Netflix's marketing for the series might have had something to do with its flagging streaming numbers. 

"The Midnight Club" follows a group of terminally ill kids who meet each night to share scary stories with one another. They make a pact that if one of them dies, they have to come back and give the others hope for the afterlife. "The Midnight Club" is a haunting, beautiful story with great mini-stories within it, but the series just didn't deliver enough to get fans begging for more. 

Like many of the other shows on this list, "The Midnight Club" ended on a cliffhanger, with some of the show's major characters in genuine peril. If fans want to know what happens to their favorite characters, they can always read the novel, or read about Flanagan's plans for a potential season 2 before the cancellation. Flanagan fans can at least rest easy knowing that their fave is staying busy, with a "Dark Tower" adaptation on the way at Amazon Studios.

The CW superhero slate

The Warner Bros. Discovery merger had far-reaching ramifications, including the DC Comics properties over on the CW. The television channel is undergoing a rebranding, and throughout this year they have canceled nearly everything on their comics slate, including "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," "Batwoman," and "Naomi," while their last major flagship program, "The Flash," ended after nine seasons. The DC comics shows on the CW had varying levels of success, with shows like "Batwoman" struggled to gain and keep viewers. 

The future of DC on TV and in the movies is still up in the air after James Gunn and Peter Safran took over as the new heads of the DCU, but it's pretty much guaranteed that they have no future at all on the CW. These shows will always have their (dedicated) fanbases, but unfortunately, we have reached the end of an era. 

Many, many more

There were so many great shows canceled in 2022 that it feels impossible to list them all, especially because many of the series that took risks for new audiences were the ones to get yanked. There's a shocking number of shows that were canceled this year that feature female or LGBTQ leads or storylines, including "Paper Girls," "The Nevers," and even the award-winning "The Baby-Sitters Club." There are so many amazing stories out there, but unfortunately not all of them get to continue until their rightful endings. 

Some other great shows that got canceled before their time this year include: "Cooking with Paris," "Love, Victor," "Snowfall," "Raising Dion," "M.O.D.O.K.," "Dollface," "Snowpiercer," "Queens," "Joe Pera Talks With You," "Night Sky," "See," "Desus & Mero," "Resident Evil," "Crossing Swords," "Fate: The Winx Saga," "Los Espookys," and "Minx."

Shows will always get canceled, but hopefully the hits won't be as hard in 2023. Check back next year to see what else unfairly gets the axe, because I'm sure to have opinions about it.