How long can a TV show be on the air before the thing that made it popular is lost and all that’s left is a ghost of what it used to be? For all the shows that are cancelled too soon, there is a great number of shows that lumber on because people have forgotten to cancel them, or that people still make money off of them. Here are ten shows, some finally finished, some still on the air that went on too long.
10. How I Met Your Mother
The natural successor to Friends comedy crown, but with a post-modern twist, How I Met Your Mother was a hit show for most of the nine seasons it was on the air. That was until the finale pulled the rug on the show’s entire concept as the story finished with Ted and Robin getting together. This ending would have made sense if the show ran to season four, but much of the later part of the show spent much effort getting Barney and Robin together, only to jettison it for the actual ending.
Here is a good way to remind yourself how long Supernatural has been on the air: the similarly themed Grimm began and finished its run all in the same time frame of Supernatural’s later seasons. With no end currently in sight the show has become a parody of itself, nothing more than a shadow of the highs of the first five seasons. If you find yourself asking how many times you can watch these two brothers fall out then you have been watching too long.
Many fans have differing opinions to when Scrubs dropped in quality. For some it was after season two, others season five, but most fans agree that the end of season eight was a fine ending for the show, and the story of JD. Except the show was brought back for a soft reboot as Scrubs: Medical school. It even had Zach Braff returning to help the bedding in process, robbing the character of the impact of the season eight exit.
There is no doubting how important a show E.R was on the 90s. It was one of the most exciting, dramatic, and heart-wrenching dramas on TV at the time, but like all shows that go past 10 seasons, E.R gradually lost most of its original cast. Despite this, and unlike most of the shows on this list, E.R went out strong as it re-introduced past cast members like George Clooney and Noah Whyle.
6. The Flash
The Flash is an anomaly on this list as it is still one of the CW’s most watched shows, but it’s quality since it’s excellent first season has suffered a marked decline. It’s been renewed for a fourth season but it needs to bring back the fun, Silver Age tone of season one to counteract its current maudlin streak.
Castle started off as a fine police procedural elevated by the two lead performances from Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. It’s first five seasons were a blast, and it even benefitted from Castle and Beckett getting together, but from season six till its eventually end, Castle’s quality dropped sharply with much of the charm that was the show’s main strength suffering from behind the scenes turmoil.
4. True Blood
True Blood came out of the blocks to become one of the sexiest, most entertaining shows on HBO in its first two seasons. Based on Charlene Harris; novels, the show was a great mix of supernatural tropes, and also gave vampires some of their danger back, but from season three onwards the show became a mess. An already ridiculous premise got even more so as True Blood threw every supernatural concept at the wall with few of them sticking, not to mention the hugely unsatisfying finale leaving fans wondering why they bothered to watch in the first place.
Dexter should have been the perfect show of the age of the anti-hero, and for the first four seasons it was. Michael C Hall played the titular character who was a serial killer who only killed bad people, while also holding down a job as a blood-spatter expert for the police. The show lasted about three season too long, with fans becoming frustrated at storylines that were downright stupid. The final episode, after eight rocky seasons, is considered one of the worst endings to a show of all time.
2. Family Guy
It’s amazing to think that Family Guy used to be funny, and it really was, but that was over a decade ago. Since then Seth McFarlane’s show has become both lazy, and the victim of being over-shadowed by animated comedies like McFarlane’s own American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, and Archer. Attempts to revive interest in the show have gotten gradually more desperate, like Brian’s supposed death, and a truly awful Simpsons crossover. Speaking off…
1. The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an institution, there’s no doubt about that , but it now has decidedly more bad episodes than good as Fox constantly fails to pull the plug. What would a world without The Simpsons look like? It seems that we will never find out.