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TV Obituaries: Shows we lost in 2016

With each May comes two things TV fans look forward to/dread: May Sweeps and Upfronts. The former brings babies and hook-ups and exits from long-time characters. The latter brings just, like, a lot of cancelations and sadness. This was a particularly rough year, with some networks—*cough cough* ABC—axing approximately 112% of their programs.

Sure, come September, many of the canceled will be forgotten as we plan a new season of new shows. Some of the canceled shows will move to new networks or streaming platforms. Others will live on in syndication. But the rest will be the subjects of petitions and fan campaigns before finally disappearing from our short-term entertainment memories for good. (Or at least until enough time has passed for it to get a reboot.)

So let us take a moment now to remember these fallen shows. Some of them were with us for many seasons, while others are gone too soon, cut down before they reached their prime. The members of the EW Community invite you to say goodbye to some of 2016’s fallen shows.

[Author’s Note: This post is not intended to serve as a complete list of cancelations or shows that will be missed. Every show, no matter how soon it ends, has its fans. We say goodbye to all of the shows, just not here.]

Agent Carter (2015–2016) was a victim of this year’s ABC Massacre. Peggy Carter—WWII vet, S.H.I.E.L.D. founder, feminist icon, and Captain America’s best girl—was introduced in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. The fan-favorite character made numerous appearances in the MCU before she was finally given her own show. Agent Carter had been declining throughout its second season, but its cancellation still came as a devastating blow to fans who know Peggy’s value (especially since we—SPOILER ALERT—just had to watch Peggy’s funeral in Civil War). Captain America would be disappointed in you, ABC. —Samantha Swank

Photo Credit: ABC

Photo Credit: ABC

The Grinder (2015–2016) and Grandfathered (2015–2016)—which both aired on FOX Tuesday nights—had their lives cut short this month, effectively killing television’s most attractive night in history and every middle-aged woman’s Wednesday morning glow. Not even the shows’ engaging ensembles, witty banter, piercing sets of blue eyes, impressive heads of hair, and eternal five o’clock shadows were enough to save them from their early demise.  Living their lives to a standard of television that is hard found in this era of violence, tragedy, and gore, The Grinder and Grandfathered will be remembered for not just their flawless leading men, but for the humorous, sincere storytelling they delivered. Visitation—for millions of Gen-X women at least—will be eternal. Have mercy. —Michelle Newman 

Photo Credit: FOX

Photo Credit: FOX

Some shows go out with a bang. After seven seasons and over 150 episodes, The Good Wife (2009–2016) went out with a slap. It was a controversial ending to say the least, and one that had to be explained and defended by the show’s creators. It died much as it lived—complex, flawed, and beautifully messy. At its best, The Good Wife defied categorization—was it a political drama? A feminist character study? A procedural? Despite mixed reactions to the finale, overall, the show set new standards for network television and Season 5 is arguably one of the finest seasons of television, period.  So let’s raise a glass (red wine, naturally) to Alicia and the characters who inhabited her world. Even when they were bad, they were still so Good. —Cristina Iskander

Photo Credit: CBS

Photo Credit: CBS

Castle (2009–2016) was cancelled somewhat unexpectedly this year after eight seasons on the air. Castle’s last season was a rocky one. Several new characters were introduced, and the show’s main ‘ship spent the majority of the season apart. Despite the announcement that Beckett, amongst others, wouldn’t be returning, renewal was still expected. The cancelation came as a shock, but Castle was given time to make its arrangements. Fans were given closure after their sudden loss by a well-intentioned—if somewhat confusing—coda scene giving Castle and Beckett their happy ending (and three kids, as predicted). The show is survived by a tie-in book series, tons of Caskett gifs, and “Always.” —Samantha Swank

Photo Credit: ABC

Photo Credit: ABC

Mike & Molly (2010–2016) slipped peacefully into syndication heaven, surrounded by family and fans, after CBS’s sudden announcement that season six would be its last. Mike & Molly knew it was its time to go, though, and the show spent its final 13 episodes preparing television’s most loving couple for parenthood. The beloved sitcom is survived by Billy Gardell, Katy Mixon, Swoozie Kurtz, and, of course, everybody’s favorite haphazard chef-turned-major movie star, Melissa McCarthy. (No word on whether Mike and Carl will join the cast of Chicago P.D.) —Reed Gaudens

Photo Credit: CBS

Photo Credit: CBS

Nashville (2012–2016) has closed its curtain after four seasons of catchy country tunes, powerhouse performances, and 86 episodes of amazing Rayna Jaymes/Connie Britton hair moments. The show has been fighting declining ratings over the last few seasons; however, it’s been steady enough that a return could have been possible. Unfortunately, the spotlight went out this year. Fans are still hoping for this darling to come back, but if this is the end, Nashville will live on through the memories of many great classics like “Wrong Song,” “Lies of The Lonely,” and “Buried Under.” — Justin Carreiro

Photo Credit: ABC

Photo Credit: ABC

Galavant (2015–2016), the genius musical comedy brought to you by the guy who wrote most of your favorite Disney songs, was felled by a blow delivered by ABC. Fans, celebs, and Jedis alike attempted to save the show with the #MoreGalavant campaign, but to no avail. The show is survived by a killer soundtrack, beautiful beards, a dragon, and maybe even a stage show? But in the meantime, fans will have to say “Goodbye” and attempt to get the theme song out of their head. —Samantha Swank

Photo Credit: ABC

Photo Credit: ABC

The Muppets (2015–2016), the latest incarnation of the Muppet show, ended its run March 1, 2016. The show hit the ground running with huge ratings, but audiences couldn’t adapt to the mockumentary-style and more adult-themed narrative—including Miss Piggy and Kermit’s infamous break-up—and ratings dropped off. Even after a mid-season reboot including Sam the Eagle’s puppy love for Janice, Chip’s standout performance, and a will they/won’t they cliffhanger, The Muppets just couldn’t hold on, and ABC pulled the plug. The Muppets is survived by, well, the Muppets! Countless movies, TV specials and shows, merchandise, and fond nostalgia live on because the Muppets are eternal. And who knows what they’ll be up to in another few years. Felt never dies. — Joanna Skrabala

Photo Credit: ABC

Photo Credit: ABC

Okay, so Sleepy Hollow (2013–) was not technically canceled. But like, who’s watching that train wreck next year, amiright? In its season 3 finale, Leftenant Abby Mills lost her life saving the world (as one does as a Witness), but apparently this time it’s going to stick. Abby is survived by her partner/BFF/roommate, Ichabod Crane, an emotionally destroyed Jenny who lost both her boyfriend and sister within a couple of days, and a season 4 that is somehow going to go on without her (and probably without a lot of fans, too).

…I’m not bitter. —Samantha Swank

Photo Credit: FOX

Photo Credit: FOX/screenshot

TV Families | EW.com
February 23, 1990 at 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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