Sunday, June 6, 2010

Top Seven TV Shows That Lasted Way Too Long

My blog about Silk Stalkings got me thinking about how crazy it was that that show was on the air for that long. All the responses I got said they remembered the show, but no one said they watched it. And miraculously, it lasted almost a decade.

I now present the Top Seven TV Shows That Lasted Way Too Long.

7) Nash Bridges - 6 Seasons and 122 Episodes
Buddy Cop is the genre that's easiest to screw up. But casting Don Johnson and Cheech Marin ensures it will be awful. I have nothing against either one - but it's a sad state of affairs when the fans of Miami Vice and Still Smoking grow up to be lame. How inexplicable is this show's run? It lasted 11 episodes longer than Miami Vice. I had no idea that many old people owned television sets.

6) 7th Heaven - 11 Seasons and 243 Episodes
I would describe this show as "schmaltz" but the Yiddish in that description would offend its Christian sensibilities. Every episode with a lesson, every lesson with a hug, and every hug with a bit of vomit in my mouth. The only good thing to come out of this show was a post-7th Heaven Jessica Biel pissing off the religious right with her birthday suit. Want to know how long this show lasted? By the end of it, 7-year-old Mackenzie Rosman was hot.

5) Falcon Crest - 9 Seasons and 227 Episodes
For anyone whose television sets didn't get Dallas, there was Falcon Crest. A 1980s prime-time soap opera that chronicled two warring wine families, I'd guess the audience was as drunk as its characters. The show benefited from the prime-time drama craze, the lack of competition that cable eventually created, and the fact that very few people in the 1980s had taste. Put this show up against Law and Order or House and it would have been demolished. But because it ran in the 1980s, one of its actresses actually won a Golden Globe. It was also nominated for four Emmy awards (and won one of those) - all for sound mixing and music editing.

4) According to Jim - 8 Seasons and 182 Episodes
I am shocked and appalled that something this generic could last this long. 182 episodes. That means 182 plots where the dumb husband screws up and learns a valuable lesson just in time for his magnanimous wife to love him anyway. Home Improvement did the same thing, only with writers instead of chimps. And that's GOT to be a laugh track - there's no way a room full of people can laugh that hard, that consistently when there's absolutely no punchlines. The only thing sadder than John Belushi's death is that his brother has somehow made a career off of it.

3) Silk Stalkings - 8 Seasons and 176 Episodes
As many episodes as Family Ties, more episodes than LA Law, and just three episodes shy of I Love Lucy. Silk Stalkings was a 1990s drama(?) set in the sexy and dangerous town of Palm Beach, Florida. You know - where a quarter of the population is over 65? Oooh, sexy. The show was basically girls in bikinis coming out of pools, except the episodes where the girls in bikinis got into pools. The plots were so inconsequential that they changed BOTH lead actors 100 episodes in, and the show made it another 75 episodes. Even more amazing is its creator - Stephen J. Cannell. He also created The Rockford Files, The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, Wiseguy, 21 Jump Street, the Commish, and Renegade, and Silk Stalkings was his longest running show.

2) Jag - 10 Seasons and 227 Episodes
If A Few Good Men were a TV show and completely forgettable, it would be Jag. I've not only never seen an episode, I've never even seen a clip. And yet it lasted 10 years. Arrested Development barely squeaked through a 3rd season, Sports Night made it two seasons, and Freaks and Geeks only had one year on the air. But a show with no one famous with no memorable plot lasts 10 years because it was written by the same guy who wrote Quantum Leap. Which, by the way, only lasted five years.

1) Walker: Texas Ranger - 9 Seasons and 203 Episodes
Forget everything you've read, this is the true testament of Chuck Norris' strength. How campy was this show? You could even tell the good guys from the bad guys by which cars they drove. Or so says the IMDB page, it's not like I ever watched this bucket of awfulness. The only time I've seen it is via Conan O'Brien, who brilliantly played my favorite clip of any TV show ever - Haley Joel Osment's "Walker told me I have AIDS." If you haven't seen the clip yet, you have to. It will change your life.

Honorable Mentions:
Law and Order: Criminal Intent - 9 Seasons+ (Really? Jeff Goldblum? Really?)
Touched By an Angel - 9 Seasons (I'd rather be touched by an uncle)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - 550+ Episodes if you count all the incarnations (I always used to say that Voltron didn't have enough live action)
Diagnosis Murder - 8 Seasons (I liked it better when it was called "Murder She Wrote")
Girlfriends - 8 Seasons (Usually blacksploitation lasts four seasons, tops)
Hogan's Heroes - 6 Seasons (Most hysterical holocaust show ever!)

Did we leave anything out? Disagree with these choices? Then tell us how we could have done better.


  1. I really hate to admit this, but I did work strange shifts in the early 90's and I watched this show. It was on late at night and there isn't much else on at 1 or 2 in the morning. It wasn't so bad.

  2. Hey, now that Jeff's on L&O:CI the show's actually watchable! I mean, he's no Richard B - (MUNCH RULES!) but he's better then anyone else they had.

    And I liked Diagnosis Murder. Way better then CSI. Plus - Dick Van Dyke! On roller skates!

    I think Sex In The City lasted way too long. A story of a bunch of shoe obsessed skinny girls getting some in New York. Call me when they have a show about fat women in LA who can't even get a date.

  3. The only show I disagree with was an honorable mention - Hogan's Heroes. That was a funny show.

  4. I kind of liked Silk Stalkings. I have the first five seasons on DVD. I agree it's not a great show, but I always enjoy watching it. I also kind of liked Seventh Heaven, too, though I don't anticipate buying any of it. That's kind of an odd dynamic. Heh.

  5. I vote for Family Matters. 9 Seasons. By the end, Stefan Urquelle was getting more screen time than Steve Urkel. It was so painful watching Jaleel White try to be sexy without the help of suspenders.

  6. Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, 6 seasons, 150 episodes and 2 tv movies. The end result... Jane Seymour's open hearts collection.


Write whatever you like. If you're a dick, you may be deleted or included in my hatemail archive. Goverments shouldn't be facist, but personal blogs should be.