Things I Don’t Like About Television, Episode 5: Diminishing Returns

Have you ever watched a drama, comedy, or variety show that you found highly entertaining, ultimately to see it sharply decline in quality before being canceled? This might not be the case for all shows, as there are other ways a show can be ruined beyond repair. Maybe it’s been on too long or the head writer left after a few seasons. In any event, the program will lose all things that initially attracted you to it, leaving a bad taste in your mouth.

Running Shows into the Ground

This is pretty much the complete opposite of premature cancellation. In this case, a show is kept on too long only for each season to decline sharply in quality.

Now, experts may differ over the amount of years shows would need to last in order to be considered successful. It really depends, as some writing teams only have plans to tell certain stories in less time than others. Hence, a show would be run into the ground as producers and network executives would push to have a show meant for only a 3-season run to last for more than double that. As such, the writers will run out of ideas and the characters — who may have been fully developed during the natural lifespan of the series — may run in circles or be pushed to act out of character along the way.

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