'Rap Sh!t' and Other Canceled Black TV Shows That Deserve a Second Chance

Fans were left sad and disappointed when these 15 shows were canceled. Should they get a reboot?


From Martin to Rap Sh!t, Black TV shows have grasped our attention in ways that seem to stick with us for eternity. There is a long list of Black series that have been crafted for us and provided pure enjoyment, knowledge, and entertainment throughout the years. Black TV has achieved outstanding popularity, spanning from the gripping drama of 50 Cent's Power Universe to the hilarious and Emmy Award–winning Abbott Elementary. But unlike those shows, there are plenty fan-favorites that have been hit with a cancelation.

At the beginning of the new year, an uproar arose over unjust cancellations of current beloved Black TV shows. Recently, X users expressed their disappointment when it was announced that Issa Rae's HBO series Rap Sh!t was canceled after two seasons.

“You’re seeing so many Black shows get canceled, you’re seeing so many executives — especially on the DEI side — get canned. You’re seeing very clearly now that our stories are less of a priority,” Rae told digital publication Porter about the cancellation. “It’s made me take more steps to try to be independent down the line if I have to.”

This led to a discussion of other Black TV shows that have been canceled prematurely and deserve a second green light. Here are some of the recent Black TV series that were canceled and networks left fans distraught wanting more of.

Rap Sh!t

In January, Max announced that Issa Rae's comedy-drama TV series Rap Sh!t had been canceled after two seasons. Many fans mourned the rap duo's departure, while others went into a frenzy, sparking a topic of canceled Black shows trending all over X, formerly known as Twitter. The show follows a Miami-based female rap group, Mia (KaMillion) and Shawna (Aida Osman), as they journey to the top of the hip-hop industry. The premise is loosely based on the popular rap duo City Girls, who also serve as co-executive producers alongside their Quality Control managers Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas.  

"We are extremely grateful to Issa Rae for creating Rap Sh!t, a one-of-a-kind comedy with compelling social commentary that reached viewers in a way only Issa's talents can accomplish," Max's spokesperson shared in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "A huge thank you to Issa, showrunner Syreeta Singleton, and the teams at Hoorae and 3 Arts Entertainment for introducing us to Shawna and Mia, a duo whose journey fans have been invested in and who they have continued to root for through everything. We'll never get Seduce and Scheme out of our heads, and we wouldn't have it any other way." 

The Wonder Years

In September, ABC's The Wonder Years was scrapped. The coming-of-age series is based on the popular ‘80s sitcom of the same name. The plot follows "12-year-old Dean Williams (Elisha Williams) and the many life lessons he learned while growing up in a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Ala., during the late 1960s," per EW

Dulé Hill, who portrays Bill Williams, a professional musician and father of the Williams family, addressed the news on his Instagram account, saying: "Be cool…. when a chapter ends, another begins.” He added, "Congrats to Saladin Patterson, this talented cast, and our amazing crew on bringing this beautiful story to our TV screens for the last two seasons. I had hoped to share this story a little bit longer, but that's how it goes sometimes in this thing called show business. Grateful. What's next?"

Winning Time: The Rise of the Laker Dynasty

HBO confirmed the end of the Lakers’ empire origin story, Winning Time: The Rise of the Laker Dynasty. As the season finale aired, the ending credits provided fans with a brief history lesson on the Lakers' reign in the following years. The co-creator Max Borenstein shared his remarks on the network's decision, tweeting, "Not the ending that we had in mind. But nothing but gratitude and love." 

Flatbush Misdemeanors

Showtime's critically acclaimed satire, Flatbush Misdemeanors, was booted off the network just short of its second season. Despite scoring 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, the TV network decided to end Dan (Dan Perlman) and Kevin's (Kevin Iso) comical journey through Flatbush, Brooklyn. 


The cancellation of Oakland-based dramedy Blindspotting left fans in shambles. The show is a continuation of the one-hour and 35-minute film of the same name starring Rafael Casal (Loki) as Miles and Daveed Diggs (The Little Mermaid) as Collin. The drama follows Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones) after Miles, her partner and the father of their son, is incarcerated. With no choice but to live with Miles' mother and half-sister, she faces a chaotic yet amusing life crisis.

The Get Down

The musical drama The Get Down sang into fans' hearts but not Netflix's pockets. The streaming giant cut the cord on the show after one season. Beloved fans were devastated to learn that The Get Down would not return for a second installment. The series synopsis reads: "In 1977 New York City, the talented and soulful youth of the South Bronx chase dreams and breakneck beats to transform music history." It starred Justice Smith (Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves) and Shameik Moore (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse). 


In 2017, the critically acclaimed drama Underground premiered on WGNA and took television by storm. The narrative followed the gut-wrenching journey of the Macon 7, a group of enslaved people, through the Underground Railroad to pursue freedom. The powerful storytelling did not shy away from slavery's harsh realities and emphasized the Underground Railroad's importance and the truths of American history that many tend to overlook. The series attracted a major viewership to the network through the shocking revelation and compelling yet brutal scenes.  

Amid WGNA's decision to discontinue the show, the network rebranded the station due to Sinclair Broadcast Group's major deal in buying Tribune Media, WGNA's parent company, for $3.9 billion. Sinclair's CEO, Chris Ripley, said, "WGNA is already going to be shifting its strategy away from high-cost originals into more cost-effective originals and reruns," according to Deadline. Unfortunately, the network's decision to cancel the show raised suspicion of alleged discrimination from many devotees since the program gained rave reviews. 

South Side

After three seasons, the beloved comedy series South Side received the boot from HBO. The fan-favorite show followed two Chi-town natives, Simon (Sultan Salahuddin) and K (Kareme Young), as they encountered Chicago's residents and neighborhoods as fictional Rent-to-Own center employees. 

The duo's daily shenanigans captured the interested viewers and cultivated endless laughter based on the ins and outs of experiences in the Black community. 

Grand Crew

After two seasons, NBC officially scrapped the comedic series Grand Crew from its slate. The show centers around a group of Black friends, their journey through life, and their love of wine. Per Deadline, the second season averaged around 1 million views with a 0.18 rating within the 18–49 demographic. 

Raising Dion

Fans were left disappointed after Netflix announced the cancellation of Raising Dion. The two-season run followed a widowed mother, Nicole Reese (Alisha Wainwright), trying to uncover the mystery behind her son Dion's (Ja'Siah Young) emerging superpowers. Not even Michael B. Jordan's involvement in the series could save it from the streamer pulling the plug.


An adaptation of Octavia E. Butler's classic Black fiction book, Kindred premiered on FX in 2023. The show ran exclusively on Hulu for eight episodes until the network decided to cut the series after not generating enough of an audience, per Deadline

The time-traveling saga "centers on Dana James (Mallori Johnson), a young Black woman and aspiring writer who has uprooted her life of familial obligation and relocated to Los Angeles, ready to claim a future that, for once, feels all her own. But, before she can settle into her new home, she finds herself being violently pulled back and forth in time," Hulu’s synopsis reads.

"She emerges at a nineteenth-century plantation, a place remarkably and intimately linked with Dana and her family. An interracial romance threads through Dana's past and present, and the clock is ticking as she struggles to confront secrets she never knew ran through her blood, in this genre-breaking exploration of the ties that bind." 

The adaptation received mixed reviews from viewers. Critics said the show didn't capture the full scope of Butler's message from the highly acclaimed novel.

Truth Be Told

Producer and Hollywood star Octavia Spencer recently announced that Truth Be Told was canceled after three seasons. 

Spencer took to her Instagram to break the news to fans. "I wanted to share the news that after three seasons of seeking truth and justice, Poppy Scoville is going on a much-needed vacation," she captioned the post. She thanked her cast and crew, Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, and Apple TV. 

Based on Kathleen Barber's 2017 debut novel, Are You Sleeping, the show follows Poppy Scoville, a true crime podcaster, as she revisits a case that has led to fame to bring it to justice. There are several star-studded castmates on the show, including Gabrielle Union (Breaking In), Kate Hudson (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery), Mekhi Phifer (8 Mile), Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us), and Merle Dandridge (The Last of Us).  


Girlfriend's cancellation left fans in shock. The beloved sitcom followed the lives of a tight friend group: Joan (Traci Ellis Ross), Toni Childs (Jill Jones), Maya (Golden Brooks), and Lynn (Persia White) as they maneuvered through love, motherhood, careers, and friendships. The show ran for eight seasons, never receiving a proper finale and leaving fans without closure. The cancellation was due to the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America Strike. 

Since the show's end in 2008, fans saw the girl group back in action as they reunited for the first time on ABC's Black-ish. Upon the short-lived reunion, the question remains if the show would reboot or join together for a film. 

On the set of Black-ish, Charlamagne caught up with the early aughts girl group for an interview. "The last episode that we shot was during the writers' strike. None of our regular crew and regular people were there. So there was no closure," Ross said at the beginning of the clip. Jones chimed in, saying that Toni Childs was set to return for four episodes at the end of Season 8, seemingly to reconcile her friendship with Joan, but the plan never saw light. 

In a red carpet interview, per Associated Press, Ross spoke on whether fans can expect a reboot. "I've been saying yes for years. I don't think it's ever going to happen. I'll be honest," the actress said. "I have been saying yes for 10 years. We all have." 

In November 2023, the show's executive producer, Kelsey Grammer, was asked if the show had plans to make a comeback. "I would love to reboot 'Girlfriends.' Of course, it would probably be a different kind of show, but we got The Game back on, and that was wonderful," he said, according to BET. "I think they should because I know many people who love that show and love those characters and would like to see them continue." 

Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country took television by storm in 2020, quickly gaining a large following. The dark horror fantasy uncovers monsters and magic while blending sci-fi with real-world trauma of rooted racism. The series featured A-list actors such as Jonathan Majors (Creed III), Jurnee Smollett (The Burial), and the late Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire). 

The show's premiere episode achieved a milestone by reaching the 10 million views mark by the release of the finale episode. Additionally, its finale made history with a viewership of 1.5 million, making it HBO's most-watched new episode of an original series on the first day of availability. 

The program was based on Matt Ruff's horror novel of the same name. HBO’s synopsis for the show reads: "A search for a missing father turns into an otherworldly trip. Based on Matt Ruff's novel, this series follows Korean war vet Atticus Freeman, his friend Letitia, and his Uncle George on a journey across 1950s Jim Crow America. What follows is a struggle to survive against the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters ripped from an H.P. Lovecraft paperback." The series captured viewers' hearts and secured 18 Emmy nominations, putting it in the running for the Outstanding Drama Series award. 

Even though the show was highly praised, HBO decided not to proceed with Season 2. The news resulted in an outcry from fans. Some speculated that the show's in-depth exploration of racism played a role in its cancellation. 

"We will not be moving forward with a second season of Lovecraft Country," HBO told Deadline. "We are grateful for the dedication and artistry of the gifted cast and crew, and to Misha Green, who crafted this groundbreaking series. And to the fans, thank you for joining us on this journey."

Recently, Ruff announced the upcoming sequel to his novel, The Destroyer of Worlds: A Return to Lovecraft Country, which is slated for a February 2024 release. He emphasized that the second installment is not an extension of the HBO series.  

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