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What Is Going On With Shows Getting Canceled, Uncanceled, And Then Canceled Again?

 Neil Patrick Harris on Uncoupled.
Neil Patrick Harris on Uncoupled.

With so many TV and streaming networks, sometimes there is hope for a canceled show to find another home. After all, it’s happened before as series like Lucifer, Scrubs, and more were revived by another network or streaming service after being axed by their original home. Sometimes, though, it’s not enough. The latest example of that comes as Uncoupled got the ax from Showtime after it planned to save it from Netflix's cancellation, and it makes me wonder what’s going on with these shows going from canceled to uncanceled to canceled again.

The Netflix rom-com series Uncoupled starring Neil Patrick Harris was about a mid-40s gay man, Michael Lawson, exploring a single life after getting dumped by his partner of 17 years. Just when we were hoping Showtime would give us the chance to continue Michael’s story, Deadline confirmed that Uncoupled wouldn't get its second season, putting it on the list of 2024 canceled shows after one season. Originally, Showtime’s team planned on redeveloping the show to fit the network’s needs only for the cancellation decision to follow months later.

It’s a real shame that after all of the planning that went into Season 2 of Uncoupled, it won’t live to see another season. We don't know for sure what led to Showtime deciding it was best to scrap the rom-com series. However, it’s possible that the 2023 WGA Writers Strike could have impacted it because it delayed filming for Season 2, which was supposed to start last July. Once the strikes were settled, filming for Season 2 was supposed to start in May with ten scripts already written.

Along with the strikes delaying the shooting of Uncoupleed, creator Darren Star, has been shooting his other show recently, Season 4 of Emily in Paris, which was also delayed because of the SAG-AFTRA Strike. Considering this possible scheduling conflict, it’s moments like this when you wonder if these canceled shows would have stood a chance if the strike hadn’t happened.

Alison Brie in GLOW.
Alison Brie in GLOW.

Uncoupled wouldn’t be the only show that’s gotten the back-and-forth canceled-saved-re-canceled treatment. Netflix’s GLOW got canceled despite its Season 4 renewal because of the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down production. The creators expressed their grief for their dramedy series by explaining that they were not able to see the cast and crew come together again for what was supposed to be its conclusion. The stars of the 1980s-set show also expressed their disappointment in not getting together with their TV family one last time.

The Kirsten Dunst-led show On Becoming a God in Central Florida went through the same thing in not making it past one season despite its success. Showtime canceled this dark comedy after its renewal also because of the pandemic. It proves that sometimes outside forces have the power to influence how networks go about renewing and canceling their projects.

Fans of Uncoupled unfortunately won’t be getting the second season they were originally promised. With no answer on why exactly the NPH-led comedy got canceled, I still wonder what makes a network change their mind about renewing a series they said they'd save. On the bright side, there are still many 2024 TV releases that are worth giving a try to fill up your day. You can also experience the delight of Uncoupled’s first season on Showtime.