From S.W.A.T. to Roseanne to The Big Bang Theory -- here's how these stars reacted to being cancelled
Things in the entertainment industry can change in the blink of an eye, from casting switch ups to a completely canceled project.
While all actors know that it’s a possibility that things in the entertainment industry can do a total 180, it can still be a shock when the plug gets pulled on their project.
In fact, some stars admit they’ve been totally blindsided when their film or television show gets shut down -- and they’re understandably pretty upset about it.
Here’s what these 9 stars had to say about their show’s cancellation…
1. Shemar Moore
After starring on “S.W.A.T.” since 2017, Shemar Moore was shocked when he learned that the show was abruptly being canceled. In a very candid video, Shemar says the cast didn’t know they were filming the show's last episode while they were working on it. He also called out CBS for their decision, questioning why the show got the ax when it was doing so well.
"SWAT got canceled. It makes no sense. Look up the articles, read the articles. We're the best show on Friday nights at 8:00 for CBS. The last two years, we have been killing it," he said. "We've done nothing wrong. We did everything that was asked for. And let me tell the truth: We're diverse. Did you know I am the only African American male lead on network television? Not streaming, not cable, network television.”
Although Shemar was concerned he might get in trouble for posting the video, it ended up working out in his favor because just three days later, the network changed its mind. The show will now be getting a 13-episode final season.
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2. Sara Gilbert
When “Roseanne” was rebooted after a 21-year hiatus, the cast was thrilled. That all changed when Roseanne Barr began making controversial comments on Twitter and ABC canceled the series. Upon news of the cancellation, star Sara Gilbert called Roseanne’s comments “abhorrent” and noted that it didn’t reflect the show’s cast and crew.
“This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we've created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love — one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member,” Sara wrote.
Thankfully, the show ended up getting picked back up without Roseanne as the spinoff, “The Conners.”
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3. John Goodman
Sara Gilbert’s “Roseanne” co-star John Goodman was also affected by the show’s brief cancellation, later sharing that the news made him feel like he was suffocating. He says he struggled for a month while he tried to accept things.
“I was consciously trying to accept it. Just like, ‘Okay, this is happening, just breathe and go with it.’ Underneath I’m trying to get out of a plastic bag that is closing in on me, but I’m trying to be calm on the surface. I remember that contradiction,” he later told People.
4. Mads Mikkelsen
In 2015, “Hannibal” was unexpectedly canceled and star Mads Mikkelsen wasn’t very happy about it. He says he thought the show would definitely be getting a fourth season and it took the entire cast by surprise.
“We are all angry. We were pissed. It's madness. And season four was actually the one we thought we'd definitely get,” he told the Sunday Express. “Seasons two and three were on the verge. We didn't know whether ‘Hannibal’ would be renewed. But by the time we got to season four we thought it was a definite. We were very surprised at the decision."
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5. Mayim Bialik
When it was announced that “The Big Bang Theory” was ending after 12 seasons, most of the cast seemed to accept the bittersweet news and expressed that they were ready to move on. Mayim Bialik didn’t quite feel the same, admitting that she was upset the show wouldn’t continue and expressing that it was hard to walk away from a job.
“Am I happy? Of course not. This has been my job since Melissa Rauch and I joined the cast as regulars in season four. I love my job. I love my castmates, and I feel such appreciation for our incredible crew, our brave writers, our entire staff, and our amazing fans. So many people are a part of our ‘Big Bang’ family,” she wrote on her personal website.
She continued, “But my paying job -- the one you know me for -- is ending and yes: It's very sad. I fear it's going to be very hard to not cry every day for the next 23 episodes! But, as a cast, we love bringing joy to our viewers and we will continue to do that to the best of our collective ability.”
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When “Ghost Whisperer” was canceled in 2011, Jennifer Love Hewitt admits it was “a total shock.” While she knew the show would eventually wrap up, she says she was under the impression there would be one more season to tie any loose ends. Instead she was just “bummed” for her character Melinda and didn’t feel that “the series ended the way that she deserved.”
“I thought our next season probably would be the last, just because the show had been on for a really long time. It's hard to come up with new things that will keep people intrigued, but I never thought in a million years that [season five] was going to have been our last season,” Jennifer told Zap2it. “When you've taken people on a journey for so long, the least you can do is give them a goodbye. For a show that was about unfinished business, we didn't get to finish.”
Nathan Fillion’s show “Firefly” was only given one season and he said learning of the cancellation was shocking. The cast still had three more days of shooting to complete after getting the news and he anticipated it being pretty painful.
“We had three more days of shooting after we were canceled and I remember thinking, ‘This is going to be the worst. Every day is going to be a painful reminder of what we're losing and it's going to be one of the saddest, most horrifying three days of the shooting,’” Nathan later said.
Thankfully, the cast was able to pull themselves together and enjoy the time they had left on set, with Nathan saying it “turned out to be amazing.”
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8. Tom Ellis
Fans of “Lucifer” were shocked when the show was canceled in 2018, prompting a major social media campaign to bring it back. And not only were viewers blindsided, but so was the cast. Star Tom Ellis says that no one expected the show to be taken off the air -- especially considering the season three finale had a major cliffhanger. When he heard the news, he admits he was at his “lowest ebb.”
“The thing that none of us expected was the cancellation, so when we were filming we were like, ‘Oh, they're gonna love this, I wonder what's going to happen next season,’” he said at MCM Comic Con. “It’s a weird thing where it's been a long time coming in that moment, and it wasn't planned as the final moment of Lucifer, and if it is – and I sincerely hope it isn't – then what a way to go.”
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9. Katey Sagal
When Katey Sagal’s show “Rebel” was canceled by ABC in 2021, she admits she was taken by surprise. Following the outpouring of support from fans, Katey took to Instagram to share her thoughts about the show ending, noting that the “plug had been pulled” just as the cast and crew were finding their footing.
“I feel you and hear your disappointment. I wholeheartedly stand with you. The abrupt announcement that there would be no season 2 based on the response from four airings came as a shock and a heartbreak,” she wrote. “Things take time to catch on. Rebel tells the story of a woman who speaks up for what is right, the show has heart and purpose, funny and tears, and we, the cast, are all scratching our heads at the reversal of support from ABC.”