Many of our cultural phenomenons on television have one thing in common: a great first season. That season sets the tone for the rest of the show, and each subsequent season is all about trying to fulfill the promise of the first. Even though many shows remain popular, a number of them have diminishing returns and actually, the show gets worse. This list compiles a bunch of those series, and tries to identify the point in the show's history where things started going wrong.
Whether it's a full-on jumping of the shark (either figuratively or literally), or just a sense that at some point the series just ran out of ideas, there are many ways that a show can run out of steam. Much of this is subjective, but a lot of these TV shows that got worse as time went on and always seemed like they, themselves didn't quite believe they would actually make another season or know what they would do if they got there.There are also some shows that got worse simply because they lost a main actor, or took on one too many notes from the network, succumbing to external forces they couldn't quite control. So take a look at the list and vote for the good shows you think went downhill the most!
When Glee premiered in 2009, it was a ratings juggernaut and cultural phenomenon. Critics' enthusiasm started to wane in season three, but tragedy is what ultimately changed the direction of this series, when one of the two then-series leads, Cory Monteith, died of an overdose.Season five tried to work through it in its third episode, and then went on hiatus. The show came back, but the magic was missing for many fans. All told, how well do you think the show carried on without Cory?
#40 on The Best Dramedy TV Series
#10 on The Best Feel Good TV Shows
How well did Heroes deliver on the promise of their stellar first season? That depends on how you felt about the show answering every question with a question. And the construct of having character development run backwards so that Sylar can always be Sylar, and Hiro is always time-traveling. Like many characters in Heroes, maybe the show itself just couldn't handle all of their mighty powers.
Another pulpy series, True Blood was already showing a bit of age when showrunner Alan Ball left the series after its fifth season. How many more times were we really going to watch Sookie be sought after by the same two vampires?When the new showrunner came in, its critical acclaim took a dive, with viewers upset that it became more about action sequences than character development.
#10 on The Best HBO Original Series
This was a show that didn't so much get bad as it just became more and more ridiculous in trying to explain how a suburban housewife can continue to sell narcotics after losing (already unlikely) connections again and again.When the world tells you it's actually easier to go straight than to be a criminal, and you still decide to go criminal...eh, that turns some people off. Many viewers started giving up around the 4th season, when the narcotic that is literally the title of the show didn't even show up.