Staging a comeback is all the rage in TV these days, just ask Valerie Cherish. HBO is bringing back The Comeback, starring Lisa Kudrow as fame-hungry actress Valerie Cherish, nine years after it shelved the comedy. Whether viewers think The Comeback's comeback is a triumphant one remains to be seen (although we've seen some episodes and can attest it's amazing), the comedy is far from the only show to be picked up off the shelf and dusted off for a new lease on life.
Be it fan outcry, strong DVD sales, overseas success or a studio willing to cut costs, shows have been coming back for years now. Some were hugely successful, like Family Guy, which was canceled in 2003 and brought back two years later and has been going strong ever since. Others, like All My Children and One Life to Live's move to the Internet, were not. Some took on new forms, like Veronica Mars on the big screen and in books, while others changed with the times, like Girl Meets World. Which is your favorite? Vote in the polls below and tell us!
**Note: This does not include shows that were canceled and moved to another network the following season. Nor does it include The Comeback, which returns Nov. 9, Twin Peaks' 2016 revival and Community, which does not have a premiere date yet.
Arrested Development (original run 2003-2006 on Fox, Netflix revival in May 2013)
The Emmy-winning comedy is the definition of a cult hit. After years of rumors Netflix assembled the Bluth family for another round of episodes. Reviews were mixed, but fans are still clamoring for more and there's talk of a new season and/or a flick at Netflix.
Futurama (original run from 1999-2003 on Fox, Comedy Central revived the series in 2008 before axing it once again in 2013)
The adventures of Fry, Leela, Bender and the gang came to a halt in 2003 after a variety of schedule changes. Comedy Central acquired the rights in 2005 and four feature-length films would be released and then split into episodes. Subsequent seasons followed until 2013.
Family Guy (original run from 1999-2003 on Fox before revival in 2005)
Peter Griffin and Co. were enjoyed by a hearty audience when the show first premiered, but rough timeslots caused a serious decline in audience. Strong DVD sales and reruns on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim led to Family Guy's revival and it's been a staple of Fox's Sunday night ever since.
Veronica Mars (original run 2004-2007 on UPN/The CW, revived as a film in 2014)
If you're a TV fan, you know the story of Veronica Mars very well. A bright spot on the struggling UPN, VMars was saved from cancellation by fans on several occasions. It survived the big UPN/The WB merge, but only lasted one season on the CW. A hail mary pass that saw Veronica Mars become an FBI agent in a pilot presentation was attempted and ultimately fumbled. But thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that broke records, Veronica Mars found new life on the big screen in 2004, 10 years after it first premiered. The adventures of the sassy sleuth continue in a book series from creator Rob Thomas.
Jericho (originally ran 2006-2007 on CBS, revived in 2008)
Fan outcry, at the time one of the biggest movements to ever save a show, saved this Skeet Ulrich drama from cancellation and the Eye Network gave it another (albeit) short season in 2008. Ratings weren't great and Jericho was canceled once again.
Firefly (original run on Fox in 2002 with unaired episodes airing in 2003 overseas, revived for the big screen with Serenity in 2005)
Brilliant, but canceled. The Joss Whedon-created series lasted only a year and suffered from much meddling. Whedon got a chance to revisit the characters in 2005 with the feature film Serenity, but the revival was met with a disappointing box office.
24 (original run 2001-2010 on Fox, revived as 24: Live Another Day in 2014)
Jack Bauer had eight harrowing days on Fox before finally getting the rest he so deserved. But duty called once again after a planned movie failed to take shape and Kiefer Sutherland was on the job once again in 2014 with a limited series on Fox.
The Killing (original run 2011-2012 on AMC, revived in 2013 and then canceled again before Netlfix revived it for a fourth and final season in 2014)
Remember when you watched the first season of The Killing only to discover that you won't learn who killed Rosie Larsen until season two?! Well, that pissed off viewers and its ratings declined. It was canceled by AMC…and then revived by AMC…only to be canceled again after its third season. But then Netflix swooped in and gave the unkillable The Killing a fourth and final season.
All My Children (original run 1970-2011 on ABC, revived in 2013 by Prospect Park) & One Life to Live (1968-2012, revived in 2013 by Prospect Park)
ABC said goodbye to its two long-running soap operas in a game-changing move that upset legions of viewers. Shortly after, Prospect Park came in and licensed the two shows. Two years of hiccups later and the soaps were back to life…briefly. Low ratings, problems with various unions and lawsuits basically made the 2013 season finales the series finales.
DISNEY CHANNEL/Bob D'Amico
Girl Meets World (Boy Meets World originally ran from 1993-2000 on ABC, Disney revived the brand in 2014)
Part of the beloved TGIF lineup, Boy Meets World lasted seven seasons and followed Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) through middle school and college. In 2013, Disney Channel announced it would revive the brand with Cory and Topanga (Danielle Fishel) taking on parental roles and the show would follow their daughter, Riley (Rowan Blanchard).