Even if the show had good ratings?
CBS got rid of Mayberry RFD in the 60’s because they were tired of the rural shows they were airing. It was still doing very well.
There were claims that Lou Grant and The Smothers Brothers Show were cancelled more because the network didn’t like the politics of the leads and the material treated on the shows than for their ratings.
Wasn’t Norm McDonald fired from Saturday Night Live because the wife of an NBC executive told him she didn’t think he was funny?
Lawrence Welk’s variety show still had very strong ratings i nthe early Seventies, but it was cancelled because the networks didn’t like the demographics of the audience.
Welk’s fans were mostly folks over 60, and those viewers are considered undesirable by advertisers.
Patrick Warburton claimed that Fox didn’t like the fact that The Tick was owned by Sony (and thus Fox couldn’t make as much money off of it as the shows they owned) and thus killed it.
Gilligan’s Island was killed because the wife of the president of CBS was a big fan of Gunsmoke and in order to have room for it on the schedule, something had to go. That something was GI.
Glen A. Larson once claimed that the ratings were good enough for the original Battlestar Galactica to stay on the air, but someone at ABC didn’t like him so they killed the show.
An NBC exec was a friend of O.J.'s, and was upset that he made too many jokes about O.J. killing his wife
Green Acres, Hee-Haw, and a bunch of other shows like it were canned because their demographics were too old. Green Acres in particular was still a hit show when it was cancelled, as I recall.
Firefly was apparently the victim of infighting at FOX. As I heard it, the executive that green-lighted the show left before it aired, and the replacement didn’t ‘get’ the show and didn’t like it. So it was treated poorly before it even aired. It was put in a bad time slot, the episodes were shown out of order (death for the kind of series that builds long, multi-episode story arcs), and it was constantly pre-empted. Then it was axed a third of the way into its first season when its ratings, while not stellar, were not horrible. It was never given a chance.
It is said that Giligan’s Island was getting great ratings, but the wife of the head of network wanted that slot for her favorite show.
What a pity – they could have used the same excuse to have gotten rid of Jay Leno!
What show was that? Was it Gunsmoke?
Same thing with Futurama. Matt Groening retained ownership of it and we all know what happened.
What was funny about the Norm MacDonald issue was that the guy who fired him was either fired or quit not long afterwards. Norm addressed this when he guest-hosted the show later.
It should be blatantly obvious that network programmers know nothing about television.
I used to love The Equalizer which aired on CBS in the 80s. It was suddenly cancelled one year and I never really knew why (I just assumed it wasn’t doing well and I was the only one who was watching it.) I’ve read on the internet since then that the show was doing pretty well but was cancelled for a variety of reasons. The big one being in fighting between CBS executives and people working with the show. I think the controversial nature of the show also hurt it in CBS’ eyes (Robert McCall killed someone just about every episode, rape and other pretty heinous crimes are dealt with pretty graphically.)
I’ve heard lots of claims that MSNBC cancelled Phil Donahue’s show because he wasn’t rah-rah enough for Bush and the war.
I don’t think this is true. I watched his ratings. They were COMICALLY bad. The decimal was usually preceded by a zero!
The ratings were bad, but it still was the highest rated show on that channel. Nothing else has since garnered higher. Or so I read.
Of course, there was the famous game show masacre that killed off, Jeopardy, Concentration and a few others.
That was a freaking hilarious monologue he did when he hosted. Paraphrased “I got fired from here for not being funny enough. And now I’m hosting. So either I’ve gotten funnier since I left, which I don’t think I have, orr…”
I don’t think this is the case, but I have no cite.
Hardball has long been their highest rated show. Donahue was a running joke amongst media watchers because of its low numbers.