Cast-of-Riverdale
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Failed Shows That Had So Much Potential

Time and again, I've gotten excited about new TV shows that get canceled too soon. And sometimes, I get let down by series that end up falling short of expectations. I just can't win!
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I have watched so many people get excited about a show with an exciting trailer only get let down when it premieres. I’ve even watched a few myself that got canceled way too soon that I wish would come back, even just for one more season.

The CW and Freeform had so many shows with potential that I can’t even stand to think about it. Then we have live-action remakes of nostalgic cartoons and book adaptations that so many people would have loved if they had stayed faithful to the source material.

These twelve shows had so much potential but fell short. And I’m still mad about it.

Revolution

Revolution
NBC | Warner Bros. Television | Kripke Enterprises | Bad Robot Productions

I remember finding this show on Netflix a year after it was canceled and loving it with all of my heart. The premise was interesting, the cast was phenomenal, and the writing was believable. I was heartbroken when it was removed from the streaming platforms I pay for. And in case you missed it in the photo above, that is Billy Burke–AKA Bella’s dad in Twilight–in the background, and his character was the best.

Revolution picks up in 2027 in a world where there is no longer electrical power. Fifteen years prior, the world went into a permanent blackout. The flashbacks to before the power grid went down make the show seem so much more real. I wish this could be rebooted or remade because I think about what would happen if we lost electricity way too much now.

Terra Nova

Terra Nova
Fox | 20th Century Fox | Amblin Television | Chernin Entertainment | Kapital Entertainment | Siesta Productions

This show has disappeared off all streaming platforms, and that’s a real shame. It only lasted one season, but it could have been a massive hit if the network had given it more time. It was canceled because Fox said the show was too expensive. I feel like if Netflix or Hulu had made it instead, we could have gotten at least three seasons.

We start out seeing the Shannon family running for their lives in 2149–back to the Cretaceous period. Mixing futuristic technology and weapons with dinosaurs was an exciting premise, and with the amazing cast fighting for survival, I was hooked.

Ravenswood

Ravenswood
ABC Family | Warner Bros. Television Distribution | Warner Horizon Television | Alloy Entertainment | Long Lake Productions | Russian Hill Productions | Jardynce & Jardynce Inc

The spinoff took such a hard left turn from Pretty Little Liars that I got whiplash. I was so hyped for Ravenswood because it was a paranormal teen show, but everything felt wrong. Maybe if it hadn’t been a spinoff, the show would have had a chance to succeed. But PLL fans didn’t love the show–and I can’t blame them.

The show needed a bigger budget and better writing to make it enjoyable. It felt like the creators took the low budget from early PLL seasons and said, “Make ‘magic’ happen.” Too bad the “magic” was just jump scares that felt straight out of a cheap haunted house at a county fair.

‘Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists’

Pretty Little Liars The Perfectionists
Freeform | Warner Bros. Television | Alloy Entertainment | Long Lake Production

This show hurts my heart even more than Ravenswood. I enjoyed the book so much, even if they could be predictable. The TV series was way too much of the same old thing.

I’m hoping The Perfectionists gets a better adaptation that does the books justice in a few years. I’m also waiting to see the newest PLL show, Original Sin. If you’re looking for a show with a similar premise done well, check out One of Us Is Lying.

Fate: The Winx Saga

Fate The Winx Saga
Netflix | Archery Pictures | Young Blood Productions | Rainbow S.p.A. | ViacomCBS

This live-action remake makes me want to cry because they ruined one of my favorite childhood shows. Winx Club was a brightly-colored, futuristic fantasy show. When Netflix said they were remakingWinx Club, they really meant, “Let’s take some names and descriptions and throw out the rest.”

First, they took the characters’ wings away, making them more witchy than fairy-like. They also removed important characters and changed backstories. The only change I liked was that guys could be fairies, too, instead of just girls. Other than that, I’m kind of glad that this show was canceled.

Under the Dome

Under the Dome
CBS | Amblin Television | Baer Bones

I have watched Under the Dome twice and still can’t put my finger on when it went downhill. Yes, I was disappointed when a certain character died, but that wasn’t the final straw. If the show had been able to keep up the energy and good storylines of season one, maybe this show would have gotten more time to fix its problems.

Under the Dome was based on a Stephen King novel, so the premise was really great and spooky. It lasted three seasons, even though it went downhill after just one. The showrunner, Neal Baer, said he was happy with how the show ended, but I’m still frustrated with this series. So much potential wasted!

Powerless

Powerless
NBC | DC Entertainment | Warner Bros. Television | Ehsugadee Productions

I had such high hopes for this show when the trailer dropped. Then I saw the pilot episode. I was so bored the entire time!

The premise sounded great–regular people dealing with damages caused by superheroes and supervillains. This show just fell short. Even the fantastic cast couldn’t fix this show. Powerless is set in the DC Universe, but you wouldn’t know it. The show was so bad that it didn’t last a full season.

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Riverdale

Riverdale
The CW | Warner Bros. Television | CBS Studios | Berlanti Productions | Archie Comics

Season one of Riverdale reminded me of Pretty Little Liars. Great mystery, interesting characters, tons of drama. But from there, it went downhill fast.

Riverdale started as a murder mystery. After that mystery was solved, the show went off the rails. The characters have dealt with two different cults and are now battling witches and the devil. Not to mention the writing is worse than literally anything else on TV. How is this show still on?

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior
CBS | The Mark Gordon Company | Bernero Productions | ABC Studios | Disney Media Distribution | Disney-ABC Domestic Television

Something about this crime show spinoff just didn’t hit right. The cast of Suspect Behavior is phenomenal, but they didn’t have the same chemistry as the team from the original series.

Suspect Behavior follows the same structure of Criminal Minds, solving new cases each week by studying crimes to create a profile of the unknown subject. Maybe it was a lack of Spencer Reid, but I didn’t even care when this show got canceled.

House of Anubis

House of Anubis
Nickelodeon | TeenNick | Studio 100 | Lime Pictures

I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but House of Anubis was one of my favorite shows when I was a teenager. When I rewatched a few scenes recently, I couldn’t even finish the videos. I’ll just say my taste in TV shows has come a long way since I was 13.

Season one is by far the best, with a good plot and tons of Egyptian mythology. Then season two happened, and it went downhill quickly. The bad writing and campy overacting just killed this show.

Lost

Lost
ABC | Buena Vista Television | Bad Robot Productions | Touchstone Television

I wanted to love this show. I started watching Lost a month before it left Netflix. Despite this, I went in not knowing anything except that people were really mad about the ending. But I had to stop watching after season 2, because yikes, the show went haywire.

I didn’t mind tons of flashbacks, but the flashforwards were horrible. They spent way too much time on developing characters that I didn’t even care about, and they set up so many mysteries and supernatural elements that I’m pretty sure Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse forgot what they were doing.

Dracula

Dracula (2013)
NBC | Universal Television | Carnival Films | Flame Ventures | Playground Entertainment | Sky Living

I made it through one episode before dropping Dracula like a vampire holding a crucifix. I enjoyed Bram Stoker’s novel, so maybe that’s why I couldn’t get behind this reimagining.

Even Katie McGrath and Jonathan Rhys Meyers couldn’t get me invested enough to watch all ten episodes of this short-lived show. The changes to the plot made zero sense, especially the part where Dracula and Van Helsing work together. The best I can say for this show was that it looked pretty, but they wasted a great cast and a classic story.