Be it poor ratings, a huge cast member exit, or a showrunner shakeup, series can suffer many a crisis that puts them on the rocks with their network. But several shows have managed to back away from the cliff, thanks to some successful hail mary passes. Heck, some have even been resuscitated after cancellation. Check out the gallery below to see programs that were on the brink of cancellation (or already canned) for one reason or another, and the last-ditch efforts that were made to save them.
The 2018 revival of Roseanne Barr's hit '90s sitcom brought John Goodman's Dan Conner back from the dead and became an insta-hit -- until a racist tweet by its star got it canceled just after the season finale. Then ABC greenlit a spinoff series called "The Conners" -- without Roseanne either on or off camera
A story so nice we'll tell it twice: What became one of the most influential shows of all time was a low-rated cult hit when it originally aired on NBC in the late '60s. It was almost canclled after its second season, but an intense letter writing campaign by the show's dedicated fans convinced NBC to give it a third season -- after which it was canceled for good.The show went into syndication in the 1970s where it became a truly monster hit. The show was revived as a film series in 1979, which in turn spawned a sequel television series, "Star Trek: The Next Generation" in 1987.
Simply put, one of the most infamous cast shake-ups in sitcom history. Star Valerie Harper, for whom the show was created and named in 1986, was fired after the second season, and her character killed off, over a fight with NBC and the show's producers over pay. (This would lead to a bitter lawsuit Harper eventually won.) Instead of canceling the hit show, NBC cast Sandy Duncan as a new live-in aunt, retitled the show "Valerie's Family" -- and then changed it to "The Hogan Family" from season 4 on.
The original run on NBC from 1989-90 suffered from poor ratings and a studio shutdown, but David Hasselhoff and the creators helped get the show into syndication -- where it ran for a decade as a worldwide hit.
20th Century Fox Television
The WB let "Roswell" live after fans sent in bottles of Tabasco sauce (the characters' favorite condiment) to beg the network not to cancel.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
The WB didn't put a stake through "Buffy"s heart, but the network wasn't willing to shell out the cash that UPN was for the series -- so it jumped networks.
Fans rescued the NBC show by getting advertiser Subway involved with a "Save Chuck" campaign that actually worked.
Fans thought the Bluth Family was gone for good when Fox canceled the show in 2006, however, Netflix picked it up for a fourth season in 2013 and it's still going.
"Friday Night Lights"
A deal NBC struck to have DirecTV produce the show kept the Panthers playing for several seasons.
The cult show spent its life on NBC perpetually on the bubble until the network finally cancelled it after season 5. Yahoo Screen picked up the series soon after; Fans got their "six seasons," now they just need the "and a movie" part.
Fans took a main character shouting “nuts” to heart and sent CBS studio executives tons of the snack. Lucky for them, they reviewed the ratings and renewed it.
"Once Upon a Time"
Almost every key regular decided to leave after the ABC fantasy show's sixth season in 2017. It looked like all might be lost, but producers opted for a soft reboot that kept it going.
Die-hard fans showed up at HBO's headquarters in NYC dressed as the show's Guilty Remnant faction, which was good enough for the network for one more round.
ABC denied the country musician-centric show a fifth season, so CMT stepped up and brought it to a new home where it was truly appreciated.