Sometimes popular shows are cancelled unexpectedly, but the creators of the show, or clues from the previous season can help to predict what was going to happen.
Watching many episodes of your favourite show one after the other may be a great way to immerse yourself in the overall narrative, but this can lead to the development of parasocial relationships with the characters.
These parasocial relationships can make it even more devastating when your favourite show is cancelled unexpectedly.
Fortunately, regardless of why the show was cancelled or how quickly, it is often possible to predict what was going to happen in the next seasons of popular shows like Westworld, GLOW, The OA, The Wilds, The Order, Santa Clarita Diet, Colony, Final Space, Marco Polo, and The Mist.
Why do we get so attached to television shows?
A few years ago, most people would have had to wait weeks between episodes to see what would happen in their favourite television shows.
However, now, with the amount of streaming services increasing daily, you can watch entire seasons of a show in one sitting.
This allows you to become completely immersed in the world of your favourite television show and you may even start to see some similarities between yourself and the characters on your screen.
The good news is that this is very common and happens because you form a parasocial relationship with these characters. This can actually be quite beneficial for you in terms of identity formation and introspection.
While you may feel embarrassed about crying or laughing with the characters on your favourite show, it is simply because the human brain has not yet evolved to be able to understand the difference between the social emotions that we experience in real life and those that we see playing out on the screen.
Sharing the emotions that you felt while watching a certain show could actually help you make real-life social connections with like-minded people.
What was going to happen in 10 of the most popular cancelled shows?
There is, therefore, nothing wrong with forming a strong attachment to your favourite character(s) on your favourite show.
However, when this show is suddenly cancelled for whatever reason, it can be heart-breaking, leaving you with many unanswered questions about where the story could have gone next.
This frustration is intensified when a show is cancelled somewhat unexpectedly and the creators of show clearly intended for the show to have several more seasons to conclude their storyline.
When this happens, fans are left with an unsatisfying cliffhanger ending that will never be resolved.
This was the case when fans were left wondering what would happen to the survivors in the next phase of the experiment in The Wilds, whether Joel would be turned into a zombie in Santa Clarita Diet, or what Invictus and the army of Titans would do in Final Space.
People usually assume that television shows get cancelled by their networks because the show was simply not popular enough, but in reality, there are many reasons why a studio may decide not to renew a show for another season.
Decreasing ratings and viewership is the most common reason why television shows are pulled off the air and it certainly does lead to many fan-favourite shows being cancelled with every new season.
An example of this is when a the fairly popular show, Westworld, was cancelled after one bad season, and this meant that fans never got to see what the “Sublime” would actually end up looking like.
The same is true for The Mist, as the show was cancelled after just two seasons, which did not give the creators enough time to explore the cause of the mist or to conclude the show in the same way as the original.
Similarly, Colony, which became the least-watched show on USA Network, was cancelled before the war between the aliens and the humans could even begin.
Other shows just seem to be a flop right from the start and no one is that shocked when the show gets cancelled without a fitting resolution.
Like how viewers will never find out what would have happened next in the multiverse within the already complicated The OA storyline, or never find out whether Prester John could stand against Kublai in Marco Polo.
Of course, in recent years, COVID-19-related delays and budget cuts have also led to shows being cancelled even though their ratings were high, and their stories were not yet complete.
For instance, GLOW was cancelled after being renewed briefly for a fourth season in which fans would see what Ruth was planning to do after splitting from Debbie and The Order was cancelled before Jack could bring Alyssa back.
In the end there are many different factors that contribute to a show being cancelled, but this does not make it easier to accept that you may never know what was going to happen next in some of the most popular cancelled shows.
Fortunately, creators often let their plans slip and you can piece together a rough idea of what could have happened if these popular shows were able to continue filming.
How long were 10 of the most popular shows on the air before they were cancelled?
There is often a fine line between feeling like a show was cancelled before you got the entire story and feeling like a show should have been cancelled while it was still good.
However, whether they were on the air for one season or five, in the case of the 10 most popular shows that were cancelled before fans could find out what was going to happen next – they all feel like they left our screens a little too soon.
These shows are:
|Show||First air date||Last air date||Number of seasons|
|Westworld||2 October 2016||14 August 2022||4|
|GLOW||23 June 2017||9 August 2019||3|
|The OA||16 December 2016||22 March 2019||2|
|The Wilds||11 December 2020||6 May 2022||2|
|The Order||7 May 2019||18 June 2020||2|
|Santa Clarita Diet||3 February 2017||29 March 2019||3|
|Colony||14 January 2016||25 July 2018||3|
|Final Space||26 February 2018||14 June 2021||3|
|Marco Polo||12 December 2014||1 July 2016||2|
|The Mist||22 June 2017||24 August 2017||1|
What was going to happen in Westworld season 5?
Westworld is one of the shows on this list that some fans felt ended conclusively at the end of its fourth season, as it ended with the literal destruction of all sentient life on earth.
However, as is common with this kind of mind-bending sci-fi drama, some fans felt that life would persevere when it was revealed that Dolores could open the “Sublime” to all of the artificial life.
This is why the fifth season of Westworld would most likely have followed Dolores and the rest of the cast as they attempted this final test in the afterlife, where their eventual survival or extinction would have been determined.
|Watch all 4 seasons of Westworld on Amazon Prime Video|
What was going to happen in GLOW season 4?
As far as cancelled shows go, GLOW was definitely dealt a difficult blow. The show was renewed for a fourth season and had reportedly already started filming this season, when it was abruptly cancelled due to COVID-19 related budget-cuts.
As a result, the show ended on a strange note. It is likely that the fourth season of the show would have seen Debbie launching her new television network and Ruth either returning to help Debbie or making a name for herself in some other way.
But unless the show is picked up by a different network, this may never be clarified or confirmed.
|Watch all 3 seasons of GLOW on Apple TV+|
What was going to happen in The OA season 3?
The OA was always intended to be told over five parts, but the show was cancelled before it could even make it halfway through.
To add to this, it also ended on a massive cliffhanger at the end of the second season when the characters jumped into a dimension where they seemingly became the actors playing them.
The third season would have likely continued this narrative and possibly even provided some clues as to how all the different dimensions are connected.
|Watch both seasons of The OA on Apple TV+|
What was going to happen in The Wilds season 3?
The very first season of The Wilds followed a group of girls stranded on an island. However, the second season restructured this premise entirely by revealing that there was also a second island with stranded boys being watched as part of a social experiment.
The third season of the show would have probably continued with this trend and would have seen the groups meet and interact with each other for the first time as the next phase of the experiment.
|Watch both seasons of The Wilds on Amazon Prime Video|
What was going to happen in The Order season 3?
The first two seasons of The Order certainly provided enough of a basis to build the story out further and before it was cancelled, fans could not wait to see what evil magician, cult, or demon the team would encounter next.
Unfortunately, since the show has been cancelled, the hints that Dennis Heaton – the show’s creator – gave viewers about the next season is all there is to go on.
According to these hints, Jack would attempt to bring Alyssa back to life after her death in season two, but she would have come back “wrong” in season three.
|Watch both seasons of The Order on Apple TV+|
What was going to happen in Santa Clarita Diet season 4?
The third and final season of Santa Clarita Diet left fans of the show with no closure.
However, since there were so many unanswered questions at the end of this season, it is likely that the creator of the show, Victor Fresco, would have spent most of his time tying these loose ends in the fourth season.
This includes a resolution to whether Joel would ultimately become a zombie after Sheila bit him and whether the budding relationship between Abby and Eric would have amounted to anything.
|Watch all 3 seasons of Santa Clarita Diet on Apple TV+|
What was going to happen in Colony season 4?
Although Colony was cancelled unexpectedly at the end of its third season, the show’s creators apparently already had the entire story all planned out, including how the show would end.
This includes the fact that Will would be shot out to space and would return with newfound power in order to aid with the looming war against the aliens. Finally, Everett Kynes would come up with a plan to save the entire world in the end.
|Watch all 3 seasons of Colony on Amazon Prime Video|
What was going to happen in Final Space season 4?
The third season of Final Space definitely had much darker themes than fans were used to seeing on the show and near the end of this season, the characters were fairly dejected after finding out that Avocato and Gary had left for Invictus’s inner sanctum.
Season four would most likely have continued this narrative, or at least given Gary and his team a satisfying resolution whereby they can finally stand up to Invictus.
|Watch all 3 seasons of Final Space on Amazon Prime Video|
What was going to happen in Marco Polo season 3?
There is no doubt that Marco Polo had a lot of storylines and arcs to incorporate into its first two seasons and the third season would probably be no different.
It is likely that Marco Polo season three would have seen Prester John become a significant part of the story and may even have shown him fighting against Kublai.
Furthermore, many fans of the show had hoped that it would become more historically accurate as it went on.
|Watch both seasons of Marco Polo on Amazon Prime Video|
What was going to happen in The Mist season 2?
Unlike the other shows on this list, The Mist is based on a Stephen King horror novella of the same name. This novella helps to give fans of the show an indication of what would have happened next in the original story.
By the end of the first season, the survivors noticed that a military train had unloaded a group of people straight into the mist.
Based on the story as it unfolds in the novella, it is likely that this would give way to the uncovering of a military conspiracy in the second season.
|Watch The Mist season 1 on Amazon Prime Video|