Note: This article lists examples which take place within fandoms; not the TV Trope's opinion as to whether a change is for the worse. TV Tropes doesn't have opinions. The focus is on over-reaction about minor changes.
The survey questions asked during Family Feud, progressively since the current version began in 1999 but full-blown during the Steve Harvey era that began in 2010. The point of contention was pedestrian questions such as "Name something that a clown takes off after his show ends" becoming "Name something a woman would take off a clown before having sex with him." While outrageous answers have always been possible with even the most mundane questions, they are regular occurrences on virtually every episode of the Harvey era. The 1994-95 season of Feud had this stigma for a long while, as they reduced the family members on each team from five to four, cheapened the Fast Money payoffs, and changed the set (complete with animated board).
For many years, Wheel of Fortune had a $10,000 cash prize on the wheel which was notably hard to get since its wedge was one-third the width of the rest, with a skinny Bankrupt on each side. This was replaced with a $1,000,000 wedge, which is part of a very convoluted Double Unlock schematic to win $1,000,000 in the Bonus Roundnote (the $1,000,000 has been won twice, in October 2008 and May 2013). Another hated change is the increase in Prize Puzzles, which have often led to contrived-sounding solutions and Golden Snitch scenarios (typically, whoever wins the Prize Puzzle wins the game).
A season of American Ninja Warrior got a lot of flak from fans due to changing the format of the third round elimination from eliminating based on performance to a more typical reality TV-based elimination (complete with teams and voting), believing that it goes against all that Ninja Warrior is about. The idea of boot camp itself, however, is much better received.
The attitude of the hardcore Price fanbase spread to the GSN revival of The Pyramid, when it was announced that Mike Richards, the producer of TPIR who is blamed for "unpopular" changes, would be the new host. Anyone would be doomed to comparison to Dick Clark, of course, but there were people who swore they'd never watch the new series just because of their feelings about Richards and TPIR. As it is, The Pyramid has proven to be one of the better game show revivals of the post-1980s world. Though there are parts of the fandom with nitpicks, such as the classic theme being reworked...in post-production, as the classic 1982-91 version had been the one used during tapings.
A lot of fans decided they hated Mock the Week when Frankie Boyle left. On the official Facebook page for the show, comments are still in the vein of "OMG WHERES FRANKIE IT SUX WITHOUT HIM".
Some say this happened to Whose Line Is It Anyway? when it moved from British to American TV. Common reasons given include the changing of hosts from Clive Anderson to Drew Carey, the appearance of more celebrity guests (especially Richard Simmons), and the fact that Colin and Ryan were in every single episode (and Wayne was in most of them as well) instead of taking more risks and shuffling the cast around more, as they did in the earlier British seasons.
Almost any game show revival or revival attempt by Fremantle Media (previously Pearson Television and All-American Television) since 1996 can fall under this category...especially Match Game, Card Sharks, and Temptation. Even Family Feud took about seven years to find its footing amid mediocre hosts and broken rules (from the Louie Anderson era to the first Richard Karn season, the family with the most points won, making Round 4 the only one worth winning). Game show fans can be infuriatingly hard to please, but in this case they had a point.
The 1997-98 season saw a change to more bombastic mixes of both the iconic "Jeopardy!" Thinking Music and its own main theme, the widely-panned "sushi bar" set which was kept until 2002, the first video clues read by celebrities, and an increase in punny category names...
The 2001-02 season saw the introduction of the Clue Crew, a set of Lovely Assistants who present more video clues, the doubling of dollar values, and Alex Trebek shaving off his iconic mustache...
The 2003-04 season saw the removal of the five-game cap, followed within mere months by Ken Jennings' 74-game run lasting into the next season...
In general, fans would say there's been a decline in clue quality following the death of longtime writer Steven Dorfman, and Alex acting more goofy comes off as bothersome.
It happened to Doctor Who multiple times. This is a series that's had nine complete turnovers in the regular cast and over a dozen different showrunners with wildly varying approaches. Years before the new series debuted, there was a running joke on one of the online discussion groups that the series was ruined when they added the time-travelling alien to a perfectly good show about a policeman walking through the fog and hearing a strange noise. When the new series was in production, fans found lots of things to complain about, one of the most infamous being the enlarged TARDIS windows. The series itself eventually made fun of this point, with a character commenting that the TARDIS can't be a real police box, because "the windows are too big". New Doctor, new companion, new TARDIS exterior and interior, new sonic screwdriver, new showrunners. Matt Smith has received a fair amount of hate just for not being David Tennant, and it's likely to happen with every new Doctor. There's also the hate over the increasingly romantic and sexual nature of the Doctor's relationships with his female companions. There's the theme song which, when it became very orchestrated from 2005 on, many fans decried that it had lost its original electronic feel. The show is apparently ruined forever and for everybody. Lampshaded way back in the day: "Oh, I see you've been doing the TARDIS up a bit! I don't like it." (The gag was repeated in the 50th Anniversary Special.)
Many fans of Skinshated the second-generation cast. Your mileage may vary on that one, as the second generation is still beloved by many. Then there's the third generation...
Fans general responses to the second season. Some elements of the series are altered drastically with the advent of World War One, although a great deal remains the same which, in turn, has spawned an outcry from other portions of the fandom who protest that the narrative glosses over or speeds by too many major global events to be considered realistic. Sadly, this is an unfortunate but unavoidable side-effect of setting a drama series during a time of extreme social and political upheaval.
Series 3 with the deaths of main characters Sybil and Matthew, though the latter was helped by being a complete case of Real Life Writes the Plot: the actor wanted to leave, and since there was no way they could sell Matthew and Mary splitting up after their growing romance had been such a major story element, killing him was the only option.
Knight Rider fans have a bad habit of becoming homicidally enraged at any changes from the original source material in the various Revival attempts of the series, even such changes as would be necessary to compensate for the fact that (a) it's no longer 1982 and (b) the Pontiac Trans Am has been out of production for several years. A new revival premiered in February 2008 and, months before, fans had already taken note of several dozen reasons it was sure to suck. Of course, it did eventually turn out to suck anyway, but that doesn't make it right.
The 2003 "re-imagining" of Battlestar Galactica, generally considered excellent Adaptation Distillation and Darker and Edgier done right, was met with a lot of backlash by fans of the 1978 original. It was even met with backlash by original cast member Dirk Benedict, who wrote a rant on how changing his Loveable Rogue character Starbuck into a woman (and thus making the character something other than Han Solo) had somehow destroyed the character and ruined the show forever. Benedict has railed on record numerous times about the "feminization of TV", and suggested once that if The A-Team were to be made now it would be called "The Gay Team". What can be inferred from that combined with his love of very large cigars is debatable.
The Dresden Files made a lot of (author-approved) changes when it made it to TV. Interestingly, it was the little changes that got lambasted the most: Harry Dresden no longer wore a trenchcoat (they didn't want him looking like an Angel ripoff) and didn't drive the same car (while it might look good in text, a 6+-foot man can't drive a compact; it just doesn't work) and they changed his staff to a hockey stick to try and "hide" the fact that he's a wizard (kind of strange for someone who advertises in the yellow pages). At that point, it's not a cosmetic change but a completely different character with the same name.
Stargate Atlantis has a fandom that's divided between froth-at-the-mouth fans who enjoy the show and froth-at-the-mouth ex-fans that decry all of the advances made in Season 4. Stargate forums aren't happy places to be anymore... The fanbase has people who like or simply don't mind the new direction Stargate Universe took. Then there were people who, at seemingly every new mention of Universe, were ready with "This isn't the Stargate I grew to love!" or "I want Atlantis back!" Of course, there's also those "OH GOD! That's it! I'm not watching it." people. While it's not necessary to watch a show to complain about it, it does help. This isn't the same show as SG-1 or Atlantis, nor is it supposed to be, but there are people who will hate it for not being SG-1 or Atlantis...and then Universe was canned due to bad ratings.
Season 9 of Stargate SG-1 got a lot of flak at the beginning for even continuing on after the Goa'uld were defeated at the end of the previous season, and coming up with a new main villain — not to mention O'Neill leaving the show and Mitchell joining as the new leader of SG-1. Carter being temporarily absent from the show for the first five episodes didn't help matters, either. The changes were so extensive that the Powers That Be had actually considered changing the show's title to "Stargate Command" and treating Season 9 as the first season of a new show — and it's possible that if they'd done that, the changes might have actually been better received.
Anything from Super Sentai ported to Power Rangers that isn't 100% true to source is grounds for gasping and fist-shaking. Admittedly, some of it is worthy of decrying, but getting in a tussle because the heroes don't say "Henshin"? Or that they don't have the same morphers? Check out Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, and you'll have numerous people hating it because it's not Japanese. Amusingly enough, Dragon Knight was imported back to Japan, and they loved it.
Same vein as Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider Hibiki was ruined in the eyes of execs due to the fact it had a female rider on TV (Femme was officially the first female rider, but Shuki was the first to appear on TV), something that is considered "taboo" with Kamen Rider (most females who had to transform had to rely on an "anybody can use Transformation Trinket or is a rubber monster"). Needless to say, the exec associated the failure of the later season of Hibiki with a female rider being one of them.
Kamen Rider has a parody in the comedic net movies for the 40th-Anniversary movie. Kamen Rider 1 delivers a speech in which he says that the younger Riders who aren't "real" Kamen Riders because they aren't tragic cyborgs and none of them (save Hibiki) has undergone Training from Hell, unlike the classic Riders.
The Discworld TV adaptations. Many fans loved them, but there were some criticisms that Teatime should have been more obviously insane and less obviously insane in the same discussion. But Hogfather got off lightly compared to The Colour of Magic where, in addition to Rincewind being "too old", the creators committed the ultimate sin of getting rid of the aeroplane scene (a totally unnecessary sequence in which most of the comedy occurs inside Rincewind's head in any case). The fact that Terry Pratchett had approved these changes was claimed as evidence he doesn't understand his own books.
Legend of the Seeker got oodles of this from fans who object to, among many other things: changes to Richard's relationship with Zedd, moving Richard's father's death to after he meets Kahlan, and changing the main villain's hair color. Indeed, it got so much of this that the outcry and negative press from the They Changed It, Now It Sucks crowd is sometimes blamed for killing the TV show after the second season. What fans fail to realize is that airing the show in a format truly faithful to the books would've been nearly impossible on network television. Many complaints, like the overall Hercules or Xena tone of the show and others, are perfectly valid...but when you're adapting a series as filled with violence and adult situations as Sword of Truth for basic cable, a Pragmatic Adaptation is the best you're going to get.
MST3K was accused of this with every cast change, especially when Joel left. One story told in their Amazing Colossal Episode Guide was about a viewer who sent in a yards-long, computer-printed banner reading "I HATE TOM SERVO'S NEW VOICE", after Josh Weinstein left and Kevin Murphy took over Tom's controls in Season 2. The crew hung the banner up in their offices, amused more than anything at the idea that somebody went to the trouble and expense of producing this massive missive instead of just sending a letter. Who knew that in these days, ventriloquism could be such Serious Business?
Because of copyright issues, Iron Chef had to change the music. Some people now refuse to watch the show because "it's not the same without the Backdraft music".
The CBS Evening News post-Walter Cronkite, particularly as Dan Rather's tenure coincided with increasing ratings declines and the infamous Bush documents scandal. Cranked Up to Eleven with the further declines under Katie Couric, but it seems to be getting better under Scott Pelley.
Star Trek: Voyager: The premise was well received. The complaints about the show are internal to its writing and not to the franchise as a whole.
Star Trek: Enterprise got this in regards to fanon. Among this was somehow believing Spock was the typical Vulcan personality despite him, his father Sarek, and Tuvok of Voyager being about the only noble (and well-acted) Vulcans in the franchise. Otherwise, most other Vulcans encountered had all of the arrogance and nothing to back it up. Some fans that were angry that it contradicted the "fact" that Spock was the first Vulcan in Starfleet. Since obviously no Vulcan joined Starfleet between the founding of the Federation to Spock, and the all-Vulcan ship crew from TOS must have all joined after Spock.
There's the "remastered" TOS. Better special effects (with extreme pains taken to make sure no actual events are altered) that sometimes fit the original script better than the original version (due to problems the original faced like "low budget" and "it being the 1960s") are an unforgivable sin, apparently. Despite the fact that one can watch the original unedited versions on the Blu-ray if one so desires.
Saturday Night Live has been accused of sucking because of its small-scale and large-scale changes in cast and crew. Due to the show's cyclical nature, the cast has been rotating ever since Season 2 (when Chevy Chase was replaced by Bill Murray). The accusations still exist today, ironically with fans claiming that the show needs a cast and crew overhaul, only this time with more talented people — whatever that means to them. While most of these accusations can be chalked up to certain fans overreacting, some are a definite Base Breaker within the fanbase (like the near-universally panned 1980-81 season which resulted in most of the cast being fired, and the 1994-95 season which was hit hard by Phil Hartman's departure; backstage tensions between writers and cast members; thin and humorless sketches heavily based on Ho Yay, Vulgar Humor, OverlyLongGags, and the O.J. Simpson trial; and cast members that didn't gel well with others). Step into any online thread discussing the show (or better yet, read some of the show's complaints on any comment section on NBC's SNL web page or on Jump the Shark.com) today, and you'll usually find someone complaining about how the show was "better five years ago" or "hasn't been funny since [former cast member] was on the show."
SCTV (the Canadian equivalent of SNL) drew fire from viewers when it show moved from its Sunday-night slot on NBC (where it was competing against SNL) to the Cinemax pay cable channel for Season 4. The show petered out amid criticism of most of the cast having left (along with most of the most memorable characters) and was canned for good afterward...never mind that the entire reason this move happened was because of Executive Meddling on the part of NBC.
When Degrassi The Next Generation changes seasons, they change the opening credits theme. No matter how they change the opening credits Fans decree its wrong. When for the most part the themes aren't that separated from one another (same words, different singers/melody). With the exception of two seasons that completely draw away from the standard opening setup, they're mostly the same...but each season starts with a fan outcry to begin World War III over it.
When they replaced Linda Hamilton's character Catherine in CBS' Beauty and the Beast, some fans didn't take lightly to that.
The television adaptations of Agatha Christie's HerculePoirot and Miss Marple novels can receive this treatment, although not without good reason. In particular, the Marple adaptations starring Geraldine McEwan have been known to take great liberties with the original source material, adding in plots and characters which were not present in the originals. Conversely, the Poirot adaptations starring David Suchet have generally remained faithful to the novels, but they've also made certain changes in style, setting, and approach (the stories all take place in a general Genteel Interbellum Setting rather than across the period of 1916–70 as with the originals) that have come under criticism. In particular, the adaptation of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd came under fire for this; the original does, however, hinge on a narrative technique that is rather more difficult to replicate in live action.
When The ABC chose to hire a new host for the popular gaming show Good Game, it meant they had to farewell longtime host Jeremy "Junglist" Ray. Fans erupted with emphatic disdain, spamming the forum with hate for the new host, Stephanie "Hex" Bendixsen, and crying that they would never watch Good Game again, or until Junglist came back. They started a Facebook page (now renamed with its cause given up) and a website (formerly at savejunglist.com, but it's now been bought out by one of those spam search engine or domain parking sites). The cause was forgotten little more than a fortnight later. That doesn't stop the Fan Dumb whining about how bad the show has become during every week's feedback board on their forum.
Human Target added two new main characters and changed the dynamic of the show in Season 2. This is not universally loved. At all. While new showrunner Matt Miller thought getting rid of Bear McCreary, bringing in Chuck composer Tim Jones, and increasing the amount of "needle-drops" in the matter of said show were good ideas, many fans disagreed strenuously.
All things considered, HBO's adaptation of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire into Game of Thrones has done far, far less straying from the source material compared to almost anything else on this list. Even three seasons in, the main plot and most of the side plots are progressing just as they should, though there have been increasing liberties taken each season, most of which are listed on the show's own page. Despite the fact that most of the changes are inconsequential, and the major characters are mostly just the same, the amount of nerdrage this has engendered could power a city.
Smallville was this to the Superman mythos. No matter what they did, it was inevitable that some faction of the fanbase would be infuriated by the writers' interpretations of the Superman comics. Inevitably, fans would accuse the writers of "not being true to the source material"...never mind the fact that the comics themselves have changed continuities/canon drastically over and over again. In general, the Smallville writers seemed to be going for a sort of mixture of ideas from all eras/versions of the Superman mythos (Lex living in Smallville was from the Silver Age, the Fortress of Solitude design from the Chris Reeve films, Brainiac being from Krypton was borrowed from Superman: The Animated Series, etc.). The thing is, fans of one era/version of the mythos would always be angered when another era/version was used as inspiration.
Heroes Season 3 was regarded as a pretty good season...except for the fact that they killed off two universally popular characters in Daphne and Elle. Season 4 looked like it would have an example of changing something for the better by bringing back previously killed character Charlie, but proceeded to mess it up immensely.
iCarly and its change in focus from comedy to a five-part romantic arc for the Sam/Freddie pairing has been called this. The horrible ratings (bottom five out of 40 episodes with ratings information) for the 3rd episode (it was beaten by Victorious) would seem to confirm the wider audience thinks so as well.
Survivor has suffered a LOT of this at the hands of fans. First, there are certain fans who automatically dismiss any season that took place after Season 7 (the season before All-Stars, which many of them said made the show Jump the Shark). This is due to the shift in editing on the producers part, where after Season 7 they started to focus more and more on the strategy of the players and "shocking" twists at the expense of everything else. According to these purists, everything from production values to the intro credits to just plain storytelling ability has gone down the toilet since then. In particular, the final three has been argued as not working as it was intended. Instead of making it harder for a dominant player to take another unlikable player to the finals and win the game easily, not only have two dominant players managed to drag along goats and win that way with a final three anyhow, giving the jury a third option on who to vote for has been said to give the jury the option of voting for players who could basically sit pretty and do nothing the entire game(as opposed to the moral dilemma usually faced by final two juries). Even people who enjoy the newer seasons have been turned off by host Jeff Probst's favoritism towards certain players from the most recent seasons, like Coach, Russell Hantz, and Boston Rob just to name a few.
This has been the attitude of quite a few CSI: Crime Scene Investigation fans since Grissom left and was replaced by Ray Langston. Now it's being inverted in the eyes of some, who feel that Ted Danson's arrival made things a lot better.
Due South got accused of this by some after the switch of the Rays.
Bones, post Season 6. Some fans started the ruined cries after Booth/Brennan happened onscreen and Brennan got pregnant.
Deadliest Warrior Season 3 was very different from the first two — the hosts were changed, the directing was different, the company that controlled the show was different, the scoring system was "updated", and the experts view everything about the warriors (they claim to view 100 "x-factors", one about the diet of the warrior). Many fans claim that the show is so different that it feels like an entirely different show altogether, and protested about these changes. Although Deadliest Warrior still had a large audience, the series was canned after this season.
Elementary was boycotted even before the release from potential fans. A modernized retelling of Sherlock Holmes. Set in New York City. With a former Scotland Yard consultant, fresh-out-of-rehab Sherlock. And a female Watson who's not a ex-army doctor, but an ex-surgeon who lost her license after a patient died. Suffice it to say, the changes made to the story of Sherlock Holmes make people's fears understandable. The hate is coming from the Sherlock fans, due to its similarity.
Supernatural Season 4 saw a lot of this in the fandom with the introduction of Castiel and the angels. It happened again in reverse in Season 7 when they were taken out of the picture.
Any time anything or anyone was added to or removed from the premise of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show lost support from a corner of its viewing audience. Large portion of the fandom refused to acknowledge the comics as part of BTVS canon.
The television version of Cadfael is an appalling example of Adaptation Decay completely altering characterizations and the entire force of the plots. And then there's the casting...
The football-based show The Game has now suffered from this. Fans demanded the show return after it was cancelled when the third season ended. They moved the show to BET, much to the fans' joy. However, when the fourth season premiered, the quality in the writing wasn't as strong as the last seasons and the season finale met with a huge backlash. Now, recently, the main couple the show was originally about are no longer in the cast.
New York Undercover was a highly popular cop show on Fox. It had the same theme as Law & Order and other themed dramas. However, what made the show stick out was that the two main cops were of different ethnic backgrounds — one African-American, the other Latino. Enter Season 3, where the show introduced an Irish cop to join the other two. This alone wasn't the problem, but as time went on the Irish cop became the main character and the two original cops were pushed to the background. As a result, many fans abandoned ship and at the end of Season 3, the show killed off the Irish guy and the Latino guy. They then retooled it for Season 4 into a show where the African-American and the Latina they'd introduced in Season 2 were part of some sort of elite squad. The only thing that remained the same was the fill music in transitions, which now seemed way out of place. It didn't last till midseason.
X-Play: Name a change, fans protested it loudly. The move to Los Angeles, the set changes, the move away from the comedy sketches, the de-emphasis on the reviews and increased focus on news segments, the loss of the nameless announcer, the addition of Blair Herter and (most recently) Adam Sessler leaving. And those same complainers were out in force to lament the loss of the show when it was canned in January 2013.
Two and a Half Men lost a lot of fans in Season 9 after Charlie Sheen was fired (the circumstances of his firing being rather shady didn't help) and replaced with Ashton Kutcher. Many feel that while Kutcher is a good actor, his character Walden Schmidt just doesn't fit into the show very well at all. Many people also felt that the comedy took a turn for the worse, as it started relying far too heavily on Toilet Humor (one episode had Lindsay vomiting practically nonstop for nearly the entire running length) and the characters were all hit hard with Flanderization — Alan rivaled Charlie in terms of Jerk Ass behavior, Berta suddenly got a crush on Alan, Jake became a listless stoner, Rose became too mean, and characters like Judith and Herb weren't seen at all for whatever reason. The disappointment in the show is reflected by the sharp drop in ratings throughout the season after the premiere.
WWE: From "Attitude Era" to "PG Era", no blood, no sexual content, no swearing, and John Cena.
The BBC News channel came in for a bit of this since moving from Television Centre to Broadcasting House in March 2013. Some viewers didn't like the new open-plan newsroom because all the activity in the background was distracting.
Red Dwarf Series VII. At the time it came out in 1997, the show had been on hiatus for four years. Co-creator Rob Grant had left the show, but generally speaking fans were expecting something in the style of Series VI. But then Chris Barrie only committed to appearing in half the episodes. And Kochanski was introduced as a new main cast member and adding a lady changed the dynamic a lot. And new writers were hired to co-write the scripts. And the old visual-effects model shots were replaced with CGI. And the show shifted away from its sitcom roots to a comedy-drama. Cue backlash. note (It's worth noting that some of the decisions that caught the most flack were things the show's creators were basically forced into. The CGI, for instance, was a last-minute replacement after scheduling errors in the model shoot.)
Probably one of the most common instances of this trope involving several shows is music replacement. Because of the high price for rights issues when using licensed music, more often than not the home video versions of several shows as recent as the early 1990s will replace tracks with generic synthesized music in its place since it's a lot cheaper. Numerous shows have had this happen, such as Quantum Leap, 21 Jump Street, The Fugitive, and The A-Team, and as you can imagine fans of these shows and others were pissed. A long-term casualty of this was Married... with Children: because of Sony losing the rights to use the Frank Sinatra song "Love and Marriage" which had been the show's theme for its entire 11-year run, the season sets on DVD instead used a cheap knockoff of the theme instead.