9 canceled TV shows in 2023 with 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

Ben Schwartz as Yasper and Sam Richardson as Aniq in The Afterparty
(Image credit: Apple)

Every year the typically lengthy list of TV shows canceled over the past 12 months makes for grim reading. While some shows deserve the axe more than others — I doubt many viewers shed a tear when Netflix’s Snowflake Mountain was binned — it’s never welcome news to hear that a show won’t be returning. And that’s doubly true when it’s a series that earned critical and audience acclaim but struggled to find a large enough viewership to justify additional seasons. 

In 2023, pretty much all of the best streaming services as well as numerous traditional television networks have axed well-reviewed shows. The 7 TV shows on this list all earned a high score on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, and while most of them were fortunate enough to run for multiple seasons, knowing they won’t be returning in the future is still seriously disappointing. These are the TV shows canceled in 2023 that we wish could have stuck around just a little bit longer. 

Dead End: Paranormal Park (Netflix) 

Screenshot from Dead End Paranormal Park on Netflix

(Image credit: Netfix)

Netflix has earned a deserved reputation for being trigger-happy when it comes to canceling shows. The streamer isn’t afraid to axe an underperforming series and that was the case with Dead End: Paranormal Park which was brought to an unceremonious close after two seasons back in January. The show’s now final episode ends on a dramatic cliffhanger so it seems creator Hamish Steele had expected to be given the chance to tell more stories with the show’s quirky cast of theme park employees, but Netflix execs had other ideas. The animated show followed Barney (Zach Barack) and Norma (Kody Kavitha), the most recent hires at Phoenix Parks, who, along with a talking dog named Pugsley and a thousand-year-old demon called Courtney, embarked on various paranormal-themed adventures. It was a very silly show but with a strong heart and very relatable characters.

Seasons: 2 (20 episodes)
Rotten Tomatoes:

iCarly (Paramount Plus)

promotional image for the iCarly reboot

(Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Paramount Plus called curtains on its iCarly reboot this year after three seasons. The revival of the classic Nickelodeon sitcom saw the return of original series stars Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor and Nathan Kress, alongside adding newcomers Laci Mosley and Jaidyn Triplett. The reboot once again focused on the eponymous Carly Shay (Cosgrove) starting a webshow with help from her friends and irresponsible older brother, Spencer (Trainor). The reprisal was generally well-received by long-term fans and critics alike, especially as it aged up the tone to fit its now grown-up viewership. The third season does end on a sizable cliffhanger, but at least the final few episodes got Carly and Freddie (Kress) together at last. This was a romantic coupling that fans have been wanting to see on screen for more than a decade.

Seasons: 3 (33 episodes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 

Doom Patrol (Max) 

(From left to right) Robotman (Brendan Fraser), Negative Man (Matt Bomer) Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), Cyborg (Joivan Wade), Elasti-Girl (APril Bowlby), and Chief (Timothy Dalton) in a still from Doom Patrol

(Image credit: TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy)

DC is cleaning house under the watch of James Gunn and Peter Safran with a new take on the connected superhero universe set to begin in 2025 with the Gunn-directed Superman: Legacy. Naturally, that means the remaining remnants of the old DC universe are being wrapped up, and sadly that includes the surprisingly solid Doom Patrol, which was itself a spin-off from the show Titans that was also axed this year. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the creatives “saw the writing on the wall” and wrote the fourth season specifically to have a proper ending, so at least Doom Patrol went out on a high when it concluded last month. The superhero show followed the eponymous Doom Patrol, an eclectic group of gifted individuals who each received their superhuman abilities due to tragic circumstances, and joined together to protect the Earth from various evil forces.

Seasons: 4 (46 episodes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 

Central Park (Apple TV Plus) 

Central Park on Apple TV Plus

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Apple TV Plus doesn’t have the content quantity of Netflix or Prime Video, but its overall level of quality is typically a step above its streaming rivals. However, that means that any cancelation is likely to sting that little bit extra, and that’s certainly the case with Central Park. In many ways, it’s a bit of a miracle this adult animated musical comedy narrated by a fourth-wall-breaking busker (voiced by Josh Gad) even got to three seasons, but after almost 40 episodes Apple TV Plus has decided to scrap the show. It followed the eccentric Tillerman family who live in New York’s historic greenspace and must fend off a wealthy heiress when she reveals a sinister plan to buy up all the land in Central Park to turn it into pricey condominiums.

Seasons: 3 (39 episodes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 

The Great (Hulu)  

The Great season 3 poster featuring Nicholas Hoult as Peter and Elle Fanning as Catherine

(Image credit: Hulu)

A multi-Emmy award nominee and a refreshingly original show that was only getting better with each passing season, The Great should have been a mainstay of Hulu for several more years to come, but frustratingly the “anti-historical” comedy-drama has instead been canceled after wrapping up its third season in the Spring. Starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, the satirical series followed a young Catherine the Great (Fanning) as she travels to Russia to marry Peter III of Russia, but she would eventually usurp her husband to become the country's longest-reigning female ruler. The Great was a particularly playful series that mixed historical fact with outrageous fantasy creating a unique show that earned much-deserved critical plaudits.

Seasons: 3 (30 episodes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 

A League of Their Own (Prime Video) 

D'Arcy Carden (Greta) smiles on the field in A League of Their Own

(Image credit: Anne Marie Fox/Prime Video)

A new take on the 1992 movie of the same name, A League of Their Own follows the formation of the Rockford Peaches, an all-women’s baseball team created to play in the freshly-formed All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during the 1940s. Set during World War II it followed a loveable group of underdog characters as they defied societal conventions and created a plucky team that was seriously easy to root for. The show was initially given a reduced second-season order in March, but Amazon circled back and abruptly canceled the show for good citing production delays caused by the actor's strike as the reason in the fall. That’s a great shame as the Rockford Peaches deserved to step up to the plate for a proper farewell.

Seasons: 1 (8 episodes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 

The Afterparty (Apple TV Plus)

Tiffany Haddish as Detective Danner in The Afterparty

(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

The Afterparty is another brilliant show confirmed to be finished after just two seasons. The Apple TV Plus murder mystery anthology series follows a group of suspects the morning after a murder, each attendee recounts their version of events but the wrinkle is that each sequence of flashback is told in a different genre style. For example, one episode is a musical, while another is a noir crime drama. The Afterparty was endlessly inventive, and it did a remarkable job of keeping a constant quality even with a mostly fresh cast between seasons (Tiffany Haddish appeared in both as Detective Danner). We were hoping this afterparty was just getting started at Apple, but sadly it’s been confirmed that the criminally overlooked comedy series won’t be returning for a third bash.

Seasons: 2 (18 episodes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 

Doogie Kameāloha, M.D. (Disney Plus)

Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.

(Image credit: Disney)

Disney Plus’ well-received reimagining of the classic ABC television series Doogie Howser M.D., which ran from 1989 to 1993 and starred Neil Patrick Harris, was unfortunately canceled in August. Doogie Kameāloha, M.D. enjoyed strong reviews but never seemed to make much of an impression on Disney Plus subscribers. It starred Peyton Elizabeth Lee in the titular role as a child prodigy attempting to judge their teenage life and their burgeoning medical career. If being a child doctor wasn’t headache enough, Lahela “Doogie” Kameāloha also had to navigate a shifting relationship with her mother, Dr. Clara Hannon (Kathleen Rose Perkins), who was the big boss at the hospital. This family comedy was charming but seemingly didn’t find a big enough viewership to justify more than two seasons.  

Seasons: 2 (10 episodes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

One of Us is Lying (Peacock)

The cast of One of Us Is Lying

(Image credit: Peacock)

Way back in January, Peacock brought to an end its adaption of the bestselling One of Us Lying series by author Karen M. McManus after two seasons. The murder mystery show follows a group of five high schoolers who are each suspected of being involved in the death of a gossip-spreading classmate after they suffer a fatal allergic reaction during detention. All five of them have a motive for murder, and one of them isn’t telling the truth. The show earned surprisingly strong reviews, and while much of its high school drama was fairly routine the core mystery was highly compelling. The second season wasn't quite up to the same bar, and so One of Us is Lying’s cancelation did seem fairly likely.  

Seasons: 2 (16 episodes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

More from Tom's Guide

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team. 

  • sethiol
    This is what happens when writing or production is focused on ideological focus instead of creating a good show. Ya, some people enjoy this but the majority of viewers do not and they are letting the studios know this with their viewership. Half of these had the reviews hidden, indicating the "scores" are being manipulated by Rotten, the other half had reviews viewable. The studios are beginning to understand this.
  • TJG75
    Why would anyone care about the CRITIC ratings for these shows? Critics have absolutely no clue what they're doing, and it's so absurdly easy to become a certified critic on RT that they've somehow made the profession even less valuable.

    AUDIENCE ratings for those shows on RT:

    Dead End: 80%
    iCarly: 82%
    Doom Patrol: 77%
    Central Park: 78%
    The Great: 84%
    A League of Their Own: 87%
    The Afterparty: 75% (season 2 - 67%)

    Even more importantly, they all have a miniscule number of reviews which shows that nobody was watching them. Having a tiny audience that overrates a show that doesn't have enough mass appeal to stay on TV isn't something to lament when they get cancelled.

    A League of Their Own is the only one that had more than 1000 reviews. The first season of Doom Patrol did as well, but the final one had less than 250. The last two seasons of iCarly had fewer than 50 audience reviews.

    A bunch of meaningless critic ratings don't matter.
  • CyonkMaleMon
    Anything with Tiffany haddish or lil Rey howery Jr needs canceled. Stop being awful in everything. A normal job would've canned them both by now from performance reviews alone.
  • Chiwizy
    The funny part is that both Tiffany haddish and lil Rey howery jr both played husband and wife in a show called The Carmichaels 😂😂 and the show was cancelled after 2 seasons