If a show was cancelled abruptly, will it be natural to say:

The show was cancelled mid-season.

Will it be used only when half of the episodes have already aired? Or can it be used when a show is cancelled after 2-5 episodes or maybe 10? (Like a season of 30 episodes, though if a show was off air after a few episodes there's no way to know for sure how many episodes were going to be a part of the first season, so can "mid-season" be used for 2-5 episodes as well?)

And is the description natural? If not, what's a more natural way to describe my question to make it more clear and idiomatic?

  • If it's cancelled really early (2-5 out of 30 feels like this) I might lean towards saying "It was cancelled after only a few episodes." Otherwise your sentence feels perfectly natural to me. I don't think describing this situation as mid-season would be wrong, but if something is cancelled that early you probably want to focus on the earliness itself. Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 13:41
  • I'd say mid-season would cover between 1/3rd of the way through to 2/3rds (Possibly even 1/4 to 3/4)
    – Smock
    Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 13:51
  • If you wanted to be less specific, you could say "part way through the season". This could cover anything from the 2nd to the 2nd to last
    – Gamora
    Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 14:45
  • Thank you @Bee for your reply. Could you please use it in a sentence? It would really help me to understand its use properly. 🙂 Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 14:46
  • Like: "The show was cancelled party way through." And what about: "The show was cancelled half-way through. " Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


Your question is perfectly clear. In English, when talking about the point at which something occurred during a season of a program, there's no standard as to how many episodes can refer to "mid-season". Some shows have 10 episodes a season, so mid-season could be like 5 or 6 episodes in, while other shows have 30 episodes a season, so mid-season could be like 17 or 18 episodes in.

Generally, the periods we would refer to would be

  • Before a season
  • At the beginning of a season -> First few episodes; to some people, maybe the first quarter
  • Mid-season - > Arguably anything except the first or last episode of the season
  • At the end of a season -> Last few episodes, perhaps the last quarter
  • After a season
  • And will it be okay to use "in" this way: "How many episodes are in the first season" To mean "How many episodes are part of the first season"? Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 13:59
  • And what about "The show was off air after a few episodes." to mean "The show was taken off air after a few episodes". Is it okay to remove "taken" to mean that the show doesn't broadcast anymore? Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 14:05
  • What do you think about the two replies above? Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 14:43
  • A native speaker would probably say "How many episodes are in the first season?". Another way would be to ask "The first season is made up of how many episodes?". I wouldn't use "part of" here. For your second question, "off air" tends to describe when a broadcast is terminated/turned off. For ex., "The show ran from 6-7pm, then the network went off the air." It's more for describing the end of an event. In your example, depending on your intent, I think "The show was cancelled after a few episodes" or "The network stopped airing the show after a few episodes" would fit better.
    – user2800
    Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 14:46
  • And what do you think about "taken off air"? Because I too think that "is off air" will be more likely to express the present scenario, not that it has been cancelled..... 🙂 Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 14:49

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