5 Crime Dramas That Were Canceled Too Soon (& 5 That Should End Already)

For as long as we can remember, television viewers have been fascinated by crime shows. It’s no wonder that acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky is developing a true-crime show based on corrupt lifeguards. Aside from true crime shows, crime dramas are also a huge hit, which may explain why Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is among the longest running tv shows of all time.

RELATED: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Procedural Crime Shows Of All Time, According To IMDb

Despite the regular demand for crime dramas though, some still end up getting canceled, to the fan’s dismay. Others, however, have just been going on for too long and should come to an end sooner rather than later.

10 Gone Too Soon: Bones


Bones stars Emily Deschanel as acclaimed forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan and David Boreanaz as FBI agent Seeley Booth. The show stayed on for 12 seasons. Throughout its run, it managed to establish a solid fanbase.

When the series was axed, fans were quick to note the many storylines from the show that were never resolved, which proves it was gone too soon. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in doing a rerun, you should know that we’ve ranked every season of the show as well as the best episode in every season.

9 End Already: Chicago PD

Chicago PD

Chicago PD belongs to Dick Wolf’s Chicago universe on NBC. Its stories interweave the personal lives of police officers with their cases. One of the central characters of the show is Hank Voight, a police intelligence thief who tends to act like a vigilante from time to time.

Throughout the show’s run, some have argued that Voight had gotten worse and worse. Meanwhile, one of the show’s stars, Sophia Bush, famously exited Chicago PD after four seasons. This is just one of the things that have changed on the show after the pilot.

8 Gone Too Soon: Hawaii Five-O

Hawaii Five-0

This CBS show is a remake of a true television classic. It stars Alex O’Loughlin as Detective Steve McGarrett and Scott Caan as Daniel “Danno” Williams. In the beginning, the cast also included Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim, although both actors eventually opted out of the show after contract negotiations failed.

After the show’s season eight explained Chin and Kono’s departures, people thought everything was fine and Hawaii Five-O would just keep going. However, O’Loughlin did think about leaving the show after season eight, as he confirmed with Collider. The show eventually ended after 10 seasons.

7 End Already: NCIS: New Orleans

NCIS New Orleans

NCIS’s success on CBS has led to the creation of the shows NCIS: Los Angeles and later on, NCIS: New Orleans. The New Orleans cast boasts of veteran actors such as Scott Bakula, C.C.H. Pounder, and Lucas Black.

Eventually, however, Black decided to leave the crime procedural to focus on “priorities in my life that get sacrificed for me to be here,” according to his social media post. Some argue that Black’s departure had ruined the show forever. As far as viewership goes, New Orleans also ranks last among all NCIS shows.

6 Gone Too Soon: The Bridge

The Bridge

Compared to the other shows on this list, The Bridge is not as well-recognized as the rest. Nonetheless, this was a well-done FX crime drama that was headlined by Troy actress Diane Kruger. Here, Kruger stars as Sonya Cross, an El Paso detective who has to work with Mexican law enforcement after judge was found dead on a bridge that connects El Paso with Juarez, Mexico.

RELATED: 15 Crime Shows To Watch If You Liked Dexter

Throughout its run, the series became the recipient of both Critics Choice and Peabody awards. Unfortunately, it still suffered relatively low ratings. In the end, FX decided to cancel the series after two seasons.

5 End Already: Magnum P.I.

Magnum P.I.

Just like Hawaii Five-O, this CBS crime show is also a remake. Taking over the role of Thomas Magnum from Tom Selleck is Jay Hernandez. He is also joined by Stephen Hill, Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Tim Kang, Amy Hill, and Hawaii Five-O star Taylor Wily.

When CBS decided to renew the series for a second season, the network also decided to move the show to Fridays where “expectations are lower,” according to TV Series Finale. And despite indications that the show isn’t performing as well as other CBS shows, CBS still renewed the show for a third season.

4 Gone Too Soon: Sherlock


When BBC decided to cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, fans went crazy. The series easily developed a strong following and many believe that this was one of the best roles that Cumberbatch has portrayed throughout his career. The actor has since been cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as Doctor Strange.

Despite that, the series seems to have stalled without warning. There had been some talks of a supposed season five, but nothing has been confirmed about that so far. Meanwhile, Cumberbatch has also supported the idea of a female Sherlock Holmes in the past.

3 End Already: Bull


Bull had quite a strong start thanks to NCIS alum Michael Weatherly who stars as a titular character based on Dr. Phil McGraw. The show was also initially backed by acclaimed director Steven Spielberg and his Amblin Entertainment.

The cases tackled by the trial consulting firm Trial Analysis Corporation can also be quite riveting, which is good for viewers yearning for smarter television. That said, some may argue that the show has become tainted following the controversy surrounding Weatherly. In 2019, Spielberg also announced that he cut ties with the show.

2 Gone Too Soon: Stumptown


Just like Sherlock Holmes, this crime drama is also led by an MCU star, specifically Cobie Smulders. Based on a graphic novel series of the same name, this ABC show centers on Army veteran Dex Parios (Smulders) who ends up becoming a private investigator.

RELATED: Top 10 Crime TV Shows To Watch If “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile” Intrigued You

After a rather successful first season, ABC had initially decided to renew the series. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the network decided to reverse their renewal of the show. According to Variety, ABC Signature plans to shop Stumptown to other outlets so keep your fingers crossed.

1 End Already: Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told is an Apple TV+ crime drama that boasts of a cast that includes Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer and Emmy-winning Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul. The show’s first series revolves around a murder case that comes back to haunt a true crime podcaster after new evidence suggests that the original suspect was wrongfully convicted.

Unfortunately, critics are less than impressed by the show. According to Rotten Tomatoes, an IndieWire critic even said that the show “never quite meets expectations set for itself.” Nonetheless, the show will return for a second season.

NEXT: 10 Crime Drama Shows Based On Popular Novels, Ranked (According To IMDb)

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Updated: November 21, 2020 — 4:00 am

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