Screwed by the Network/Western Animation

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  • The Brothers Flub, and how. First, its debut was delayed by almost a full year. It got a Sunday timeslot when it finally began in January 1999. It was canceled after only one year (with the network all but pretending it never existed), and NEVER RERUN after that.
  • Hey Arnold! managed to get a similar fate to Angel (see Live Action TV), as it was also cancelled despite no apparent ratings issues, over a new show that was ultimately never picked up. In this case, the show's creator, Craig Bartlett, defected to Cartoon Network to create a show called Party Wagon about Oregon settlers. This didn't exactly please Nick, who had wanted to get him to sign an exclusivity contract in exchange for making a (second) Big Damn Movie for Hey Arnold.
    • To make matters worse, Party Wagon was itself screwed over by Cartoon Network, who aired the pilot as a Made for TV Movie in a horrible timeslot with little to no promotion.
  • The Angry Beavers: In the series finale episode "Bye Bye Beavers", the plot consists of Norbert being informed that he is part of a television series that has been cancelled and that he must convince his brother that they are actually fictional cartoon characters. It had apparently violated a rule imposed by Nickelodeon, which was to never reveal the ending of a show. The episode was rejected from being aired, which ridiculed the company's practice of profiting off re-runs instead of new episodes, and the series was cancelled.
  • Family Guy was constantly being cancelled or moved in its early seasons, and was eventually cancelled. Cancelled twice even. No other show had ever been brought back on the same network after being cancelled twice, as doing so requires too much admission of having made an error. A cult fan following developed through Adult Swim's reruns and the combination of ratings and phenomenal DVD sales convinced the Fox executives to revive the show, and ironically nowadays it's Adored by the Network.
  • Of the six episodes of Clerks the Animated Series that were actually made, only episodes four and two were actually aired, in that order. This despite the number of running gags and ongoing plotlines that the series had, and the fact that the second episode only makes sense if you have seen the first (it's a parody of clip shows, because they only have one episode to mine for clips). All six episodes -- with vitriolic commentaries -- were later released on DVD.
    • Comedy Central later showed all six episodes in 2002, before also shoving the series aside. Adult Swim picked it up in November 2008, airing one episode every Friday night for, so far, six months straight.
      • Not anymore. They ditched the rights, along with those for Mission Hill and Baby Blues. That means that, other than the DVDs or whatever you can scrounge up on the internet, Clerks is gone for good.
  • Danny Phantom's third season, at least in the US. The "premiere" (actually a mid-season episode that had several references to episodes that occurred earlier in the season but weren't aired yet, confusing viewers) had a fair amount of publicity. Then it was on hiatus for a lengthy period of time (meanwhile, other countries had it airing) and then they went through the remaining episodes extremely quickly over the summer.
    • In the UK, the third season wasn't advertised at all (save for the series finale "Phantom Planet"), and was hastily and quietly aired early in the morning only once, before being shunted off the schedule like it'd never been there.
  • The Fairly OddParents: After years of being Adored by the Network, it seems that Nickelodeon has forgotten that this show exists; for example, in 2010, there were very, very few new episodes shown, at least in the United States. Then, there was supposed to be a year long celebration of the show starting in March. Nothing of the sort has happened, and a number of shows from the seventh season have yet to be aired. The show is now rarely promoted while Tuff Puppy is; obviously showing where the network's priorities are now.
  • Before Arrested Development, FOX gave Futurama the same treatment. You can always tell which shows the mid-level execs at Fox don't like. Futurama was doubly slighted in that its 7:30 Sunday time slot often meant that it was pre-empted by football in most of the country. Also, who airs any current series before 8:00 PM?
  • Futurama has got to be one of the few examples of this Trope that has also come back with a vengeance. Seriously, after four seasons of sometimes-inconsistent airing dates, which were often changed due to increasingly poor viewer ratings (but were probably caused by the continually-inconvenient timeslots), Fox just decided to cease production of the show after the episode "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings" in 2003. It then proceeded to be constantly rerun for the next four years on Adult Swim, and thus it seemed the series had no hope... Right up until The Movie came out. After four years of begging, pleading, and threats by the fandom, Fox finally said "We get it, we get it" and allowed four new movies (16 episodes when chopped up) to be made.
    • The writers then proceeded to make fun of it by stating in the beginning of Bender's Big Score how "Box" had cancelled the crew's delivery service, but their decision was taken back the executives who made the decision were ground up into a fine pink powder with "a million and one uses" (one of whom was being shoved down the Professor's pants so his crotch felt comfortable). Then they constantly used said powder in some of the rudest ways possible.
    • Futurama was majorly screwed in other ways too. The DVDs sold more than Family Guy's, fan push was apparently larger, the ratings on Adult Swim were better, but Family Guy was the one that came back first. Also, Adult Swim even offered to fund new episodes and were told no. THEN the network got screwed over when the show they helped try to bring back was ripped away from them and given to another network...
    • Futurama lampshaded Network Screwing in general in a recent episode where Matt Groening unveiled Futurella. Opening music starts, title appears, CANCELLED. Then he comments on how the process has been streamlined.
  • The UK experience of Superman the Animated Series may be instructive; advertised well on Saturday mornings, as a slot within one of the popular Kid's TISWAS clones. Six episodes shown, at varying times in the show, so that those who only wanted to watch or tape that part couldn't. No more shown ever. They still hold first-run rights, so no-one else shows it and there are no local region DVDs... It's as if it never existed.
  • Justice League Unlimited was constantly screwed around by Cartoon Network, with episodes airing outside of their normal timeslot, a frequent 2-3 month break between new episodes, etc. Reportedly, this was because A) Cartoon Network wanted to develop their own properties rather than paying licensing fees to anybody, B) there was a change of executives who wanted to cancel every single show with good ratings so all future successes could be theirs alone, and C) the audience for the show skewed too old for the network's liking (after all, teenagers and adults don't buy piles of crappy licensed toys!). Amazingly, despite all these efforts, after being canceled in its second season, the show was quickly Uncanceled for a third due to its surprisingly strong ratings -- and proceeded to get screwed even worse, as evidenced by the fact that the final episode aired in Europe a full six months before its American premiere. For that matter, each episode of Season 3 was aired only once. It didn't even get a repeat...well ok, it did. In November 2009. Three and a half years later. And it was pulled from the schedule after five episodes.
  • Teen Titans was swiftly cancelled for the exact same reasons at the same time, so it was a double-whammy for fans of both shows.
  • Freakazoid! was considered by The WB network to be skewing too old for their liking, and was canceled rather than continued or moved to a later time slot where they did not feel it would be as successful as their other offerings. How the WB's other shows actually did in the evening apparently escaped their notice.
    • It wasn't too difficult since even the creators were unenthusiastic about the show. Freakazoid was originally meant to be serious before Executive Meddling forced them to turn it into a comedy.
    • Executive Meddling being Steven Spielberg (though maybe not him alone, and it wasn't particularly "forced" in a harsh sense); the show changed during development. It was given to Tom Ruegger, who previously developed Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures... there ya go.
  • The WB in general wasn't particularly good with handling comedy animation in its early days. Pinky and The Brain initially got a primetime run due to its adult appeal. Unfortunately, they put it at 7 on Sunday nights, up against football games and 60 Minutes, so it was doomed to get canceled from primetime, while struggling on Kids WB and being put through extensive Executive Meddling leading to the Elmyra fiasco and subsequent death of the show.
  • Megas XLR, which actually had some fairly decent ratings. It was planned for a third season but quietly canceled when the network switched CEOs, because the new head cheese didn't "get it." Plus, a DVD box set was later planned, by the same guy, to satiate all the people who got mad, demanding some kind of revival (new season, video release, made for TV movie, etc.) but this, too, was stymied when yet another network-head took over, feeling it was a waste of company resources. All this amounts to: Network heads have too much clout.
    • Ironically, Megas XLR was more or less a spin-off of Downtown, a cartoon series that got unceremoniously canned by MTV after one season in 1999 (the character Goat is common to both, and both series shared the same writers and producers). In fact, Megas enjoyed frequent Take Thats at the expense of a thinly-veiled parody of MTV called "Pop TV".
  • The Life and Times of Juniper Lee virtually got screwed in its second season. In addition to bouncing the show around timeslots. CN hardly advertised for new episodes if not at all, making it impossible for fans to find them. The last few episodes weren't even aired.
  • Atomic Betty in the U.S suffered as well, starting off on a steady timeslot, then being moved to an hour no even up to catch episodes before finally being yanked off the air. What more the second season has yet to air in the U.S.
  • The horrific treatment Daria got at the hands of MTV. No consistent time slot, frequently preempted by an episode of The Real World or Road Rules, and finally buried, seemingly never to be released on DVD. And THEN there's the fact that the UK's Channel Five placed it in a "children's" time slot, since in Britain, only children ever watch animated shows (as did Australia's ABC). Then there's the edits it received during syndication... yeah.
    • MTV has finally gotten around to putting Daria out on DVD, promising a minimal amount of the syndication butchering, though they are replacing the original music from the MTV airings with covers due to the licensing costs.
    • Other than the aforementioned music changes, and an edited version of "Is It College Yet?", there was no evidence of syndication butchering on the DVD set.
      • The syndication that butchered the show was when it appeared in reruns on The N. When Daria was talking to the "popular" kids like Britney her scenes would be edited so that instead of Daria making a good point and Britney looking like an idiot Daria would come across as a bitch and Britney as a victim of Daria's "bullying" by actually cutting out lines of Daria's.
  • Re Boot was a famous example, with Executive Meddling affecting the actual production of the show. The ratings were consistently high and was, in fact, the highest rated show on the ABC Saturday Morning block. After two seasons, Disney bought out ABC, who let the show go because they wanted to promote more Disney-produced shows. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, mostly because ABC was not their only sponsor. Alliance Productions sent the show into syndication and a third season aired on YTV in Canada, finally free of ABC's draconian Broadcast Standards & Practices. Cartoon Network then picked up the show and aired it in the U.S., which helped bring back the show for a fourth season. The only downside was still losing a good chunk of the U.S. audience in the 2 year gap and cable TV gap between ABC and Cartoon Network.
    • Lampshaded furiously in the "Web World Wars" episode when Megabyte's Armored Binome Carriers start shooting at the Mainframe forces, whom they had fought alongside thus far against the Web invasion force: "The A.B.C.s have turned on us! Treacherous dogs!!!"
    • At least it aired in the US. ITV showed the first three seasons, but to this day the fourth hasn't aired in Britain.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! is a little known king of this. First, episodes for the final season were aired way before the US for them in several other countries, namely Poland. Second, the show wasn't renewed at the end of its fourth season, for apparently no other reason than Jetix wanting to put on new shows (the series was only 52 episodes long though). The end of the 4th season was a massive cliffhanger that was going to lead into the final climax of the series where all the loose plot lines would have been complete. Nice.
    • And half-an-hour after that cliffie was first aired in the US, Dragon Booster ended on an episode that promised an eventually non-existent Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo, for which the series had spent much of its last season setting up.
    • Most of the Jetix series got screwed near the end of Jetix's lifetime. As Disney began to add shows to Jetix, including the various superhero animated series, these shows were pushed back to later and later hours, until they were finally removed, after Toon Disney/Jetix became Disney XD.
      • Even Power Rangers was removed, which being live action was ironically a better fit for Disney XD than it was for Toon Disney (more info under Live Action TV higher up this page).
  • Gormiti: The Lords of Nature Return was interrupted at Episode 11 during its first broadcasting... and Italia Uno has only itself to blame for that, what with the extremely crazy timetable, the airing of just half an episode per day, and continuously alternating the show with Scooby Doo movies about which Italians couldn't really care less. Give yourself a pat on the back, Italia Uno. If there were any doubts that you're Too Dumb to Live, you managed to dispel them.
    • Well, about Italia Uno, whenever it comes to an animated series that's not The Simpsons (apparently the only cartoon that has a dignified treatment on Italian TV. If you don't care about watered down dialogues, at least)... where to begin? Maybe with South Park, that the network initially aired at midnight and a half with Mackered dialogues (the curses were changed into more childish preaches. Sometimes it was funny, but most of the time it simply sounded weird, to say the least), only to be gradually postponed without preadvice to 2 am and being totally cancelled, again without pre advert. A similar thing happened to American Dad, initially broadcasted as filler while the new Simpsons episodes were being dubbed, then booted at midnight. And, as you can guess, it got the same treatment South Park did, postponed and cancelled (to be fair, these days the network is re-running it at 1 pm). Family Guy? It has a better sort than the above mentioned series, to the point to be broadcasted uncut. At 2.30 pm. So Italian viewers could see such infamous scenes like the collective medicine-caused throwing up and Stewie beating the crap out of Brian totally uncut just after lunch.
  • Teletoon seems to want to bury Batman the Brave And The Bold. It has a 9 am Sunday morning timeslot, pretty much alienating anyone who would actually understand and appreciate the show (which includes a reference to The Aristocrats in the first episode, along with references to the '60s series and classic Doctor Who). They also aren't advertising it, and are using The Batman to promote their action programming, despite that show having finished its run.
  • Cartoon Network strikes again, shifting its time slot with The Secret Saturdays seemingly just to screw with the people who wanted to record the show, leaving the first season: last two episodes short of its finale (airing the rest of the season months later, without break). Australia got those two episodes first.
    • Halfway into the second season, the series was removed from Friday nights. New episodes premiered in what was its Saturday morning repeat slot (8:30am). Unannounced, out-of-the-blue, and NO REPEATS of the show occurred until late July...days before the season finale was to air.
  • Family Channel (the Canadian one) not that long ago, took off Yin Yang Yo, which was still in the middle of its second season, and replaced it with Digimon Data Squad. Why they didn't replace the already in reruns Pucca is beyond imagination.
    • Not only that, but a common offense is to, partway through the season, air the new Power Rangers episodes one half-hour earlier, and start reruns in the later timeslot. They also haven't picked up Power Rangers RPM yet, and might not until even after it has finished airing in the States. Meanwhile, one can find RPM merchandise in toy stores.
  • The rough treatment Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi got: A fairly popular show, got from Cartoon Network in late 2006, the time of its inexplicable cancellation. First, the new episodes were televised with zero advertisement at three in the morning. Seriously. Three. Then they got rid of the characters from the channel's advertising bumps. Then they removed them from the website. The entire thing seemed like one big, deliberate Orwellian effort to make people forget it ever existed. And nobody's ever given an accurate reason as to why... or, heck, even the same one twice. They still, however, appear on the sign in front of the Cartoon Network Store in Atlanta.
  • Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes. Cartoon Network played only 7 episodes and didn't show any more cartoons again for 9 months to time it with The Movie. When the network broadcast it again, they only showed 11 episodes, leaving 8 shows never shown on the network.
  • Here are linked examples of shows: Yo Yogi!!, Captain N the Game Master, Super Mario World, and other popular animated shows all ended getting spoiled and later axed by NBC because they no longer considered cartoons profitable for them. They cut their budget so drastically that it affected their programs dramatically. First, Yo Yogi! and Super Mario World ended up lasting only thirteen episodes and suffered cheap animation and writing. In addition, Captain N's third season had shorter plots and also suffered poor animation and writing, and it had many key elements missing. After all this madness, NBC scrapped the block entirely one year later and drove away from the cartoon industry.
  • Swat Kats. In its first season it was supposedly the highest rated syndicated animated show of the year. Then it was cancelled midway through the second season because Ted Turner was pissed off that it was deservedly drawing attention away from his Anvilicious environmental Author Tract Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
  • Sonic Sat AM. This show jumped around in time slots so much that it could've had legs. More often than not it wound up being put head to head against the then red hot Power Rangers (though that was probably more the fault of the network airing Power Rangers); if it wasn't being preempted by some sporting event. And that was merely for the first season. When the second season was begun, there was almost no advertising given as to when each new episode would air, making it very hard to see the whole thing. And then it got canceled with ABC getting a new "president" after its little merger with Disney. The reason? "A new broom sweeps clean" as the case may be, with Disney wanting to concentrate on its "One Saturday Morning" timeblock. This is particularly grating for fans of the show, as the second season ended with one of the most intriguing cliffhangers of the day. It became even more so as information was finally released as to some of the plot points for season 3. Still, this whole situation probably helped to cement the fanbase into the die-hard community it is today.
  • In Canada, the Jimmy Two Shoes airs at 7am on Saturdays when most normal people are asleep.
  • The PJs got this treatment. After winning three Emmy Awards and an Annie Award, Fox canceled the show after the second season, citing no reason. The WB picked it up, filmed the entire 16 episode third season, then showed the first new episode. Two months later, they aired the second episode. Another month later, they show the next four, then take ANOTHER two month break before showing six more, never airing the last three, then cancel the show claiming it costs too much to produce.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men had the first (half of its only) season aired in its entirety in Canada before one episode was shown in the US. After the three-episode premiere, Nicktoons ran a promo laying plot points... for Season 2 the second half of the season! "Hey fans, wonder what the status quo will be by the end of the (half-) season you just started watching? Wonder no more!"
    • Now the second half has gone all the way through in Canada, and the first half still isn't finished in the US. But you're likely to find reruns of one of the first five episodes (none later) whenever you're flipping by Nicktoons.
      • With the show's cancellation, there won't be a Season 2.
  • Comedy Central's broadcast schedule for Drawn Together was erratic, to say the least. When new episodes were not being screened, the show would often be off the schedule for months. Many viewers assumed the show was cancelled long before it actually was. It also had a gap of over a year between the first and second seasons. And one almost as long between the two halves of season 3.
  • Chowder was feared by many fans to be the latest to fall victim to Cartoon Network's heavy-handed scheduling issues, despite it being a hit: after a full week of airing promos for a new episode during the first season, when it came time for said episode to premiere... it was inexplicably replaced with a rerun at the last minute. The endless string of reruns aired at incredibly sparse times over the week appeared to have diminished a bit of the fanbase it initially built up, but then came new episodes over the summer, and all was right again -- or was it? No, sadly, the most recent season had only nine half-hour episodes ordered, many of them split and premiered only one 15-minute segment at a time (with the second half likely being a re-run).
    • Talking about Chowder, in Cartoon Network Latinamerica during 2011, the show's last season got little promotion in the channel. So low, that by the time they aired the last episode it wasn't even announced, it was in a Thursday (their old 'afternoon comedy block') and what was worst? They showed the second part of the episode first, to end it EXACTLY at the end of the first half episode. They Just Didn't Care.
  • Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? In season two Cartoon Network thought 10:30pm was an appropriate time to air new episodes with the ONLY reruns being Sunday at 4pm. They also changed Robot's voice to sound like a human kid which was a major turn off for most people. Talk about screwed. I do believe in season one, they at least put new episodes on about 8:30 - 9pm, but reruns were rare. The website no longer even mentions the show's existence.
  • UPN started airing Dilbert, an animated adaptation of Scott Adams's mega-hit comic strip. At first they seemed very proud of it, all advertisements for all their network shows ended with "On UPN: Dilbert's network". Then they moved it up and ran it after a show called Shasta McNasty, which, in the words of Scott Adams, drew the kind of audience "likely to die in a bowling ball cleaning accident." Then they bumped it up even further, putting it after both McNasty and a hour-long program on extreme stunts -- which is exactly the kind of slot you want for a sardonic office comedy.
    • Dilbert had other problems as well. Apparently a number of Dilbert fans were also fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which the show was up against for a while. When this was realized, the show was eventually moved to another time slot... up against Buffy's spin-off Angel.
  • The CGI remake of Captain Scarlet ran into a lot of this- including having the last few episodes aired out of order.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long, whose positively epic Executive Meddling across the board makes one wonder if Disney had a personal vendetta against the writers. The bits relevant to this trope include bouncing its timeslot around for several months, often not advertising new episodes. The final three episodes of the series, initially slated to be released once a week, wound up getting aired scattershot and indiscriminately over a period of months, with the change being last-minute and largely unadvertised. If I recall, the series finale was aired in evening primetime (a typical screw you for a cartoon), with the several weeks prior not advertising the upcoming Grand Finale, but High School Musical 2, which had already been out for a month and a half.
  • Dave the Barbarian was a fun show for kids, as well of being chock-full of Parental Bonus and picked up a quite a few non-kid fans. But since it didn't fit in with what Disney thinks are awesome shows for tweens, there were no new episodes ordered, and the timeslot for the reruns was constantly changing. It didn't take long for it to get axed.
  • In September 2009, predominantly kid centered channel Qubo started airing the Canadian series Class of the Titans, Being Ian, & Spliced on their network, shows which skewed a little higher than their normal target audience and lacked the educational content that seems to be a requirement to be shown on the network. Six weeks later, the shows were pulled with virtually no fanfare, replaced with more kiddie sweetness and Qubo now seems content to be its typical kid-friendly self.
    • Then again, Qubo is a case of "Screwed by your local cable operator"; Ion Television has offered almost anything but CEO sexual favors to cable companies to carry their Qubo and Ion Life subchannels (which are both much better in content as they're both infomercial free and don't depend on CBS's schedule from five years back like the main network does) on their cable systems, but most systems have refused, blaming both Ion's "infomercial marathon" reputation and lack of space for not carrying the channels (yet they have room for ten shopping networks?). So it's mostly a case of Ion trying to appeal to anyone to get their channels on cable.
      • Qubo has yet to entirely end this experiment. Beginning in Fall, 2010, they added several new shows. The Magic School Bus seems to be a fit, but other additions will include the old Filmation series Bravestarr, Filmations Ghostbusters, She Ra Princess of Power, and He Man and The Masters of The Universe. Qubo also screws several of its own shows by only carrying a very limited library of episodes. This was the case with Babar, but Qubo recently began airing the final season on weekends, much to fans' delight.
      • Update: as of September 2010, the latter four shows have debuted in a special block called "Night Owl" (which Qubo even acknowledges is for older viewers) which features back to back episodes of each show, airing every day from midnight to 4 a.m. It is still on, as of this writing (although it suffers from the aforementioned, "limited library" problem); also, nearly a year after being cancelled, Spliced returned to the network and airs every night at 4 a.m., after the aforementioned "Night Owl" (and late enough so kids can't watch it, which was probably why it was pulled in the first place).
  • They have also screwed over Pearlie honestly one of the coolest fairy-shows they have. Lasting only one season, it shows in reruns--on a Sunday when most kids are whining to do OTHER stuff.
  • Nickelodeon's KaBlam! had a lot of bad treatment. There were long gaps between new episodes, the usual "new episode" time slot was 8:00 PM on Fridays, when people usually go out. Reruns were shown during a few timeslots: Sunday at noon (where most people would be out for the day), Saturdays at 9:30 PM (which is a usual bedtime for the six-to-eleven target audience), and weekdays while the target audience was at school until 2002 when reruns stopped.
    • Nicktoons handled it worse. Not only did most episodes air early in the morning or when kids 6-17 were in school (except for weekends, which had a good timeslot), but only 26 of all 48 episodes were aired on the channel.
    • Then there were episodes that only aired once. Episode 29 aired once, angering Nickelodeon, due to it being the Series Finale (until it got Uncancelled) and Nick didn't want any of their shows to openly say that it's ending. "Just Chillin`!" aired a few times during the show's final year on the air and wasn't shown on Nicktoons (and most international markets).
    • Not to mention that whenever Nick does anything Nicktoons-related (with all its Nicktoons), KaBlam's always left out. Even the first Superstuffed Nicktoons Weekend, which featured the first episodes of each Nicktoon, was missing one. Guess which one? (HINT-IT'S NOT ZIM).
    • It also had very little tie-in merchandise, and what it did get was a lunchbox, a print center CD-ROM, a "making of" book, a T-shirt, a travel mug, and toys at Burger King. That was it.
  • As Told by Ginger got some pretty awful treatment in its final season. Season 3 only had about half the season air and even then it was at 6 am. The show did get some re-runs on Nicktoons Network, but again that was at 6 am. What little of the "High School" episodes that did air were aired months apart. It only got two DVDs (unless you count the Nick Rewind one) and only one of those had an episode from Season 3.Thanks Nick.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot got this treatment. The second season was delayed for months, new Episodes Post-Cluster Prime were given little fanfare, the third season didn't even air until around November 2008 on Nicktoons at around 8AM. Current Reruns are usually at 3:00AM and 11:00AM on a school day. 8 episodes are on DVD though (albeit, each on different ones, one not even released to the public, since it was for the Emmy Nomination).
  • Code Lyoko used to be part of the afterschool block Miguzi before being shunted out to a midday slot, then to a slot at 6:30 AM, then being cancelled altogether. Cartoon Network didn't even show the final 6 episodes before shutting the series down (in which time the largest American CL forum, Tech Links, shut down, therefore alienating an even larger part of the fanbase). CN also inexplicably skipped an important episode in the middle of the final season, making no attempt to air it before the show's agonizing demise. In an attempt to apologize to the fans, they began reairing Season 1 and a little bit of Season 2 at 6:30 AM before finally nailing the hole in the coffin. Definitely screwed by CN.
  • Alright, any good animated or kids series airing on Malaysian Free-to-Air TV is bound to suffer this, while the crappy shows always go on for season after season. Privately-owned NTV 7 and the government-owned RTM stations are the worst offenders. Examples:
    • Rugrats: When they moved to NTV 7 from Metro Vision (now 8TV) after a 4 year hiatus, this happened. Episodes were randomly censored (you may ask: it's a harmless kids cartoon! What could they possibly censor? Well, the infamous Zoo Story episode has all scenes containing pigs cut off among other random cuts. This coming from the very same network that airs Ally McBeal, and oh, Nickelodeon airs the episodes uncut on Pay TV). The show was cancelled by the network about 4 seasons before Nickelodeon cancelled production of the show completely.
    • Arthur: Did not make it past Season 4 (Though Disney Channel Asia aired it until Season 5 before screwing it over as well). In other countries the show has made it to Season 15 and is on repeats. It was on NTV 7.
    • Caillou - only the original 5-minute shorts were aired, 40 episodes in between were dropped and the show was quickly replaced by Rocky and Bullwinkle. It was on NTV 7.
    • Dragon Tales: Episodes skipped, random pre-empting of slot and did not pause the master tapes when cutting into ads, causing large amount of scenes to go missing. And they did not bother bringing in Season 2 onwards. It was on RTM 1.
    • Between the Lions: same reason as Dragon Tales, and halfway through airing, its slot was pre-empted for a whopping 6 months. It was on RTM 2.
    • Charlie and Lola: Stopped halfway through season and never mentioned again. It was on RTM 2.
    • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic had the dubious honor of not only being the latest show to be screwed by NTV 7, but also to be screwed before it could even air: it was replaced with Lily The Witch in the last minute on the day and the slot it was supposed to premiere. Egregiously, the show ID overlay still read My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic even though the airing show clearly isn't. It's the Screwed by Fox Network joke from Futurama taken up to 11!
  • Godzilla: The Series in the US had the unfortunate timing to be airing on Fox Kids during the Digimon Adventure/ Pokémon wars going on at the time. Eventually, it got to that only three episodes were never aired in the US (the last three were aired in Australia).
  • Spider-Man Unlimited, FOX's proposed successor to their popular Spider-Man the Animated Series. Was another victim of the Pokémon/Digimon Ratings Wars, and had a severely limited run and even then the series ended on a cliffhanger that never got resolution.
  • Transformers Cybertron. Moved from Cartoon Network to Kids' WB after a few episodes because they realized, "Why show the Merchandise-Driven series only to people with cable?" This was not the bad part. This was a welcome addition to the after-school entertainment of many. But after episode 26, it was pulled back to Cartoon Network. Why? The toys advertised by the next episode's events hadn't shipped to stores yet. This outraged people because Episode 26 had been a Wham! Episode with a cliffhanger ending, and several fans had to wait years to see the rest of the show. After getting yanked back, it got timeslot screwed, eventually relegated to a dead morning slot.
    • Hell, Cartoon Network treated all of the Transformers series they aired like crap after the first ten or so episodes. Armada and Energon, although both were heavily promoted on Toonami, were eventually relegated to the early morning death slot.
      • Armada actually got off lucky, despite its constantly shifting schedule (going from memory; first dozen or so episodes aired on weekday afternoons, then moved to saturday mornings, then back to weekday afternoons, then to saturday nights, then back to weekday afternoons AGAIN where it premiered its final dozen episodes.) it was always aired at a reasonable time.
  • The worst case of this relating to Transformers, however, has to be the tragic case of Transformers Animated. When it was in the making, it had all the makings to be a network star; the team behind Teen Titans, a great team of voice actors and writers... And it not only got an insanely low budget for animation, DESPITE Derrick J. Wyatt's designs being meant for awesome animation on the level of his previous work, but it received barely any advertising other than its premiere episodes, and was shoved to the death slot rather quickly. Despite this and the initial fandom reaction, it quickly won over many fans... But things only went further downhill. Hasbro delayed the toyline for HALF A YEAR because Wal-Mart demanded more Movie toys. The show actually finished its first two seasons by the time the toys were on shelves! By that time, a lot of kids had forgotten about it due to Cartoon Network promoting Bakugan over it, and then, the toyline had only one year until Revenge Of The Fallen reared itself. Despite this, Hasbro promised the fans that the Animated toyline would continue on through Revenge of the Fallen... But then, after the third season, CN axed the show. And things only spiraled out of control. Wal-Mart demanded Hasbro can the rest of the toys for Revenge Of The Fallen toys, and Hasbro did so, delaying anticipated toys like Arcee, Rodimus, which were relegated to being insanely hard-to-find exclusives, and outright never releasing Blackout, Wingblade Optimus, and Hydrodive Bumblebee! Even worse, there were plans for an AWESOME fourth season, and there were two toys, Hot Shot and Marauder Megatron, who never made it past the prototype stage! Then, Hasbro decided after that fiasco to start their own channel, and with a new show, Transformers Prime. However, rights issues further tangled up any possible future toys, and now Hasbro isn't releasing the toys for Transformers Prime until after the third movie! And, Derrick Wyatt has hinted Stuart Snyder may have disliked the series.
    • IDW Publishing didn't give Animated much love, either. When show-runner Marty Isenberg was brought in to write "side stories" to the Animated show in a mini-series entitled "The Arrival", very little effort was made by IDW to advertise it and distinguish it from their crappy screencap retellings of the Animated cartoon itself. To make matters worse, two of the three artists pulled for art duties on the book had a terribly poor grasp of Animated's distinctive style (Boo especially!), and the only decent one (resident Hasbro artist Marcelo Matere) drew only half an issue of the book's short run. Because of the complete lack of advertising for the title, sales were abysmal in spite of very favorable word of mouth, which lead to the scrapping of a proposed second mini-series follow-up.
    • It seems like this is being pulled again with G.I. Joe: Renegades, the show's being "put on Hiatus" (many interpret this as a thinly veiled way of saying cancellation) for the second live action film, many people have compared it to the treatment of Transformers Animated, except while Animated had three seasons, Renegades only got one.
    • Oh, and speaking of Transformers Prime? The toys aren't coming out UNTIL DECEMBER. Not to mention the fact that the Hub keeps doing repeats over and over. Fucking Goldner and his fetish for hollywood blockbusters.
  • Compounding to the Transformers entries above: apparently, any cartoon shows whose licensing franchise is Hasbro suffers from this with Cartoon Network. Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Bitty Adventures and My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, both which Cartoon Network just picked up, is going through this right now- both are placed on Boomerang, which is officially off limits to viewers in certain countries, up until they were put under extreme pressure by complaints. Then they announced that they were going to air SSC:BBA and MLP:FIM on CN in addition to Boomerang, in addition to reviving Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-Lot and putting it on both networks as well. Happy endings for all? Nope. The twist is, they're not done with the screwing. These shows were scheduled to air in the dead morning (between 5 AM to 7 AM) and with only one episode a day with no repeats. Comparatively, the shows air at a much more reasonable time slot and with a second repeat airing on Boomerang. And adding insult to the injury, SSC:BBA and MLP:FIM would be one whole season behind the airing on Boomerang. And oh, MLP:FIM was promised, but have yet to appear. If Cartoon Network really hates Hasbro's guts, why the heck do they keep buying the rights to their shows?[1]
  • And on the topic of Strawberry Shortcake, Kewlopolis dropped the series before Season 4 of the 2003/2007 reboot aired, due to the various ongoing courtroom dramas between Moon Scoop, Cookie Jar, DiC and American Greetings. Said season had aired to completion outside the US, but those who relied on Kewlopolis for the show had to turn to digitally circulating tapes, or faced uncertainty for 5 years waiting for the episodes to be eventually released direct to DVD in the US market.
  • Greg Weisman is easily a forerunner for having the most shows anyone's directed getting screwed by the network! He quit Gargoyles after the first episode of The Goliath Chronicles and considers everything after that non-canon, was brought in to direct the second season of WITCH and, despite giving it a major Grow the Beard overhaul, it was canceled. Despite popular opinion, though, The Spectacular Spider Man was more Screwed by the Lawyers than this, as when the deal that Disney bought Marvel came through, Sony chose to give up the TV rights to keep the movie rights.
  • Yet another Cartoon Network example (seriously, we should have a whole folder for CN shows), Robotomy. Although it was slightly justified due to the show being expensive to produce, Cartoon Network constantly kicked it around by cancelling reruns and not showing many promos for it. After the last episode of the first series was screened. CN dropped the show, removed all evidence that they had ever screened it, and never even showed reruns. TOTALLY screwed by CN.
  • Still another CN network example, Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, despite having good ratings, and able to get a lot more out of it, episodes started airing less and less, new episodes stopped being announced, and eventually both shows were forced to air the series finale with no warning to make way for CN's new live-action block.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan. First, it was moved off the Friday night action block to Wednesdays at 7pm, which is an incredibly awkward timeslot. Then it was moved to Saturday mornings at 9:30am, with absolutely no advance warning. After that, it was cancelled because it wasn't selling toys, even though there no toys even made for it (rumor has it that no toy company would produce it due to a female lead in what would otherwise be a "boys'" property being considered unprofitable) and creator Genndy Tartakovsky has left Cartoon Network for Sony Pictures.
    • Though given that another CN property has had toys made for its female leads and villains (Young Justice) that excuse seems odd to say the least.
  • Sit Down, Shut Up (The U.S. series). The show received a ton of promotion and had a nice cozy timeslot sandwiched between Fox's hardhitter cartoons,The Simpsons and Family Guy. Despite this, the show received poor ratings, got largely negative reviews about the show being nothing but a Refuge in Vulgarity with little to no redeeming qualities (despite that there was nothing on the show that hasn't been seen on post-season 9 Simpsons or post-2005 cancellation Family Guy) was relocated to Fox's graveyard hour (the very timeslot that killed our beloved Futurama) and even had an episode removed from airing on Sunday due to risky content (which is ironic considering the generally risque content of their precious Family Guy). The show itself was eventually pulled from Sundays and announced canceled. However, the rest of the series was allowed to air on Saturdays at 12:00 AM and continued to rerun there until Spring when Comedy Central picked up the rights to the show.
    • In short, it is Fox's shortest lived (Not to mention their most underrated) cartoon series ever. If you thought The Critic got screwed over, wait till you see what SDSU went through.
  • Detention belongs here more than any other Kids WB show. Although the short lived Kids' WB cartoon had all 13 of its episodes aired on Saturday, the first 8 episodes suffered poor ratings in its 10:30 AM timeslot. So it aired the rest of its episodes on 11:30 AM where the ratings did not improve and the show was eventually canceled. It was, however, relocated to the Kids WB's Toonami block until another episode of Pokémon took its place. Unlike most of its fellow Kids' WB shows, however, Cartoon Network reruns were out the question.
  • In Poland The Buzz on Maggie aired on Disney Channel from December 2006 to early February 2007 on weekends at 02:25 PM (or 14:25 in 24-hour clock notation). After that it was replaced by The Emperors New School. I think, that Disney Channel Poland still refuses to put The Buzz on Maggie again in schedule (as of May 2011).
  • Making Fiends, the webtoon turned Nicktoon, was promoted to air in 2007 on Nickelodeon's main channel. It ended up getting premiered a year later and was shifted to Nicktoons Network last minute. Despite being the highest rated original program on Nicktoons Network, it has only six episodes that have been rerunning on occasional Saturdays for the past years.
  • Fans are worrying that Young Justice is turning into this. The next episode was set to premiere June 3rd, but the network still kept it on hiatus for yet another month. It finally aired on June 17th. There was no new episode on the 24th though.
    • Though CN jumped the gun in the first place by airing the pilot episode with only a handful of episodes completed. At least part of the delay has been to give the creative team a chance to catch up.
    • The first hiatus ended up being six months long, after only 9 episodes aired. During this hiatus, the show was renewed for a 20 episode second season and won an Emmy for character design. After airing episodes 10-17, the show is on a five month hiatus. Despite production beginning on the second season and it set to premiere with the new DC Nation block in March, fans are still on edge and biting their nails because a) it's Greg Weisman, b) it's Cartoon Network, and c) it's a comic book adaptation, all of which have notable representation on this page. Still, given the fact that the show won an Emmy and was renewed with only 9 episodes aired, surely it won't hurt that it's taking them nearly a year to air a 26 episode season, right...?
    • Signs are not good. The show was suddenly switched from its usual friday night timeslot to a saturday morning timeslot.
  • Invader Zim was cancelled from Nickelodeon quite quickly due to the network executives receiving many complaints that it was too scary for children. And also, the Friday Night Death Slot.
    • It was more complicated than that. The show did receive a following among the teen and college aged crowds, but it didn't get many viewers in the younger age demographic like Viacom was hoping for. Instead of doing the smart thing and moving it to their time slot that WAS dedicated for older viewers, they used the techniques most commonly used by networks when they want to screw over shows. Combined with the show's high production values, it didn't take long for the ratings to get low enough to justify cancellation. However, due to good merchandise and DVD sales along with high ratings on the reruns, the network is considering reviving the show.
    • The short-lived Disney cartoon Nightmare Ned suffered the same fate, but unlike Zim, it never got any DVD releases.
  • Lots of Toon Disney shows were screwed over on Disney XD for more tweencoms. Dave the Barbarian? Good-bye! Yin Yang Yo? You better be up at three in the morning (and even that time slot is starting to be replaced by tweencoms)! House of Mouse? NOPE! DIGIMON? NOPE!!!
    • At least Recess was aired on the channel for a while. Which brings us to...
  • Recess has a mild case of this. While the show was Adored by the Network during its ABC run (and partially on Disney Channel and Toon Disney among the finished shows being re-ran), the sixth season fell under this trope. Recess Schools Out was supposed to end the series...however, due to the sixty-five episode limit that Disney has on their shows, it lasted only a few episodes and were criticized by fans to be Anvilicious (the show had An Aesop in a few (but not every) episodes, and moreso in the early ones, but never to this level). The treatment got better, at least until the timeslot for the reruns became more unreasonable.
  • Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, in their final season. Cartoon Network damned it to a half-day marathon, then played the final episodes late at night, with the Mask movie following it.
  • Stroker and Hoop! A second season (Including a series premiere that would have wrapped up the cliff hanger) was planned thanks to good ratings, but Adult Swim thought the show was far too pricey and as a result, it was canned (Although the aborted cliff hanger resolution was written on the internet).
    • Stroker isn't the only [AS] example. Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil's second season was canned after going through a two year development hell. A half hour second season was planned along with a new pilot, but both of which were scrapped due to Loren Bouchard and the network having creative disagreements about the show (Although a DVD was released for their shop).
    • Korgoth of Barbaria and That Crookd Sipp are pilot examples. Korgoth Season 1 was planned due to the pilot being the most successful pilot on [AS], but it was aborted due to lack of funds that the higher ups refused to provide. That Crook'd 'Sipp was to receive 6 additional episodes, but instead it was trapped in limbo until 2009 when it was announced that Freaknik: The Musical would be created instead.
  • Cartoon Network strikes again with both of the Totally Spies! series. The fifth season original series was held over from the US for several months. Things started to look up when the Spiritual Successor series was ordered....which CN proceeded to pull from the network just after it had started.
  • Spliced has been plowed through rather quickly, with the first handful of episodes debuting in the U.S. in late 2009 before the official May debut in its native Canada. About half of the 26 episodes so far haven't even aired in Canada at all, and the episodes ended abruptly in December 2010 with absolutely no announcement either way on the show's future.
  • Regarding his very short-lived Saturday Morning Cartoon Birdz, Larry Jacobs said the following on IMDb:

Biggest reason,,BIRDZ aired on CBS saturday morning at eleven o'clock, after a two hour (adult)news block.. this was complete suicide.. of course there was no audience. ( the adult audience turned off CBS after the news was over)... the kids that may have been watching this network earlier in the day changed the channel already to Disney or WB.. no brainer there!.. the show was totally original and had no pre-sold materials, such as books ( no huge publisher behind the show to push for a better time slot)or toys ( no monster merchandiser to persuade the producer to think twice) or movies..

  • Blazing Dragons, a British animated show that portrayed the knights of King Arthur's Court as a bunch of incompetent dragons, was aired on Disney for a while, but was dropped in a time slot that was so late at night/early in the morning that it was rarely seen before being quietly scuttled away.
  • Like Fish Hooks? Then you'll hate the Family Channel here in Canada, the Expy of Disney Channel. The show premiered to similar hype as the American release, and advertising. However, come summer, the show lost its promotion. Right now as of fall 2011, the show is non existent on the main website, and the show airs only Weekends at 8:30AM. (If you live in Vancouver and watch the HD version, it's 5:30 AM.)
  • Virtually every non-Fox animated sitcom such as Father of the Pride, Dilbert, and The Goode Family. Seriously, try to find one that's lasted more than a season.
    • The animated adaption of Napoleon Dynamite is the latest victim, getting only six episodes on an erratic schedule, what really makes this one sting is that ND usually got better ratings then Bob's Burgers and Cleveland Show, yet it wasn't renewed like those shows were.
  • Does the Nickelodeon Winx Club count? They aired the first episode 5 times, and it never was seen again until a few months later, just like the Stitch! example in Anime and Manga.
    • Not too long ago, they showed the first three specials at 6 in the morning on school days, but did not air the fourth. And now, they are going to be showing an episode of season 3 every weekday at 3:00 starting November 14th (a Monday). You know, when most kids would be just getting out of school!
  • Cookie Jar Entertainment is seemingly screwing over its own CBS block by breaking actual promises (like offering original live-action programming) and offering multiple showings of the same shows each week.
  • Although adored by Nickelodeon's main channel, the sister channel Nicktoons only airs SpongeBob SquarePants from 12AM to 1AM. You know, when most kids are asleep!
  • Maryoku Yummy seems to be getting this treatment by the Hub, only airing it from 10:30AM to 11:30AM on Thursdays.
  • Action shows lately haven't seen a lot of luck with Cartoon Network. Generator Rex was pulled off the schedule episodes before the Season Finale, including a planned hour of new episodes towards the end of February. Star Wars the Clone Wars has also been getting minimal coverage, and looks likely to be replaced towards the end of the Season, despite once being the network favorite. Even the Ben 10 Franchise has been screwed over, with new episodes of Ben 10 Ultimate Alien being stuck early Saturday mornings. This isn't making Stuart Snyder any friends.
  • Timon and Pumbaa on Disney Cinemagic in the UK. This show only airs at 11:35PM, when most kids in the UK are asleep! The show fares better on the US on Disney Junior, but not by much as it airs at 6:00AM weekdays. Some other retro Disney cartoons are also placed earlier in this time slot.
    • The Disney Junior run is bad for a second reason. Why? "You May Have Already Won Six Million Barka/My Meteor, My Friend" aired first, and then it skipped to "Kenya Be My Friend/Good Mousekeeping". They skipped 75 episodes, meaning that out of 85 episodes they only aired 10 different episodes so far! One of these was Mook Island/Cliphangers, the Series Finale. Maybe they have a contract to only air those ten episodes?
  • In late 2011, MTV started to redeem themselves with Good Vibes and brand-new episodes of Beavis and Butthead. It didn't last for long though, as of 2012, both of them were taken off the air so MTV could make room for more reality TV garbage, and because Good Vibes was a victim of the Friday Night Death Slot.
  • And now The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes can be added to the list with the news that Marvel wants a new, completely different Avengers animated series, fans of EMH are not pleased...
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast had a very messy schedule after the sixth season with literally many months between new episodes to the point where it ended without much fanfare.
  1. If you think about it and apply Insane Troll Logic, CN's reason to screw Hasbro over is very clear, and it appears that Hasbro's management are probably Genre Blind. Cartoon Network and Boomerang are owned by Time Warner. Time Warner also owns DC, whose toy rights are with Hasbro's rival, Mattel. Aggravating things is that Hasbro themselves currently hold the toy rights to DC's rival Marvel, which in turn is owned by Time Warner rival and former Hasbro broadcaster Disney. Why Hasbro didn't think about this themselves is beyond anyone's guess.