Why Was the TV Show 'Taxi' Cancelled? | Behind the Scenes Look

“Taxi" is now regarded as one of the most iconic sitcoms in television history. However, it didn't have a successful run on ABC. The show got cancelled after only four seasons. If you are a fan then you might be wondering: why was the TV show taxi cancelled? Let’s find out!

The show was canceled by network executives mostly because of poor ratings. The show started to lose its audience once the channel changed the time slot and it was also a primary reason behind the cancellation of the fantastic sitcom.

Taxi was cancelled by ABC without a proper justification. Then, NBC chose to continue the show, but decided to cancel it after just one season. So, in this article, I'll discuss the reasons behind the cancellation of the Taxi, along with some other information you might find helpful.

What Made Taxi A Popular Sitcom?

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The fantastic cast was one of the main reasons why Taxi was such a popular sitcom. Furthermore, the narrative humor and tackling some critical life issues also made people love the show.

Taxi, a fabulous sitcom, won around eighteen Emmy awards. It highlights a few cab drivers in New York and their violent dispatchers in their day-to-day lives. The simple yet unique storyline of the series made it quite famous among sitcom fans.

The show honestly discussed the difficulties that characters from the working class faced. Everyone at Sunshine Cab was dissatisfied with their lives since they either had aspirations of doing something different or were currently doing it.

Moreover, Taxi fans love the whole cast of the show. Every character was unique and could make a connection with the viewers. It makes the show a lot more worthwhile.

Additionally, despite its humor, Taxi frequently addresses serious life issues like animal abuse, homosexuality, racism, drug addiction, obesity, blindness, etc. It also frequently addresses nuclear war, grief, divorce, and sexual harassment.
So, Taxi was not only a super funny TV show. It also did not fail to address some sensitive topics subtly. And it made Taxi one of the most popular sitcoms of all time.

Why Was The TV Show Taxi Cancelled?

A decrease in the ratings of the TV show Taxi was the main reason behind its cancellation. However, changing the show's schedule was also responsible for why it received low ratings and eventually got cancelled.

Fans were highly disappointed at the cancellation of their beloved sitcom Taxi. A mixture of a few things resulted in the show getting cancelled. Now, I'll go over the reasons why network executives cancelled the TV show Taxi:

Low Ratings

Low ratings are the primary reason for the cancellation of many television programs. Well, Taxi is not an exception here. Several of the most well-known names in television produced the sitcom. Yet, two separate networks cancelled the show.

Season after season, the ratings of this beloved television show began to fall. The program's ratings during its final seasons were at an all-time low despite earning fourteen Emmy Awards in just five seasons. It eventually resulted in the show being cancelled.

Time Slot

Well, ABC used to air the show following Three's Company. The sitcom gained a sizable portion of its audience due to the schedule. However, ABC shifted Taxi from its original time slot, which caused a drop in ratings. The Thursday night slot significantly declined in viewers throughout its four seasons on the channel.

It was almost like a determined effort to sidestep the audience. Shortly after, ABC abruptly canceled the show. So, due to its time slot, the show Taxi received low ratings. NBC picked the show afterward. But it played at the same time. So, even after changing networks, it experienced the same issue. And it ultimately led to the final cancellation of the show.

Producers And ABC Executives Didn't Get Along!

Without giving a cause, ABC unexpectedly canceled Taxi. So, there had been rumors regarding a rift between ABC and the show's creators. The show's producer James L. Brooks expressed his resentment when ABC canceled Taxi in 1982.

Brooks claimed that the cancellation came about as a result of unpleasant meetings with the executive of ABC. Moreover, he further claimed that the network owners never paid attention to him and disrespected the idea of "quality."

However, NBC president Grant Tinker proposed giving the program a new lease on life. Taxi ran for another season on this network. It banked the show with plenty of episodes for return. But "Taxi" too found life difficult in its new place.

The idea to link the series with another burgeoning series named "Cheers" didn't work out as planned. NBC ended "Taxi" after just one season. Yet the "Cheers" remained on the air for 11 seasons. Well, NBC had to cancel the show due to low ratings. But the cast was ready to go on because the cancellation was more predictable this time.

5 Surprising Facts About The TV Show Taxi

The popular TV series Taxi was among those bold comedies that blazed a new trail on television. It risked being a little darker and showcasing a motley crew of misfits. As a die-hard fan of the show, you might want to know some exciting facts about it. So, let's discuss a few surprising facts about the TV show Taxi:

1. It Was Inspired From A Magazine Article

Taxi wasn't your typical sitcom. It was a brand-new concept with new Hollywood names. "Night-Shifting for the Hip Fleet" was an article that appeared in New York magazine on September 22, 1975.

The story was about night shift cab drivers, all of whom, except for one, had personal goals they worked toward every day. After reading the article, Brook decided to make the unique show "Taxi."

2. A Character Had Several Name Changes

The boxer’s role in Taxi was initially supposed to portray an Irishman called Phil Ryan. After bringing on Danza, the character changed into Phil Banta, an Italian. After a few days of rehearsal, the producers finally altered the character's name once more to Tony Banta.

Danza mistakenly believed this shift occurred since the producers admired him so much. However, they were concerned that he might forget to go by any title other than Tony!

3. Judd Hirsch Made An Effort To Disrupt The Talks

People broadly recognized Judd Hirsch as a theatrical performer until his appearance on Taxi. He was concerned about being committed to a TV career when creators contacted him about a position.

So, he offered a deal that he felt confident the studio wouldn't accept. Well, he wasn't expecting them to do that. But the producers accepted the offer. And he played Alex Reiger.

4. The Contract With Andy Kaufman Was Unusual

Andy Kaufman was unique, even with his agreement to play the lead in Taxi. He was concerned about the excessive time constraints required for filming a Television program. So, Andy negotiated a provision in his deal that only required him to make an appearance twice in a week.

Well, despite having a minimal workload, Kaufman consistently arrived late!

5. Producers Made A Last-minute Alteration To The Taxi Title Song

The track "Touchdown" by Bob James was supposed to be used as Taxi's theme music, according to the film's creators. But the musician composed a different song for the program.

After hearing the new one, the producers felt it would work more effectively for the title sequence. That tune was "Angela," which has since become among the most well-known theme songs ever.


I know how disheartening it might be when your favorite show gets canceled. It might, however, bring some comfort to know why this happened.

By now, you have got your answer to the question, "Why was the TV show taxi cancelled?" Thanks for reading!

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1 comment

Allan Pacente

Allan Pacente

i bought a multi disc anthology of taxi. At 76, I still enjoy the repartee between the characters. But more than that, I really enjoy a window into a wonderful time in my life and a time of innocence and commitment when America was still America.

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