10 Canceled TV Shows That Came Back


'Family Guy'

After its initial cancelation, "Family Guy" returned more popular than before. Fox/Getty Images
After its initial cancelation, "Family Guy" returned more popular than before. Fox/Getty Images

The animated series about the Griffin family, with its talking dog and genius toddler, had a great start. "Family Guy" premiered on Fox right after the Super Bowl in 1999. Ratings were high. Then things went south. The show, created by Seth McFarlane, was moved around to several different time slots, and viewers dropped away. After three seasons it was canceled in 2003. DVDs were issued, and reruns of its 50 episodes aired on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

In 2003, the same year the show was canceled, the first "Family Guy" DVD became a bestseller, at 1.6 million copies. Still hot, the second volume sold 1 million copies, and those late-night reruns on the Cartoon Network pulled in almost 2 million viewers, making it the highest-rated show on Adult Swim [source: Levin]. Fox gave the show a second chance in 2005, and "Family Guy" performed even better than it had originally. In its first season back, "Family Guy" attracted twice as many viewers as Comedy Central's "South Park." Still going strong, by 2013 McFarlane's series also had doubled the ratings of "The Simpsons." If things weren't sweet enough, once the series hit 85 episodes, it became valuable for syndication [source: Levin], and the family guy became the money guy.

Related Articles


  • Andreeva, Nellie. "'Southland' Canceled." Hollywood Reporter. Oct. 8, 2009. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/southland-canceled-89824
  • Arnold, Brett. "The 17 Best TV Shows That Were Canceled." Business Insider. Oct. 17, 2014. (Nov. 14, 2014) http://www.businessinsider.com/best-canceled-tv-shows-2014-10?op=1
  • Brown, Eric Renner. "'Scrubs' Broadway musical: Everything you want to know, and why there won't be a movie." EW. Oct. 17, 2014. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/02/13/scrubs-broadway-musical-movie-bill-lawrence/
  • CBS. "NCIS." (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.cbs.com/shows/ncis/
  • CBS. "Unforgettable." (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.cbs.com/shows/unforgettable/about/
  • Dawidziak, Mark. "Glenn Close's 'Damages' moving from FX to DirecTV." Cleveland.com. July 20, 2010. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.cleveland.com/tv-blog/index.ssf/2010/07/glenn_closes_damages_moving_from_fx_to_directv.html
  • Evans,Bradford. "53 'Arrested Development' Jokes You Probably Missed." Splitsider. Aug. 20, 2012. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://splitsider.com/2012/08/53-arrested-development-jokes-you-probably-missed/
  • Furlong, Maggie. 'Michael Cudlitz Was Snubbed Again At The Emmys For Stellar Final Season Of 'Southland.'" Huffington Post. July 18, 2013. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/18/michael-cudlitz-southland-emmy-snub_n_3618389.html
  • Goldberg, Lesley. "CBS Cancels 'Unforgettable' After Three Seasons." The Hollywood Reporter. Oct. 10, 2014. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/cbs-cancels-unforgettable-three-seasons-740025
  • Hibberd, James. "'Cougar Town' renewed for FINAL season." Entertainment Weekly. May 10, 2014. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/05/10/cougar-town-renewed/
  • Hibberd, James. "How to tell if a TV show is really canceled." Entertainment Weekly. Nov. 6, 2014. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/11/06/canceled-show/
  • Hibberd, James. "'The Killing' shock: Netflix revives twice-canceled show for FINAL season." Entertainment Weekly. Nov. 15, 2013. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/11/15/the-killing-netflix-4/
  • Huffington Post. "The Killing Season 2 Ratings: Did You Stop Watching?" April 2, 2012. (Nov. 18, 2015) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/02/the-killing-season-2-premiere-ratings_n_1397898.html
  • Huffington Post. "'Southland' Canceled: TNT Decides Not To Pick Up Cop Drama For Season 6." May 10, 2013. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/10/southland-canceled_n_3255136.htm
  • Keller, Joel. "'The Killing' Goes Out As One of the Most Baffling Shows Ever Made." Indiewire. September 9, 2014. (Nov. 17, 2014) http://www.indiewire.com/article/the-killing-goes-out-as-one-of-the-most-baffling-shows-ever-made-20140916
  • Klahn, Kirsten. "8 TV Shows That Have Been Un-Canceled." Oct. 16, 2014. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://wallstcheatsheet.com/entertainment/8-tv-shows-that-have-been-un-canceled.html/?a=viewall
  • Levin, Gary. "'Family Guy" un-canceled, thanks to DVD sales success." USA TODAY. March 24, 2004. (Nov. 18, 2014) http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2004-03-24-family-guy_x.htm
  • Lowry, Brian. "TV Review: 'The Killing,' The Final Season on Netflix." Variety. July 21, 2014. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://variety.com/2014/tv/reviews/review-the-killing-the-final-season-1201259780/
  • Lubin, Gus. "Here's What Really Happens In The 'Family Guy' Writers' Room — And Why This Could Be The Best Season Yet." Business Insider. Sept. 26, 2014. (Nov. 18, 2014) http://www.businessinsider.com/family-guy-writing-process-2014-9
  • McMillan, Graeme. "Dead Again. Futurama Canceled for the Second Time." Wired. April 22, 2013. (Nov. 17, 2014) http://www.wired.com/2013/04/futurama-canceled-again/
  • Rackl, Lori. "'Cougar Town,' canceled by ABC, hopes to be the toast of TBS." The Chicago Sun Times. Jan. 7, 2013. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/television/17425982-421/cougar-town-canceled-by-abc-hopes-to-be-the-toast-of-tbs.html
  • Ryan, Maureen. "Why 'JAG' came to an abrupt end." April 29, 2005. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2005/04/why_jag_came_to.html
  • Ryzik, Melena. "Legal Drama Has a Change of Venue, From Cable to Satellite." The New York Times. July 19, 2011. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/arts/television/damages-gets-a-new-life-on-satellite.html
  • Stelter, Brian. "Bananas Anyone? The Bluths Are Back." The New York Times. May 23, 2013. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/business/media/arrested-development-returns-on-netflix.html?pagewanted=all
  • Television Academy. "Damages." 2014. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.emmys.com/shows/damages
  • Weis, Joanna. "Scrubs." Slate. May 6, 2009. (Nov. 12, 2014) http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2009/05/scrubs.html
  • Weisman, Jon. "TNT Cancels 'Southland.'" Variety. May 10, 2013. (Nov. 17, 2014) http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/southland-canceled-by-tnt-1200479187/


5 Facts About James Holzhauer, the Guy Who Might Break 'Jeopardy!'

5 Facts About James Holzhauer, the Guy Who Might Break 'Jeopardy!'

HowStuffWorks finds out more about James Holzhauer, the 'Jeopardy!' contestant winning lots of money. What are his strategies?