All TV shows, no matter how successful, are eventually canceled. Sooner or later, whether they've been on the air one season or ten, the network drops the ax and the series is over. But there are a rare few that have been reborn to find an audience once again.
Whether it is due to a rabid fan base, a production studio willing to renegotiate or a miracle granted by the TV gods, there are a unique group of shows that have managed to defy the odds and be brought back from the dead.
We're talking Veronica Mars (available now on Amazon Prime!). We're talking Firefly (also available now on Amazon Prime!).
And we're talking overall about 23 TV shows that were amazingly brought back to life.
Veronica Mars ran for three seasons from 2004 to 2007 before it bit the dust. Then, several years later, something miraculous occurred. A Kickstarter campaign surfaced and fans helped raise the $2 million to make a Veronica Mars movie a reality. The movie was released in March of 2014 and has left fans hopeful for a sequel.
The unique sci-fi series about ordinary people who realize that they have superhuman abilities originally aired on NBC for four seasons from 2006 to 2010. Later, the online version, Heroes Evolutions, was created to explore the Heroes universe and provide further insight into the show's mythology. Proving that the series has its own superpower, it will be back on NBC with a 13-episode miniseries as Heroes Reborn in Fall of 2015.
Entourage aired on HBO from 2004 to 2011, but cancellation couldn’t keep the boys from Queens down for long. After eight seasons on TV, they took their story from the fictional big screen to the real one as Entourage the movie was released in theaters in June of 2015.
Firefly didn't even get to finish out its one full season on FOX back in 2002 but despite its early cancellation, the fans love for the crew of the Serenity never died. In fact, it got stronger. So much so that a feature film, Serenity, was released in theaters in 2005. Hope of a sequel has always had fans of Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, and the rest of the memorable cast feeling shiny.
Arrested Development originally aired on FOX from 2003 to 2006. The unique comedy garnered critical acclaim, six Emmys and one Golden Globe as well as quite the cult following. It was so popular that even after it was cancelled, Netflix brought it back to life and released a fourth season in 2013.
Sheriff Walt Longmire kept law and order over at A&E for three seasons but when the network pulled the plug after a cliffhanger finale, fans were outraged. Thankfully, Netflix stepped in and signed up to produce a fourth season which should be available later this year.
NBC dumped JAG after season 1 but CBS saw something special in the series. Not only did JAG last an additional 9 seasons, it also spun off the NCIS franchise which now includes NCIS entering its 13th season, NCIS: Los Angeles going into season 7 and the newest addition, NCIS: New Orleans which starts season 2 this fall. We'd say CBS made a good call.
Community was cancelled by NBC after season 5. Sony, who produced the show, shopped it around and it looked like Hulu was going to pick it up but that fell through. Just when all hope looked lost for the staff and students of Greendale, Community season 6 landed at Yahoo where it began streaming in March 2015.
The hit sitcom aired on NBC for seven seasons, winning a Peabody award in 2006. When NBC announced the show’s cancellation, ABC swooped in and resuscitated the aging sitcom giving it new life for seasons 8 and 9.
Courtney Cox played a recently divorced, single mother reentering the dating scene surrounded by her friends. The cul de sac crew lasted through season 3 on ABC but when the network shut the party down, TBS picked up a glass of wine and continued the fun through season 6.
The Mindy Project
This unique comedy's loyal fans were devastated when FOX pulled the plug after the close of season 3, but their grief didn’t last long. Hulu swooped in just nine days later to announce they would save the day and continue the series, ordering up another 26 episodes.
It was one of the hottest primetime soaps of the ’80s and lasted longer than the decade. it was so popular that “Who Shot J.R.?” became a part of the American lexicon. TNT brought the series back to life in 2012 but much to fans disappointment it was canceled again after season 3's cliffhanger ending.
This legal thriller starring Glenn Close and Ted Danson first premiered on FX in 2007 to critical acclaim and the lawsuits and legal maneuvering lasted through season 3. But when the network decided to end its relationship with the show, DirectTV stepped up and produced two more seasons for its Audience channel.
It was the show that refused to die. The Killing, based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen, which literally translated means “The Crime” first began on AMC in 2011. The network then cancelled the show in 2012 but a renegotiation with Fox Television Studios had AMC bringing it back from the dead for season 3. But at the end of that season AMC decided to cancel it once again. This time the show was resuscitated by Netflix for its final season making us wonder if there were zombies behind the scenes instead of detectives.
Sex and the City
The show about four woman sharing friendship and sex stories in New York City ran for six seasons on HBO. It left fans sobbing in their Cosmos when it was cancelled, until Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha hit the big screen. The ladies made not one but two motion pictures that had fans dressing up in their Jimmy Choos and waiting in line.
Seth McFarlane's politically incorrect animated comedy first aired on FOX back in 1999 but they gave it the ax after only three seasons. Then something strange happened. The show’s DVD sales were so strong that two years later, FOX decided to resurrect the series which will enter it’s 14th season this fall.
Jack Bauer started his literal 24-hour marathon fighting against terrorists back in 2001 but FOX stopped the clock in 2010 after eight seasons. With fans still clamoring for more, the aptly named 24: Live Another Day brought Jack back for another action packed 12 episodes in the summer of 2014.
Lisa Kudrow produced and starred in this HBO dramedy which took a satirical look inside the television industry. Maybe HBO didn’t find it so funny because they cancelled it after only one season. Yet, the show lived up to its name when the network decided to bring it back to life nine years later for season 2 and has confirmed a season 3 is in the works.
The investigation into the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer began on Twin Peaks in 1990 on ABC. It cultivated an intense cult-like fan base but that wasn't enough to save it and it was culled after just two seasons. But the strange magic of Twin Peaks lives on as over two decades later, Showtime has plans to resurrect the series with nine new episodes set to air in 2016.
Coach first ran onto our screens back in 1989 as we got to watch Hayden Fox eat, sleep, and breathe all things football for nine seasons. As fun as it was, we didn't expect to see the sitcom return but that was until NBC surprised us by deciding to pull Coach out of retirement. The peacock network has placed an order for 13 new episodes slated to air in 2016.
The series that taught us about alien abductions ran on FOX for nine seasons from 1993 to 2002 and spawned two feature films. Even though we learned long ago to Trust No One, we believe that FOX is currently filming six new episodes with our favorite FBI agents, scheduled to air in early 2016.
Jericho was a unique action-drama about the residents of Jericho, Kansas who must figure how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. When CBS cancelled the show after season 1, fans sent 20 tons of peanuts to CBS headquarters in reference to the battle cry of “Nuts!” from the season finale. CBS relented and ok’d a short season 2 to wrap up the story. But Jericho's story continued even after that in comic book form.
Cagney & Lacey
Cagney & Lacey, a show about two tough female detectives received both critical acclaim and controversy. CBS pulled the plug after its first short season only to change its mind, recast a key role and bring it back for season 2, after which they cancelled it for a second time. But thanks to the outcry of fans, the show was resurrected for an unprecedented third time. It went on to earn 36 Emmy award nominations and 14 wins over its seven season run.