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10 January 2011

Television show that you wish had ended (at least) one season sooner? I had to ask.
ER. The penultimate season was terrible, so bad that I couldn't bear to watch the final season, apart from the last couple of episodes (when Dr Ross was in it again).
posted by Senyar 10 January | 12:45
I don't watch it anymore, but I can't imagine what Grey's Anatomy is good for anymore. Man, that show got bad, quick.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 10 January | 12:49
Most successful US television shows go on way longer than they should. I wish that they would run more like the British model of limited seasons(series) but the advertisers would never allow that.

Some recent ones:

- Heroes - Loved the first season which ended on a conclusive note but then they dragged it out for 2 or 3 more seasons which were boring and lame and pointless.

- ER - I liked it years ago when Clooney was on it and watched the first two or three seasons but lost interest after a while. I was actually shocked a couple of years ago when I noticed that it was still on the air, I thought that it had died in the early 2000s.

- Battlestar Galactica - They should have wrapped it up at least one season earlier. And even the good seasons had two or three painfully padded episodes that they should have dropped.

- Homicide - The first two years were brilliant but they toned it way down after that and it got boring and generic.
posted by octothorpe 10 January | 12:52
So many shows that ended after they should have. The phrase "Jump the Shark" originated from Happy Days, which should have ended when Ron Howard left, if not sooner at the Jump the shark episode. Bringing in the girlfriend with the kid--ouch!! (True, it was the kid from Poltergeist, but none of us knew that at the time.)

And having a show titled "Laverne and Shirley" when there was no Shirley just drove me nuts.

And, and, please kill the Simpsons, please, please, please...
posted by Melismata 10 January | 12:52
Oh and after reading the other thread:

- Twin Peaks - Should have ended after Bob was found. The second season was aimless as hell.
posted by octothorpe 10 January | 12:53
Oh and any Star Trek series after 1969 should have ended at season 0.
posted by octothorpe 10 January | 13:03
Pretty much any show I liked could've had a season removed.
posted by The Whelk 10 January | 13:11
Post-Hartman News Radio. I like Lovitz well enough, but Phil's death seemed to have a profound affect on the cast, and it kind of showed.
posted by ufez 10 January | 13:19
posted by jrossi4r 10 January | 13:21
The George W. Bush State of the Union Address Show
posted by Atom Eyes 10 January | 13:26
The Wire. My favourite show but there was no way to top S4. Oh, and Buffy. Which is probably my second-fave.
posted by gaspode 10 January | 13:30
Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place. Seriously, it was cute! I got into it as one of those shows you plop down and watch in college. Unfortunately, then everybody got serious and they brought in Tiffani Thiessen (could she BE more of a show-killer?).

Yeah, I don't know why Grey's is still on [my TiVo list]. I guess I'll watch it until Project Runway comes back. Why must everything I like be on Wednesday???
posted by Madamina 10 January | 13:37
Definitely Buffy. Carnivale should have been the single season its writers envisioned, instead of allowed to keep going.
posted by crush-onastick 10 January | 14:18
Nip/Tuck went from pushing the envelope to scattering the envelope in torn little pieces over the ocean where the sharks dwell pretty darn quickly. Two seasons would have been its natural limit.

But oh, for a time I loved it, yes, I did.
posted by rainbaby 10 January | 14:27
Roseanne. It was a brilliant sitcom in many ways, but that last year was a freakin' mess.
posted by BoringPostcards 10 January | 14:27
Yes, Nip/Tuck! I stopped watching it after the second season, even though I own them all on DVD. If I do happen to watch it now, the most entertaining part is me shouting to the BF that he's missing some hot girl-on-girl action, only to have him reach the living room after it's over. Bonus points if the scene is followed by someone on the operating table - then he's annoyed and freaked out.
posted by youngergirl44 10 January | 14:37
That 70s Show also outstayed its welcome. It should've ended at 1976.
posted by Senyar 10 January | 14:38
Oh yes! Great call on Rosanne, BoPo. So brilliant for so long and then it turned to absolute shit.
posted by ufez 10 January | 14:45
ufez, you nailed the one I came in to list. NewsRadio, after Phil's death, was just too hard to watch. In a recent AVClub interview, Lovitz couldn't/wouldn't even discuss his time on the show. I am 99% sure this is because it was too sad.
posted by richat 10 January | 14:52
This may be a controversial suggestion, but I could've done without the Futurama revival.

Anything that goes on long enough to import new cutesy moppets (Cousin Oliver is the ur-example) has gone on too long.

Really, though, I think most shows should've ended sooner--it's the nature of the beast. Television is a business, and so most shows continue until, in the words of Troy McClure, the time the show becomes unprofitable.

There are also quite a few shows that, because they were never profitable, ended way too soon. The smallest category, I think, is shows that ended at exactly the right time.
posted by box 10 January | 15:20
The Office has gone on way too long.
posted by Ardiril 10 January | 15:28
It seems like most American shows get killed too soon (Terriers!) or drag on at least one season too long. The UK Office is such a perfect little arc...we gave up on the American one last year when we realized we had 5 episodes on the DVR and no desire to watch them.
posted by JoanArkham 10 January | 16:23
This may be a controversial suggestion, but I could've done without the Futurama revival.

Get out. *points to the door*

Roseanne. It was a brilliant sitcom in many ways, but that last year was a freakin' mess.

Yes. And what was with the finale? My friends and I got into Roseanne on Nick at Nite while we were in college, and we watched it religiously. When the finale ended, we just sat there, dumbfounded. What was the point of that?
posted by gc 10 January | 17:15
The O.C. It was delightfully trashy before it turned into the Marisa show. The first season was great! I wish I had a poolhouse so a hunky, troubled teenager could live there.
posted by jeoc 10 January | 18:23
St. Elsewhere

They thought it was canceled so they set up a certain ending - hospital closes and is torn down (with an ill Dr. Auschlander accidentally and symbolically left behind). Perfect. When they got the renewal, they had to re-assemble the hospital staff and I think the infamous Tommy Westphal/Snowglobe ending was really a low-key fuck-you to the network (because the producers were kinda grateful for another year of regular paychecks, but still...)


The truth was too far out there. It was about Mulder & Scully; after Duchovny quit, it no longer had a purpose.

So many shows tried to go on after the actors playing the best characters quit the cast... (because most TV series contracts have 7 years of options, the 8th is when it usually happens). Next season The Office joins that inauspicious list when Carrel leaves...

It was reported that the Roseanne debacle was intentional and pre-planned - spend the last season showing the lower-class cast become filthy rich then show it was all "a dream" or something. Blame Roseanne, everybody said it was her idea (but then, most of the other creatives on the show blamed Roseanne for everything).
posted by oneswellfoop 10 January | 18:31
I am still actively angry that BSG had such long seasons and that there were too many of those seasons. That show was so, freaking awesome, yet, so sucky.

And Roseanne! Ugh. Heartbreaking.
posted by serazin 10 January | 19:13
Yes jeoc! I loved the first season of The O.C.!
posted by gaspode 10 January | 19:26
M*A*S*H went on about five years too long. It survived the big cast change for a few years but got way to much "The Alan Alda" show after a while.
posted by octothorpe 10 January | 21:14
Northern Exposure. It was (and is) one of my all-time favorite shows. So quirky and full of wonderful, fully-realized characters. But after Rob Morrow left, it just lost its vibe, which doesn't really make any sense because it's not like he was the best thing about the show at all.

And seconding Roseanne. That whole winning-the-lottery thing was ridiculous and it ruined everything that made the show so real. The finale was a huge disappointment. I still watch the show in reruns, but I skip the episodes from the last season.
posted by amyms 10 January | 21:43
Both Seinfeld and Mad About You went on more than a few seasons too long. I quit Seinfeld after five seasons or so, it just got too ugly for my taste and I lost interest in Mad About You after a couple of years.

Thinking about it, a lot of my picks probably have more to do with my getting bored with TV shows after a few years than with their loss of quality.
posted by octothorpe 10 January | 21:49
Oh, here's one that a lot of people have disagreed with me about: Saturday Night Live. I haven't liked a single season since the original cast left in 1980.
posted by octothorpe 10 January | 21:54
Malcolm in the Middle was amazing for a few years but eventually the kids got too old and the stories got too ridiculous.
posted by martinxs bellbottoms 11 January | 00:18
Heroes. Should have quit with season 1.
posted by rhapsodie 11 January | 00:20
X-Files, Stargate SG-1, Andromeda
posted by weretable and the undead chairs 11 January | 06:04
octothorpe: i'll agree with you about Saturday Night Live. Periodically, Guy turns it on and it's only cause I love him that I don't leave the house until it's over. God, it gives me the fremdschämen.
posted by crush-onastick 11 January | 10:00
Roseanne definitely. I disagree strongly on Homicide.

The first several seasons were the best, but the rest was still better than 99 percent of network TV, especially back then. And occasionally it was still brilliant. I can't imagine only 2 seasons.
posted by justgary 11 January | 14:43
The West Wing. Should have only been three seasons.
posted by AwkwardPause 11 January | 20:00
I came in to say Newsradio too. *sigh* The sad thing was that it wasn't bad TV, it just wasn't Newsradio anymore, and in comparison, it was bad.

I agree with much of the other picks, too (Northern Exposure, Roseanne, etc), but I would add Mission Impossible. The last season was strained, and like Newsradio, nowhere up to the standard of the previous six years. I'll still watch it, but it's just nowhere near as good.
posted by julen 11 January | 22:52
Television show that you wish had been on for (at least) one more season? || I made some...