What Would’ve Happened Next on ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,’ ‘Debris’ & More Canceled Shows?

NCIS New Orleans Prodigal Son Debris Series Finales
CBS; FOX; James Dittiger/NBC

The loose ends are the worst part of shows getting canceled. In some cases, the decision happens too late to make adjustments to a finale. In others, there’s enough time to craft a proper ending but not to wrap up everything in a nice bow. Such is the case every season, and the 2020-2021 one is no different.

Fortunately, in some cases, we have gotten at least a few teases about what was supposed to come next (even if executive producers didn’t want to reveal everything in hopes that their shows might find new homes). And with some of these canceled series ending with major cliffhangers (Prodigal Son‘s possible murder! Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist‘s heart song twist! All of Debris!), it makes it hurt just a bit less to have some idea about where storylines were heading.

Below, we’ve gathered all the information we can find about what would’ve happened on some of your favorite canceled shows.

Bryan Finola Debris Series Finale
James Dittiger/NBC


The finale had one twist after another. MI-6 agent Finola Jones (Riann Steele) found out her father George (Tyrone Benskin) was with the terror group Influx. That was going to be “a very, very, very dark chasm that [she’d] have to move through in Season 2,” creator Joel Wyman told TV Insider. We also would’ve gotten answers about the Finola we saw in suspension at the end of the finale. We also would’ve found out more about how CIA agent Bryan (Jonathan Tucker), his former partner, and a Chinese agent had been affected by debris.

Furthermore, Wyman revealed that Season 2 would’ve picked up “right after” the finale. It would’ve been “something that’s 100 percent involved in this mythology,” with cases-of-the-week possibly “not in the same context.”

MacGyver Phoenix Foundation Team Series Finale
Nathan Bolster/CBS


There was quite a bit left hanging at the end of the CBS drama, including what was going to happen with the Mac (Lucas Till), Riley (Tristin Mays), and Desi (Levy Tran) love triangle. While Mac and Desi had moved in together in what ended up being the final season, showrunner Monica Macer detailed for TVLine that her ex-fiancé was going to end up being alive, ultimately leading to a breakup — and Mac and Riley getting together. Mac and Riley “was always the endgame,” Macer said.

Furthermore, she revealed, they would’ve confessed their feelings after Riley went undercover as part of a Manchurian Candidate arc in which Mac might have been activated as a result of the nanobots that they (would’ve) thought they’d gotten out of him and Riley in the finale.

Macer also shared that Russ (Henry Ian Cusick) was going to become a father, part of the “long game” they set up with Sofia (Camilla Arfwedson) in Season 5, as they continued the search for treasure.

J.R. Ramirez as Jared Vazquez, Melissa Roxburgh as Michaela Stone, Matt Long as Zeke Landon in Manifest - Season 3
Peter Kramer/Warner Brothers


The number of questions we still have about Manifest is quite long (these are just some of them). The finale killed off Grace Stone (Athena Karkanis), aged Cal (Jack Messina, then older Ty Doran), and brought back Captain Daly (Frank Deal) before he and the plane disappeared. Fortunately, creator Jeff Rake did tease a bit of what would have happened next to TV Insider.

“A Season 4 of Manifest for Ben [Stone, Grace’s husband played by Josh Dallas] is absolutely centered around processing, digesting, coming to emotional terms with such an unspeakable loss, and then trying to find a way to seek vengeance, to kind of justify the act in terms of finding some meaning out of it,” he said.

A fourth season also would have revealed exactly where Daly was before he reappeared, which is where the passengers of Flight 828 were for the five and a half years they were gone and where Cal was between his own disappearance at the end of the season before returning aged. “As everyone continues to try to put the pieces together, they’re going to try to decipher whether it’s possible to access that place if this is purgatory, some unknown destination that no one knows about,” Rake added. “They’ll be poring through the Bible, they’ll be poring through the Noah’s Ark myth, and other biblical stories to try to understand exactly how to access this place, wherever it is, how one gets in and how one gets out, and that’ll be part and parcel of how they try to save themselves.”

The love triangle that emerged with Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh), her ex Jared (J.R. Ramirez), and her husband Zeke (Matt Long) would have continued as well. There would have been “much more heartache and tension as we continue to kind of play the sine curve of that triangle,” Rake teased, even though it did look like a conversation Zeke witnessed between the exes might have meant the beginning of the end of that marriage.

NCIS New Orleans Series Finale - Pride and Rita Wedding

NCIS: New Orleans

The series finale did tease that Sasha (Callie Thorne) was being followed when she ditched the U.S. Marshals, after leaving his son Connor (Drew Scheid) with his father, Pride (Scott Bakula). Instead of the series going out on a positive note with the Second Line after Pride and Rita’s (Chelsea Field) wedding, “Sasha being followed probably would have been the end,” executive producer Jan Nash told TV Insider. “We would have had a sense that Season 8 would have opened with either her having already been harmed or seeing her be harmed perhaps. That investigation would have defined the beginning of Season 8.”

It also sounds like Sebastian (Rob Kerkovich) would’ve been luckier in love if there had been more episodes. “If we’d had more time, we were always talking about finding him love,” executive producer Christopher Silber said.

Furthermore, he added, we would’ve seen a lot more of Pride and Connor’s relationship: “We were excited about seeing what [it] means to discover that you have a son who is nearly fully grown and to try to build a relationship and try to build those ties. It would be challenging for sure.”

Prodigal Son Series Finale Malcolm Bright Stabs Martin Whitly

Prodigal Son

Season 2 ended with profiler Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) stabbing his serial killer father Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen) — in self-defense! — just before Detective Dani Powell (Aurora Perrineau) stumbled upon the scene. Though refusing to say if Martin was going to live or die, co-showrunner Chris Fedak did tell TV Insider, “Our plan was to have Michael Sheen be a part of Season 3.” However, there are flashbacks and as co-showrunner Sam Sklaver pointed out, Martin had also shown up in Malcolm’s mind a couple of times. However he did show up, they were excited to continue to see him outside of Claremont Psychiatric after the last few episodes of Season 2.

As for the fallout of Malcolm stabbing his father, whatever his fate, “the questions and complexity from that decision would have been the heart and the fun of Season 3,” Fedak said, agreeing that because of the circumstances, this crime couldn’t be covered up like Malcolm hid his sister Ainsley’s (Halston Sage) murder of Nicholas Endicott (Dermot Mulroney).

Speaking of that darker side of Ainsley, going forward, the plan had been to explore the “complicated psychology,” which might include “elements of psychopathy,” Fedak said.

And we would’ve seen if Malcolm and Dani, after finally kissing in the penultimate episode, could have a relationship. “We all hope for them to find something in each other,” Fedak explained. “We wanted to make kind of the spine of Season 3.”

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Zoey Max Finale Scene
Michael Courtney/NBC/Lionsgate

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

Season 2 ended with Max (Skylar Astin) seemingly gaining Zoey’s (Jane Levy) ability to hear what she was thinking in song (“I Melt With You”), shocking both of them just as they got back together. “Going forward into Season 3, the idea would be that after all this time that she got a window into him, he now actually gets a window into her,” executive producer Austin Winsberg told TV Insider. “On top of that, for romantic comedy purposes, I just think it’s funny for two people to be in a relationship and know exactly what the other person is thinking and what kind of complications that might cause.”

While they did get past that obstacle, without Zoey’s “hesitation” or “the baggage of having been in the throes of grief,” as she was when they first got together (having recently lost her father), “new challenges [would] arise from the fact that now they have this complication that they can both hear each other’s songs,” Winsberg said.

Meanwhile, Simon (John Clarence Stewart) has a new job at SPRQ Point, one that was “paving the road for us to tell more inclusive stories and bringing new, smaller businesses and more diversity into [the company],” the EP added.

A third season also would have explored Mo’s (Alex Newell) relationship with Perry (David St. Louis) further and what it meant that the latter’s kids and ex are in their lives. Plus, they would have looked for “unique ways” to continue to bring Peter Gallagher (who plays Zoey’s father) back and explored what life meant for Maggie (Mary Steenburgen) as she did try to date again after losing her husband.