Deader Than Disco / Live-Action TV

Pulling the plug isn't easy on these once acclaimed and/or successful shows. In their heyday, they dominated the ratings and the award shows; now, they're lucky to be featured in a nostalgia article.

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  • The Jiggle Show. During the Seventies and Eighties, shows like Three's Company, Charlie's Angels, and, to a lesser extent, the Wonder Woman series and The Dukes of Hazzard, which were long on beautiful actresses but (perceived as) a little short on plot, were incredibly popular. The joke was that they were especially popular amongst sexually frustrated men, who would be willing to sit through thirty minutes of flimsy dialogue for the chance to see Suzanne Somers in a bikini or Farrah Fawcett run after a bad guy in a tight sweater. The genre peaked with Baywatch, but with the rise of easily accessible pornography on the internet and more liberal views towards sexual matters, shows that are expecting to coast solely on the beauty of their casts are finding themselves disappointed. This was best demonstrated in 2011, when The Playboy Club and a revival of Charlie's Angels both got canned after only a few poorly-rated episodes and scathing reviews.



  • Little Britain was a hit at the Turn of the Millennium for its of-the-moment satire of British life, colorful catchphrase-driven characters, and lowbrow, shock-driven humor. It was popular enough that a live tour combining reenacted sketches and new pieces was a success as well. However, keeping up its momentum was tough. By Series 3, the established characters and running gags had worn themselves into the ground, the new characters seemed to have no purpose except shock value, and the show and its actors were now so overexposed and overmarketed that audiences were sick of them. Combine that with a critical backlash against the traditional Brit Com format with the success of The Office (UK) and Ricky Gervais, and its days were numbered. The total flop of the retooled Series 4 (Little Britain USA, co-produced with HBO) was the last nail in the coffin. In addition, it didn't age well; its constant pokes at minority groups were controversial enough even at the time, and are now seen as outright cringeworthy. If you ask any teenager who didn't watch it when they were younger, chances are they don't know about it, and if you ask someone who did grow up with it, chances are they regret it. While its leads/creators David Walliams and Matt Lucas have gone on to other successes (the former as a children's author, the latter as an actor in a variety of productions), Little Britain is just a relic of its time.



  • Jersey Shore was a monster hit in the early '10s. Everyone, Love It or Hate It, talked about it when it was around, and a number of terms it popularized (such as "grenade", "fist pumping", and "GTL") entered the lexicon. Enough controversy and criticism (particularly from New Jerseyans and Italian Americans) swirled around it to get a whole page on Wikipedia almost as long as the page for the show itself. A host of ripoffs emerged, such as Buckwild (Jersey Shore with rednecks!) and The Only Way Is Essex (Jersey Shore with British kids!). But not even a few years after it was canceled, it was all but forgotten. Now, when people make Jersey Shore jokes, everyone laughs at them for being so out-of-date.


  • The Cosby Show was a hugely popular sitcom that ran from 1984 to 1992, which revived the sitcom genre and was the #1 show on TV from 1985 to 1990. However, the show's reputation was permanently stained after star Bill Cosby was charged with serial rape. Most TV stations pulled Cosby from their reruns following the scandals.


  • Barney & Friends was a gigantic phenomenon across The '90s among young children worldwide, but it quickly built what is possibly the biggest Periphery Hatedom among most older children and adults. However, the series lost its steam during the Turn of the Millennium due to the creation and popularity of other preschool cartoons and series made by, among others, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, as well as Seasonal Rot marked by the addition of a new character (Riff) and it was put on an indefinite hiatus at the end of the decade without any fanfare or any signs of it coming back into production. Most PBS stations and other channels worldwide no longer air the series, and many younger children nowadays probably aren't even aware of its existence. Flash forward to the present, and the series is barely a footnote in launching the careers of Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez (and a bunch of other lesser-known stars like Michaela Dietz, Kyla Pratt and Madison Pettis), and if Barney or the song "I Love You" is brought up today, it's begging to be made fun of.