Fall is well underway, and so are the shows that we love to watch. New shows are having to attract audiences to earn a second season while returning shows are trying to have continued success. With all the shows currently on the air, seven of the primetime TV shows have been around for at least 15 years. While these shows have dominated the airwaves and pop culture, is it time for these shows to retire from TV?
End of an Era: Why Long Running Shows Should End
Now, these shows have lasted as long as they have because they continue to deliver good content season after season. However, some of these shows have gotten to a point where the stories are starting to drag. These shows have lasted and need to end so that new hits can emerge.
The Top 7
- The Simpsons-30 seasons
- South Park–22 seasons
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit-20 seasons
- Family Guy-17 seasons
- NCIS-16 seasons
- American Dad!-15 seasons
- Grey’s Anatomy-15 seasons
The shows that come to mind that continue to be on the air are shows like The Simpsons and Grey’s Anatomy. They are shows that are at least in their 15th season and are considered scripted primetime shows, with the exception of South Park. While The Simpsons have had a little bit a problem with Apu, the other shows continue to receive strong support from the viewers, ensuring continuation.
Now, it is not that I don’t like these shows. I actively watch most of these shows, which makes me part of the problem in a way. While watching these shows, you develop connections with these characters and you may not want to see them off the air, but it’s selfish to continue to want that show and keep other new shows from taking the spot.
Airing of Opinions
The idea came about after South Park’s hashtag to get the show canceled. While it was funny to see that stunt, the sentiment is real. Just like the creators of South Park, Seth McFarlane has also expressed the desire to be canceled. The creators for South Park and Family Guy, who have been on the air for 22 and 17 seasons, respectively, realize it is time to move on to new things. This made me think of other shows that should also come to an end.
With some of these shows, the fan-favorite characters or well-received arcs have passed. The shows may be running out of steam. It may be seen as a loss, but ending the shows on their own terms before being dragged through the mud will be better received in the long run. There is no shame in ending on top.
Ending these shows also gives a chance for the current cast and writers to work on new projects. With McFarlane, getting away from Family Guy will give him more time to focus on his new show, The Orville. The actors will also be given time to broaden their range and move on to new roles or start their own career as a writer. Ending these long-running shows gives a chance for not only new shows to replace them but for the cast to find new roles for their careers.
Of course, I am in no way saying they need to be canceled now. In fact, the shows need to reach the end naturally. Working with the writers to find out how long it will take to end in a way that gives the audience the closure they deserve. The point is to end the show while giving the chance for a well-paced ending. Having control of the end rather than finding out the end is soon will lead to a better ending and a better audience reception.
Last Word on the Ending of The Current Longest-Running Primetime Shows
While these shows continue to have success, they limit the success of new shows. Whether the new shows are from emerging writers or for the current creators to focus on new stories, the canceling of these shows can open the door for new opportunities. It’s always sad to see these beloved shows end, but it could lead to new shows that we can form new bonds with and love.
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