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Television’s biggest shows come to an end: How did this happen?


Published: Friday, February 15, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 02:02


It’s the end of an era. Popular television shows, such as “The Office,” “30 Rock,” “Fringe,” “Gossip Girl,” and “Jersey Shore,” are airing their season finales.

The American comedy “The Office” is completing its ninth season on May 16. Ratings have dipped after losing star Steve Carell, and longtime fans have felt that the quality has faded. With the loss of actors and writers Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak, Executive Producer Greg Daniels revealed the expected news in August that “The Office” was embarking on its final season.

After airing seven seasons, and winning 14 Primetime Emmys and six Golden Globes, “30 Rock” has come to its end. The series has brought publicity and recognition to Tina Fey and revived Alec Baldwin as a king of comedy. “30 Rock” aired its final episode Jan. 31. Up to the fifth season, “30 Rock” remained consistent, though the drop of an average 6 million viewers in the fourth season, to 4.4 million viewers in the fifth, led to considering the termination of the series.

Fox’s popular science fiction adventure show “Fringe” aired its final episode with a modest 3.2 million viewers and a 1.0 viewer rating.  “Fringe” was regarded as a show “Fox liked enough to keep on the air long past its ratings expiration date.”

The American teen drama television series “Gossip Girl” aired its final episode Dec. 17. In common with many television series, viewership and quality began strong but gradually deteriorated. The final episode of “Gossip Girl” delivered 1.5 million viewers and a 0.8 rating among adults 18 to 49, the show’s best performance this season. 

MTV’s most-viewed series of all time, “Jersey Shore,” is concluding its sixth season within three years Dec. 20. “Snooki & JWoww” took air June 21 to continue the viewer’s enlightenment into the “guido” lifestyle.

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Rena Moretti
Fri Feb 15 2013 13:34
None of those shows were EVER "popular" outside of the press. Fringe was always a flop, so was 30Rock and The Office (in spite of NBC spending untold millions each year to buy it awards and re-launch it).

The problem with articles about television is that they refer other article about television to find out what's popular.

Why didn't you look at the ratings?

Anything under 10 million viewers is not "popular" in the least!! The fact that the press talks about Fringe and its ridiculously low ratings as if they were doesn't make it so.

The real question is why commercial disasters like Fringe are kept on the air when the major networks are rapidly sinking into irrelevence and bankruptcy.

One last point about 18-49, the previous post said it was the measure advertisers care about. It's just not true. Advertisers as a whole, care about number of viewers. The preferences of various advertisers average out in the end.

18-49 is a spin measure which allows everyone who is not CBS to try and spin some of their flops into, somehow, successes.

NBC this year even claims to have a good year, even though its "victory" is the product only of moving NFL broadcasts into primetime and 18-49 spin.

NBC, even with these moves, remained a distant #4 and now that football is gone, the crappiness of their lineup (result of years of pretending that The Office and 30Rock were real hits) is evident for all to see.

Sadly, it is very possible NBC actually believes its own press at this point. They have drunk their own Cool-Aid and now don't even realize how badly they're doing.

Even more sadly, Camcast seems not to want to change anything to that sad state.

Fri Feb 15 2013 04:09
Look, I love TNH. Read only the articles written by students and not any of that AP BS that i've noticed dominate the paper in some issues last semester. I especially care about the arts section which I have seen had much greater oversight this semester.

That being said, this article has really no purpose. I can write up a list of popular cancelled shows every year and tell you what their ratings were by going on wikipedia. Also, its not their "season" finalies, it is their "series" finalies because they are not airing any more episodes in their current form. 3.2 million viewers for 'fringe' is not modest. The Walking Dead gets double in that just for the 18-49 demographic (the age group that advertisers cater to on TV). Hell, there are some kids TV shows that get more viewers than that. I wish this article went into the reasoning of why these shows got cancelled instead of 'THIS SERIES IS OLD'. Also most of these shows sucked in recent seasons prior to cancellation. The first season post-Steven Carrell sucked not because of the loss of Michael Scott, but the fact that Greg Daniels left the series and they tried to shoehorn new characters that no one cared about into main roles. Now that Greg Daniels is back in the show, it is actually watchable again. 30 Rock suffered a massive loss of talent over the years on their writing staff, including current Community star Donald Glover, which never recovered until they decided to post an expiration date on the series. Fringe was never popular, and I can't honestly say I know anyone who watched it. Same with Gossip Girl, whose ratings were lower than many original series on ABC Family and Lifetime. Jersey Shore got boring once the cast members got rich and they didn't influx in any new talent.

Long story short, great idea for an article but just not too much substance to it

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