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February 10th, 2007, 20:03
I had brought this subject up in the "top games run to the ground" thread. Amma had replied to it and got me to think I should start this thread..

In case you didn't know "Jumping the Shark" is a phrase referred to television series which have taken a ratings nosedives. When a show "Jumps the Shark" its usually referred to a particular story event or character change in which it turns.

The phrase originated on Happy Days on the episode where the Fonz is challenged to jump over a captured shark on a pair of Water Skis. It was really weird. He did it in LA and wore his leather jacket in the summer time on salt water.


So the challenge to you is, name a particular show that's been canceled or taken a turn for the worse and name the incident which you think caused it to "Jump the Shark".
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February 11th, 2007, 13:46
The most classic one in modern time is probably the loss of Fox Mulder in Archive X.
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February 11th, 2007, 15:14
I really don't know. Most TV shows I'm following tend to get cancelled before they have time to jump any sharks (I liked Joey or the Inside for example). Others have almost did it - for example Desperate Housewifes almost jumped the shark with the whole 2nd season.
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February 11th, 2007, 23:12
People who watch Desp Hwvs should probably be FED to the sharks!! We do that down here!!!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 12th, 2007, 00:27
Well, in that case we can cross you off the map, you will be left with no female population
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February 12th, 2007, 02:06
Lost, when they threw Ana Lucia into the mix.
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February 12th, 2007, 02:19
Let's mix DH with Lost and see what we get!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 12th, 2007, 02:48
Hey, back it up a step. Never mention those two shows in the same sentence.
I feel terribly violated at the moment…
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February 12th, 2007, 05:07
killing Ana Lucia was a shock but I can't see it having jumped the shark yet. we're all nuts about the show at work. the show is slated for exactly 100 episodes.

most people who watch I see are getting frustated at wanted to know what happens next. the writers seem to be aware of the potential problem and are deftly avoiding that. take the hatch for instance. they could still be trying to open it but the writers resolved it and moved to another story arc. Twin Peaks and Wheel of Time seriously failed in doing that.

I can't say anything about XFiles or Housewives because I refuse/d to watch them. Or friends.

The Simpsons has been around a long time. Clearly it jumped the shark when the writing got bad, although Groening won't admit it ever did. (NPR interview with Terry gross). Some people point to Conan O'Brien's leaving the writing staf but I argue that it was still good for some time. He started his show around 1992.

There was an episode where Itchy and Scratchy jump the shark and they created Poochie. Itchy and Scratchy is a self parody of the show as many people know and there's clearly an allusion to the Simpsons starting to get old. In the end with the happy removal of Poochie the kids stopped watching I&S anyway.

Its hard to pin point when on that show but it was sometime in the mid-90's.
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February 12th, 2007, 15:35
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
The most classic one in modern time is probably the loss of Fox Mulder in Archive X.
Archive X? Interesting how The X-Files plays elsewhere … that sounds too much like Microsoft's Active X format

"Jumping the Shark" isn't about ratings nosedive or a turn for the worse in general, but rather the moment you can look at and see - this is when the writing was so bankrupt and the producers so desperate, that they would do *anything*.

One example would be 'Moonlighting' - a very large part of the show was the tension between David and Maddie. Once gone, the purpose of the show left - it was what everyone said they wanted, but it killed the show in an instant.

Another is Mork & Mindy. I loved that show when it was on - I was young and naive enough not to know that Robin Williams was completely coked out all the time … but it was a crazy weekly race - and then Jonathon Winters was 'born'.

— Mike
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February 12th, 2007, 21:57
the 4400, after the first season. It was mysterious and all before the big finale, but they should have left it at that…

Can't talk about DH or Lost, I watch neither.
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February 12th, 2007, 22:13
My wife likes Desperate Housewives … so I end up watching it on occasion. I wouldn't say that it has 'jumped the shark' as that ascribes a level of quality that I don't think the show ever hit - it is sometimes fun and stylish and quirky, with some interesting pretty people doing devious little things in a sort-of totally sanitized David Lynch way.

I keep thinking of things that jumped the shark … and I think of how bad ER has been for most of the last 5 or 6 years. But that is more like when you are driving and all of a sudden realize that you should have turned right to go east … but you don't want to turn in someone's driveway so you just keep going north. Every once in a while you find a road that gets you heading south and east for a bit … but after a while it is clear to everyone else in the car that you're completely lost and that whatever thing you were driving towards when you missed the turn is now just an ancient memory … eventually you end up out of gas by the road side hoping for a tow truck to at least bring you back to town.

Yeah, I guess that's the way I feel about many shows.

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February 13th, 2007, 02:09
You certainly lost me on that driving analogy!! I watch very little TV anyway, but I'm concerned my favourite show Boston Legal is sliding and I'm not sure why!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 13th, 2007, 05:27
I used to love Mork n Mindy. And CHiPs! I loved that jump the shark site, it's hilarious.

Seinfeld is one of the only shows that I can say that Ive truly gotten into watching in my adulthood, and one that I think never jumped the shark. Except the finale maybe, but that's doing pretty good!
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February 13th, 2007, 07:35
I always though MASH held up right to the very end!!

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February 13th, 2007, 08:26
I loved MASH, up until the time it stopped trying to be funny as the primary focus. I found myself saying, even as a kid, "yeah, I get it already 'war is bad', now make me laugh again already". I mean, there was always the anti-war theme, and you knew what the message of the show was, but it was a hilarious sitcom first and foremost.

It used to be the sort of show that you could sit down and watch, and just be cracking up almost non-stop just from Hawkeye's and his comrade's quips. Then parade out the colonel, hotlips, pierce, radar etc and it was just side-splitting, we used to laugh til we were in tears at that show. The last seasons of MASH were practically unwatchable to me, it just wasnt the same show anymore.

I think the descent started officially for me, when Hawkeye was on the shrink's couch, horribly freaking out. Chewing the scenery about when he was dumped in the lake as a kid, or something to the extent. Really bad. Truly cringe-worthy, and a notable point at which I started considering what else was on.
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February 13th, 2007, 08:48
er, MASH is STILL on; in re-runs!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 13th, 2007, 16:29
Well even though I loved the show, seven little words ruined Babylon 5 -"Get the hell out of our Galaxy!"

Anybody who saw it will know what I mean - it stayed OK for a while but series five wasn't in the same league (because of cancellation then network changes). However I'd still defend the show as the best story arc ever

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February 13th, 2007, 20:21
dbz when the Buu saga begins, that part of the story was just too long and became boring like: hey beat that guy up you are fighting it more than a 100 episodes already

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February 14th, 2007, 00:10
Mork and Mindy did not jump when Jonathan Winters was born. It jumped when they stopped doing the show from Mindy's closet and did it all at that stupid sandwich shop. It had a couple that looked liked Shields and Yarnell but it turns out it was that Jay guy that was on Cheers. Man that was bizarre.

The real ratings killer on that show was when John Belushi died. Robin Williams was persona non grata and had been unfairly blamed for his death in the rumor-mill. He was the first big comedien to go back to stand up to turn his career around. Some people also blame the lackluster Popeye.

X-Files jumped the shark with the movie is most people's contention I've heard. Mulder bad mouthing the city of Vancouver didn't help either as he forced production to move back to LA. He ended up quitting anyway.

MASH definitely jumped the shark. It wasn't the successive losses Wayne Rogers, Maclean Stevenson, Gary Burgough, or Larry Linville however. Mike Farrell, David Ogden Stiers, Harry Morgan stepped into their fictional roles very well. Nor was it the moving inside to the studio and Alana Alda becoming a big "sensitive" star and having every single show about him and how bad war is. Its when Klinger stopped wearing a dress.
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