Viewer Data Reveals If & When 14 TV Shows Jumped the Shark (PHOTOS)
The Walking Dead
Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) introduction in the Season 6 finale kicked off dark days indeed for this AMC zombie drama — though Season 9 marked a resurgence in quality.
The Fox animated mainstay's decline seems to coincide with Mike Scully taking over as showrunner in Season 9. "Under Scully's tenure, The Simpsons
became, well, a cartoon,” Slate
's Chris Suellentrop observed in 2003
. "The show's still funny, but it hasn't been touching in years."
Two turning points that seemed to change this NBC workplace comedy for the worse were the Season 6 wedding of Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) and the Season 7 departure of Michael (Steve Carell).
Game of Thrones
The near-sadistic fifth season of this HBO epic took a toll on its IMDb ratings, but the writers should feel the most "shame, shame, shame" for the much-maligned eighth and final season.
In season 9 — the last of its two-season run on ABC — this hospital comedy controversially focused on a new generation of docs, with O.G. stars Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke only making occasional appearances as J.D. Dorian and Elliot Reid.
The Showtime crime drama, starring Michael C. Hall as the titular vigilante serial killer, held steady IMDb ratings for most of its run. However, as with Game of Thrones
' swan song, the series finale marked a low point for the series.
The Big Bang Theory
As the CBS comedy hit eased up on its jokes about science and nerd culture and focused more on the characters' romantic entanglements, its IMDb ratings average suffered.
In a testament to Vince Gilligan and his team of writers, this AMC crime drama improved with each successive season. But the Netflix film El Camino
— a two-hour epilogue for Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) — didn't impress viewers much.
The writers of the FX animated comedy made a bold and polarizing move in Season 7 by putting protagonist spy Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) in a coma, with the storyline of each subsequent season existing as a figment of his imagination.
The Netflix revival of this dysfunctional family sitcom hasn't proven as successful as the show's Fox run. Season 4, for example, turned off viewers by focusing on one character each episode.
House of Cards
After Kevin Spacey’s firing, Robin Wright took over as this Netflix political drama's POTUS, but the sixth season failed her, as Mashable
's Jess Joho wrote: "Rather than focus on the endlessly fascinating question of, 'Who is Claire Underwood, really?' its major arc revolves around the far more trivial question of, 'Who killed Frank Underwood?'"
Broadband Choices deems this ABC medical drama "TV's biggest roller-coaster watch" for its fluctuating IMDb ratings averages. Season 7's musical episode didn't woo viewers, but the worst-reviewed installment by far was the Season 11 hour in which Derek (Patrick Dempsey) met his fate.
This NBC superhero drama was a critical and commercial hit in its first season, but the second season — cut short by the 2007–2008 WGA writers' strike — divided fans.
NBC not only moved the original Star Trek
series to Friday nights in Season 3 — frustrating creator Gene Roddenberry — but also slashed the budget such that "top writers, top guest stars, top anything you needed was harder to come by," as star Nichelle Nichols later remarked
To paraphrase a certain two-faced Dark Knight character, a TV show either dies a hero or lives long enough to see itself become the villain. And the team at Broadband Choices analyzed IMDb viewer ratings data to find out when fan sentiment turned against some of the most popular TV shows.
From 'Game of Thrones' to 'Lost.'
Flip through the graphics above to discover those watershed moments for The Walking Dead, The Office, The Big Bang Theory, and other hits.