The Real Reason These '90s Sci-Fi Shows Were Canceled

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Sci-fi shows that didn't live up to expectations were often unceremoniously canceled in the '90s, usually for complicated, fascinating, and bizarre reasons. Here's why some sci-fi classics, near-classics, and never-got-to-be-classics had their runs cut short.

Even today, the concept of Quantum Leap is pretty novel, offering up endless possibilities for a sci-fi show. Dr. Sam Beckett develops time-travel technology and tests it on himself, traveling into the past and temporarily appearing as a different person in each episode.

After some humorous growing pains as Sam gets used to his new identity, he ultimately rolls with it and invariably leaves his momentary host's life a little bit better than before he arrived. And his guide through it all is a present day-based hologram version of his friend, Al.

Not only one of the few network sci-fi shows of the time, the 1989-1993 series was the rare genre show to receive attention from mainstream awards bodies. Quantum Leap earned three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, while stars Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell both won a Golden Globe. But in spite of the acclaim, Quantum Leap never leapt to the top of the TV ratings chart. NBC frequently bounced it around multiple time slots during its four-year run, making it hard for fans to find. Viewership numbers reflected that, as the series never ranked higher than #53 in the annual ratings. In 1993, NBC canceled Quantum Leap…and Sam never even made it home.

Watch the video for more about the real reason these '90s sci-fi shows were canceled!

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Quantum Leap | 0:00
The Flash | 1:33
seaQuest DSV | 2:47
The Secret World of Alex Mack | 4:09
Babylon 5 | 5:30
Superboy | 6:40
VR Troopers | 8:01
Aliens in the Family | 9:23
Star Trek: The Next Generation | 10:45
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine | 12:01

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