While some of these cancelations result from TV shows not reaching enough viewers, several of these projects develop significant fanbases on social media. Generally, this generates a lot of confusion and suspicion around the decision not to renew a show for a second season when there are so many campaigns, petitions, and social media uproar for the projects to keep going.
On the other hand, there are obviously also LGBTQ+ shows that just completely flop from the start and never manage to please what was intended to be their target audience. Not all queer-inclusive shows are amazing, even if we love a particular character, storyline, and/or theme.
Scroll through to find out which LGBTQ+ shows were canceled after just airing for one season!
Q-Force was an adult animated series voiced by Sean Hayes, Matt Rogers, Wanda Sykes, Patti Harrison, and Gary Cole, to name a few. The show was about a group of LGBTQ+ super-spies who did their best to “save the day” in a very fun and queer way. After streaming for one season on Netflix, Q-Force got the ax right away.
‘A League of Their Own’ (Prime Video)
One of the most painful cancelations in the history of LGBTQ+ shows came when Prime Video announced that it was not renewing the A League of Their Own series for a second season. The show was pretty much beloved across the board by audiences, but even that huge hype wasn’t enough for A League of Their Own season two to get a greenlight.
From the creators of Dark (Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar), Netflix’s 1899 featured an international cast that included Miguel Bernardeau (Ángel) and José Pimentão (Ramiro). On the show, Ángel and Ramiro had a secret gay romance despite trying to keep up appearances that they were straight. Unfortunately, despite having a reportedly high viewership, 1899 didn’t even get a second season.
‘The New Normal’ (NBC)
After finding success with Glee and American Horror Story, Ryan Murphy landed a new NBC show titled The New Normal. This comedy series featured a gay couple, Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha), pursuing parenthood through a surrogate. There was a lot of potential for The New Normal, and viewers actually liked the show, but it still got canceled after its first season.
‘High Fidelity’ (Hulu)
Hulu’s High Fidelity was a very queer series featuring the incredible Zoë Kravitz in the lead role of Rob Brooks. While the series did receive positive reviews from viewers and critics alike, it was never picked up for a second season on the streaming service.
‘First Kill’ (Netflix)
First Kill was a sapphic series that combined vampires and monster hunters – creating a very interesting story of forbidden queer love between two women. Starring Sarah Catherine (Juliette) and Imani Lewis (Cal) in the lead roles, this Netflix series was shockingly not picked up for a second season, which disappointed a lot of fans and even prompted showrunner Victoria Schwab to speak up.
‘Generation’ (Max, formerly HBO Max)
Starring Justice Smith as the fabulous Chester and a wide variety of LGBTQ+ characters in the first season, Generation premiered on HBO Max (which has since rebranded to just Max) as an incredibly promising TV show about queer people. But not only was Generation canceled after its first season, the series was also deleted from the Max catalog over time and is now only found on other streaming services.
Monarch featured queer singer Beth Ditto as Gigi, one of the main characters of this country music-based drama series on Fox. It was very cool to see LGBTQ+ representation on a TV show that could otherwise be completely devoid of any queerness, but Monarch unfortunately didn’t make it past season one.
‘AJ and the Queen’ (Netflix)
Starring none other than RuPaul himself, with Michael Patrick King (The Comeback, And Just Like That) as showrunner, AJ and the Queen unfortunately wasn’t a unanimous hit with viewers. Between catching all the cameos from Drag Race queens and watching Mama Ru flex some acting muscles, the show did have some potential to return for season two… but Netflix canceled it anyway after just one season.
It was pretty rare – and special! – for a queer-inclusive series to be greenlit on Disney+, and that was the case with Willow, which served as a sequel to the 1988 movie of the same name. Alas, Willow was canceled after just one season, despite claims from showrunner Jonathan Kasdan that there’s still hope for a second season to see the light of day.
Based on the play of the same name by Guillem Clua, Netflix’s Smiley told the love story between Álex (Carlos Cuevas) and Bruno (Miki Esparbé) after they meet due to a misdirected voicemail. Despite producers claiming that they had every intention to continue the story of Smiley season one, the series was never picked up for a second season.
‘Queer As Folk’ (Peacock)
The team behind the Queer As Folk reboot on Peacock did absolutely everything it could to make the show relevant, fun, and appropriate for 2022. Apparently, those efforts didn’t necessarily land, as the show wasn’t entirely well-received by viewers and critics. While one can argue that there was a lot of room for Queer As Folk to grow in season two, Peacock canceled the series after its first season.
‘Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies’ (Paramount+)
Listen: Grease fans can be incredibly precious about the original 1978 film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (including yours truly!). But the Paramount+ prequel series Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies was actually entertaining, full of potential, and deliciously queer. Nonetheless, the show was ultimately canceled after just one season, which felt disappointing.
‘Half Bad: The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself’ (Netflix)
The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself was another queer fantasy drama from Netflix that got the ax after just airing for one season. The show followed Nathan Byrne (Jay Lycurgo) as he found himself in the middle of a modern-day witch hunt.
‘The Real Friends of WeHo’ (MTV)
MTV’s The Real Friends of WeHo was absolutely not well-received by viewers. For one, it riled up Drag Race fans due to the shortening of season 15 episodes in order to make room for the new show. Moreover, the series never captured the target audience of The Real Housewives fans from Bravo, either. Shortly after the first season aired on MTV, it became clear that this show would not be picked up for season two.
‘Vampire Academy’ (Peacock)
Based on the Vampire Academy novels by Richelle Mead, this Peacock TV show featured an incredibly exciting story of forbidden queer love toward the end of its first season. Alas, the show was never picked up for a second season, which meant that this romance storyline didn’t really go any further.
‘Fire Island’ (Logo TV)
Before the incredibly successful Hulu rom-com Fire Island came out in 2022, there was once a lifestyle reality series on Logo TV titled Fire Island that followed a group of six men spending their summer on Fire Island. Despite having an interesting concept, the Fire Island TV show only ran for one season on Logo TV.
‘My So-Called Life’ (NBC)
NBC’s My So-Called Life premiered in 1994 and felt like an incredibly radical series. Not only was Claire Danes’ portrayal of teen character Angela Chase very relatable, raw, and real, but the show also featured a teen gay character, Rickie, played by Wilson Cruz. Particularly for the 1990s, featuring a young gay person of color as one of the main characters on a broadcast TV show was super-progressive. And yet, the series was canceled after its first season.
An aesthetically-beautiful Netflix drama about a clinical psychologist played by Naomi Watts who explored her sexuality with a female client – literally what could go wrong?! Well, Gypsy did have its fair share of fans, but the show also received some negative feedback for being a bit too “soapy.” In the end, Gypsy was not picked up for season two.
‘Paper Girls’ (Prime Video)
A queer-inclusive sci-fi series with teen characters: it worked for Netflix’s Stranger Things, but apparently not for Prime Video’s Paper Girls! Created by Stephany Folsom, the first season of Paper Girls came out on streaming in July 2022. A few months later, the series was promptly canceled.
‘Finding Prince Charming’ (Logo TV)
Another pretty significant flop for Logo TV was the gay dating show Finding Prince Charming, which was inundated by controversies when it aired in 2016. The show followed a very similar format as The Bachelor, was hosted by Lance Bass, and featured Robert Sepúlveda Jr. as the leading man. Logo TV did not pick up Finding Prince Charming for a second season.
‘I Am Not Okay With This’ (Netflix)
Netflix’s I Am Not Okay With This series was based on the graphic novel of the same name by Charles Forsman. This was a pretty popular and successful show that actually did get renewed for a second season originally. However, as the 2020-2021 lockdown intensified and shut down multiple productions, Netflix decided to cancel its plans for a second season of I Am Not Okay With This… and let’s just say that we were not okay with this!
‘The Ellen Show’ (NBC)
In 2001, NBC aired a sitcom starring Ellen DeGeneres called The Ellen Show. This was a history-making project due to the character played by Ellen (also called Ellen) coming out as gay on broadcast television. But let’s just say that conservatives weren’t obsessed with a lesbian comedian leading a sitcom on primetime TV in 2001, which led to The Ellen Show being canceled right after its first season.
‘Super Drags’ (Netflix)
RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Shangela, Ginger Minj, Trixie Mattel, and Willam were some of the voice actors involved in the Super Drags animated series on Netflix. This show had some fans, but also some haters, and that divisiveness contributed to it not getting renewed for a second season.
‘Naomi’ (The CW)
In recent years, The CW has gone through a purge of original content due to a change in ownership. One of the victims of this programming purge was Naomi, a 2022 superhero drama series by Ava DuVernay that featured main characters who identified as queer.
‘I Love Dick’ (Prime Video)
I Love Dick featured the incredible butch Latine character Devon (played by Roberta Colindrez), with a cast that also included A-listers like Kathryn Hahn and Kevin Bacon in the lead roles. But even those compelling characters and a star-studded cast didn’t save I Love Dick from getting the chop after just streaming for one season on Prime Video.
In 2017, CBS made history by casting Laverne Cox, a trans actress, as one of the main characters of its new drama series Doubt. It was even more exciting and radical that Cox’s character, Cam, didn’t even have her gender as a main plot point on the show. While LGBTQ+ viewers were very excited for this landmark casting choice, Doubt was never renewed for season two.
‘Astrid & Lilly Save The World’ (Syfy)
CTV and Syfy’s Astrid & Lilly Save the World featured Samantha Aucoin as Lilly, a character who had a queer romance with a popular girl at school. While the series had a lot of potential for subsequent seasons, it ultimately didn’t make it past the first season.
Premiering in 2019, Abby’s featured a bisexual Latina ex-Marine (played by Natalie Morales) as the protagonist, which is a super-badass premise as it is. Unfortunately, NBC didn’t love the ratings of Abby’s and promptly canceled the show just two months after it premiered.
‘Queen of Drags’ (ProSieben)
Heidi Klum hosted a German drag competition series called Queen of Drags, which also featured Conchita Wurst and Bill Kaulitz as main judges. The show aired for six episodes on ProSieben, but never got the greenlit for return for a second season.