Discuss: Shows that Never Jumped the Shark - Featured

For a flip-side on all of our discussions this week about shows that turned bad...lets talk about the few distinguished programs that managed to never turn to crap throughout their entire duration.

This of course means that only shows that have concluded are eligible. We know you all love Mad Men, but that show could turn into a hot mess 3 seasons down the line (unlikely, but you get my point).

I've tagged this discussion to a few shows that I believe never went wrong. Hey look - 3 of them aired on HBO! Sex and the City, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos (in my opinion), all stayed good throughout. So did the just-concluded Battlestar Galactica.

Which shows do you think never jumped the shark?

Some other possible shows: Arrested Development, The Wire (more HBO), Gilmore Girls, Seinfeld, Angel, The Shield


Default avatar cat
Mar 25, 2009 11:22PM EDT

deadwood! and the wire too. i also add spaced and extras. arrested development i kinda feel should not be on this list since they had a whole episode that was devoted to begging ppl to watch, but i love it anyway.

Default avatar cat
Mar 26, 2009 4:20AM EDT

I think Supernatural has just gotten better and better since it started. I'm also going to put in here for the CSIs - as long as they're gross and the personal relationships don't completely overwhelm, they're golden.
XP Other than that I think pretty much everything I was has either ended prematurely, only been around one (possibly and-a-half) seasons, or jumped the shark.

Default avatar cat
Mar 26, 2009 4:38AM EDT

The Simpsons would be one, but I think most importantly, The Wire. Went out gracefully after five AMAZING seasons, leaving all fans perpetually hungering for more.

Default avatar cat
Mar 26, 2009 4:41AM EDT

ah yes and arrested development.
I'm tempted to add The West Wing, but in reality it did go a little too far in the middle, needing more and more catastrophic crises to keep the public entertained. I think the low point was when they solved the social security problem in one episode. I think it was in Season Five.

Default avatar cat
Mar 26, 2009 8:03AM EDT

Veronica Mars never got bad. It was prematurely terminated, but it maintained a consistent level of quality throughout its run.

Default avatar cat
Mar 26, 2009 1:02PM EDT

I liked Gilmore grils all the way trhough so if that can be counted maybe Charmed?

Default avatar cat
Mar 26, 2009 7:21PM EDT

I agree with Deadwood, Veronica Mars and of course Supernatural, which definitely gets better with every season.
I would also say Farscape and Bones too...

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 4:30AM EDT

One Tree Hill has only gotten better since the 4 year jump in time, Gilmore girls was always a quality show that stayed true until the end, third watch was thrilling until the last episode and even ER with a 100% new cast since the pilot has always been must-watch throughout its years, and i don't feel it ever jumped the shark- it just continued its great storylines and introduced more fantastic characters. But sex and the city is hands down the winner-still going strong years after it finished...that truly shows it never jumped the shark-We STILL want more!!!

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 8:43AM EDT

The original law and order has just gotten better no matter the change in detectives or DA and criminal intent though the new season hasn't started hasn't jumped.

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 10:43AM EDT

How could you guys forget "Friends"??
It went through a growing season in the middle but the last few seasons were possibly stronger than the first couple....definitely a nonjumper....
I agree with Veronica Mars....it never got to reach its full potential so it couldnt have jumped....
I would say Monk is the longest running show i watch on a regular basis that hasnt diminished in quality an iota....

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 1:29PM EDT

Actually, sad as it is... I think BSG did jump the shark, in about the last half hour of the finale. It was doing so well, and I thought, "wow, here is a show that has managed to stay consistent and amazing, and it looks like this is going to be a good finale." but then about a half hour from the end it just fell apart and became ridiculous.

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 3:26PM EDT

alec9922, I disagree about friends. I think they definitely jumped the shark when Rachel had that stupid crush on Joey. What the hell was that? It was ridiculous, they were clearly out of ideas.
Like others here, I think that Supernatural just keeps getting better, but wait for it, one of the next episodes is going to be called "Jumping the Shark", and who knows what's going to happen?

Mar 27, 2009 4:15PM EDT

Skins, Friday Night Lights, BSG

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 4:22PM EDT

I'd add Firefly and HBO's Rome to that list. I could have watched a season or two more of either one and been satisfied with the amazing plots and acting. Wolf Lake, Prey, and the Dark Shadows remake scores pretty high on my "wish it had carried on a year or so more" list.

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 4:24PM EDT

Rats! I forgot to add Life on Mars. Not technically cancelled yet, but already on the chopping block.

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 5:19PM EDT

um sorry "skins" new season is awful compared to the previous seasons. Even season 2 of skins was way worse than the first. IMO

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 6:57PM EDT

OKAY SO GILMORE GIRLS DEFINITELY JUMPED THE SHARK! The writers made up nonsense in the end, Rory dropping out that year all that bs (i mean okay that wasn't so bad) but why couldn't chris and lorelai make it work and what was up with the finale....WORST finale EVER! i believe Gilmore Girls will always be one of my favorite series and hold and dear place in my heart but the ending season just got whack and that was it...the finale was awful..i started losing attention...it was TRAGIC!

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 9:15PM EDT

I agree with Firefly. I would also add, Dead Like Me and Six Feet Under.

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 9:19PM EDT

I disagree with charmed although one of my favorites I believe that they would have been better off without the 8th season Season 7 ended things so nicely although I did like the finale in season 8 I pretty much hated the rest of it I think the only shows that really stay true are the tragically short lived ones personally I would prefer that we just get four or five great seasons than see shows struggle to come up with new stuff when they've clearly run their course.

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2009 11:14PM EDT

Skins jumped the shark when Tony got hit by a bus.

Default avatar cat
Mar 28, 2009 1:03AM EDT

SKINS was amahhhzing, and tony totally deserved it.and i must say Dead Like Me stayed true and blue all the way through. Even the movie was really good (idk if it's out yet, but i watched the leaked version online a couple months ago)

Default avatar cat
Mar 28, 2009 1:24AM EDT

Yeah, I gotta say, out of all the shows I've seen, Supernatural and the Simpsons have stayed the most true to their origins and simply continued to get better!

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Mar 28, 2009 1:55AM EDT

Firefly. 14 of the best episodes I've EVER seen. Of course, it was definately cut too short for its time but it still counts as it never jumped the shark. Plus a great movie afterwards - Pure beauty.
Also, Farscape - it was crazy and amazing the whole way through. Sure it had some weird plotlines but that was what was one of the cool things about it. A pretty good show for all 4 seasons. And again, a great movie/miniseries afterwards. Plus its going onto comics and webisodes so its still pulling in fans.
I disagree with Charmed. The whole last season with Billy and the different appearances was total BS. Although I did like the finale I would have prefered to end it a season shorter, just as I would with Gilmore Girls which I thought was good until the 7th season.

Default avatar cat
Mar 28, 2009 7:31AM EDT

The simpsons Definantly 'Jumped the shark' ^
Supernatural Never did, its been great start to finishSmallville, 24, Family Guy, Scrubs, Lost, South Park Get mentions.

Default avatar cat
Mar 28, 2009 11:48AM EDT

ok... i hate to say it but almost any show that has more than three seasons has jumped the shark at one point or another. Even the show that NEVER jumped the shark still jumped a guppy. of course i'm talking about Sex and the City. Of course everyone would be happy, i'm just glad that in the movie Sam got rid of boy toy. Supernatural jumped the shark when they go into alternate universes and different time lines, i agree with the Simpsons jumping the shark, come on, how many times can a person prank and get away with it. All in all the shark happens to every show, it's just a matter of the audience remembering the shark or not.

Default avatar cat
Mar 28, 2009 2:04PM EDT

Gilmore Girls never did. Friends either!

Mar 28, 2009 5:01PM EDT

How could anyone forget Babylon 5? As the whole 5 seasons were plotted out years in advance, it could not have jumped the shark. While the spinoff and a couple of the T.V. Movies kind of sucked, they don't count as shark jumping as they are separate from the main run of the show. It was solid and quality programming right to the end.
Also, Star Trek: TNG. While DS9, Voyager and Enterprise could be said to have jumped the shark, ST:TNG had the MOST hyped in television history with entire city stadiums filling up with people to watch it end. (I personally was at Skydome in Toronto with about 40, 000 of my fellow fans).
I also agree with Farscape, firefly, and BSG.

Default avatar cat
Mar 29, 2009 12:58AM EDT

Boy Meets World, Journeyman (Canceled mid-first season), Extras, Arrested Development and Monk also.
Friends never did either. I thought it ended at the perfect place.

Default avatar cat
Mar 29, 2009 8:47AM EDT

Friends never jumped the shark, and I also have to throw in Joan of Arcadia...of course it never real got the chance to.

Default avatar cat
Apr 7, 2009 1:26PM EDT

I think the show that never jumped the shark is ER. Sure, there are a lot of new characters in the show, but it was running for almost fifteen years. Still the new characters fitted perfectly into the story. And the (sadly) last season was definitly the best last season ever. Huge compliments to writers, especially for bringing back parts of the old staff. This season really was a tribute to the millions of fans who made this show such a success.

Default avatar cat
Apr 7, 2009 11:30PM EDT

BSG jumped once or twice, however, when it did it was still a damn good episode. Rome was amazing but then again its hard to jump when the plot outline was written two-thousand years ago. I thought Pushing Daises never jumped and i was sad to see it go.
Its hard to classify South Park or Family guy as ever jumping because alot of their episodes want to piss you off and make you be like what the hell. Thats what they do.

Default avatar cat
Apr 8, 2009 1:02AM EDT

Lost has never jumped the shark. I'm temped to believe that people who think it has are just too impatient/unimaginative.

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Apr 8, 2009 3:27AM EDT

Sorry but I really think House has yet to "jump the shark". Amber's death was the only thing that came remotely close.

Apr 8, 2009 6:48AM EDT

Firefly, Veronica Mars, and Kyle XY kept getting better and better and those shows could have, and should have kept going.

Default avatar cat
Apr 12, 2009 5:41AM EDT

My picks
FireflySopranosSix Feet UnderThe Black Donnelly'sStar TrekThe 4400Surface

Default avatar cat
Apr 20, 2009 8:46AM EDT

* Firefly (never got a chance too really)* Farscape (got stronger each season. Even the rushed miniseries didnt damage the canon).* Buffy. (yes, it had some god-awfull eppisodes, but nothing really shark-jumping, it just bounced up and down in quality levels. Even the angst-fest of Season6 had "Once More With Feeling".
Other then that, most other stuff like 24, PrisonBreak, etc is still going.I do think shark-jumping requires a little more then merely going downhill (Simpsons), it requires a specific point that encapsulates a show deseperate for new ideas, or something so bad a plotpoint that the show can never recover.
Its not *just* a bad moment or a decline in a shows quality.For example, KyleXY had the worse-eppisode-plotline-possible of "Electric Kiss". But it didnt bring the series down with it.
====" So did the just-concluded Battlestar Galactica."
If "God did it" isnt a jumping the shark moment I dont know what is O_o
BSG didnt just jump the shark in the last epp, it retroactively made previous plotpoints into shark-jumping.(Starbuck back from the dead in a brand new viper + no explanation = shark truely jumped. Ditto for all the completely ignored "Harbinger of Death" stuff they kept banging on about before the final. ).
Thats the interesting thing with the idea of shark jumping, it isnt always clear if something is/isnt till long after that moment.

Default avatar cat
Apr 20, 2009 10:39AM EDT

Didn't Buffy jump the Shark with the whole Buffy and Spike angle...still makes me recoil at times...LOL
And though Gilmore is my all time favourite show (sob) it jumped the shark...a couple of times but I was always loyal!
But I agree with alot choices that didn't Jump...V. Mars...Farscape...and I LOVE the person that threw Boy Meets World in there...lol!

Default avatar cat
Apr 21, 2009 2:50PM EDT

i just gotta add my 2 cents about Supernatural; imo it has definately not jumped the shark!Supernatural has managed to keep it fresh from season 1; 1st with sam and dean's quest to find their dad while taking on his jobs, we're introduced to the 'supernatural'. then the Sam psyhcic demon blood thing and the hunt for 'yellow eyes', which kept people on edge , and now the 4th season handed the spotlight to Dean(who's my favourite) with the the apocolipse angle.what is also kept fresh is the sibling rivalry dynamic. constantly interesting and after 3 seasons there still so much to learn about these two brothers.yeah they the show has had a few odd filler episodes - but what tv show hasnt? - but even those can have good twists. Like that recent episode where they go to newly bought house only to find out its not really a spirit that's haunting it! lol! (even the winchesters get it twisted!)
I am no writer but i do think if there is a season 5 (which there probably will be) then by the end of that season they most likely will jump the shark. I think supernatural should gracefully end with season 4 ie everybody dying, world plunging into hell lol!!In all seriously seriousness, i would be happy with the show quiiting while its ahead.

Default avatar cat
Apr 22, 2009 3:10PM EDT

The original Doctor Who, pure awesomeness from start to finish... Of course I'd put the new one in there if it had finished too, but it hasn't :) yay

Default avatar cat
Apr 23, 2009 10:19PM EDT

Bones and Supernatural all the way!!
I'm constantly surprised and impressed with how each episode is just wonderful and consistent with the rest of the show! I definitely thought that Bones had jumped the shark when Zach left, as well, but the show recovered nicely.
Also, as long as Supernatural sticks to the 5 season plan, I think it can escape the negative downturn.

Default avatar cat
May 14, 2009 4:35PM EDT

FRIENDS, because of:Chandler's sarcasmMonica's compulsivenessPhoebe's weirdnessJoey's magnetismRachel's dramasRoss' lecturesand CENTRAL PERK!!!

Oct 15, 2009 2:01PM EDT

I always things that freaks and geeks ended way too early! I loved that show. Even though I am a fan of everything Buffyverse, the end of season 5 really irked me, although I thought that season 6 was excellent with the character developments reguarding Anya/Xander, Tara/Willow. On Angel I hated the whole Connor thing and don`t get me started on the whole hook up with Cordelia.
I agree with six feet under never jumping shark, its an amazing show from start to finish, there are some amazing episodes that I never forgot, even after not seeing them for a few years, ie. The Episode where David gets carjacked.
I think that there are a few animes that could be added but that would be a little out there!

Default avatar cat
Dec 9, 2009 1:53PM EST

24LostSupernatural- i really hope they keep to the plan and even at series 4Sex and the City- this gets a special mention because it never ever turned crapFriends- classic

Default avatar cat
Mar 14, 2010 10:21AM EDT

It is hard to differentiate between shows that retained their integrity and genius throughout their adolescence and into maturity (sopranos) and shows have been cut down in their prime before writers and producers allow their vehicles to succum to the rediculous or mundane, would Arrested Development still be funny on Jobes 23rd failed majic trick? (probably). Could Rome have believably had Titus Pullo nailing Jesus to the cross? (maybe less probably).
A discussion into the fall from grace of some of the best loved shows is much more interesting, and yes much more nasty as well. For instance will Scrubs ever recover from the loss of one of its best loved and most ingeniously lovable characters, thats right the Janitor is gone for good...
What other shows betrayed themsleves and us, the viewers by becoming utter sh**e?

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