11 TV shows that were canceled this year even though they got glowing reviews

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“Counterpart”
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Starz

  • From DC Universe’s “Swamp Thing” to Netflix’s “Tuca and Bertie,” plenty of critically acclaimed shows this year have been canceled.
  • We rounded up 11 of the most well-reviewed TV shows to get the ax in 2019.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Plenty of TV shows have been canceled this year despite being lavishly praised by critics.

Netflix often doesn’t see the value in shows that exceed 30 episodes (usually two to three seasons) because they become too expensive and too difficult for new viewers to jump into, Deadline reported earlier this year. That means Netflix shows like “Tuca and Bertie,” “One Day at a Time,” and more have been given the boot earlier than fans, and critics, would have hoped.

But it’s not just Netflix.

Traditional broadcast networks like ABC and competing streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video have given up on well-reviewed shows this year. Even DC Universe, the young fan-centric streamer, canceled “Swamp Thing” after just one season in a move that shocked those close to its production.

We’ve rounded up 11 shows that were canceled this year that critics loved, and ranked them from worst to best by Rotten Tomatoes aggregate critic scores.

We highlighted short-lived shows that received an average score over 80% and ranked them based on critic scores (we broke ties with audience scores). We excluded shows that are concluding with movies, such as “Sense8” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”

Below are 11 canceled shows in 2019 that critics loved:


11. “Whiskey Cavalier” — ABC, canceled after 1 season

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Walt Disney Television.

Critic score: 82%

Audience score: 79%

Description: “The adventures of an FBI agent and his new partner, a badass CIA operative, who together lead a team of spies.”

What critics said: “Whiskey Cavalier knows what it is – which is a compliment, since many shows don’t. And what it is is a good-looking action dramedy with good-looking people; it’s aiming for a Mr. & Mrs. Smith sort of vibe.” – Buzzfeed


10. “The Kids Are Alright” — ABC, canceled after 1 season

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Rick Rowell/ABC

Critic score: 82%

Audience score: 100%

Description: “The Clearys are a traditional Irish-Catholic family, with eight boisterous boys, navigating the 1970s.”

What critics said: “The tumult, chaos and divergent interests of these many brothers feels authentic, and so do the besieged parents who are trying to hold it all together with a modest paycheck and as much love as they can divide among eight boys.” – Newsday


9. “Jessica Jones” — Netflix, canceled after 3 seasons

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Netflix

Critic score: 83%

Audience score: 78%

Description: “Haunted by a traumatic past, Jessica Jones uses her gifts as a private eye to find her tormentor before he can harm anyone else in Hell’s Kitchen.”

What critics said: “From the gritty tone and weighty themes to the morally murky characters and great performances, Jessica Jones’ final season is by and large an enjoyable showcase of what we’ll miss about these shows as the Defendersverse comes to a close.” – Empire


8. “The OA” — Netflix, canceled after 2 seasons

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Netflix

Critic score: 84%

Audience score: 84%

Description: “Seven years after vanishing from her home, a young woman returns with mysterious new abilities and recruits five strangers for a secret mission.”

What critics said: “The OA truly comes into its own when you stop attempting to piece together the storyline.” – Daily Telegraph


7. “Santa Clarita Diet” — Netflix, canceled after 3 seasons

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Saeed Adyani / Netflix

Critic score: 89%

Audience score: 90%

Description: “They’re ordinary husband and wife realtors until she undergoes a dramatic change that sends them down a road of death and destruction. In a good way.”

What critics said: “While season three is the richest and most layered look at marriage and mortality yet, ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ remains gloriously easy watching.” – Collider

Read more: How to search for movies and shows on Netflix, or use category tags to narrow down your search


6. “Patriot” — Amazon Prime Video, canceled after 2 seasons

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Amazon

Critic score: 91%

Audience score: 89%

Description: “To prevent Iran from going nuclear, intelligence officer John Tavner must forgo all safety nets and assume a perilous ‘non-official cover’ – that of a mid-level employee at a Midwestern industrial piping firm.”

What critics said: “Do you like dark? Do you like funny? Can you tolerate some intermittent head-bashing in the name of American imperialism and/or ennui? Join me on this ride, friend.” – The Ringer


5. “Swamp Thing” — DC Universe, canceled after 1 season

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DC Universe

Critic score: 94%

Audience score: 83%

Description: “SWAMP THING follows Abby Arcane as she investigates what seems to be a deadly swamp-born virus in a small town in Louisiana but soon discovers that the swamp holds mystical and terrifying secrets. When unexplainable and chilling horrors emerge from the murky marsh, no one is safe.”

What critics said: “Swamp Thing leans in on backwoods swampy horror and it works so well.” – Mashable


4. “The Tick” — Amazon Prime Video, canceled after 2 seasons

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Amazon

Critic score: 95%

Audience score: 89%

Description: “In a world where superheroes have been real for decades, an accountant with mental health issues and zero powers comes to suspect his city is owned by a global super villain long-thought dead. As he struggles to uncover the conspiracy, he falls in league with a strange blue superhero. They launch into an adventure brimming with crazed archvillains, blood-soaked vigilantes, and superhuman freakery.”

What critics said: “Where so many other superhero stories nowadays focus on the heroes themselves, The Tick stays just as focused on its heroes’ ground-bound pals, whose powers aren’t always as obvious.” – Vox


3. “One Day at a Time” — Netflix, canceled after 3 seasons

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Michael Yarish/Netflix

Critic score: 98%

Audience score: 96%

Description: “In a reimagining of the TV classic, a newly single Latina mother raises her teen daughter and tween son with the ‘help’ of her old-school mom.”

What critics said: “The heartbeat of ‘One Day at a Time’ was its spirited insistence that beauty can thrive alongside pain. The series blended multicam-sitcom laughs with a fearless willingness to tackle heavy social issues.” – The Atlantic

Read more: How many devices you can use with your Netflix subscription, broken down by each plan


2. “Tuca and Bertie” — Netflix, canceled after 1 season

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Netflix

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 68%

Description: “Free-spirited toucan Tuca and self-doubting song thrush Bertie are best friends – and birds – who guide each other through life’s ups and downs.”

What critics said: “Tuca & Bertie handled a wide range of emotion in just one short season with the utmost humor and heart – and seeing it canceled before it even had a chance to grow is a blow to fans.” – Polygon


1. “Counterpart” — Starz, canceled after 2 seasons

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Starz

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 90%

Description: “Academy Award Winner J.K. Simmons plays Howard Silk, a cog of a Berlin-based United Nations spy agency. Howard is thrust into a shadow world of intrigue and danger, where the only man he can trust is ‘Prime.'”

What critics said: “Beyond its artfully chilly atmosphere and its surprisingly plausible and suspenseful narrative, the main attraction in Season 2 remains J.K. Simmons’s crafty, quiet portrayal of the two spies.” – New York Times