It’s the circle of life: new TV shows make us happy and canceled TV shows make fans write angry letters to networks (with some leaving either before their time or closing at a natural ending). This year seems to have more than its usual share of big TV series cancellations, with announcements of long-running favorites like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Black-ish and The Walking Dead reaching their final seasons. The axe keeps falling, too — NBC just canceled Manifest and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.
It’s not just primetime shows that are ending. Conan is hanging up his late night hat after more than 10 years on TBS. Ellen DeGeneres is closing her daytime talk show after a final 19th season, kicking off later this year. And streaming isn’t immune; a bunch of Netflix shows are getting canceled or ending this year.
The pandemic can be blamed for some cancellations, 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 and series that are ending in 2021 — plus 9 other shows that we’re waiting to learn when exactly they’ll end. Some will likely conclude in 2022, and some could wind down earlier.
Seasons: 3 | Ended: June 10, 2021
The supernatural drama was the latest attempt to recapture the magic of Lost, with a large ensemble cast and mystery box storylines. It even involved a plane! Manifest followed the passengers and crew of a flight who suddenly reappear after being presumed dead for more than five years. Creator Jeff Rake has previously stated that he had a six-season plan for the show, which fans won’t get to see play out unless another network or streamer picks it up.
Seasons: 2 | Ended: May 16, 2021
The last note has been sung on the musical dramedy, which followed programmer Zoey (Jane Levy) after she mysteriously gains the ability to hear the innermost thoughts of her friends, family and co-workers in the form of popular songs. Musical numbers covered Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” REM’s “Everybody Hurts” and The Beatles’ “Help,” among others. Season 2 ended on a major cliffhanger, which could get resolved if another outlet picks up the show (it won’t be Peacock, though, since they’ve passed).
Seasons: 1 | Ended: May 7, 2021
Netflix launched the first project from its acquisition of the comics imprint to dismal reviews and seemingly low viewership numbers, because the big-budget superhero epic about dysfunctional powered families won’t be continuing — at least in that incarnation (an anime spinoff is forthcoming). Owning IP doesn’t mean you’ve got a franchise on your hands.
Seasons: 4 | Ending: July 9, 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.”
The Bold Type (Freeform)
Seasons: 5 | Ending: June 30, 2021
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 (NBC)
Seasons: 8 | Ending: Sept. 16, 2021
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. NBC airing the final 10 episodes in doubleheaders starting in August during the Tokyo Olympics. Let’s hope there’s time for one more Halloween Heist!
Seasons: 4 | Ended: May 13, 2021
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 making a sequel series set in the Castlevania universe focusing on Richter Belmont, a descendant of Trevor and Sypha, and Maria Renard during the French Revolution.
Seasons: 10 | Ending: June 24, 2021
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 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.
Seasons: 5 | Ending: 2021
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 Irregulars (Netflix)
Seasons: 1 | Ended: March 26, 2021
The Irregulars seemed destined to be a long-lasting part of Netflix’s burgeoning Sherlock Holmes-verse, which found initial success with Enola Holmes. However, the case has been closed on the fantasy drama featuring the Baker Street urchins who work for Dr. Watson. Theirs is one mystery that will remain unsolved. Recen
Judge Judy (syndicated)
Seasons: 25 | Ending: July 23, 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!)
Seasons: 20 | Ended: June 10, 2021
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.
Last Man Standing (Fox)
Seasons: 9 | Ended: May 20
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 welcomed back Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart) as one of those daughters, who came home for a visit.
Seasons: 5 | Ended: April 30
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 ended with its fifth season.
Seasons: 8 | Ended: May 13, 2021
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.
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS)
Seasons: 7 | Ended: May 23, 2021
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 said goodbye and let the good times roll one last time on May 23.
Seasons: 3 | Ended: June 6, 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 jumped forward to 1994, when AIDS becomes the leading cause of death for younger Americans.
Seasons: 11 | Ended: April 11, 2021
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. We’ll miss William H. Macy pontificating Frank’s drunk but erudite soliloquies, Carl and Debbie’s many scrapes and Lip’s attempt to make a better life for his son.
Seasons: 3 | Ended: May 7, 2021
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.
Seasons: 6| Ended: March 25, 2021
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.
Wynonna Earp (Syfy)
Seasons: 4 | Ended: April 9, 2021
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 (Paramount Plus)
Seasons: 7 | Ended: June 10
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 final season saw Liza coming into her own as an editor and making a difficult decision about her romantic relationships.
Shows getting canceled after 2021
Some of these shows could actually end in 2021, but the lack of announced release dates makes those finales unclear. We’ll update this list when we learn more.
Dead to Me (Netflix)
Seasons: 3 | Ending: TBA
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 (Netflix)
Seasons: 4 | Ending: TBA
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 (syndicated)
Seasons: 19 | Ending: TBA
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.
Seasons: 8 | Ending: TBA
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.
Seasons: 6 | Ending: TBA
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.
Seasons: 4 | Ending: TBA
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 could drop on Netflix in late 2021.
Supergirl (The CW)
Seasons: 6 | Ending: TBA
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.
This Is Us (NBC)
Seasons: 6 | Ending: Early 2022
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 (AMC)
Seasons: 11 | Ending: TBA
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.