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We need something new on TV. Getting to 500 episodes is impressive, but the best long-running TV shows need to end. These are the first ones who need to go.

‘The Blacklist’: Long-running TV shows that should’ve ended

Can there be too much of a good thing? Of course. Anyone who’s woken up after dollar beer night or fell asleep hugging the toilet after an all-you-can-eat buffet knows limits are a necessity – a simple fact of life. 

However, we don’t get paid to indulge in excess, and television networks do. These companies are happy to pump out slop each year on the idiot box as long as people will watch, and defying all logic, some people remain loyal to certain programs long after they have worn out their welcome on our screens. 

Between NCIS episodes going into the 400s, Star Wars rebranding with a glut of new shows, and every film going to commercial theaters being a sequel, remake, or reboot, the TV industry clearly is running short on new ideas. 

The least a network can do is let a series die with dignity and pull the plug on long-running TV shows past their prime. Until the cutoff happens, let’s take a look at some of the biggest long-running shows that are living on borrowed time.

The Blacklist

The Hollywood Reporter reported this week that NBC added yet another series to its list of long-running TV shows that should have ended years ago, when The Blacklist was renewed for a ninth season.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is the crowned jewel of NBC’s long-running TV shows, but The Blacklist holds the bronze medal after Chicago P.D. The Blacklist has been on the air for eight years and shows no signs of stopping. Ratings seem to remain profitable for the show, with high numbers on Netflix too.

However, The Blacklist is one of many long-running TV shows that should have ended years ago. This longevity is, in fact, the problem with mainstream content in 2021: how do you know when you’re done? Film & TV studios can’t seem to get a clue. 

The Simpsons

The Simpsons sits at the number one spot of long-running TV shows still on the air. The Simpsons is perhaps the greatest sitcom of all time, as its first eight to ten seasons pack dozens of precise laugh-out-loud jokes into twenty second sequences over & over in each under thirty minute episode. 

The Simpsons is more than a show, the comedy has been woven into American culture to the point where it almost feels it has always been there. 

However, day one fans of The Simpsons know that the series fell off after season ten. In fact, there are several books that tackle this idea in depth. The Simpsons gave us so much magic for so long, so we can only imagine people still watch the new episodes to chase that high that will never come; the laughter & the heart is gone, but people continue to come back for more.

Family Guy

How is Family Guy still on the air? The show that first intrigued us in 1999, when many of us were at prime age to receive the content (pre-teen or younger), thought that this blatant repackaging of The Simpsons might bring us some of the same laughs.

We were amused as Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane followed the road The Simpsons creator Matt Groening laid down for him, as Stewie & Brian found their way to t-shirts & lunch boxes across the U.S.. However, it wasn’t long before hearing “what the deuce” sent us into a mental tailspin where we feverishly clawed for the remote for anything other than another trite flashback.

Some TV shows are doomed before they even begin, while others (like the ones above) live long past their heyday. It’s uncertain whether new & original content will ever replace the long-running TV shows & franchises hanging on by a thread in quality, but we can only predict that if the ratings are high, the shows will ride until the wheels come off.

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