Gone Before Their Time: 7 TV shows that shouldn't have been canceled

We've all been there. You're in the middle of a great new show, or one you've watched since the first season began, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, it gets canceled. Culture writer Alex Wainer recently published an article explaining the phenomenon and why some shows were likely to fail. A few, like Futurama, sometimes manage to come back from the brink with help from a rabid fan base, but most, like the FOX drama, The Chicago Code, just fade to black.

So, in honor of those series that never made it back, TheFish has assembled a list of the best TV shows that got the axe. Let's bow our heads and remember these seven series that ended before their time.     

7.) The Cape  

Aired: 2010 - 2011 on NBC
Starred: David Lyons, Keith David, Summer Glau, James Frain, Jennifer Ferrin, Ryan Wynott, Dorian Missick, Martin Klebba,  

Kicking off our list is the brief NBC superhero drama, The Cape. After being framed for crimes he didn't commit, police detective Vince Faraday (David Lyons) takes the guise of his son's favorite superhero, "The Cape", and begins a one man war against crime in Palm City. Helping him in his quest for justice are Orwell (Summer Glau), a high tech blogger with a mysterious past, and Max Malini (Keith David), a smooth-talking magician who leads a gang of criminals known as "The Carnival of Crime". The show ran like an old fashioned comic book, and was pleasantly cheesy with an odd-ball assortment of villains like Scales, an Australian gangster with green skin. For those who enjoyed it, The Cape was a new spin on the old superhero classic.   

Audiences however, seemingly found it difficult to embrace the corniness of the show with its villain-of-the-week performance and leisurely pacing. The Cape also faced stiff competition from another superhero drama called No Ordinary Family which premiered on ABC and featured well-known actors like Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, and Lucy Lawless. The combination sunk The Cape in low ratings, and the series was canceled with its final episode airing online.  



6.) Firefly  

Aired: 2002 on FOX
Starred: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass,  

The Patron Saint of sci-fi geeks everywhere, Joss Whedon's Firefly was a perfect blend of Star Wars and the Wild West. Nathan Fillion headed the cast as Malcolm Reynolds, a former Independent Sergeant who captained the spaceship "Serenity". After losing a war against a corrupt empire, Malcolm and his band of noble outlaws set out to the fringe worlds, hoping to make their fortune by doing odd-jobs for shifty people. Their lives get complicated however, with the appearance of Simon and River Tam, a brother and sister who join their crew while on the run from imperial agents. With a nice mix of action and comedy, Firefly managed to garner a large fan base in its short lifespan.  

Unfortunately, the show gathered problems just as quickly. The FOX network, feeling the pilot episode was too weak to hook viewers, ended up airing the episodes out of order. Furthermore, the network clashed repeatedly with Whedon on the show's direction. Firefly's ratings took a nose dive as a result, and the series was canceled before it had finished its first season. Loyal fans were eventually given some closure in the feature film Serenity, which continued the story where the series left off, but Firefly has been grounded ever since.