TV shows, popular and unpopular alike, can end for a multitude of reasons. Some programs are canceled because of low ratings, while others conclude their stories after many years on air. Occasionally, however, there is a TV show that does not have a happy, conclusive ending. Whether it’s because of inappropriate comments or behavior, actors and actresses can cause the downfall of their own shows. Many TV programs have found themselves surrounded by drama and cancel culture, especially in the age of social media and movements against sexaul misconduct. However, certain shows were in far too deep to be saved. These are the top five most iconic shows that ended in controversy.
One of TLC’s most popular reality shows, “19 Kids and Counting,” ran from 2008 to 2015. It followed the heavily religious Duggar family and their abundant number of children, drawing in much attention for the family’s unorthodox practices and beliefs. The show came to an abrupt end, however, when the oldest Duggar son, Josh Duggar, was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including his own sisters. When the news broke, any hope of a new season was destroyed, and TLC subsequently pulled the show out of its lineup.
Originally a British show from the ‘90s, America’s version of “House of Cards” aired on Netflix in 2013, and was subsequently followed by five seasons until 2018. Focusing on the fictional Congressmen Frank Underwood and his wife, Claire Underwood, the show was nominated for multiple Emmy and Golden Globe Awards, signifying its success. Drama for the cast and crew soon unfolded after season five, as Kevin Spacey, who played the main character of F. Underwood, was accused of sexual misconduct. As a result, Spacey’s character was written off and the show was granted one more season, but it was not long after that that the “House of Cards” was canceled for good.
“19 Kids and Counting” was not the only TLC show to be canceled due to controversy. “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” arguably TLC’s most well known reality show, centers around the family of “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, a popular previous contestant on the child pageant reality show “Toddlers and Tiaras.” Honey Boo Boo’s mother, “Mama June,” was one of the show’s most notable characters and contributed to the show’s popularity, as illustrated by its four season run. Though the show was already filming for a fifth season, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” quickly fell from grace when “Mama June” was revealed to be seeing a registered sex offender, and the show was canceled in 2014.
In the early 2000s, Paula Deen was one of the most recognizable cooking icons. Her show on Food Network, “Paula’s Home Cooking,” brought in many viewers and ran for almost a whole decade. In 2013, however, Deen’s cooking legacy was tarnished forever when she was accused of making racially insensitive comments and saying racial slurs. Although Deen owned up to her mistakes, the damage had already been done, and “Paula’s Home Cooking” was not renewed after its final season aired in 2012.
The controversy surrounding the sitcom “Roseanne” made it one of the most infamous, and likely most well-known, shows to be canceled due to its controversy. Roseanne Barr was a notable comedian in the ‘80s and earned her own, self-titled comedy sitcom “Roseanne” in 1988. The show ran until 1997, and was given a revival in 2018. Leading up to the show’s return, Barr had attracted controversy due to her extreme political views, but it was not until early 2018 that Barr paid the consequences for her strong opinions. After tweeting an extremely racially charged message towards one of President Barack Obama’s administrative officials, Valerie Jarrett, the revival of “Roseanne” was canceled and replaced by a spin-off show, “The Conners,” in which Barr’s character was noticeably absent.