Top 10 TV Series That Deserved a Bigger Audience

Last Updated on August 3, 2021

Sometimes, there is just too much television and not enough hours in the day to watch it all. Even with streaming and DVRs at our disposal, many great shows end up getting missed by audiences. With several brilliant shows coming to an end this year and others suffering from low ratings, here is our ranking of the top ten shows that either deserved a bigger audience that could have kept them on the air or greatly need you to watch them now to keep them going for more seasons. Let us know if you have other TV shows we may have missed that should have made the cut.

Halt and Catch Fire

When you think of AMC dramas, you immediately think of Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead. Halt and Catch Fire deserves a spot alongside those dramas. The recently concluded fourth and final season of the period drama about the rise of personal computers and the Internet was a showcase for the four leads: Kerry Bishe, Scoot McNairy, Lee Pace and Mackenzie Davis are all exemplary in this show that was less about the 1980s and 1990s but more about these four deeply realized characters and how they evolved over the decades. Few watched this show that deserved the acclaim and fanbase of every other show airing on the cable network.


Two years before Kevin Spacey and House of Cards gave us a despicably likeable politician, Kelsey Grammer did it on Starz’ Boss. Playing the Mayor of Chicago who deals with the onset of degenerative dementia, Grammer played against type as one of the most dastardly characters ever created. Being Starz, there was a good amount of sex and violence, but this well written show turned sexy ladies like Connie Nielsen and Kathleen Robertson into strong women who could hold their own in a boy’s club of politicians.

The Leftovers

HBO’s drama ended it’s short three season run earlier this year with one of the best last years of any show. Damon Lindelof’s meditative drama about a world after 2% of the world’s population abruptly disappears was not science fiction or fantasy but a realistic drama with fantastical elements. Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon deliver two of the most underrated performances of all time on a show that got better with each passing episode. It may not be for everybody but this is a unique experience that will leave you with questions about your own mortality.

Happy Endings

After Friends went off the air, countless shows tried to mimic the chemistry of that show and failed. While some sitcoms have had success with the formula, few were as original and wacky as Happy Endings. Gone too soon, Happy Endings blended the group dynamic of NBC’s iconic sitcom but with much more bizarre plots involving the misadventures of six Chicago best friends. Definitely check this show out and see what you have been missing.

The Knick

Steven Soderbergh’s greatest achievement may end up being this Showtime period drama about the doctor’s at a fictional New York City hospital at the turn of the 20th century. The series never got the audience it deserved and was probably on the best series of all time cut short after only two seasons. Clive Owen was amazing as the drug addict and brilliant Dr. Thackery with a supporting cast amongst the finest unheralded casts of any series.

You’re The Worst

FXX has cornered the market with unlikable bands of friends with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League, but You’re The Worst may be the best of the bunch. Following some truly despicable human beings, you cannot help but grow to like them even as they struggle against any sort of likability. The two leads are excellent and the show deals with some themes you wouldn’t expect to be handled so deftly on a sitcom, namely a subplot about Gretchen and her depression.

Channel Zero

American Horror Story may get all the publicity, but SyFy’s anthology series is the true horror story. I take full responsibility for dismissing most of SyFy’s programming as schlock and garbage, but Channel Zero is a cinematic and haunting show. Two seasons in, the series does not have the camp or levity of American Horror Story but instead relies on surreal and disturbing tales based on Internet creepypasta stories. Definitely check this one out if you like to be scared.

The Americans

The next season of FX’s The Americans will be the last. Each season has improved on the previous one and the show has earned a large number of awards and nominations. But, it still averages less than a million viewers per episode. Audiences don’t know what they are missing on this show that is one of the most brilliantly executed spy thrillers in any medium. Keri Russell has never been better while Matthew Rhys is a revelation. This is a great show that needs to be watched from start to finish.

Angie Tribeca

Make no mistake: Angie Tribeca is really dumb. Harkening back to classic Zucker Bros humor, this TBS series is a 21st century version of THE NAKED GUN replete with sight gags and great celebrity cameos. Rashida Jones is hilarious as the title cop and Alfred Molina is great in a recurring role but appearances from Heather Graham, Chris Pine, James Franco and many more make this worth checking out. There is a serialized element to each season but you can watch any of them as standalone episodes.


Sometimes shows just don’t click with audiences, but few are as critically lauded as Terriers. Airing for a single season on FX back in 2010, Terriers made it onto numerous top ten lists for best shows of the year but was cancelled after the initial 13 episode run. A comedy drama about Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James as an ex-cop and ex-criminal who now work as private investigators, Terriers was a darkly comic and well written drama that was like the perfect blend of LETHAL WEAPON and THE BIG LEBOWSKI.

About the Author

5925 Articles Published

Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.