We're barely a month into the fall TV season and have already lost three new network shows. My Generation, the show that was to catch us up on a group of high school graduates ten years after the fact (and presumably set to the music of The Who) pulled a Keith Moon after two episodes. Lone Star, the much-advertised/not-so-much watched tale of a Texas con man likewise never made it to episode three, and just last week we learned Outlaw, got the noose after only four episodes.
TV is a harsh mistress, and the criteria that determine a hit show are often as inscrutable as the Mona Lisa's smile or the lyrics to an old R.E.M. song, so there's no telling what new programs are destined for the great electronic dustbin (were I a betting man, I'd be laying pretty heavily on $#*! My Dad Says and Mike & Molly). Personally, I think it's too bad some shows don't get a chance to develop when According to Jim was allowed to crap up the airwaves for eight seasons.
With that in mind, here are ten veteran shows that need to be put out to pasture, Old Yeller style.
The longest running primetime show in history now has more subpar seasons under its belt than good ones, yet still generates obscene profits for Fox. So the only thing likely to get rid of Bart and company out of the lineup for good will be when Rupert Murdoch decides he'd rather funnel more money to the GOP than boost Nancy Cartwright's per episode paycheck during the next salary negotiation.
It started as a nightly update to the Iran Hostage Crisis, then morphed into a news program offering greater insight to the issues of the day. Then Ted Koppel left, and now the best Martin Bashir and company can offer us is hit pieces on Juggalos and profiles of totally underexposed personalities like Adam Lamber and Justin Bieber. Time to say goodnight.
Dancing With the Stars
I used to play a game called Hollywood Stock Exchange. It's sort of a fantasy box office game where you buy or short stocks in movies and actors based on their box office potential. I had to quit playing because of my persistent inability to judge the taste of the American moviegoer. And if you'd asked me back in 2005 to bet on the likelihood that five years later this carnival of the grotesque would not only still be on the air, but one of ABC's top-rated shows, I'd still be getting my kneecaps broken by bookies.
Anything On The CW That Isn't Supernatural
Mostly I'm thinking of those teen angst shows starring a revolving array of interchangeable toolbags laughing and loving their way into early pill addiction and unwanted pregnancies. But it goes doubly for Smallville, the show that's shown Clark Kent being "super" a half dozen times in ten years. I don't care that the show ends its run in 2011. Kill it off early out of spite.
Two and a Half Men
Do you really have hope for the future of a country that continues to make this one of the top rated sitcoms on a yearly basis? Rand Paul is exactly what we deserve.
While the aforementioned Simpsons at least has past glory to coast upon, and Family Guy continues to churn out intermittently amusing Star Wars spoofs, American Dad has never felt like anything other than an experiment by Seth MacFarlane to determine the lousiest show he could come up with that Fox would still put on the air. Mission accomplished.
This show shares some dubious company. It, along with According to Jim, Veronica's Closet, Perfect Strangers, and anything starring Paul Reiser, is one of the few, the happy few sitcoms that has never made me laugh once. So, kudos...or something.
All the CSIs except Miami
Yes, David Caruso is the living embodiment of Jon Lovitz's Master Thespian, the crime lab looks like something out of Tron, and southern Florida's climate is apparently amazingly similar to southern California's, but it's the only show in the franchise that doesn't have delusions of artistic merit. Like Baywatch before it, for better or worse, this is how the rest of the world sees us. Embrace it, and lose the other ones.
Why bother assembling a team of bright (not to mention expensive), doctors who think "outside the box" to puzzle over mystery diagnoses and run expensive tests when all you need is Hugh Laurie suddenly reaching a weekly epiphany to solve the case? A better approach would be to strap him in a chair like Alex from A Clockwork Orange and play a succession of random images. He'll reach his conclusion in record time, and we can all spend more time with our families.
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How I Met Your Mother
It's going on six years...meet the goddamn mother already. We're sick of waiting, and so are your kids.