There are some cancellations you know are coming. And then there are some--the recent axings of the not-exactly unwatched Jonas L,A, and the so-young Rubicon come to mind--that you never see coming.
Check out these all-time shockers:
MORE: So, what's left to cancel this season?
1. The WB: Sure, the Frog was struggling, and, yes, it was losing money, but still... How could an entire network die ? How could this network die? No offense, Veronica Mars, but the WB mattered to a generation every bit as much as UPN didn't. This one still hurts, and not only because the CW is just like the WB, except not at all (and with smaller ratings, too).
2. Ghost Whisperer: So, let's get this straight: Last spring, CBS swept out seven long-running series--including Jennifer Love Hewitt's spooky, soapy drama--in the name of getting all fresh and new, only to keep around Patricia Arquette's even-older spooky, soapy drama, Medium. Seriously? Months later, Medium's looking like a goner (again), while Ghost Whisperer's looking like a show that died before its time.
3. Law &Order: You're a game-changing, franchise-spawning series. You do what you do very well for 20 years. One more year and you'll pass Gunsmoke in the TV record books, and nobody will have Google Gunsmoke ever again. But no! NBC cancels you just short of the winner's circle. For all of TV eternity, you'll walk hand in hand with Miss Kitty--and now everybody's gonna have to Google Miss Kitty, too! Talk about unsatisfying endings. No wonder 30 Rock's Tracy Jordan was so upset.
4. Futurama: To say Fox aired this 30th century toon sporadically is overstatement. In its fourth and final broadcast-network season, Futurama aired exactly twice in November, twice in December, once in January, zero times in February, twice in March, and...well, you get the bad idea.
To fans following the show's 2003 demise, the shocking part wasn't that Fox finally called the whole thing off, the shocking part was that something so beloved could be gone. (And, as it turned out, it couldn't be.)
5. Green Acres: Dancing With the Stars probably isn't pulling the numbers this sitcom classic was pulling when it got dumped in 1971, along with Hee Haw, The Beverly Hillbillies and the even-higher-rated Andy Griffith Show spinoff, Mayberry R.F.D. For once, audience size didn't matter. CBS was just done--done with cows, trees, and mail boxes that sit on posts by the side of dirt roads. It wanted more big-city shows like the one it had introduced the previous fall: a little something called The Mary Tyler Moore Show.