Moreover, TV’s reliance on ad revenue makes the form uniquely accountable to public opinion. Putting anything on the air is a huge investment, no matter how low-stakes or obscure the production might be. So when one is canceled over a scandal, you can bet it’s a doozy. Here are some reality shows that were so crazy, and outright dangerous, that you won’t believe they actually made it on the air.
‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’
TLC’s ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ that released in 2012 is a reality series about a self-proclaimed “redneck” family. It drew big ratings for TLC and Alana Thompson, the titular Honey Boo Boo, and her mother, “Mama June” Shannon became immediate sensations. Everything collapsed, however, when Mama June was revealed to be dating Mark McDaniel, a convicted child molester found guilty of molesting Anna Cardwell, Mama June’s oldest daughter.
Mama June tried to do damage control, but there’s no coming back from having a sex offender harass a child star. Despite being TLC’s hit show, the network decided to cancel ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ due to Mama June’s alleged relationship with a convicted sex offender, leaving an entire season in the can.
‘Bridalplasty’ premiered on E! (2012), featured 12 brides-to-be with a chance to win both their dream wedding, and their dream cosmetic surgery. The undertone of the show almost sounded like both these things went hand in hand. To be honest, a husband and plastic surgery both are life-long commitments and might turn out to be a potentially bad decision. Each week, the contestants could complete a wedding-themed challenge to “win” one surgery off of their plastic surgery wishlist.
The show received scathing criticism for promoting unhealthy body image disorders and prioritizing a person’s looks like the primary ingredient to a happy marriage. Audiences rewarded Bridalplasty with grim ratings in its one and only season after which it was canceled.
‘Paula’s Home Cooking’
Food Network’s ‘Paula’s Home Cooking’ was once the star show of the channel and
Paula Deen’s butter-filled confections and her sweet-as-pie image kept her popular. All of it came crashing down after a lawsuit led to her show getting canceled and her reputation hitting rock bottom.
In 2013, Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers were sued by Lisa Jackson, a former manager of their restaurant alleging many infractions, including sexual harassment, but what caught the public’s attention were accusations of racist behavior. Deen admitted under oath that she had used the n-word years in the past, but didn’t condone it anymore. She also said she wanted a pre-Civil War “Southern plantation-style theme” reception for Bubba’s wedding. This would have included primarily black men in suits as servers. Even after several apologies, the damage was done, and she was dropped from the Food Network shortly after.
NBC’s ‘Momma’s Boys’ was a dating show wherein three young bachelors attempt to find a romantic partner among a group of 32 female contestants. But the catch! The mothers of the eligible bachelors would also be present, deciding which women they thought would be good matches for their sons. Awkward!
It got even stranger when one of the mothers refused to allow any contestants to go on a final date with her son. Instead, she went on the date with him herself. This definitely wasn’t the sort of romantic tension viewers wanted. NBC canceled ‘Momma’s Boys’ after six episodes.
MTV’s ‘Buckwild’ premiered in 2013 that followed the lives of nine young adults in Charleston, West Virginia, who create their own unique ways to enjoy life in the rural area surrounding them. Just like the premise of a bad horror movie, one of the contestants, Shain Gandee, died due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
On December 7, 2012, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin also spoke out against the series, explaining that it wrongly depicts the lives of those who reside in the state. Manchin requested that MTV cancel the series before it aired. “This show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia,” Sen. Manchin wrote in a letter to the president of MTV. Manchin went on to criticize MTV for encouraging local young people to misbehave for the camera.
Production of the second season was suspended until It was announced on April 9, 2013, that MTV had chosen to cancel the series. On April 14, 2013, it was reported that executive producer J.P. Williams from Parallel Entertainment stated that his company would like to revive the series in another location with a new cast. In April 2014, a new tv series with the same premise ‘Slednecks’ was announced but was set in Alaska. However, ‘Slednecks’ has also since been canceled.