This is us, pouring one out for the biggest 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 Black-ish, The Walking Dead, NCIS: New Orleans, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. NBC also just announced everybody's favorite tearjerker, This Is Us, is going to make us cry one last time next season.
And it's not just primetime shows that are winding down. Soon, Conan will be hanging up his late night hat after more than 10 years on TBS. And in huge news, Ellen DeGeneres is ending her daytime talk show after a final 19th season, kicking off later this year. The hits keep on coming, too; Netflix suddenly canceled three shows recently and ABC topped Netflix by canceling five shows.
- One cast member sees the wait for Stranger Things season 4 as a positive
- The Friends Reunion is already a disaster — who invited these guests?
- Plus: New Loki sneak peek revealed — here's your first look
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 listen to those 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.
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."
Black-ish may be closing its doors after eight seasons, but several windows are opening. The ABC family comedy has already launched two spinoffs (Grown-ish and Mixed-ish) and is prepping another (Old-ish). But it's still bittersweet to await the final installment of the flagship, following the antics of Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross as heads of the Johnson family.
The Bold Type
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.
NBC announced 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 plan is to air the final 10 episodes in August during the Tokyo Olympics (if they actually take place).
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.
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
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
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.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
The dancing queen of daytime is giving up her crown. Ellen DeGeneres is choosing to end her show after nearly two decades, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged — and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore." The talk show's end comes after it was dogged by accusations of a toxic workplace culture. The final season will kick off this fall.
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?
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.
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
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
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
This Is Us
Stock up on tissues, because the Pearsons are saying farewell soon — and you just know the tears will flow. The NBC drama is wrapping up in 2022 after six seasons, which was creator Dan Fogelman's plan all along. Heading into the final chapter, we expect high emotion from Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia and the rest of the cast.
The Walking Dead
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.
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.
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.
- Next: Cobra Kai season 4 just wrapped filming