The Most Shocking and Controversial Show Cancellations

Harry’s Law

It’s crushing to go from the second most-watched show of the season to cancelled in the space of a single year, but that’s exactly what happened to the NBC legal drama Harry’s Law. The show was produced by David E. Kelley, and starred Kathy Bates as a criminal defense attorney.

Although the show had high ratings, it was cancelled because advertisers were not happy that only older viewers were tuning in to Harry’s Law. The show failed to perform in the key demographic of viewers aged 18-49, and so it was cancelled after just two seasons.

Dallas

It’s hard to pin the cancellation of Dallas on anything other than sloppy writing. The show had been running successfully for eight seasons when series lead Patrick Duffy decided he was getting too big for the show and asked to be written off.

Season nine went ahead without him, but then he decided that he wanted another chance, and instead of thinking of a plot device that would let him return to the show (or just telling him to go stuff himself), writers decided to turn the entirety of season nine into a character’s dream. Fans were so outraged by the ridiculous twist that they left in droves, and the ratings never recovered.

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Martha Stewart Living

In the early 2000s, Martha Stewart was living large as the queen of her own media empire. She had just consolidated her businesses and brands into the company Martha Stewart Omnimedia, and was the host of the popular lifestyle show Martha Stewart Living.

It all came crashing down when she was arrested and found guilty of insider trading in 2004. Since she couldn’t host the show from prison, it went on a permanent hiatus.

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