Watchworthy

Long-Running TV Series That People Need To Stop Watching

List Rules
Vote up the shows that you wish someone would take out to pasture.

There are few things worse than when your favorite show gets canceled before its time. However, what really rubs salt in that wound are the long-running television series that should be canceled — shows people need to stop watching — yet somehow manage to continue on indefinitely.

Some of the longest running sitcoms fall back on tired cliches, and get progressively worse as they limp on. Police procedural shows also risk descending into mediocrity, as a number of cop series have been around for a mindbogglingly long amount of time. However, all of the most egregious examples of shows that should be canceled immediately are cartoons, since a lack of on-screen human actors allows them to continue on ad infinitum. The truth is often hard to swallow, but ignoring the facts is even worse; there are some television shows that need to stop, even if you have fond memories of watching them 10 years ago. 

  • 1
    Grey's Anatomy
    Photo: ABC

    Grey's Anatomy is basically a soap opera. In the first 14 seasons, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) has discovered not one, but two secret sisters, she conceived her third child with McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) while he was on his deathbed (and those kids are hardly ever seen), plus McDreamy died. The guy who was essentially the number two character dies in Season 11, along with a whole lot of other fan favorites. There have been over 20 deaths of characters who were at least somewhat integral to the show, so chances are your favorite character isn't even part of the series anymore. 

    • Actors: Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens, Kevin McKidd, Caterina Scorsone
    • Premiered: March 27, 2005
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  • 2
    The Walking Dead
    Photo: AMC

    By the time The Walking Dead put its eighth season in the ground, long-time fans were running away. The Season 8 premiere pulled the lowest ratings for a premiere since Season 3. To make matters worse, Season 3 actually saw an increase in ratings, as its premiere had more viewers than the previous two seasons' premieres. Generally, when shows start spawning other shows (Fear the Walking Dead in this case), it's a pretty good indication that the main event has gone on long enough. 

    • Actors: Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos
    • Premiered: October 31, 2010
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  • 3
    Homeland
    Photo: Showtime

    In 2018, Homeland began its seventh season, yet it's been dead in the water for some time. Ever since Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) survived longer than he should have (beyond the first season), the show has given viewers nothing but diminishing returns. 

     Robert Rorke of the New York Post ravaged the third season of the show, saying "Seldom in the history of cable TV has a series imploded as quickly as Showtime's Homeland... The show, in the middle of its third season, is now impossible to take seriously." Whether it was Season 1 or Season 3 where things went bad, the show is at least four seasons past its prime. 

    • Actors: Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Maury Sterling, Linus Roache, Costa Ronin
    • Premiered: October 2, 2011
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  • 4
    NCIS
    Photo: CBS

    NCIS is not only is it basically identical to its two spin-offs, it's virtually indistinguishable from the overcrowded genre of crime procedurals. The show's ratings aren't really trending downward (it peaked in season 10, but it's stayed relatively steady since), but that's because its audience replenishes itself.

    While the show regularly loses viewers to mortality, there are always plenty of new AARP members to take their place. Since the story has little continuity, NCIS is virtually immortal, like many of the genre's shows. Just because something can live forever doesn't mean it should.

    • Actors: Mark Harmon, Sean Murray, Wilmer Valderrama, Brian Dietzen, Diona Reasonover
    • Premiered: September 23, 2003
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