TV shows usually run for several seasons (might also be one), then finished, with the production company officially declaring there won't be more seasons. Fair enough.

However, I wonder if there were any TV shows that "returned from the grave", i.e. got back to another full season after being officially finished?

Not talking about "reunion chapter" which is probably common, or about TV shows aborted mid-season then bought shortly after by different producer, but about TV shows which had at least one full season, finished "gracefully", then came back after a while for whole new season.

Yes, I know Friends almost made it last year (that's what inspired the question. :))

  • 2
    I'm assuming you're excluding shows that were cut short and then brought back like Arrested Development?
    – Catija
    Jul 23, 2017 at 19:46
  • 4
    Don't forget about futurama, prison break and 24 (brought back under the name of 24: Legacy)
    – JustMike
    Jul 23, 2017 at 20:20
  • 2
    The question isn't asking for a list. It's asking whether it's happened. Siting examples is purely to show that it has occurred. I don't think further examples are necessary as the answer has been shown to be "yes".
    – Catija
    Jul 23, 2017 at 22:05
  • 2
    Somebody has made a nice big list on IMDB
    – user6436
    Jul 23, 2017 at 22:11
  • 3
    @ShadowWizard can you explain why Arrested Development doesn't meant you criteria? but about TV shows which had at least one full season, finished "gracefully", then came back after a while for whole new season seems to apply since the show did end somewhat gracefully. They knew it was ending and wrapped up the show, only to continue the story several years later. If this doesn't apply, could you edit your question to explain why this isn't a good answer Jul 23, 2017 at 22:16

6 Answers 6


There's actually a recent spate of this. I don't know that there are a ton of them but there are three that come to mind.

The X-Files ended gracefully and just came back for two new seasons.

The X-Files is an American science fiction drama television series created by Chris Carter, which originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox. The program spanned nine seasons, included 202 episodes, and a feature film of the same name. Later in 2008, a second film was made and preceded a tenth-season revival, which consisted of six episodes, in 2016. The revival premiered on January 24, 2016. In April 2017, Fox officially announced that The X-Files would be returning for an eleventh season of ten episodes, which would air in the 2017–18 television season.

Additionally, the iconic David Lynch show Twin Peaks aired an additional season (in addition to a film) starring many of the same people.

In October 2014, Showtime announced that the show would return as a limited series. Also known as Twin Peaks: The Return, the limited series premiered on May 21, 2017 and was written by Lynch and Frost and directed by Lynch. Many original cast members, including MacLachlan, have returned.

I'd also say that Doctor Who fits this description as well. It ended back in the 70s and was restarted in 2005 after a 26 year hiatus.

The programme originally ran from 1963 to 1989. There was an unsuccessful attempt to revive regular production in 1996 with a backdoor pilot, in the form of a television film titled Doctor Who. The programme was relaunched in 2005, and since then has been produced in-house by BBC Wales in Cardiff.

  • 5
    Dr who ended its original run in 1989 meaning it was a 16 years hiatus.
    – Sarriesfan
    Jul 23, 2017 at 21:33
  • 5
    @Sarriesfan It's Sunday. I take a break from math on Sundays.
    – Catija
    Jul 23, 2017 at 22:02
  • There are multiple instances of this in Indian TV network. Some TV shows have been returned after 7-8 years and some after 3-4 years.
    – A J
    Jul 24, 2017 at 4:38

Arrested Development, another series on Fox was canceled and was thought to be completely dead (second link here).

The show was later revived on Netflix for a 4th season in 2013 (7 years after the original cancellation) and a 5th season is in production for 2018.

  • 1
    The OP asked for series which were declared finished, not canceled. Jul 23, 2017 at 21:33
  • @KarlRichter given that it took 7 years i would say that it was almost dead Jul 23, 2017 at 21:39
  • I used this example in the comments specifically to ask if it counted and the OP said it doesn't.
    – Catija
    Jul 23, 2017 at 22:03
  • 1
    @Catija but it didn't end mid season. The show finished it's 3rd season. It might have been an abrupt ending, but it tied up the loose ends. How can that not be "finishing gracefully". Granted the ending was earlier in the season than most series, but no one said a series must end in May with 20+ episodes Jul 23, 2017 at 22:23
  • 1
    @Catija The OP seems to have admitted he might have been wrong initially Jul 23, 2017 at 22:37

Family Guy was cancelled twice by Fox (though the first cancellation was reprieved two months later). The second time Fox cancelled the show they intended to farm it out to a buyer purely for repeat fees, but the popularity this generated led to Fox commissioning another run of episodes. The fourth series premiered more than three years after the third. According to Wikipedia, this was "the first revival of a television show based on DVD sales".

The cancellation and revival were the source of a joke at the start of the newly commissioned fourth series, in the episode North By North Quahog, and of a comment by Seth MacFarlane in the 100th Episode Celebration.

  • 1
    The OP asked for series which were declared finished, not canceled. Jul 23, 2017 at 21:33

From the list "TV Revivals" by IMDB user deano11, here are a few examples. For most of these, I don't know if the original "ended gracefully". In a lot of the older shows, especially sitcoms, there was not much long-term story arc, so the final episode being just another normal episode could be considered a graceful ending.

The New Leave It to Beaver - 20 years after Leave It to Beaver ended.

The Munsters Today - similar time frame to the Beav.

The New WKRP In Cincinnati: I actually remember watching this one. (Several original cast members were replaced; does that still count?)

Twilight Zone and Outer Limits - if you want to count anthologies. Twilight Zone has had 2 revivals and a movie.

Dallas (21-year gap: 1991-2012)

Mission: Impossible (15-year gap: 1973-1988)

90210 (8-year gap: 2000-2008)

I guess you won't allow Star Trek as having ended gracefully since they didn't get their 5 years in.


Knight Rider originally ran for 4 seasons from 1982-86 and was brought back in 2008/2009 for a Reboot, but then cancelled again after one Season.

Hawaii Five-O ran from 1968-80 and was rebooted in 2010 (still ongoing).

Both feature the descendants of the original protagonists due to the time difference in between. Hawaii Five-O does regularly pick up stuff and references from the old series.

Knight Rider was cancelled due to low views, but ended somewhat gracefully.

Hawaii Five-O was resolved gracefully and ended with the last Episode.

Gilmore Girls ran from 2000 - 2007 and returned for another Season in 2016 on Netflix. The miniseries was broadcast in 2020 on The CW and UP TV. The original series was finished and resolved gracefully.


Jericho..cancelled twice, then came back as a comic book series!

Jericho ran on CBS from September 20, 2006, to March 25, 2008. It was canceled after its first full season, because of poor ratings. A fan campaign persuaded the network to bring the show back for another season, of seven episodes, after which it was canceled again.


  • 1
    Ouch. Still hurts when I recall this. Such a great potential. Since it was aborted, not sure it qualifies for what I asked here though. Jul 23, 2017 at 20:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .