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Freaks and Geeks (1999)

Cancelled after 12 episodes

While most cancelled shows get lousy reviews, Freaks and Geeks remains a favorite with critics and fans a decade after its cancellation. Its executive producer was Knocked Up director Judd Apatow, and it starred such then-unknowns as Spiderman’s James Franco. However, despite a positive response, it never found an audience large enough to sustain it, and it achieved a grim 93rd place finish in the one season in which it aired.

NBC (the parent company of CNBC) cancelled it after only 12 of the 18 existing episodes had aired, but fans were vocal enough in lobbying the network that it aired three additional episodes in response. A decade later, it’s clear that Freaks and Geeks was ahead of its time, and the entire 18-episode run has since aired in full on the Fox Family Channel and received a wide release on DVD.

Photo: DreamWorks Television