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25 biggest TV shows getting canceled or ending in 2021: The Walking Dead, NCIS, Conan and more

Canceled TV shows, and shows ending in 2021: NCIS New Orleans, Walking Dead, Conan
(Image credit: CBS; AMC; TBS)

Let's pour one out for all the canceled TV shows and series that are ending in 2021. This year brings a ton of big TV cancellations as well as the final seasons of long-running favorites like The Walking Dead, NCIS: New Orleans, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Shameless concluding. And Conan is hanging up his late night hat after more than 10 years on TBS.

And more TV shows keep getting canceled — MacGyver is one of the most recent victims of the axe. Others are ending for story or behind-the-scenes reasons. Netflix  announced that Castlevania season 4 is its last (but the universe may continue). May will be a month of mourning for fans, with the final seasons of Pose, The Bold Type and Shrill all debuting, and the series finale of Last Man Standing taking a bow.

The pandemic can be blamed for some of the more gut-wrenching cancellations, like GLOW (sob) which was supposed to get a fourth and final season before the lockdown prompted Netflix to change its mind. NCIS season 19, though is actually still happening, as we just learned. And don't mind the rumors about You season 3 getting canceled — they're not true!

But other shows are ending because their creators planned it this way. Issa Rae will shepherd Insecure to an undoubtedly satisfying series finale, while Liz Feldman took a page from Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s book to close out Dead to Me. And Ozark season 4 wants to go out on a high note with a banger of an ending.

Here are the biggest canceled TV shows that are ending in 2021.

Atypical

Canceled TV shows: Atypical

(Image credit: Netflix)

Seasons: 4
Netflix has developed the unfortunate habit of ending shows after three or four seasons, no matter how good they are, and Atypical is a prime example. The Peabody-winning dramedy presented a nuanced, humorous take on a young man with autism making his way through the world — not the usual story for a TV show. As creator Robia Rashid said in a statement, "It’s my hope that the legacy of Atypical is that more unheard voices continue to be heard."

The Bold Type

Canceled TV shows: The Bold Type

(Image credit: Freeform)

Seasons: 5
Like many other shows, The Bold Type had to cut its season short last year when the pandemic forced it to shut down production. Freeform is bringing it back for a fifth and final edition, which will have to wrap up quite a few dangling threads — like Jane taking on a story that could harm Scarlet editor-in-chief Jacqueline's career, the implosion of Sutton's marriage and Kat's involvement with a staunch conservative — plus deliver a series finale that satisfies fans.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Canceled TV shows: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

(Image credit: NBCUniversal Television)

Seasons: 8
NBC announced in February that it’s closing the book on the cop comedy, which stars Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Melissa Fumero, Terry Crews and more as detectives at the 99th Precinct in Brooklyn. The final installment will air sometime during the 2021-22 television season.

Castlevania

Canceled TV shows: Castlevania season 4

(Image credit: Netflix)

Seasons: 4
Netflix's anime series will draw to a close, with Castlevania season 4 wrapping up the saga of the Belmont clan trying to wipe out Dracula for good. But fans should take heart — Netflix is reportedly looking to make a new series set in the Castlevania universe with an entirely new cast of characters.

Conan

Canceled TV shows: Conan

(Image credit: TBS)

Seasons: 10
After 28 years in late night television, Conan O'Brien is signing off — though he's not completely disappearing. O'Brien's TBS talk show will conclude with a series finale on June 24 at the end of the 10th season, but he'll still host Conan Without Borders travel specials for TBS and launch a new, weekly variety series on HBO Max. "In 1993, Johnny Carson gave me the best advice of my career: ‘As soon as possible, get to a streaming platform,'" O'Brien joked in a statement. 

Dead to Me

Canceled TV shows: Dead to Me

(Image credit: Netflix)

Seasons: 3
Creator Liz Feldman’s decision to end her Netflix show after three seasons was inspired by the short run of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag. It “felt like the right amount,” she told Deadline. Stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini will return to wrap up the story of two friends brought together by murder. 

Dear White People

Canceled TV shows: Dear White People

(Image credit: Netflix)

Seasons: 4
The dramedy about Black students navigating culture and race relations at a fictional Ivy League college has earned raves from critics, even if it never became a full-on sensation. Creator Justin Simien will drop 10 more episodes before departing for more high-profile projects; he's reportedly attached to a Lando Star Wars series and is making a Haunted Mansion remake for Disney.

GLOW

Canceled TV shows: GLOW

(Image credit: Erica Parise/Netflix)

Seasons: 3
Zoya the Destroyer, Liberty Belle and the rest of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling aren’t getting a last bow. While Netflix renewed the dramedy for a fourth and final season, the streamer reversed the decision due to the coronavirus pandemic. But now, productions have restarted, so come on, Netflix — who do we have to powerbomb to get some proper closure?

Insecure

Canceled TV shows: Insecure

(Image credit: HBO)

Seasons: 5
Issa Rae started her HBO comedy on her own terms, and she’s ending it that way, too. “We always planned to tell this story through five seasons,” Rae said when HBO announced the show was coming to an end. The last outing for Issa, Molly, Lawrence and crew will air sometime in late 2021.

Judge Judy

Canceled TV shows: Judge Judy

(Image credit: CBS )

Seasons: 25
The courtroom will soon be adjourned, when Judge Judy bangs the gavel one last time on her syndicated series some time in 2021. But don't worry about missing her brand of tough, no-nonsense advice because reruns will continue to air. Plus, Judy Sheindlin will star in a new show, Judy Justice, set to air in 2022.

Keeping Up With the Kardashians

Canceled TV shows: Keeping Up with the Kardashians season 20

(Image credit: E!)

Seasons: 20
E! has aired the antics of Klan Kardashian since 2007 (!), including all of their sibling tiffs, roller coaster romantic relationships and the introduction of the next generation. Now, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kris, Kyle and Kendall (and uh, Rob) are taking their business to Hulu, no doubt for a huge paycheck. The Kardashians are many things, but they know how to sell their brand. The big question is how much Kanye and Kim's road to divorce will make it to tape.

Last Man Standing

Canceled TV shows: Last Man Standing on Fox

(Image credit: Fox)

Seasons: 9
Last Man Standing won't be the last show standing. Star Tim Allen and the rest of the cast will bid viewers farewell when the ninth and final season concludes on May 20. The series (which started off on ABC, the moved to Fox) flipped around the premise of Allen's classic sitcom Home Improvement by making him the father of three daughters. The series finale will welcome back Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart) as one of those daughters, who comes home for a visit.

Lucifer

Canceled TV shows: Lucifer on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Seasons: 6
Lucifer has come back from the dead so many times, it’s easy not to believe that the sixth season is the end. The show was canceled by Fox, saved by Netflix, canceled by Netflix after season 5 and then un-canceled for one more hurrah. But this time, everyone swears this is the “FINAL final” season. With filming already completed, fans could get their last devilish delight by the end of 2021.

MacGyver

Canceled TV shows: MacGyver

(Image credit: CBS/Paramount via Twitter)

Seasons: 5
CBS is canceling more shows than ever, including Mom (see below) and the MacGyver reboot starring Lucas Till. The latter became the subject of controversy last year when the network fired executive producer Peter Lenkov for creating a toxic work environment; Till himself talked publicly about enduring verbal abuse, bullying, and body-shaming on the set. It looks no amount of MacGyver-ing could fix those problems and the show will end with its fifth season.

Mom

Canceled TV shows: Mom on CBS

(Image credit: CBS)

Seasons: 8
The writing was on the wall when Anna Faris left the sitcom last year, but CBS made Mom’s cancellation official in February. Still, Emmy winner Allison Janney told James Corden she wishes the writers had “more time to ramp up to the ending.” Comedy impresario Chuck Lorre himself penned the series finale, which airs May 13.

NCIS: New Orleans

Canceled TV shows: NCIS New Orleans

(Image credit: CBS)

Seasons: 7
While it feels like all of the NCIS shows could go on and on forever, even they are not immortal. After experiencing dwindling ratings, CBS decided to close the New Orleans outpost (and move on to a more tropical location with NCIS: Hawaii). Scott Bakula and team will say goodbye and let the good times roll one last time on May 23.

Ozark

Canceled TV shows: Ozark on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Seasons: 4
The award-winning crime drama will conclude with a super-sized season, which “means super sized problems for the Byrdes,” according to star Jason Bateman. Ozark season 4 will have 14 episodes split into two halves; the first batch has already completed filming and is expected to drop on Netflix in late 2021.

Pose

Canceled TV shows: Pose

(Image credit: FX)

Seasons: 3
Always leave them wanting more, right? The history-making LGBTQ+ series is ending earlier than anyone might have thought, considering its many accolades (particularly for star Billy Porter). But co-creator Ryan Murphy said, "We got to tell the exact story we wanted, as we wanted to tell it." The abbreviated final season jumps forward to 1994, when AIDS becomes the leading cause of death for younger Americans. So expect a lot of emotion and heartbreak, in addition to the fabulous outfits.

Shameless

Canceled TV shows: Shameless

(Image credit: Showtime)

Seasons: 11
Goodbye, Gallaghers, you had a great run. Life will go on for Frank, Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, etc. but the edgy, foul-mouthed family dramedy closed the curtains on viewers on April 11. We’ll miss William H. Macy pontificating Frank’s drunk but erudite soliloquies, and hope Emmy Rossum makes an appearance as Fiona in the series finale.

Shrill

Canceled TV shows: Shrill

(Image credit: Hulu)

Seasons: 3
Aidy Bryant has been pulling double duty during the pandemic, making a few appearances on Saturday Night Live while filming the final season of her Hulu comedy. She can rest from all the jet-setting now, since "Annie’s journey comes to a beautiful end,” Bryant said of the finale. We're sorry to see Shrill go, but can't wait to see more of one of SNL's best players. 

Supergirl

Canceled TV shows: Supergirl

(Image credit: The CW)

Seasons: 6
Supergirl is taking her final flight on The CW. The show starring Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El is packing the cape in after six seasons (one of which aired on CBS). Benoist has promised that fans will get a “great ending,” while co-showrunner Jessica Queller says it will be “emotional” and feature plenty of familiar faces.

Superstore

Canceled TV shows: Superstore on NBC

(Image credit: NBC)

Seasons: 6
The underrated workplace comedy, set in a big box retail store, was just as funny and observant as iconic NBC shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation. The writers’ approach to incorporating the coronavirus pandemic was truly genius stuff. The series finale, which aired on March 25, brought back America Ferrera for a final arc that was sweet and satisfying.

The Walking Dead

Canceled TV shows: The Walking Dead on AMC

(Image credit: AMC)

Seasons: 11
Who else thought that AMC’s drama, like the zombies that populate it, would never die? Until its middle years, The Walking Dead was a massive hit that went on to spawn two spinoffs and possible more. But more and more cast members have left (including star Andrew Lincoln) and ratings have fallen. For everything there is a final season and the time has come for this one-time behemoth, with The Walking Dead season 11 being its last run.

Wynonna Earp

Canceled TV shows: Wynonna Earp season 4

(Image credit: Syfy)

Seasons: 4
The gun-toting great-great-granddaughter of Wyatt Earp is going out in style. The series finale, which aired April 9, was “the most heart-filled episode from start to finish that I’ve ever seen,” star Melanie Scrofano told TV Insider. That included a much-anticipated wedding, some witchy shenanigans and a possible reunion between the titular character and vampire-no-more Doc Holliday.

Younger

Canceled TV shows: Younger

(Image credit: TV Land)

Seasons: 7
The comedy has departed its home, TV Land, for the new environs of Paramount Plus. But the antics — and clothes — are just as wacky as ever. Liza Miller (Sutton Foster) isn’t pretending to be a millennial anymore, but her work and love lives are as complicated as ever. The first four of the last 12 episodes will premiere April 15.