Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday Thirteen #74: Shows That Never Jumped the Shark

In November of 2007, I wrote a Thursday Thirteen in which I listed TV shows that "jumped the shark". As you may know, the term "jump the shark" refers to the point in a series' run when it begins its slide into mediocrity or worse. For this week's T13, I'm flipping the script and listing TV series that I think never jumped. I can watch the following 13 shows at any point in their run and be fairly confident that I'll be rewarded with a quality episode. For my list, I decided not to include shows that are either short-lived or still in production.

Are there any TV shows that you feel never "jumped the shark"? When you list your TV shows in the comments section, feel free to pick short-lived series or those that are still on the air.

Also, if you haven't yet, please take a moment to vote in the Academy Awards poll to the left... thank you!

1. Cheers (1982-1993)

2. Degrassi Junior High/High (1987-1991)

3. The Fugitive (1963-1967)

4. The Golden Girls (1985-1992)

5. The Odd Couple (1970-1975)

6. Picket Fences (1992-1996)

7. Roc (1991-1994)

8. The Rockford Files (1974-1980)

9. St. Elsewhere (1982-1988)

10. Seinfeld (1990-1998)

11. Soap (1977-1981)

12. thirtysomething (1987-1991)

13. WKRP In Cincinnati

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Alice Audrey said...

I was sooo bummed when Soap went off the air. I loved that show.

Devilish Southern Belle said...

Great list! I used to love watching The Rockford Files with my Dad when I was little.

sherilee said...

For me, MASH. And I can watch just about any episode of Everybody Loves Raymond and have a laugh.

Great list! So many shows DO tend to jump the shark!!

Sandy Kessler said...

funny some had very slow starts hmmnnn

AD said...

ahhhh MASH :D loved it! and Raymond!

truly absolutely!

great list

13 Breath-taking Moments

Brenda ND said...

Nice post. I remember Happy Days when they really did "jump the shark". Happy TT!

Janet said...

Oh, Roc!!! I loved that show :-) Haven't thought of it in years.

shopannies said...

loved all these shows as well

Sue said...

I love all these shows. Esp. Rockford Files. That was my sisters & I favorite show when we were little.

I think ER didn't really jump the shark. I loved that show for all 15 yrs.

Jay said...

I loved each and every one of those shows. And I agree that none of them ever jumped the shark. They rocked right up to the very end.

Rockford Files was such an awesome show. Great theme music too. ;-)

Ornery's Wife said...

Just as I had rarely ever read the books you listed before, it probably comes as no surprise to you that I have not seen these shows, either. :) I HAVE seen the Odd Couple, but that is the only one on your list that I have ever even seen one episode of.

From the time I was about 13, I have not had a TV in my home--so while I grew up watching Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, HeeHaw, MASH and others, they were all because my Dad watched them. Such a cultural misfit I am! :)

Happy TT! And, it was nice to come visit again. Your blog looks nice!

Thembi said...

I'd add Six Feet Under to the list.

Carleen said...

I saw a few episodes of Soap when it was on and tried not to miss an episode of The Golden Girls. Great list.

Debbie @Like a Rose said...

I loved WKRP! I think I would have to include MASH on the list.

Pamela Kramer said...

I loved Roc that was such a great show! Great TT post.

Anonymous said...

Great list! Happy T13.

JohnH985 said...

Rockford Files and WKRP are two of my favorites. I would add Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Also West Wing and Sports Night. MASH would be another good choice. Fraiser is good. And finally perhaps the Wire and Homicide.

Candy Minx said...

What a fun list. I feel like looking for some of those shows on my cable!

Um, I think I may have written this here under this topic before...but a lot of tv shows seem to be written as if they already jumped the shark. By this I mean the usage of the adage to mean "over the top" ridiculous premise to keep a sense of excitement but going too far.

Now I think a lot of shows...and these are shows I love are written over the top to begin "Nip/Tuck" and "Grey's Anatomy".

Pop Art Diva! said...

Jeez - my computer just went and glitched on me, I don't know if that incomplete comment posted or not so...

You really think Cheers didn't jump the shark in the last few years??

What about West Wing? I loved that show and thought it was always great.

I'm so glad to see the greats on your list like SOAP and The Odd Couple and others.

Picket Fences was one of my favs!

Mama Pajama said...

I seriously want to own a home with my friends when I'm old and be able to go sit out on the "lanai". I've been watching a lot of GG lately. It might be my favorite sitcom of all time.

~Just me again~ said...

Great list. I have to admit that I liked Degrasse LOL. My daughters friend from highschool is in the new series, the next generation.

Mimi Lenox said...

I've noticed that you play a few other memes in the blogosphere. I really enjoy your answers! I'd like to invite you to play The Queen's Meme every Tuesday with Mimi Queen of Memes.
The fun begins next week on July 14, 2009. I will send another reminder to everyone on Monday.
The Queen's Meme

I hope you will join us!
Mimi Lenox

Anonymous said...

Didn't ROC jump the shark when they started doing the ROC Live shows?

Also, Degrassi - The New Class is Degrassi jumping the shark.....right?

Anonymous said...

As for a show that never jumped the shark....

The Wire...hands-down.

The best five seasons of any TV show ever.

Malcolm said...

Alice: I wish that Soap was airing in reruns in my area. That stuff is timeless.

Devilish: I got into The Rockford Files sorta like you did, through my mother and one of my older brothers.

Sherilee: MASH came close to making my list too.

Sandy: It seems like a lot of shows take several episodes to hit their stride.

AD: Everybody Loves Raymond is another show that I considered as well. I think that one factor that helped Raymond avoid the shark is that it didn't rely on cute kids for its humor.

Brenda: Happy Days jumped so many times, I could have did a list strictly on that topic.

Janet: I have to see if I still have some of the episodes of Roc on tape.

Shopannies: Thanks for stopping by.

Sue: Even though I periodically would quit watching ER throughout its run, I felt that it was still good whenever I returned to watching it.

Jay: Good call on the theme to The Rockford Files, that is one of my all time faves! I've even played it on my show a few times.

Ornery's Wife: I am finding more and more people these days do not own a TV and if they do, they don't have cable. Although I couldn't do without either, I can see why people such as yourself have chosen to do so. If you are interested in checking out some of the TV shows you may have missed, is a really good site. In case you have a DVD player, your local library may be a good option for checking out TV shows on DVD.

Thembi: Some of my former co-workers used to watch "Six Feet Under" and raved about it. That show is on my ever growing list of ones I want to check out someday.

Carleen: Coincidentally, Soap and The Golden Girls were both by the same production team. Thanks for visiting.

Debbie: I sometimes catch WKRP on Sunday evenings on WGN as part of their Retro programming.

Pamela and My Home Comforts: Thank you!

John: Frasier is one that came this close to making my list. Arguably the best TV spinoff ever!

Candy: You may have something there with your theory about "over the top" shows. I think that a show can only go so far with that philosophy before the novelty wears off.

Pop Art Diva: Even though it may have lost a little bit of steam towards the end (which is understandable for a show with a lenghty run), I think that Cheers was still one of the best shows on TV when it did call it quits in 1993.

I only watched "The West Wing" a few times, but did enjoy it on those occasions.

Mama PJ: I've missed it the last few weekends, but I was catching "The Golden Girls" Sunday mornings on The Hallmark Channel. Have you noticed that they are editing some of the language from the episodes? In the one episode where Dorothy became friends with a snobbish author that none of the others liked, Dorothy told her to "go to hell" at the end. They bleeped it.

Just Me Again: I loved Degrassi because it's so real... not any of that "Saved By the Bell" BS (even though I used to watch that too).

Mimi: Thanks for stopping by. I will keep your new meme in mind, thanks for letting me know.

Dane: I think that the "live" season of "Roc" was strong. It helped that all of the regulars had extensive stage experience.

As for "Degrassi: The Next Generation", that's a separate show from "Degrassi Junior High/High". If it has jumped, I wouldn't hold that against the original show.

I keep hearing nothing but good things about "The Wire". I need to see if episodes are available to check out from my local library.

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