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10 Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Shows That Were Cancelled Too Soon

These cases were closed before their time.

luck mystery crime and thriller shows cancelled too soon
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  • Photo Credit: HBO

It's happened to all of us: We're flipping through the slog of shows on television, unable to find anything that scratches that particular itch in our brains. And then boom, there it is—the show we've been waiting for our entire lives. It keeps us on the edge of our seats, we love the characters, we're laughing, we're crying, we're recording every episode so we don't miss a second. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, the show gets canceled.

It's heartbreaking when an abrupt cancellation happens to any show, but when it's a mystery? Forget about it. We're inconsolable. If you're forever lamenting the one that got away too, join us for a look back at some of the best mystery, crime, and thriller shows that got canceled all too soon.

Lie to Me

Lie to Me ran from 2009 to 2011, consisting of three seasons and only 48 episodes. The gripping show had an intriguing premise, setting itself apart from the many other crime dramas on television at the time—and since. Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) is an expert on deception, using microexpressions and body language to find the truth. Through this unique psychology, Lightman and his associates would aid in investigations for both local and federal law enforcement.


The post-apocalyptic mystery/thriller series Jericho only ran for 30 episodes before a devastating cancellation, and despite several attempts and a significant cult following, a continuation of the story never got off the ground beyond some follow-up comic books. The series follows a small Kansas town in the wake of disaster. Left confused after an explosion in Denver, the townspeople are left in the dark—both figuratively and literally. While forging a new way of life, they fight to find answers.


Despite this series' name, it didn't seem to see a lot of luck itself, getting canceled after only 10 episodes due to the death of three horses during the course of its production. The series centered around the Santa Anita racetrack, following the intermingled lives of the ex-cons, trainers, jockeys, and gamblers that inhabited the space. With Dustin Hoffman in the leading role, the series could have gone on to be one of the greats, had it not been for the animal safety concerns.


Sci-fi meets mystery in this exciting 2009 series. For 137 seconds, everyone in the world blacks out, experiencing a vision of themselves six months in the future. An FBI task force is employed to investigate the baffling event. Unfortunately, a small glimpse into the future is all we're going to get with this series, as it was canceled after one 22-episode season.

Veronica Mars

The series follows teen sleuth Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) as she probes into the murder case of her best friend. Operating in a California town divided by the lavishly wealthy and struggling poor, Veronica finds herself taking on several complicated cases along the way. The original run of the series was canceled after three phenomenal seasons, and though viewers were lucky enough to get a great movie years after the fact, the following revival of a fourth season left many disappointed. After so many years on the shelf, the magic of Veronica Mars had faded.

Dark Angel

This series premiered in 2000 and was set in a dystopian (then) future in 2019. A decade earlier, a genetically modified supersoldier, Max Guevera (Jessica Alba), escaped from a military facility. Max now navigates this post-apocalyptic world as a messenger. But her normal life is soon derailed by government agents tracking down her and her escaped siblings.


The shocking crime drama Profit was canceled after one eight-episode season, despite having a largely positive critical reception. The series follows Jim Profit (Adrian Pasdar), a junior executive at a multinational company. Willing to do any number of amoral things from blackmail to murder, Profit's sole goal is to get ahead. Unfortunately, it seems the dark and edgy tone of the series was ahead of its time.

Tru Calling

This supernatural mystery brought something fun and fresh to the genre. Medical student Tru Davies (Eliza Dushku) is working in the city morgue when she discovers an unsettling power. After a corpse appears to ask her for help, she finds she has the power to relive the day a person died to save them. Unfortunately, the show only had 26 episodes across two seasons.

The Unit

This thrilling series followed a covert military group—inspired by the real-life Delta Force special operations unit. These brave soldiers traveled across the world taking on deadly missions for their country. The 69-episode show was cancelled after four seasons, even though the creators had planned to neatly tie up the story in its fifth year.


Hank Dolworth (Donal Logue) is an ex-cop and recovering alcoholic. Teaming up with his former criminal best friend, Britt Pollack (Michael Raymond-James), Dolworth starts up a private investigation business. Quirky and full of humor, this great addition to the detective genre was canceled after only one 13-episode season.