Top Five Things They Never Should Have Canceled

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

This week, there are things you wish would last forever, but alas, they get canceled long before they should have.  Legends of the Dark Knight anyone?


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  1. 5: The chiken and jalapenjo “hamburger” at McDonalds
    4: The Muppet Show
    3: Crimson by Ramos and Augustyn ( I know it was a long limited series but they should have keept on)
    2: Battle Chasers ( This was pure Joe Madureira awesomeness. Im sad that he left comics for videogames. But offcourse the choice is his own to make)
    1: Fawlty Towers – watch this series from front to end allmost once per year. John Cleese at his best :)

  2. 5. Joan of Arcadia

    Great show.. cut off in its prime, and just when it gets interesting.. Dude from Prison Break turning up as The Devil’s sidekick, to God’s Joan..

    4. Swingtown

    A cheesy 70’s era about Jack davenport and his wife and kid moves into an area where the neighbours are all swingers… Not the best series, but the blooming relationship between the son and a neighbours child was really nice…

    3. Stargate: Atlantis

    A lot of people have questioned me on this, but I stick by it… bit slow first 2 seasons, but really got a second wind in its 3rd season, and was a good alternative than watching SG-1 seasons 9/10 (a show that should have been cancelled after season 8).

    2. Skins: USA

    One of the better ports of a tv show from UK to USA, basically a retelling of the UK series, with minor changes. Its a trashy little show, aimed at teens, aired on MTV

    1. Quantum Leap

    Probably THE single most amazing show in US history, cut short after a slow 5th season, which recovered really well with its last episode, which set up an interesting idea.. he can now jump where he likes instead of where he is needed.. The show played around with alot of cameos by future-famous people, a little kid turning out to be Jacko, Sam (the main character) inventing The Twist, for Chubby Checker..

  3. Justin Wawrzonek on

    1. Clerks: The Animated Series
    2. Firefly (Kinda obvious, but I had to put it here)
    3. Booster Gold (Damnit I know he’s in JLI, but give him back his own series)
    4. Eureka
    5. Crystal Pepsi (I really liked that stuff )

    • 2. Firefly – This may be kind of obvious but I was really really suprised that you guys didn’t mention it on the show and only one person has mentioned it in the comment section!!


      • Rocket Rooster on

        Yeah, a quick check and you’ll confirm on your own that it’s been pretty much reported that SYFY did. They’ll play out the rest of the episodes remaining, but by the time we actually see the last episode, the actors will have already moved on to other things.

  4. 5. Sonic’s Frito Chili Pie – Sonic used to serve a dish of Fritos, smothered in their chili and shredded ‘cheese’. Delicious and greatly missed. They now serve a Frito Chili Wrap, but it just isn’t the same.

    4. Freaks and Geeks – Paul Feig and Judd Apatow’s star farm. Great show, early 80s nostalgia with compelling, and believable young characters. 18 episodes produced, only 12 aired in the original run. Brilliant writing, funny, touching and smart. James Franco, Linda Cardellini, Seth Rogan, Jason Segal and the beautiful Busy Phillips (of Cougar Town – six seasons and a movie!) all got their starts on this show. Joe Flaherty is genius on this show. Stephen, the spinoff that wasn’t a spinoff show was called ‘Undeclared’… not Undecided :)

    3. It’s Your Move – Jason Bateman and David Garrison (Steve Rhodes from Married …With Children) starred in this sitcom as a teenage con man vs the guy dating his mom, who also happens to be a better con man. It ran in 1984-85 for one season and was produced by the same team that would later bring us Married…With Children. This show was very funny and as a kid I was rooting for the kid to defeat the creep dating his widowed mother. Ahead of it’s time, had a good cast, but was killed by ABC’s Dynasty running opposite. It even has a catch phrase, “You’re gonna laugh…” Last aired on USA in reruns in 1992, and is not available on DVD. Booger.

    2. Sports Night – The finest television show about a television show ever. I can’t stand anything Aaron Sorkin has ever done…except for this. Kind of an odd show, it was a 30 minute comedy that was often more like a drama. It was much like M*A*S*H in that respect and from me there is no higher praise. The show was cancelled while still in production, so the last few episodes give some closure to the ongoing stories. Great stuff, very quotable, “Pluto doesn’t know when to quit!”

    1. Arrested Development – The greatest sitcom since M*A*S*H. The story of Michael Bluth’s (played again by Jason Bateman) attempt to to guide his corrupt, self-centered family down the right path while often proving to be just like them…This one is getting a reprieve of sorts and is expected to premiere a 4th season on Netflix, in anticipation of a feature film. 3 seasons of genius. Littered with time delayed jokes, brilliant narration by Ron Howard, and a cast unparalleled in recent memory. Re-airing all the time on IFC, not many shows have the rewatchability (is that a word?) of this one.

  5. Man did Rodrigo make me looooooong for some Orbit. Had completely forgotten that sweet, sweet drink. The balls were even flooding regularly after you put the alcohol in it?

  6. Okay, here’s my top five canceled before their time:

    5. Buckaroo Banzai — I’m still waiting for Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League.

    4. Futurama — yes, it’s back, but it should never have been canceled the first time round. Great satire and more “timeless” than The Simpsons. Something is missing from the relaunch and I hope they can get that magic back.

    3. Ruse by Mark Waid — Like Futurama, Ruse is back and it was “canceled” only because CrossGen went belly-up. A great series and, I must admit, I am enjoying the revival, but the revival is a straight forward sleuth tale (so far, that is). So, I don’t know if all the crazy sorcery will be introduced later.

    2. Human Target — no, not the comic, and no, not the Rick Springfield television series back in 1992. I’m talking about the recently deceased show. Sure, it had problems, and you knew watching it it wasn’t going to last. But it had great characters and great actors. Although the stories were not that great (or original), it had some of THE best fight choreography I have seen.

    1. Pushing Daisies — Bryan Fuller had three great shows that never got far. Of the three, Pushing Daisies was my favorite. Great characters, great actors, great set designs, great dialogue with great delivery (loved that fast paced delivery), and Jim Dale’s narration. Sigh.

    Honorable Mention: Firefly. Of course, Firefly. But, I can’t help wonder if it is for the best Firefly lasted one season and Whedon has no interest in returning to it. I didn’t have time to grow old and with it, our interest in it waning. Serenity left me a little cold. I mean, characters were missing from the beginning and I didn’t notice (namely, Book and Miranda). So, when we see Book for a short time before he dies, I didn’t shed a tear (although, I did mind when Wash died).

  7. May I make a suggestion for a future episode of Top Five?

    How about top five soundtracks (movie or television) either original compositions or choice of existing songs (for instance, Footloose or Kill Bill).

  8. My number one favorite show that was canceled too soon was Brimstone! It was Reaper before Reaper existed. A detective damned to Hell is sent back to Earth to capture a hundred of worst souls in Hell that had escaped. Great plot twists and John Glover as the Devil! It was canceled mid-season right after a major plot revelation/cliff hanger. You can’t even find this on DVD.

  9. 5 – Radix
    This was a comic that only ran for 4 issues and was cancelled for legal reasons out of the creator’s control becuase an MIT professor used a doctored image of the main character for a real military super-soldier proposal to the US government without giving credit or asking permission. The creators had to put the project on indeffinate hiatus until whatever legal action finished up, but it never came back. It was shaping up to be an interesting story and the art and designs were fantastic.

    4 – Farscape – Canceled a season short by Sci-fi despite fair ratings, and too late to write a proper ending to, It eventually came back as a final movie to wrap up what should have been a final season. By far one of the greatest sci-fi shows of all time, the characters were well written, well acted, and extremely likable. Great computer animation, some of the best costuming around, and just all around great show.

    3 – Space: Above and Beyond – Another fantastic sci-fi show especially since for all the sci-fi shows out there, almost none of them try to do an actual war drama, and that made this show great. It was canceled suddenly just before the final episode was shot, leaving the writers scrambling to wrap up a galaxy wide war that was nowhere near finished, so they just killed most of the cast off and ended it with all the plot threads unresolved. Good characters, cool space fighters, and cool story. Definitely killed off before it’s time.

    2 – Carls Jr. Philly cheesesteak burger – Heroin on a bun, this thing was AMAZING. Your standard Carls hamburger patty and bun with philly cheesesteak meat/cheese/peppers with whatever suace they used to hold it together, this thing was DELICIOUS. I don’t know how many I wound up eating in the end, after the first time I tried this hamburger I was hooked. I would sometimes go there twice in a single day to get this amazing (and amazingly unhealthy) burger, but it was only available for a couple months. Stupid limited time hamburgers.

    1 – Exo Squad – This was the greatest cartoon of all time. Basically an american take on animes such as Robotech it was another sci-fi war drama, it starts a few decades after a rebellion uprising against a race of humanoid bio-engineered clones called neo-sapiens that humanity created to become their manual (essentially slave) labor. Human barely put down the uprising thanks to a new technoogical advanement: powered armored Exo-frames that were controlled by linking directly to the pilot’s nervous system, and overall little changes for the neosapiens overall. Using attacks from pirates as a distraction and using military weapons, armor and spacecraft that they have been secretly manufacturing over the years, the neo sapiens perform a sudden blitzkrieg and coup d’etat while the majority of the human fleet is mid-solar system, starting a long bloody war in which humanity tries to retake earth and terraformed mars & venus from this cloned species that now has full control and has placed humanity in a position similar to jews in 1930s germany. The show is heavily influenced by WW2 in general, but tells it’s own story and for a childrens cartoon show, it’s a great war story with a lot of surprisingly deep issues dealt with and a lot of drama. Plus it has cool mechs and spaceships and laser rifles and from it came the best toys ever made.

    It ended with a second season that finally brings the war to a close and an uneasy peace between the humans, neo-sapiens and pirate clans, only to have an alien armada warp into the solar system and destroy an entire planet. At about this time Playmates Toys rereleased a lot of the old Robotech toys, with the intention of somehow tying the shows together, but nothing ever came of it and the show was dropped leaving these unknown aliens completely unresolved, and ending the series in as unsatisfactory way as the original robotech ended: a lead-in to a series that never happened.

  10. I’m going to throw in…

    Major Spoilers vol 1


    Although it did lead to Major Spoilers vol 2 and its greatness…

  11. I seriously marked out when Matthew mentioned ECW. E-C-Dub! Still have a few of the original dvds (before wwe started releasing ecw stuff), and watch em all a few times a year. Sandman! The Whole F’n Show, RVD! Raven and Dreamer’s epic fued! The bWo! So good!!!

    Also, frickin loved Reaper! As soon as Stephen mentioned Sam’s name, I knew exactly what was coming.

    Great lists guys!

    • I seriously marked out when Matthew mentioned ECW. E-C-Dub! Still have a few of the original dvds (before wwe started releasing ecw stuff), and watch em all a few times a year. Sandman! The Whole F’n Show, RVD! Raven and Dreamer’s epic fued! The bWo! So good!!!

      Don’t forget Triple Threat… Bam Bam Bigelow, Chris Candido, Dean Malenko, Lance Storm and He Who Must Not Be Named (although not all at the same time…) It’s a shame that Shane Douglas was the core of that group, because I think that lineup would draw big money.

  12. Jeremy Aron Patterson on

    5: Syfy’s Anime Block (aka Ani-Monday; This was a great way of showcasing great anime!)

    4: The Global Guardians (Sure, they never had a series, but I would rather see DC place a team with that name in the DCnU over anything else!)

    3: That Wilkin Boy (The ONLY good teen humor property that Archie created, as it had actual creativity!)

    2: Trinity Angels (Easily the most overlooked book in the VH2 Valiant reboot. This book DESERVES to come back!)

    1: Shear Genius (The main reason it was ‘cancelled’ was due to a stupid regulation in NBC-Universal’s rules that mandated that only one show related to a certain premise be allowed on their cable channels, so they canned SG to make room for the crapfest that is Hair Battle Spectacular!)


  13. Since I couldn’t limit it to just five, I wrote a big response post on my blog:

    Many Things They Never Should Have Cancelled.

    The top five are:

    5. Sonic SatAM: Proof that a video game adaptation can be downright good.
    4. Cheesy Gordita Crunch: There is no reason an item whose components are available year-round keeps randomly disappearing.
    3. Blue Beetle: Especially the John Rogers run, which shaped Jaime & his supporting cast into the heirs apparent to Silver/Bronze Age Spider-Man.
    2. Legion cartoon: It’s a crying shame this series never got to reach its full potential, especially since its source material is so vast.
    1. The Critic: The show that died because it treated its audience as smart and used its cutaway gags wisely.

    Oh, and Stephen, I so very much agree with your #1. Excellent call, for all the reasons you said.

  14. Deadwood. A pre-Justified Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane as one of the most compelling fictional villains of all time, Al Swearingen. The show was utterly brilliant and cancelled to make with for a far inferior show. I’d even throw in Kings, a modern day retelling of King David from a couple of years ago, simply because of McShane. I could watch that guy read the phone book and be transfixed.

  15. Can this lead us to a Top Five of things that went on for far too long? Lemme see if I can put one together.

    5. The Wheel of Time
    Interesting premise and well written, if somewhat longwinded, The Wheel of Time is a series of books chronicling what is supposed to be the conflict between Rand ‘alThor the Dragon Reborn and Shai’tan the Dark One. Instead it wound up being a series about darn near everybody in the whole continent with too many people seemingly needlessly getting their own chapters. The first book in the series was published back in 1990, and the (alleged) final book is scheduled to be released next year. This series is so long that the author dies with three books yet to be published. Listening to the audiobooks takes (to date) over 17 days.
    4. Lost
    I’m not too certain if I need to even write too many words here as Lost was on the cover of everything from TV Guide to Time to Wizard, but to make a long story short (something they should have done) a bunch of people crash on to an uncharted moving island which warps time that is secretly the location of the ultimate battle between good and evil, with the crash survivors being their pawns and eventual successors. The downside is it takes six seasons of not knowing what the heck is going on before we find out anything at all. Awesome if you like headaches and being clueless as to the nature of what is affecting people for years at a time.
    3. The fight between Roddy Piper and Keith David in They Live
    This was one of the dumbest fights in a movie ever, but awesomely so. It was a fight in which one guy is trying to get the other guy to wear a pair of sunglasses, which somehow leads to a five minute and twenty second bout in which neither of the combatants felt any need to obey the Marquess of Queensberry rules of unarmed combat. All this in a fight that was supposed to last about twenty seconds.
    I’m not certain how many hits to the head somebody can take without sustaining a concussion, but this was far too many and far too long, but awesomely so.
    2. The Fantastic Four
    I know the First Family of Comics were trailblazers and that many of the most intimidating villains and cosmic entities were introduced in the pages of the FF, but what have they done for us lately? Dr Doom appeared in 1962, the Silver Surfer and Galactus appeared in 1966, Annihlus appeared in 1968. The point I am making is that The Fantastic Four are now tertiary characters at best. When was the last time the Fantastic Four introduced anything of merit?

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