It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The "Jump The Shark" moment

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 5 2009 @ 04:48 PM
I have been watching older sitcoms at night lately, and have noticed many of them follow the same pattern when they run past their prime. The term is called "jump the shark" from the famed episode of "Happy Days".

Here are some of the things these shows do that indicate they may be past their prime or are desperate for ratings:

1. Send the show and cast to an exotic location. Hawaii is a prime choice as it is still the US (no need for passports and other problems), and is a very beautiful area. "The Brady Bunch", "Charlie's Angels", "I Dream of Jeannie" were among the many shows to do this.

2. Have a baby. This was a ratings grabber when "I Love Lucy" wrote in Lucy's pregnancy during the show, so why not have other shows do it? "Cheers", "Married With Children" and others tried this approach.

3. Bring in a Munchkin. Babies are cute, but little kids are cuter and can say cute things. This is one of the biggest reasons to change the channel when one realizes it is a late season show. "The Brady Bunch" Cousin Oliver; "Married With Children" Seven; "Different Strokes", "Partridge Family", "Growing Pains", and "Family Ties" all went that route.

4. Winning the lottery. "Rosanne" became unwatchable during this season, although the preceding season was quite bad. So far the only show I know to make its characters rich toward the end.

Any other favorite aging series moments?

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 10:16 AM
Great topic!

The only example I can think or off the top of my head was Star Trek TNG in it's final season. They just seemed to be out of compelling ideas and seemed to have gone instead with modern day political topics with a sci fi twist, i.e. warp drive harming the fabric of space, as well as a few others that escape me.

Although I really liked the brady bunch vacations when I was a kid........probably why i'm afraid of spiders and Tiki idols

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 12:24 PM
reply to post by Anjin

There are a few other TV show ideas I will be doing threads about. The jump the shark moment is a good one, and I always dread the older "Hawaii" shows of "I Dream of Jeannie". At least Don Ho would get an acting job out the deal.

Murphy Brown never recovered from the baby plot. Badly conceived (pun intended) and written, the show did not know where to go from there.

Star Trek Classic had a miserable third season. Some of the episodes were OK, but many were cheaply done. The network had cut the budget down to next to nothing. Leonard Nimoy has stated he was going to leave the show after the third season, but the network never gave him the chance.

posted on May, 9 2009 @ 01:08 AM
Very observant, kidflash! Didn't the old Bonanza series introduce a younger character (a young boy) before it left the air? I think My Three Sons ended up with marriages and babies, which changed it. All In The Family had Gloria having a baby, which didn't really do much to help the show.
Bewitched ended up in another locale.

posted on May, 9 2009 @ 01:04 PM
reply to post by desert

"Bonanza" was getting long in the tooth when they introduced the teenage boy into it. Little Joe was nearing his 40s, so they wanted a youth to get into trouble. Dan Blocker (Hoss) passed away the next season, and the show soon went off the air afterward.

"Bewitched" remade most of the older episodes with the new Darren. The show did go to Rome, and other locations to try and spice it up. They needed to bring back Dick York. "Bewitched" should of ended after season five.

I had forgotten about "All In the Family" and the baby. The baby seemed like a natural progression, but the addition of the little niece in the final season after Mike and Gloria left was not needed. Archie was killed by cuteness.

"The Partridge Family" had brought in a five year old boy as their neighbor. Not only was Ricky adorable, but he sang with the group as well. I need insulin after that one.

"Green Acres" brought in a little girl in its final season. She was visiting with a girl scout troup (or something like that) and managed to stay for the cuteness factor.

When "My Three Sons" main star Tim Considine (Mike) had left, the show added Ernie. Mike was never heard of or mentioned again. Robbie had married and his wife had triplet boys, so when Don Grady left the show it focused on the three little boys. (While Don Grady left the show, the character did not. He was always referred to as out on business or taking a nap. Nobody noticed, or cared.)

It isn't sad when the cutesy comedies did that routine, but when a good show like "All In the Family" does it, it is sad.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 10:14 AM
Dollhouse may have had it's jump the shark moment....where the FBI agent actually visits the place....

Here's another classic moment though....when a show is built on sexual tension, then the two actually get together...(Moonlighting, Who's the Boss, Remington Steele...), just a couple of examples....

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 01:00 PM
reply to post by Gazrok

The "coupling" of the characters is always a death sentence. "Cheers" worked it into the plot, and it was funny. Other shows just lost the edge.

Another thing is when a show assassinates a character just for ratings. I have not watched "Bones" since they made Zach a serial killer. That was only done out of lazy writing and ratings.

David Kelly is one of the main culprits of assassinating his own characters, and I was quite happy when he left "Boston Legal" alone.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 01:08 PM

Originally posted by kidflash2008

4. Winning the lottery. "Rosanne" became unwatchable during this season, although the preceding season was quite bad. So far the only show I know to make its characters rich toward the end.

Any other favorite aging series moments?

The UK series Only Fools and Horses made their characters rich and it was still good, but that is and always will be a great show, No THE GREATEST show.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 01:27 PM

Another thing is when a show assassinates a character just for ratings.

Heroes continues to delight in this (hell, they devoted a whole season to it)...they made Peter go from a powerful force for good to a low-power rebel without a cause, and once had Sylar (for a few episodes) try to play nice. Luckily, they got the hint quick on Sylar, and made him back into the nasty guy he was meant to be....but they still never quite got some of the other transformations back...

top topics


log in