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A Look at The CW’s Failed Shows

The CW has plenty of shows with only one season that left much to the imagination. Did I miss your underrated favorite?
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I’ll be honest, I watch The CW shows all the time. I’m not saying they’re the best, but most of them are entertaining. Shows like Supernatural, The 100, The Vampire Diaries and its spinoffs, and all of Arrowverse series lasted long enough for fans to be satisfied with most of the plotlines. (If you forget about the last season of The 100 and the final 5 seasons of Supernatural.)

But what about the shows that end on cliffhangers and leave fans wondering what happened? The CW has canceled too many series before they hit their peak. Here’s a rundown of some of those tragic losses.

‘The Beautiful Life’ (2009)

The Beautiful Life on the CW
Warner Bros. Television | CBS Television | Katalyst | The Page Fright Company | Mike Kelley Productions | The CW

The Beautiful Life made it two episodes before being canceled. And I have to agree with CW’s choice to do this. It was a Gossip Girl knock-off, and despite featuring some actors you might recognize, it had no chance of living up to the GG hype.

Sara Paxton played aspiring model Raina, and you’ll recognize her as the mermaid Aquamarine. Corbin Bleu and Gal Gadot were in it, too. Other cast members included Ben Hollingsworth (Virgin River), Nico Tortorella (The Walking Dead: World Beyond), and Ashley Madekwe (Revenge and Salem).

The show focused on a group of aspiring and established models under one roof trying to follow their dreams. It was filled with drama–and also with cringy writing. And while I won’t hate on the fashion because it was the 2000s, I will say the clothes could’ve been better.

‘Significant Mother’ (2015)

Significant Mother on The CW
Warner Bros. Television | CBS Television | Alloy Entertainment | The CW

I don’t remember anything about this show, and I watched it just two years ago on CW’s website. The plot of the show is that Nate’s roommate has been sleeping with Nate’s mother, and when he finds out, the two try to have a relationship. It was so uncomfortable to watch.

I only watched Significant Mother because Nathaniel Buzolic starred in it. Still, even he couldn’t keep me interested enough to want a second season. If you’re looking for a show with a complicated love story, just watch Young and Hungry.

‘The Messengers’ (2015)

The Messengers on The CW
Warner Bros. Television | CBS Television | Thunder Road Television | The CW

I am constantly confusing this with Netflix’s Travelers for no reason. They’re not the same concept, but both shows feel similar. However, I enjoyed The Messengers much more than Travelers. And unlike Netflix’s time-travel show, I finished this CW one-season wonder.

In The Messengers, five people come back to life after dying in a comet’s shockwave. After they return, each discovers new powers that might stop the Rapture. This show had potential, but I understand why some people didn’t like it. There were quite a bit of biblical undertones, and that’s not for everybody.

Overall, The Messengers was an interesting enough watch that I made it through the whole series. I wish we’d gotten a bit more of this show. At least it isn’t a non-stop cringe-fest like many of their current series. (Yeah, I mean Riverdale.)

‘Ringer’ (2011-2012)

Ringer on The CW
Warner Bros. Television | CBS Television | Disney-ABC Domestic Television | The CW

The CW and Freeform/ABC Family are not trusted with thrillers. We saw it on Freeform with The Lying Game and Pretty Little Liars’ spinoff Ravenswood, and CW proved it with Ringer.

Ringer had a fantastic cast that could’ve made the show great. The two main leads were played by Sarah Michelle Gellar (who already killed it as Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Gellar plays twins Siobhan and Bridget–but in a twist, Bridget masquerades as Siobhan after the twin’s “death.”

The show’s biggest downfall was the writing. Thankfully, we got an entire 22-episode season. It’s not enough, and Gellar deserves another chance to showcase her acting talents like this.

‘Katy Keene’ (2020)

Katy Keene on The CW
Warner Bros. Television | CBS Television | Berlanti Productions | Archie Comics | The CW

Despite this being a Riverdale spinoff, I wanted this to succeed. I actually liked it better than its predecessor, but oh well. This show could have been as big as or bigger than Emily in Paris (with better fashion choices, of course).

Lucy Hale stars as the fashion designer Katy Keene trying to make it in the big city along with Josie from Riverdale. Each episode was filled with beautiful clothes and not-so-great writing. But what can you expect from the writers of Riverdale?

‘Life Sentence’ (2018)

Life Sentence on The CW
Warner Bros. Television | CBS Television | In Good Company | Doozer | The CW

I have a love-hate relationship with this show. I love Lucy Hale and the rest of the cast, but I hated most of the characters and plotlines. Regardless, I wouldn’t have been mad watching another season or two of Life Sentence. But I’m also not devastated with one season.

There were some heartwarming moments that brought tears to my eyes. And there were some really comedic scenes that I will always laugh at. But overall, the twists and turns kept coming at Hale’s character Stella, who just beat cancer. Like, give the girl a break for once.

See also: Failed Shows That Had So Much Potential

‘No Tomorrow’ (2016-2017)

No Tomorrow on The CW
Warner Bros. Television | CBS Television | The CW | Globo TV International | Electus Entertainment

If there was ever a show I disliked more than Riverdale, No Tomorrow would come close. I’ve never seen the original series, Como Aproveitar o Fim do Mundo (or How to Enjoy the End of the World), but I think I might enjoy it more.

I watched the first episode with my friends, and I liked the leading woman, Evie Covington. However, I couldn’t stand her love interest, Xavier Holliday. He has a good heart and wants to live life as well as he can, but why does he believe the Earth will die in eight months? It just irks me.

‘Life Unexpected’ (2010-2011)

Life Unexpected on The CW
Warner Bros. Television | CBS Television | Best Day Ever Productions | Mojo Films | The CW

I’m still so mad CW canceled this show. To be honest, I was probably too young to have been watching Life Unexpected when it came out, but I still became obsessed with the characters and their stories. I just wish Britt Robertson’s “TV curse” hadn’t gotten this canceled like her other shows around the same time.

Robertson played the lead, Lux, who spent most of her life in foster care. When trying to become emancipated, Lux finds her parents to get them to sign papers but ends up living with them instead. What follows is the relatable struggle between broken families coming together again.

I still would’ve loved to see Lux and her parents more and wish we’d gotten to see her grow into an adult. I can dream, right?

‘Frequency’ (2016-2017)

Frequency on The CW
Warner Bros. Television | The CW | L1n Pictures | Jeremy Carver Productions | New Line Cinema

Frequency was good, but maybe it’s best it only stayed a one-season show. Raimy Sullivan, played by Peyton List (not the Disney actress, the other one), works to solve a murder case from years ago. She talks to her dead father through ham radio, and together they solve the mystery and fix her life.

It was interesting to see the “butterfly effect” in action since we don’t see it much in shows other than The Flash. It was also heartbreaking to see the father and daughter interact despite him having died five years prior.

‘Hellcats’ (2010-2011)

Hellcats on The CW
Warner Bros. Television | CBS Television | The CW | Five & Dime Productions

This show was a knock-off Bring It On, and I didn’t hate it. Honestly, Hellcats was a better cheer story than Netflix’s Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack. Why did we have to get that dumpster fire movie instead of this show?

I still don’t understand what went wrong. Even the executives said it was a good show that did well. I just want to know who canceled it and why?

Hellcats follows Marti as she joins the cheerleading squad at her college to keep her scholarship. There’s a great balance between drama and touching moments throughout the show. I’m still shocked Ashley Tisdale and Aly Michalka, the two stars, couldn’t save Hellcats from cancelation.

‘Star-Crossed’ (2014)

Star-Crossed on The CW
Warner Bros. Television | CBS Television | Ole Productions | Space Floor Television | The CW

Why do shows have to end on cliffhangers if they’re going to get canceled? I went through it with Julie and the Phantoms, My Babysitter’s a Vampire, The Society, and this one, too. If networks are going to cancel shows that have cliffhangers, at least give us one final episode that ends the story nicely.

Star-Crossed was about two literally star-crossed lovers, human Emery and alien Roman. Roman’s species, the Atrians, are trying to cohabitate the Earth with humans, but it’s not going too well. Each episode had me on the edge of my seat.

‘The Secret Circle’ (2011-2012)

The Secret Circle on The CW
Warner Bros. Television | CBS Television | Alloy Entertainment | Outerbanks Entertainment | The CW

I’m still mad about this show. First off, the creators didn’t stick close enough to the books, so I’m salty about that. Second, I wanted a second season to find out what happens next to the teen witches.

This show has been resurrected by TikTok, and we all agree it shouldn’t have been canceled. However, CW executives said it cost too much for its ratings. I blame Britt Robertson’s “TV curse” again because I can’t think of any reason the ratings would be low for this show.

Granted, it did have cringy writing here and there, as well as iffy special effects. But it was still exciting, and I wanted more. I also wish they hadn’t made it so dark in every scene. We get it: it’s a dark plot, but let me see what the cast looks like for once? Can we get a second chance at this show?