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We shine a light on the black hole of TV shows that tragically met their maker before airing a single episode on our screens.

TV shows that were cancelled before making it to screen

Over the years, TV networks have cancelled countless shows before we ever had the chance to add them to our heavily populated watch lists and develop an all-encompassing obsession their fictional characters. Rather than sobbing into our proverbial pillows, we’ve decided to shine a light on the black hole of TV shows that tragically met their maker (courtesy of axe-wielding television executives) before airing a single episode on our screens.

Day One (2010)


Originally intended to take the Heroes time slot during its midseason hiatus, NBC promptly ordered the Day One pilot, but this particular sci-fi drama was seemingly doomed from the start.

Alex Graves – who previously worked on The West Wing and Game of Thrones – directed the post-apocalyptic pilot about a group of apartment residents who decided to join forces in the aftermath of a destructive catastrophe, taking the phrase “squad goals” to the next level.

However, the characters and the concept failed to survive after NBC appeared to lose faith in the thirteen-episode series and it was reduced to a four-episode miniseries before being cancelled altogether.  

Hieroglyph (2015)


Despite securing a straight-to-series 13-episode order, Hieroglyph soon became history. The cancelled action-adventure show written by Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim) was set in ancient Egyptian times during an era “of magic, Pharaohs, gods, and thieves,” but the series was buried ahead of its planned debut.

As EW reported at the time, although only one episode had been shot, scripts were in development for several more episodes when Fox decided to pull the plug on the project as it “wasn’t coming together creatively in the way that executives had hoped.”

Tremors (2018)


Towards the end of last month – almost a year after Syfy first announced it was developing a reboot series of the 90s cult classic movie Tremors – lead star Kevin Bacon (Footloose) confirmed in an Instagram post that the TV followup would not be surfacing above ground to worm its way onto our screens anytime soon (all puns intended).

Fans of the worm-based franchise were certainly taken aback by this news, together with director with Vincenzo Natali (Cube) who said he was “baffled” by the network’s decision to not move forward with the project, especially considering its early positive reception.

The cancelled revival show written by Andrew Miller (The Secret Circle) was set to pick up 25 years after the events of the original film with an aged, alcoholic Valentine McKee attempting to save the small town of Perfection, Nevada from the dreaded Graboid worms once again – but this time, he would also be battling a delusional hero complex.

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