Why They Canceled Your Favorite 90s and 2000s TV Series


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Execs canceled some cartoons due to concerns about appropriateness for children.

Cartoon Network has gone through many stages of production since its debut in October of 1992. Studio Ghibli’s films are hard to find. Fan favorites have been canceled, unobtainable, and simply wiped off of the face of the earth. So, why did they cancel your favorite 90’s and 2000’s TV series?

Teen Titans

“Teen Titans” had an anime-like charm to it. It focused on real life issues such as relationships, friendships and family. It began in July, 2003 and was canceled shortly after in January, 2006, but what happened? Lovers of the show have asked why the show was canceled, and honestly, no one really knows. However, there are some speculations as to why it may have been canceled.

The crew that made “Teen Titans” planned to only have four seasons at the beginning but continued with a fifth. According to Looper, when the characters Starfire and Robin kiss in one of their episodes, the parents of young children went berserk. The kiss was deemed inappropriate for childrens’ eyes. This episode was based on the comic books, and they kissed in there as well. 

Ratings of the series went down drastically after the kiss, and the show was canceled shortly after. Some fans believe the kiss may have caused the cancellation of “Teen Titans.”

Though the original is gone, there is currently a spinoff series of “Teen Titans” called “Teen Titans GO!”

Terrible TV Shows states that, “This follow-up to the popular ‘Teen Titans’ series takes a more comedic look at the superheroes, showing what life is like for the teens when their capes come off.” 

Although this spinoff is comical, ‘Teen Titans Go!’ appeals to and is very popular with children, according to the same site.

Courage The Cowardly Dog

“Courage The Cowardly Dog” aired from February, 1996 to November, 2002. Much like “Teen Titans,” parents did not think that this show was for kids. 

According to Rishita Sengupota,a writer for Ed Times, “. . . each day [in the show], some creepy thing was bound to happen. Sometimes aliens descend from space and sometimes mummies come back to life and ask for stones.” 

Because of the show’s content, Sengupta says,  “Parents were concerned that even though the kids enjoyed the adrenaline rush, the cartoon gave them major nightmares due to which they were unable to sleep at night.”

Despite these concerns, “Courage The Cowardly Dog” was nominated for and won an Oscar in 2000. 

Studio Ghibli

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the top 3 movies from Studio Ghibli are “Grave Of The Fireflies,” “Only Yesterday” and “The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya,” all rated 100%. 

Studio Ghibli has not really been canceled; it is just hard to find on websites and is about to close. Hayao Miyazaki is going to retire soon, which is understandable, but why are the movies so hard to find?

According to Mans World Media, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli said that “We were very hesitant about expanding that even further [beyond] physical packages. What changed my mind was seeing Woody Allen make a film specifically for a streaming platform.” 

This means that maybe soon there will be showings of the movies and that they will be more obtainable.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

The “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series was canceled because of the movie based on the series. 

The website Looper stated that “Truthfully, there was a moment in time when we all thought we would do a fourth season of ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender.’” 

Writer Aaron Ehasz tweeted in 2019: “Then along came M. Night…”

Execs canceled “Avatar: The Last Airbender” in 2008, and the movie of the same name came out in 2010.  

After the series was canceled, “Legend of Korra, a spin-off, aired in 2012 and continued the Airbender story. 

According to Kay Mcquire, “‘Legend of Korra’ focused on the new Avatar, a teenage girl named Korra, and significantly built out the mythology of ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender.’” 

Unfortunately, the network also canceled “Legend of Korra” two years after its debut because of low ratings. 

Kay says, “the show’s ratings rapidly declined, Legend of Korra season 5 never had a chance.” She also said that the fans of the original “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” “hated the show’s tonal shift.”

Other Honorable Mentions

“Invader Zim” was ranked one of the best shows of Cartoon Network but execs canceled it, perhaps because of ratings or the expense of making it. The real reason was never published.

“American Dragon: Jake Long” stopped airing because it simply did not fit the criteria that Cartoon Network was looking for anymore. The producers also changed the animation of the series in the second series. Prior to the change, the series received five Annie Awards, the ‘Oscars” of animation, nominations.

Much like “American Dragon: Jake Long,” “Chowder” did not fit into the content criteria, and Cartoon Network canceled it as well.

However, when it comes to “Samurai Jack,” the crew simply was tired of making the series and just stopped making it all together.


In conclusion, most canceled TV series either died out or our morals changed with age. Sometimes, parents began to wonder what was safe for their children to watch, or producers grew weary of creating more episodes for their series.

Youtube, HBO Max, or Apple TV still carry some of these TV shows. Others are for sale as DVDs at https://www.walmart.com or https://www.amazon.com.