Question: Why was Angel canceled?
Answer: Angel is an American supernatural, fantasy, horror, action, dramedy television series, that saw 110 episodes over the course of 5 seasons, during October 5, 1999, through May 19, 2004 on The WB.
First of all, the cast of Angel would have signed on for a 6th season so that's ruled out, and the show had mostly positive reception from both critics and fans during its 5th season, so it's not as though most people wanted to see the show end.
"The only reason that Angel didn't come back…it's a very simple thing. Because our ratings were up, because of our critical attention, Joss specifically asked Jordan Levin, who was the head of The WB at the time, to give us an early pick-up because every year they [would] wait so long to give Angel a pick-up [and] a lot of us [would] turn down jobs hoping that Angel will continue - he didn't want that to happen.
"So, he was feeling very confidant and he just asked Jordan, "Like, make your decision now whether you're going to pick us up or not," and Jordan, sort of with his hands tied, with his back up against the wall, called him the next day and said, "Okay, we're cancelling you." Jordan's no longer there and The WB has since recognized…I believe Garth Ancier at The WB said that it was a big mistake to cancel Angel. There was a power play that happened that just didn't fall out the way they wanted it to. We wanted to get an early pick-up, we didn't. In fact we forced them to make a decision, and with his hand forced he made the decision to cancel us.
Some fans put the blame on Whedon for Angel's cancellation but that's not right. Levin had the power to make Whedon wait for a decision.
Quite frankly it was uber-stupid of Jordan to cancel Angel! Even if he had to make a decision within a few weeks - it was an easy decision to give the show another season! Angel was one of the most popular shows on The WB, and held onto its key viewers over the course of its entire series!
Here's the U.S. ratings for Angel via Wikipedia:
I have reason to believe that Angel would have scored at least 3.8 million viewers in its 6th season: much more than needed to turn a profit. Speaking of "profits," Angel went onto sell over 100,000 copies of its Collectors Set with an MSRP of $140! Plus that amount doesn't include sales of the individual seasons! Oh and since there's always new people wanting to check out Angel, The WB made a bundle on syndication rights.
Seriously. What was Levin thinking? He must have known that the show was selling well on DVD (individual seasons), and he must have came to a conclusion that a 6th season would perform well in the ratings.
The point is: Angel wasn't canceled because of ratings or cast issues - it was canceled because someone was an ignorant a**hole. I'm sorry to sound bitter... but it's true!