8 saddest show cancellations of 2021, from Julie and the Phantoms to PEN15

PEN15 -- "Play" - Episode 206 -- The school play has been cast. Maya has the opportunity to get her actual first kiss. Anna struggles to find herself. Anna Kone (Anna Konkle) and Maya Ishii-Peters (Maya Erskine), shown. (Photo by: Lara Solanki/Hulu)
PEN15 -- "Play" - Episode 206 -- The school play has been cast. Maya has the opportunity to get her actual first kiss. Anna struggles to find herself. Anna Kone (Anna Konkle) and Maya Ishii-Peters (Maya Erskine), shown. (Photo by: Lara Solanki/Hulu) /

2021 giveth, and 2021 taketh away. So many amazing shows — Hacks! Yellowjackets! Only Murders in the Building! — have premiered this year and already found an audience. Sadly, though, in addition to giving us some incredible new content, this year has also brought about the end of some amazing shows, too. Read on to learn about the most heartbreaking show cancellations of 2021.

Heartbreaking show cancellations: Julie and the Phantoms

This one comes to mind first because it’s so fresh. Although the heartwarming, Daytime Emmy-winning series found a passionate fanbase, Netflix announced this week it would not be renewed for a season two. Fans are devastated at having to say goodbye to this feel-good tale of music and unlikely friendship.

Heartbreaking show cancellations: Genera+ion

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Genera+ion Season 1, Episode 1 – Photograph by Jennifer Clasen / HBO Max /

Genera+ion was one of the boldest shows to premiere this year. With its unique, specific voice, few pieces of media have managed to capture Gen Z quite as accurately as the HBO dramedy. With a focus on well-rounded, LGBTQ+ characters, it’s a shame Genera+ion’s time was cut short.

Heartbreaking show cancellations: Betty

Another blow dealt by HBO. Betty, which focused on a group of young, female skaters in New York City, was lauded for its gorgeous cinematography, natural charm, and focus on friendship. Sadly, the women of Skate Kitchen have rolled onto our screens for the last time, as it was canceled after its second season premiered this summer.

Heartbreaking show cancellations: Kevin Can F**k Himself

Another show that tragically won’t see past its sophomore season. Though fans were excited when they learned the dark comedy would come back for a season two, they were less thrilled when AMC announced it would be its last. Justice for Annie Murphy!

Heartbreaking show cancellations: Mom

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“Texas Pete and a Parking Lot Carnival” — Bonnie worries about her therapist, Trevor (Rainn Wilson), when his life hits a serious rough patch. Also, Christy comes to Marjorie’s aid when she has trouble adjusting to a new job, on MOM, Thursday, April 2 (9:01-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured (L-R): Kristen Johnston as Tammy and Allison Janney as Bonnie Photo: Robert Voets/2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Though Mom got an impressive eight seasons, it was still devastating to learn the CBS comedy wouldn’t return for a ninth. Though co-lead Anna Faris bowed out after season seven, the last season still felt as fresh and timely as ever with Allison Janney at the helm solo. Alas, the show aired its final episodes this spring.

Heartbreaking show cancellations: Y: The Last Man

Based on the comic book series of the same name, this post-apocalyptic drama starred a never-better Diane Lane. Unfortunately, due to COVID and other filming challenges, Hulu canceled the series after the first season had even finished airing, not giving it a proper chance to find the audience it deserved.

Heartbreaking show cancellations: Good Girls

This one stung! Though the female-led crime dramedy was always supposed to have a fifth and final season — with its stars even agreeing to take pay cuts to give the fans closure — a deal fell through at the last minute. Speculation is that there was a combination of both money disagreements and creative differences at play.

Heartbreaking show cancellations: PEN15

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PEN15 — “Solo” – Episode 104 – TrailviewÕs Night of Amazing Music is coming up. Anna hopes to win AlexÕs heart with a classical aria while Maya is consumed with a lie. Maya (Maya Erskine) and Anna (Anna Konkle), shown. (Photo by: Alex Lombardi/Hulu) /

PEN15 is an absolute masterpiece, effortlessly reminding you of all the trials, humiliations, and sometimes joys of middle school. We were gutted when Hulu announced the episodes, which dropped earlier this month, would be the last. One small mercy? It was the decision of Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, who created and starred in the show. At least it ended exactly how they wanted it to!

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What show were you saddest to see canceled this year? Comment below!