The Best And Worst Of Streaming-Revived TV On Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Elsewhere

Netflix and Hulu have saved some shows, but which ones are worth it?

After teetering on the high wire, ABC finally cancelled Agent Carter last week. We loved the show, but it’s probably okay to admit when a premise has lost its luster. That said, there are already petitions to save the show on other streaming outlets like Netflix and Hulu. There’s a weird industry being built upon the immediate shopping of cancelled properties for second lives, and we wanted to take a look at the best and worst of what Netflix and other streaming services have resurrected from cable’s unholy Pet Sematary.

Arrested Development

This is a pretty big divide between those who think the late fourth season is a delightfully complicated romp and those who see its as an impenetrable mess that lacks any of the joy present in the original series, cashing in on the goodwill of a brilliant run with a re-animated corpse that delivered neither laughs nor cohesive stories. Yeah, you’re in one of those two camps. I’m not saying where I fall. Fox did burn off their final episodes of season three in a single night, so there was some setup for this show to eventually become a binge-watch.

Breaking Bad

While not cancelled by AMC in the United States, the show was cancelled after three seasons in the UK where fans were forced to turn to Netflix to see how the final two seasons played out. That’s kind of shocking to discover. I mean if Breaking Bad can’t make it, what chance to any of the pilots on my hard drive have? Damn you, England and your impossible standards!

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

This show got a five-season run on Cartoon Network, and then when brought to the Netflix platform, got a simultaneous release of a sixth season that Netflix oversaw. This season erred a lot more adult and serious, which teased a direction that the show had always wanted to have. This is one of the lesser known streaming-saves but the tonal shift is worth your time.

The Mindy Project

After getting cancelled by Fox, Hulu picked up the show which survived the transition on excellent terms, but then hit some story bumps when the writer’s room saw a lot of shifts mid-season. It’s quite different tonally at this point – and that evolution is more interesting than keeping the show in the adorable-awkward zone.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Tina Fey’s abduction comedy got canned at NBC and Netflix picked it up mid-order. There’s a clear shift in the episodes once they realize they are no longer held to network standards, and in the first season that actually works to harm the show, but thank The Rev that we got this show and its flawless theme-song out the door.

The Killing

The network murdered The Killing not once, but twice before Netflix came to the rescue. The show premiered to rave reviews in 2011 and then the red herring-dangling began, frustrating viewers. AMC began shopping the show to other networks, then kept it on the air when they saw how excited other networks were to grab it. Netflix even partnered with AMC to cover some production costs in exchange for some earlier-than-usual streaming rights. Then… AMC cancelled the show… again. This time is became Netflix’s full-time property.


The delightful comedy WHICH SHOULD STILL BE AIRING FOR 100 SEASONS IF THERE WAS A GOD got second life on Hulu. The social media-themed show, which starred Karen Gillan and John Cho, was canceled after only six airings, among mixed critical reviews. Hulu aired the remaining episodes of the show, leading some to believe the show would get a second season through Hulu. Then Hulu “cancelled” on it too.


One of the best examples of Netflix dropping in to do something special for a small community. The fan-loved, network-beleaguered show was fished out of the cancellation waters just in time. Netflix picked up 10 new episodes for a fourth season in 2015 after A&E shafted viewers with a season-three cliffhanger.


Dan Harmon’s sitcom that never seemed to hit a ratings threshold that would satisfy NBC saw 13 new episodes to stream exclusively on Yahoo! Screen, the site’s nascent video service. The fifth season has been universally praised, especially after the Harmon-less season 4 stripped away much of what fans loved about the show. This chance to redo the “gasleak season” never found an audience and wound up bankrupting Yahoo’s streaming video service.

Fuller House

Do you wish that the original stars of a three-camera sitcom could come back to put their decades of stardom damage on display, but for a laugh track? Lucky you. The Ranch is also probably right up your alley, you bad person, you.

Gilmore Girls

The best show of all time got a limited pick-up of four feature-length, season-based episodes that will drop in 2016 and allow the series creator to end the show the way she always had planned. This is our EVERYTHING.


Just do it. Just goddamned do it. Someone save this show. They’re ready for the Silence of the Lambs arc. It prints its own money, you dummies.

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