There are a number of shows that aired on different platforms and became iconic. From Money Heist and Squid Game to Breaking Bad, there are several series that instantly made a home in our hearts. However, did you know all these shows were nearly cancelled? That’s right. 

Here is the list of some popular shows that were almost shelved but went on and achieved cult status. 


That’s right! Being one of the most popular and iconic television shows ever, this sitcom was nearly cancelled. The show’s pilot episode didn’t get the kind of appreciation that the makers were expecting. As most of the viewers felt that the show was not very entertaining or original during the test run, makers were about to cancel the classic show. However, they finally decided to air the show and it became a massive hit.  


2. Squid Game

One of the top-trending shows on Netflix recently, this survival drama is currently trending in about 90 countries. However, the director of the show came up with the show’s concept more than a decade ago. But, he was forced to stop writing at a point and had to sell his laptop for $675. Finally, Netflix decided to buy the rights of the show two years back and we all know how that turned out. 


3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Even though it was a hit show, this police procedural sitcom was almost shelved. Fox, one of the leading broadcasting television networks, announced that the show’s fifth season would be its last season. However, NBC then picked up the popular show for a 13-episode sixth season and the rest is history. 


4. Game Of Thrones

We were all mesmerized by this show as soon as it was released, weren’t we? However, the pilot episode of this fantasy drama was a disaster. The creators heavily rewrote the storyline and several characters like Daenerys Targaryen and Catelyn Stark were recast before they reshot the entire 90% of the first aired episode. 

Games Radar

5. Breaking Bad

Touted as one of the most brilliant shows ever, this crime drama was on the verge of getting shelved after its third season. The show was turned down by a number of networks. That’s exactly when Netflix decided to launch the show on its platform. With a fresh set of audience, the show became more popular than ever. 

Hindustan Times

6. Money Heist

Being one of the most popular shows ever, it’s hard to even think that this heist crime drama was nearly shelved. The show first aired back in 2017 on a Spanish channel called Antena 3. Although the first episode was a hit, the rest of the episodes flopped on the channel. The series was then acquired and renamed by Netflix and became a huge hit amongst its viewers. 


7. The Big Bang Theory

Although the show went on and had a successful run of 12 seasons, this sitcom didn’t get picked up by any network initially. However, the creators reworked the story and that’s when the magic happened. Fun fact: the original storyline of the show didn’t have Penny’s character.

Hello Magazine

8. The Office

You didn’t expect this show to be on this list now, did you? Inspired by the original UK version of the show, this sitcom was nearly cancelled after its first season due to a lack of support from its viewers. However, the show then arrived on iTunes and started taking off. It then went on and became a classic show. 

Deno Freek

9. Lucifer

So, tell me, what is it you truly desire? That’s right, this fantasy series was cancelled by Fox after three seasons because of poor ratings. However, the fourth season of the show came back with a bang and needless to say, it has a great fan following till date. 

The Wrap

10. Baywatch

This popular show from the 90s was also nearly shelved after two seasons because of poor ratings. However, thanks to actor David Hasselhoff, the series went on and became a huge success through syndication. 


Which is your favourite show amongst these?