9 canceled TV shows that came back

"The Killing" returned on Friday, now on Netflix

Netflix is raising the dead from the television graveyard once again.

After “The Killing” was canceled by AMC last September, the nation’s leading streaming video on-demand service stepped in to offer the series a resurrection. Albeit, a brief one.

The mystery drama series, which ran for three seasons on AMC, will premiere its six-episode farewell season today on Netflix, according to the company. While “The Killing” isn’t the first TV series to survive cancellation, it does join a short list.

Here are 8 other shows that were given a second — or sometimes third — chance:

Arrested Development

This critically-acclaimed sitcom ran from 2003 to 2006 on Fox, garnering dismal ratings of just over 6 million weekly viewers, according to the New York Times. The network canceled the show, which IGN.com called the “funniest TV show of all time,” picked up a strong cult following after being released on DVD. Seven years after its untimely cancellation, Netflix aired a fourth season of “Arrested Development” in 2013.


In arguably the most successful network switch in TV history, CBS picked up “Jag” after it had been left for dead by NBC in 1996, following a lackluster first season. “Jag” went on to air for ten seasons, becoming a flagship program for CBS and eventually spawning the top-rated series “NCIS.”

Family Guy


Another show that turned into a major hit after being canceled, “Family Guy” was dumped after two seasons by Fox, which cited declining ratings. However, strong DVD sales of the show’s first two seasons prompted Fox to give the Griffin family another chance. The series has since spawned a spin-off and collected three Emmy awards.


Fox’s animated programs have fared well beyond cancellation, as this cult sci-fi series from the creator of “The Simpsons” has proven. Originally airing on the network from 1999 to 2003, the show was canned until Comedy Central stepped up to finance a revival in 2009. After the show was canceled again in 2013, creator Matt Groening has said he may shop the show around for a second time.

Betty White’s Off Their Rockers

This hidden camera prank program ran on NBC for two seasons, starting in 2012. The network shut the show down after citing declining ratings. Cable channel Lifetime agreed to pick the Betty White vehicle up, airing a third season earlier this year.

Mama’s Family


Despite featuring a cast of comedic legends, including Vicki Lawrence, Rue McClanahan and Betty White, “Mama’s Family” was canceled by NBC in 1985 after two seasons. Production company Lorimar-Telepictures picked the show up for a first-run syndication run that lasted four more seasons. Lawrence has described the show as a pioneer, being “one of the first sitcoms to do syndication.”

Diff’rent Strokes

The show that made Gary Coleman a household name was another left for dead by NBC, until the show was given a resurrection by a competing network. After seven successful seasons on the Peacock, ratings reportedly slipped and caused the show’s end. ABC quickly picked “Diff’rent Strokes” up for a final eighth season, which aired in 1986.

Unsolved Mysteries

This show has proven to be invincible, being given not one — but four rebirths after its original cancellation. “Unsolved Mysteries” premiered on NBC in 1987 and ran for 10 respectable seasons before being axed in 1997. Since then, the documentary crime series has aired on CBS, Spike TV and two separate runs on Lifetime.

Who says there’s no such thing as life after death?

Follow this writer on Twitter @MrClintDavis.

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