6 shows that got canceled and brought back

By: Start TV Staff    Posted: March 7, 2023, 2:30PM

Nobody likes the news that their favorite show is getting the ax. We've all still got at least one show that we think got canceled before its time. Maybe it left a series on a cliffhanger, an unresolved plot, or just a slot on our TV schedule that we miss. While some shows are gone forever, other ones were saved by fans, passionate creators, and networks willing to give the show another chance.

Here are some of the TV series that we're thankful that were able to escape the clutches of cancellation and finish their story.



Unforgettable will never be forgotten for surviving cancelation — twice. The crime drama, starring Poppy Montgomery as a detective with a photographic memory, was canceled after just one season. 

But after a change of mind, the network decided to renew it, only to cancel it again after two more seasons. The show was picked up by a second network, which ran another season before giving it the cut for good — and leaving the show on a cliffhanger.


Cagney & Lacey

Cagney & Lacey premired in 1982 but was canceled after six episodes due to poor ratings. The executive producer, Barney Rosenzwieg, put pressure on the network to bring the show back with Sharon Gless as Cagney (replacing Meg Foster). The show returned, but after another season of disappointing ratings, was canceled again. 

Rosenzwieg organized a letter-writing campaign among the fans, which got the show ressurected a second time. This time it went on to massive success, with either of the two lead actresses winning an Emmy Award for Best Lead Actress for six years straight.


The Bachelorette

While The Bachelorette is currently one of the most buzzed-about shows, it was canceled after only three seasons. After the 2005 season, the show was gone for three years, until a revival in 2008.

Since it will be entering its sixteenth season, it's probably safe to say that the revival was successful. 



Nashville first premiered in 2012 on NBC. While it remained popular with many country fans, the ratings went back and forth. Just before the season 4 finale, NBC announced the show's cancellation.

With no intention of saying goodbye to their audience just yet, Lionsgate TV purposefully left season 4 on a cliffhanger rather than a series wrap-up. Fans even started a petition to bring Nashville back with 171,000 signatures. Finally, it was announced during the 2016 CMT Music Awards that the shows new home would be CMT for seasons 5 and 6.


Drop Dead Diva

Drop Dead Diva, a comedy-drama about a shallow model brought back to life in the body of a brilliant plus-sized lawyer, hit a season record of viewers for the season four finale episode. However, the network said that the show was too expensive to produce, so Drop Dead Diva was — well, dead.

Since season four had ended on a cliffhanger, fans weren't happy. After a month and a half, the network decided to bring the show back to life and it ran for another two seasons.


Designing Women

The 1986 show Designing Women was an '80s mainstay about the women (and one man) working in an interior designing firm. But after the first season, the network put the show on "indefinite hiatus" — a frequent death knell for TV programs.

The fans responded by sending over 50,000 letters to the network in a plea for renewal, encouraged by the stars of the show. The network put it back on the air and it ran for six more seasons.

Watch Cagney and Lacey on Start TV