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Top 10 TV Shows That Lost Their Mojo

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Trent Lee The higher they climbed the harder the fall. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 TV shows that lost their mojo. For this list, we’re including shows that were at one time beloved by fans, but that eventually started to disappoint the lot of them.Special thanks to our users Kevin Lemenager and John Marvin P. Arganda for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at www. WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Trent Lee*

Top 10 TV Shows That Lost Their Mojo


The higher they climbed the harder the fall. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 TV shows that lost their mojo.

For this list, we’re including shows that were at one time beloved by fans, but that eventually started to disappoint the lot of them.

#10: “Survivor” (2000-)

The mother of all reality game shows, “Survivor” was the first to introduce and captivate North Americans with the concept and its castaways. But the longer the show survived, the less its storylines focused on physical trials and actual, y’know, survival; instead, we were forced to care about who was voting for who. And, cheap gimmicks like bringing back beloved competitors made later seasons a shadow of their former glory. That’s why a slew of hot new series with similar formats have left the show in their dust. Sorry, “Survivor:” the tribe has spoken.

#9: “The X-Files” (1993-2002)

It was an out-of-this-world phenomenon, but after several seasons and a movie, where every paranormal activity was exhausted, “The X-Files” had seemingly run its course – especially with the departure of star David Duchovny. The introduction of John Doggett as Mulder’s replacement in season 8 failed to win back failing fans, who missed the geeky yet foxy Duchovny. When Gillian Anderson also stepped back and let Monica Reyes fill her shoes, it was the final nail in the coffin of this once-great show. “The X-Files” went out with a whimper, not a bang.

#8: “Weeds” (2005-12)

A daring new show in its first two-seasons, “Weeds” attempted to make marijuana marketing a socially acceptable industry. Nancy Botwin challenged perceptions of what pot dealers are like because, instead of the sketchy schoolyard peddlers, she’s a newly widowed mom providing for her family. But “Weeds”’ high turned into a bad trip because it was trying too hard to be cool by showing different sub-cultures, it featured one-too-many obvious product placements, and every dealer and druggie falls head-over-heals for Nancy – no matter how much trouble it causes them.

#7: “Dexter” (2006-13)

America loves its serial killers. But Showtime took a killer concept, threw some plastic down and just butchered it. Season after season, Dexter Morgan faces yet another mastermind challenger and comes out on top, putting his busy single-dad lifestyle to the challenge. But new characters and bold moves rarely failed to pay off, especially in later seasons, and after a certain point it was just same old same old. But the final knife slice to this once-exciting show? Its devastatingly poorly received finale.

#6: “SpongeBob SquarePants” (1999-)

Though some would call this one of the most overhyped children’s shows ever, SpongeBob SquarePants still had at least a couple of decent seasons under his square belt. Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, Gary and the titular yellow sponge served krabby patties and good laughs. But new season-three characters ruined the recipe, the writers turned to more mean-spirited humor, and every trivial concept seemed to get the full episode treatment. Not to mention, the movie. Anything after season-three is, well, just not spongeworthy.

#5: “That ‘70s Show” (1998-2006)

This hit period series had it all: miscreant toke buddies having bro-ventures, boy meets girl, boy and girl fall out, boy rides off into the sunset, leaving sitcom to struggle. That’s where “That ‘70s Show” should’ve ended, but since writers need to eat they kept at it even though it had reached its natural conclusion. At the end of season-seven, Eric Foreman departed for Africa, leaving a hole his replacement never really filled. And for some reason, his friends continued hanging out in his parents’ basement until the season-eight finale.

#4: “Two and a Half Men” (2003-)

Rehab can put a strain on family relationships, and no TV family has been tested more than “Two and a Half Men”’s. After Charlie Sheen decided to start “winning,” his character was unceremoniously killed off in the season-nine premiere. But, instead of stopping, or changing the name to “One and a Half Men” or maybe just “Two Men” since the kid’s pretty old, Sheen was replaced with Ashton Kutcher. However, Kutcher didn’t blend with the cast as Sheen had, and failed to convince fans he was intelligent. It only went downhill from there.

#3: “American Idol” (2002-)

After several seasons with no new formula or surprises and the same old hosts, “American Idol” could no longer hit those high notes with TV audiences. Even Simon Cowell’s brand of brutally honest feedback became familiar white noise until his season-nine departure. By season-12, the format had officially run its course, proving repetitive no matter how many judge swaps were made. The show especially lost its voice when newer, similar contenders like “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent” stole its spotlight. It may be time for this show to not go on.

#2: “Heroes” (2006-10)

Ever since “Lost” burst onto the scene raking in tons of viewers, every sci-fi action drama tried copying this intrigue-driven cliffhanger formula. That’s where “Heroes” tripped over its cape. Starting with the second-season’s lackluster amnesia premise that reset everything, the writers binge-wrote obvious mysteries into every plotline, included random lesbian-curious subplots, and overly-goofy-but-trying-to-be-sinister bad-guys. It was a time when character complexity was leaping to new heights in the hero genre, and even though its characters saved the world again and again, “Heroes” was left behind.

Before we unveil our top spot, here are some of our honorable – or in this case dishonorable – mentions:
- “Glee” (2009-)
- “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2000-)
- “ER” (1994-2009)
- “Desperate Housewives” (2004-12)
- “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1987-96)

#1: “The Simpsons” (1989-)

To the naysayers, WatchMojo isn’t afraid to make enemies of America’s most dysfunctional family! But even die-hard fans who still love the show know that “The Simpsons” started to lose steam as it approached its tenth season. Once a bastion of pop-culture references and impeccable wit, the show – after over two decades on the air – is now usually a pale imitation of younger itself, with its longevity ultimately spelling its downfall. As much as we love the residents of Springfield, “The Simpsons” proved once again that TV families can overstay their welcomes in our living rooms.

Do you agree with our list? Which shows do you think have lost its luster? For more Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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