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12 TV Shows That Became Much Bigger After Getting A Second Chance


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by Xtreme HD IPTV

Summary

  • TV shows can achieve greater viewership and success after being given a second chance.
  • Factors like viewer campaigns, network changes, and streaming platforms can contribute to a show’s revival.
  • Examples include shows like Breaking Bad, Doctor Who, and Family Guy, which gained popularity and larger audiences after being given a second chance.

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There are some TV shows that are not able to achieve the viewership they deserve straight away, but in one way or another, are given a second chance and become much bigger. In some circumstances, it takes a series being canceled, going off the air, and then triumphantly returning to gain a larger share of the audience. This can happen in a number of ways, from viewer campaigns, being picked up by a different network, or even being revived decades after the original series has gone off the air.

In the modern television landscape, there are also many new factors that influence TV shows receiving successful second chances. In the age of streaming, viewers can binge-watch new series and end up influencing network decisions to renew, revive, or reboot faltering and dormant television shows. There are just so many ways that TV shows become much bigger after being given a second chance.

12 Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013)

Breaking Bad had a much smaller audience before it appeared on Netflix

The cast of Breaking Bad in a promo shot

Breaking Bad

Release Date
January 20, 2008

Cast
Dean Norris , Bob Odenkirk , Aaron Paul , RJ Mitte , Anna Gunn , Giancarlo Esposito , Betsy Brandt , Bryan Cranston , Jonathan Banks

Seasons
5

While Breaking Bad did receive critical acclaim throughout its run, the first few seasons of the show only achieved modest viewing figures and was not nearly as well-known as it would eventually become. When Breaking Bad first appeared on Netflix shortly before season four, it became much more popular with viewers as the binge-able nature of the series could be fully utilized (via Variety.) From that point on, Breaking Bad became one of the most talked about shows on television and viewers eagerly awaited the epic conclusion of the story of meth lord Walter White.

11 Doctor Who (1963 – 1989 and 2005 – Present)

Doctor Who garnered a worldwide audience following the show’s revival in 2005

Doctor Who All The Doctors 50th Anniversary

Doctor Who

Release Date
November 23, 1963

Genres
Adventure , Mystery , Sci-Fi

Seasons
26

The BBC series Doctor Who became a staple of British television in the years following its 1963 debut, gaining a cult following the show ran uninterrupted for 26 years until 1989. After a few false starts to revive the series, Doctor Who was given a second life in 2005 and managed to become an even bigger hit than in its original run. Today, Doctor Who has become a worldwide phenomenon with a committed and passionate audience that will likely continue to grow following a deal with Disney that will give Doctor Who a major budget increase.

10 Family Guy (1999 – 2002 and 2005 – Present)

Family Guy was canceled after three seasons but was later revived because of high rerun viewership

Family Guy

Release Date
January 31, 1999

Cast
Seth MacFarlane , Alex Borstein , Seth Green , Lacey Chabert , Mila Kunis , Mike Henry , Patrick Warburton

Seasons
21

A sitcom about the dysfunctional Griffen family, Family Guy is one of the longest-running animated series of all time, but if it had not been revived would be known today as a forgotten three-season failure. The earliest seasons of Family Guy gained its fair share of controversy and were aired with inconsistent timeslots and suffered from declining viewership. Because of this, Family Guy was canceled, but after Cartoon Network bought the rerun rights, it became the highest-rated show on Adult Swim and did very well on DVD. As a result, Family Guy was revived in 2005 and has been on the air ever since.

9 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013 – 2018 and 2019 – 2021)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine had declining viewers on FOX that were regained on its NBC revival

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Jake, Holt, and Amy

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Release Date
September 17, 2013

Cast
Stephanie Beatriz , Melissa Fumero , Andy Samberg , Andre Braugher , Joel McKinnon Miller , Dirk Blocker , Terry Crews , Chelsea Peretti , Joe Lo Truglio

Seasons
8

A sitcom about a New York City Police Department, Brooklyn Nine-Nine received great acclaim and was popular with viewers, but after five seasons began to slip in the ratings and was canceled by FOX in 2018 (via EW.) However, Brooklyn Nine-Nine was not gone for long and was quickly picked up by NBC and gained a whopping 3.54 million viewers in its season six premiere (view TV By Numbers), which was almost double the 1.79 million viewers who tuned for the season 5 finale on FOX. Brooklyn Nine-Nine would run for three seasons on NBC before ending its run in 2021.

8 Twin Peaks (1990 – 1991 and 2017)

Twin Peaks returned for a third season after 25 years and gained a whole new generation of viewers

Twin Peaks

Release Date
May 23, 1990

Cast
Russ Tamblyn , Sheryl Lee , Kimmy Robertson , Dana Ashbrook , Grace Zabriskie , Everett McGill , Ernie Hudson , Mädchen Amick , Ray Wise , Kyle MacLachlan

Seasons
3

Twin Peaks inspired countless subsequent series and was an important influence on the modern television landscape. Twin Peaks was created by David Lynch and Mark Frost and its mystery mixed with melodrama, surrealism, and offbeat humor meant it split audiences, and sadly viewership declined throughout its first two seasons (via Vulture.) But when Twin Peaks was revived after 25 years, audiences had time to catch up with its idiosyncratic style and David Lynch had cemented his reputation as one of the most important contemporary filmmakers. Season 3, subtitled The Return, was a major television event when it aired on Showtime and demonstrated there was still an audience for Twin Peaks.

7 Arrested Development (2003 – 2006 and 2013 – 2019)

Arrested Development became more acclaimed after its initial run and was brought back by Netflix

Arrested Development the main cast

Arrested Development

Release Date
March 15, 2019

Cast
Jeffrey Tambor , Ron Howard , Michael Cera , Alia Shawkat , David Cross , Jason Bateman , Portia de Rossi , Tony Hale , Will Arnett , Jessica Walter

Seasons
5

Arrested Development is now an acclaimed, but this was not always the case and Arrested Development was canceled after just three seasons due to declining viewership during its original run. A defining comedy of the 21st century, Arrested Development received more acclaim after its initial run than during it, so much so that Netflix decided to revive the show many years after it had gone off the air. Arrested Development was always ahead of its time and on Netflix its long-running gags, incredible attention to detail, and bingeable quality could be fully exploited. The revived Arrested Development ran for two extra seasons on Netflix five years apart from each other.

6 Futurama (1999 – 2003, 2008 – 2013, and 2023 – Present)

Futurama has been revived by a number of networks and has solidified itself as an enduring animated series

Futurama

Release Date
March 28, 1999

Cast
Katey Sagal , Billy West , Lauren Tom , Maurice LaMarche , David Herman , Tress MacNeille , John DiMaggio , Phil LaMarr

Seasons
11

Futurama has been through many cancelations but no matter how many times it appeared to come an end; it was always brought back. Exploring the sci-fi adventures of the Planet Express crew in the 31st century, Futurama was always a clever and intriguing animated sitcom. Futurama originally aired on Fox for its first four seasons, was later revived for three seasons on Comedy Central, as well as a second revival currently airing on Hulu. As such a long-running series, Futurama has now had more than 20 extra years of winning over new viewers since it was initially canceled.

5 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2001 and 2001 – 2003)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer moved from WB to UPN and got a boost in viewers through syndication

Xander, Giles, Buffy, Cordelia, and Willow in season one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the impressive reboot of the 1992 film of the same name which received acclaim for its more edgy and mature television adaptation. Buffy the Vampire Slayer originally aired on the WB Network but was transferred to UPN for its final two seasons (via The New York Times.) This move coincided with Buffy the Vampire Slayer airing in syndication and reruns appeared on Logo and MTV. As such, Buffy the Vampire Slayer started to appear on multiple networks and was able to reach viewers it would not have otherwise.

4 Schitt’s Creek (2015 – 2020)

Schitt’s Creek received a major viewership boost due to its appearance on Netflix

The Schitt's Creek cast in the Season 6 Finale

Schitt’s Creek

Release Date
January 13, 2015

Cast
Catherine O’Hara , Dan Levy , Noah Reid , Emily Hampshire , Tim Rozon , Dustin Milligan , Eugene Levy , Jennifer Robertson , Chris Elliott , Annie Murphy

Seasons
6

Schitt’s Creek was a hilarious family sitcom that managed to steadily increase its viewership due in no small part to its appearance on Netflix. Vulture reported on the unlikely rise of Schitt’s Creek as the niche series found a mainstream audience after hitting the streaming platform and allowing audiences to binge-watch the trials and tribulations of the once-wealthy Rose family. While Schitt’s Creek did not get a second chance in the traditional sense, its popularity completely soared as a result of Netflix and the show ran for an impressive six seasons.

3 Star Trek: The Original Series (1966 – 1969)

Star Trek: The Original Series only gained its iconic reputation years after it first aired

The USS Enterprise in orbit above a planet, with Captain James T Kirk at the bridge

Today the Star Trek franchise is one of the most successful of all time, however, when The Original Series aired in the late 1960s its ratings were low, and it did not have anything close to the reputation it has since developed. Star Trek: The Original Series’ position as an iconic and influential television series stems from its reruns throughout the 1970s, which led to a litany of movies, new series, and a massive sprawling franchise. The popularity of the series is so great that many Star Trek actors have had an influence on the real world.

2 You (2018 – Present)

You originally aired on the Lifetime channel and then exploded in popularity on Netflix

Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in different seasons of Netflix's You

You

Release Date
September 9, 2018

Cast
Elizabeth Lail , Michaela McManus , Ambyr Childers , Victoria Pedretti , Luca Padovan , Scott Speedman , Travis Van Winkle , Penn Badgley , Jenna Ortega , Shay Mitchell

Seasons
4

The psychological thriller You originally premiered on the Lifetime channel in 2018 but failed to reach a large audience with only one episode garnering more than a million viewers (via EW.) However, once You appeared on Netflix it gained over 40 million viewers in its first four weeks and the series was rebranded as a Netflix original. Interestingly, the series creators had originally pitched You to Netflix and were denied twice. Luckily, Netflix managed to give to show a second life because as You prepares to air its fifth and final season it stands as one of the most-watched Netflix shows of all time.

1 The Expanse (2015 – 2022)

The Expanse struggled to gain viewership at Syfy and was saved by Amazon Studios

The Expanse cast

The Expanse

Release Date
November 14, 2015

Cast
Thomas Jane , Dominique Tipper , Cara Gee , Jasai Chase-Owens , Florence Faivre , Cas Anvar , Keon Alexander , Frankie Adams , Shawn Doyle , Steven Strait , Paulo Costanzo , Shohreh Aghdashloo , Wes Chatham , Nadine Nicole

Seasons
6

Originally airing on the Syfy network, The Expanse was a futuristic adventure that linked the lives of lives of disparate characters through the disappearance of a young heiress in space. Despite having a loyal and enthusiastic audience, the ambitious series was canceled after just three seasons. Viewers protested the end of The Expanse and amassed over 100,000 signatures in a campaign to bring the show back (via Deadline.) Amazon Studios listened to the campaign and The Expanse ran for three more seasons on Prime Video where its viewership and reputation only continued to grow.

Sources: Variety, EW, TV By Numbers, Vulture, Vulture, EW, Deadline

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