10 TV Shows That Should’ve Been Hits But Had Impossible Competition


While television wasn’t always the well-respected form of entertainment that it is today, it’s always been a source of joy for many at home. Television shows have come and gone throughout the years, and though some would pin the failure of a series on a multitude of reasons – from poor writing to a weak cast – sometimes a series struggled even when it had all the makings of a great show.



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In some cases, these wonderful shows weren’t able to find a large audience because of poor advertising by the parent network. Other great shows found themselves placed on the worst timeslots. But for these shows, it was the competition with other shows that did them in.

This article contains a brief mention of sexual misconduct allegations.

10 The Munsters Were Taken Down By The Dynamic Duo

while The Munsters a large enough fanbase to spur a film adaptation almost sixty years later, it only lasted for two seasons. The NBC series, which depicted the menial life of a family of monsters, reflected another show on ABC, The Addams Family.

However, The Munsters’ similarities to an equally oddball show weren’t what implemented their downfall. Its cancellation came due to viewership lost to the brand-new Batman series. Unfortunately, as heartfelt and quirky as The Munsters was, it wasn’t enough to engage audiences who found intrigue in the crime-fighting vigilante.

9 Sanditon Struggles To Stay Afloat Amidst Other Historical Romances

Though the Jane Austen adapted series Sanditon was only just recently brought back to television after being nearly canceled, fans can’t be sure the show will last much longer. The series is based on an incomplete novel, which doesn’t help its chances.

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The showrunners took creative liberty to continue the show in their vision after the first episode, making Austen fans hesitant to watch. Its recent release against several other historical romantic dramas like Bridgerton, Outlanderand The Greatputs the series in a competitive and oversaturated genre.

8 Freaks And Geeks Was One Of Many Coming Of Age Stories

The teen dramedy created by Judd Apatow and Paul Feig, Freaks and Geeks chronicled the awkward lives of a group of teenagers in the 1980s. Its relatable story of the “unpopular” kids in high school should have been appreciated at its time of release, but network issues caused its premature cancellation.

The series’ cancellation can also be attributed to audiences being more invested in similar coming-of-age shows like Dawson’s Creek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which puts a supernatural spin on the format). However, the show has found a second life in recent years as a cult classic.

7 Pushing Daisies Had A Niche Audience Compared To Others

Shows with unique plots tend to gather a smaller audience as opposed to generically familiar concepts, and Pushing Daisies was one of them. The series featured a pie maker named Ned, portrayed by Lee Pace, who could bring dead people to life with a single touch.

Ned partners up with his own undead lover (whom he can’t touch) and others to solve criminal homicides. While it’s unclear exactly why the series was canceled, it was up against more popular shows like Mad Men and The Tudors.

6 Hannibal Lost Its Audience

Fans of Hannibal Lecter’s misdeeds were given a series that explored the psychiatrist’s sadistic crimes prior to the events in the films. With Mads Mikkelson playing Hannibal and Hugh Dancy as the young FBI agent the doctor often manipulates, the series lasted three seasons before it was sadly cancelation.

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The show has been widely praised for its intricate storytelling, but it failed to maintain a solid audience. Its low viewership is possibly due to the release of equally great 2013 shows like Bates Motel, The Blacklistand Peaky Blinders.

5 Firefly Had Production Issues On Top Of Being Overlooked By TV Audiences

The short-lived space western, firefly is a beloved series that quickly came and went. Set far in the future after a galactic civil war, it covered the lives of a crew of people who fought for the losing side. Despite its single season, firefly gained a massive cult following that would support the story enough to result in a film being made.

Strangely enough, the series’ episodes were aired out of order, making little sense to active audiences. With a confusing timeline and other primetime shows like Stargate SG-1 and erit’s unfortunate that firefly didn’t get the ending it deserved.

4 Torchwood Had To Compete With The Show That Spawned It

Doctor Who introduced its fanbase to the instantly popular character Jack Harkness in the severely creepy episode “The Empty Child.” Though he was stripped from Whovians, the time traveler was given a spin-off series in Torchwood where he and his crew would solve Earthen issues rather than intergalactic ones.

The series waned between highs and lows, especially being the younger sibling to Doctor Who, but maintained a smaller dedicated fanbase. A reunion audio series was set to release featuring Harkness and the Tenth Doctor, but allegations of actor John Barrowman’s sexual misconduct had caused its cancelation.

3 The Get Down Was Too Niche For Netflix Users

The Baz Luhrmann-produced Netflix series The Get Down deserved better, but was up against big names. The show featured a group of teens in the 1970s telling their stories interwoven with the birth of rap and breakdancing. While the series was a cinematic spectacle, the music-oriented format was perhaps too niche to stand out amongst other titles on the streaming service.

After showcasing a singular season, the stunning show got the dreaded Netflix axe. With series’ like Stranger Things and Match just a few clicks away, the possibility is that audiences were more focused on binging other shows first.

2 Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip Couldn’t Hold A Candle To 30 Rock

Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip is a long-forgotten television show that was about a behind-the-scenes crew producing a Saturday Night Live-esque show in Los Angeles. The series was initially well received, and though its tone was different, it was far too close to 30 Rock.

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30 Rockwhich also detailed the behind-the-scenes action of an SNL-esque show, but in New York City, would live on for more years than Studio 60 had the chance to. The budget and production value of the show was higher than its distant cousin, but both premiered in the same year and on the same network, NBC. In the end, NBC decided to cancel Studio 60 after one season.

When the main character of Community, Jeff, gets his law license suspended for lying about receiving a degree, he returns to a community college to earn a real one. Jeff quickly finds a group of friends in his study group, and they get into frequent antics.

During its initial run, Community lacked a steady stream of viewership, and the numbers dwindled toward its cancellation. The series struggled to compete with other comedy shows that premiered around the same time, such as Parks and Recreation or Modern Familybut the relatable comedy series later gained a cult following.

NEXT: 10 TV Series That Creatively Wrote Out Characters

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