- The Quiz Show was discredited for about fifteen years in the US after a series of scandals in The '50s, in which it was learned that a number of popular quiz shows (most notably 21) were being rigged in order to increase tension, bring in ratings, and to give the victory to the contestant the producers wanted to win. After the scandals, the focus of questions generally shifted from knowledge to word games and puzzles, and low-stakes panel games like To Tell the Truth were at their peak. Jeopardy! helped America trust quiz shows again in 1964, but it was not until about 1973 and The $10,000 Pyramid when game shows really began offering five-figure sums again note . Even after the genre came back into vogue, the effects of the scandals left a permanent mark; these new game shows had winnings caps and somewhat smaller amounts of money to be won, and it wouldn't be until 1998 when really big-money games returned in the form of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
- The return to more "traditional" game shows in the 70s and 80s brought new shows that actually had game to them, like the aforementioned Pyramid, along with The Price Is Right, Tic-Tac-Dough, The Joker's Wild, and Family Feud, and thus helped kill off panel games in The '70s and The '80s. That particular death was culminated in 1990 with a short-lived revival of To Tell the Truth that went through five hosts in the course of one season.
- And then the nighttime syndicated versions of Wheel of Fortunenote and Jeopardy! (which began in 1983 and 1984, respectively, and aren't going anywhere in the near future), as well as competition from syndicated talk/"trash TV" shows (and network affiliates increasingly pre-empting network supplied game shows to air such programming) killed off the concept of daytime game shows by The '90s between January 1994 and October 2009, Price was the only game show on daytime network television.
- And on that topic, the saturation of Millionaire, as well as several big-name copycats, mostly killed off the big-money prime-time game show genre by the mid to late 2000s. It was given a shot in the arm with Deal or No Deal (and the 2007 WGA strike helped to extend that shot), but Deal quickly devolving into a gimmick-fest (making its ultra-bare-bones format all the more blatantly obvious) while concurrently falling into Millionaire-esque Wolverine Publicity, combined with the failure of Million Dollar Money Drop and Million Second Quiz, put the finishing touches on the genre. While the game show genre had another resurgence from about 2016 onward, this was largely due to back-to-basics formats in revivals of Match Game and Pyramid that play things fairly straight with nostalgia for their 70's incarnations, without rampantly inflated jackpots, melodrama, or unnecessary gameplay changes (the Press Your Luck revival in 2019 would subvert this by adding an extended million-dollar Bonus Round, although the main game is relatively unchanged). A few melodramatic big-money shows have still lingered on network lineups, however, such as NBC's The Wall and Fox's clone Spin The Wheel.
- The Variety Show's demise in the US has been linked to the abject failure of NBC's Pink Lady and Jeff in 1980—However, the genre (much like the movie musical) had spent most of the decade on life support (becoming relegated to "summer filler" material) as audiences became too jaded by Watergate and Vietnam to enjoy such light entertainment anymore (a change of tastes that led to the emergence of edgier Sketch Comedy shows like Saturday Night Live, SCTV, and many others to this day). Actually, Pink Lady was a spicier take on the format to make it marketable for the 80s, but they pushed it too farnote . While there have been several attempts to revive the genre, critics and audiences have been largely indifferent. Meanwhile, TV execs still remember Pink Lady and Jeff as one of the worst shows of all time, even managing to make David Hofstede's 2004 book What Were They Thinking? The 100 Dumbest Events In Television History, which also took potshots at Fred Silverman, who greenlighted Pink Lady and got fired from NBC shortly after the show tanked.
- The death of the variety show could also be attributed to the decreasing cost of televisions. Back in The '50s and The '60s when variety programs were at their most popular, a television was an expensive investment and there would typically be only one TV per household, if the household had a TV to begin with. When televisions became much less expensive, the need for specialized programming to appeal to the various members of a household became much more apparent. Then cable television took off in The '70s and The '80s and put the final nail in variety's coffin.
- Between The '60s and The '80s, The BBC's Saturday evening programming was headed by variety shows such as The Two Ronnies and The Morecambe & Wise Show; a blend of sketches, stand-up comedynote and musical interludes by safe MoR artistes. Most commentators would agree there was nothing wrong with this and it had some superlatively funny moments. Then the satirical sketch show Not the Nine O'Clock News came along and skewered the format with a parody called The Two Ninnies, which pointed out that Barker and Corbett's brand of humour (largely based on the music hall staples of double entendres, dressing up as women and performing silly songs) wasn't too amusing anymore in an age of alternative comedy.note . As a result of this (and the expensive failure of Bruce Forsyth's Big Night, broadcast by rival network ITV in 1978), the variety show format was pretty much done for in the UK, with the Rons retiring in 1987 (Morecambe and Wise had retired in 1984 with the former's death). By the 2000s however, light entertainment saw a revival in Britain.
- According to Chris "Rowdy C" Moore of TV Trash, Unhappily Ever After killed off the live-action working-class dysfunctional family sitcom that Married... with Children popularized at the start of the 1990s, along with Roseanne and Grace Under Fire, to be replaced by the age of upper-middle class urban singles-based sitcoms like Friends and Seinfeld. Some dysfunctional family shows, like Titus and Malcolm in the Middle cropped up in the early 2000s and gained positive to mixed reviews, but it wasn't enough to revive the genre. The American version of Shameless is trying to turn this around (or, at the very least, reinvent the genre for premium cable).
- Married... with Children and, to an initially lesser extent The Simpsons, killed off the functional family sitcom boom of the late '80s heralded by The Cosby Show. Even shows inspired by Cosby, like Home Improvement or Everybody Loves Raymond are more cynical than The Cosby Show. Averted however for many black family sitcoms of the '90s which came about because of Cosby such as Family Matters and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (see Minority Show Ghetto).
- The chaotic re-casting of Aunt Viv, with Janet Hubert-Whitten being replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid and Hubert-Witten being visibly pissed off over this eventually killed the "gentle family sitcom", as other stories of hellish backstage tensions in those shows featuring near-perfect families began to spring up, making audiences very cynical about such scenarios.
- Though critically acclaimed and considered a Cult Classic today, the ratings failure and early cancellation of Action basically assured that the TV-MA rating is more or less a kiss of death for a network show and there has never been an attempt by the Big Four since for a truly adult-aimed comedic series. It's a different story on cable, where less restrictive rules allow for more creative freedom.
- The failure of Pablo y Andrea (2005) caused Televisa to stop producing telenovelas aimed at children. By the time that telenovela came out, most of the target audience had lost interest in the limited plots said novelas offered, most of which were of the "kids having magical and musical adventures with a bit of drama" variety that were over-commercialized.
Similarly, the lukewarm reception of Niña de mi corazón (2010), seems to have caused the same network to stop producing novelas aimed at a teenage audience, since no novelas of that sort have been produced since then. The genre had been very popular for Televisa since the late 80s. Both examples can be explained due to the fact that most children and teenagers prefer to play videogames or be on the Internet nowadays instead of watching novelas (or TV in general).
- The massive failure of The Magic Hour (and to a lesser extent, The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show and Vibe a season prior) killed the trend of urban-oriented, syndicated, late-night talk shows (and syndicated late-night talk shows in general). The failure of Arsenio Hall's revived talk show in 2013-2014 confirmed that a comeback of this trend isn't coming back, at least for the foreseeable future.
- A temporary example: The failure of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior put a halt on shows getting random spin-offs despite the success of shows like NCIS: Los Angeles. It was a combination of a lackluster show and a fandom revolt since to fund the show, they had to end the contracts of two main female characters on Criminal Minds. This outraged not only the fans, but the actresses and the entire production team. It's no surprise that after Suspect Behavior ended, CBS rehired Paget Brewster and AJ Cook.
Another factor in the death of spin-offs was the show Torchwood: Miracle Day. The show was already in trouble when BBC had to sell production rights to Starz Entertainment, however the show was met with overwhelmingly negative reception from fans and critics. Torchwood was already a divisive show seeing as it was a more adult-oriented spin-off from the (generally) family-friendly Doctor Who, but added Americanitis in addition to Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper being reduced to a side-story in their own show and an unnecessary Romantic Plot Tumor with Jack having a new boyfriend didn't help matters either. The negative reception of the show was also enough to put Torchwood as a whole on hiatus, and its future remains uncertain (it can't have a Fully Absorbed Finale in Doctor Who due to its adults-only nature, especially after all this time, but it's not popular enough to warrant closure on its own). Notably, when Jack Harkness returns in the Doctor Who episode "Fugitive of the Judoon", there's no mention of Torchwood.
- This article by Bob Chipman argues that The Colbert Report killed off the Pompous Political Pundit Talk Show by parodying its form and style so effectively that it became impossible (especially for younger Gen-X and millennial viewers) to take seriously anymore. While The O'Reilly Factor, the main show that Stephen Colbert was parodying, remained on the air for more than two years after Colbert ended, it and shows like it have notably ceased to be the dominant programming on the Fox News Channel, their viewerships notably trending much older while the new comparatively younger faces of the network (like Greg Gutfeld, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Tucker Carlson) largely eschew the style. Glenn Beck's 2011 departure from the network followed by O'Reilly's firing in 2017 only furthered this trend. The comparatively low-octane panel discussion show "The Five" now occupies one of the network's key primetime slots, while Sean Hannity remains the sole surviving "old school" blustery host and even his future has been the source of much speculation.
- The Office (UK), Extras and The Thick of It, while not outright killing the classic Brit Com format, made them seem like quaint relics of the 1960s and '70s, and resulted in critics generally losing respect for the classic style. Fewer and fewer of them have been produced as the 2000s and 2010s have progressed, and some are predicting that the horribly-received The Wright Way, made by Brit Com mainstay Ben Elton, may prove to be the final nail in the coffin for it as an art form, with the few holdouts (most notably Mrs. Brown's Boys) being critical failures, regardless of how popular they can be. Beyond the U.K. they're even deader: Cable networks/blocks like BBC America, Comedy Central, and Adult Swim used to import/rerun popular British sitcoms and sketch comedy shows regularly, but completely gave up on them in The New '10s. BBC America hasn't had any comedies on their schedule in years, preferring to focus on Top Gear (UK), Doctor Who, dramatic series/miniseries, documentary shows, and The Graham Norton Show. (The last time they aired a British comedy series in any capacity was an after-hours run of the final season of The Thick of It in 2015 — and only because the lead actor went on to topline Doctor Who.) PBS still imports a few comedies, such as Moone Boy and Vicious, but none have received substantial critical attention or ratings.
- However, some British comedies get a cult following in the US if they are available on Netflix or Hulu.
- An episode of the very loved Belgian investigative journalism series Basta called De mol in het belspel, known for bringing up the unfair practices of the Belgian phone-in game shows at the time by deconstructing or reconstructing all the phone-in game show formats that exist, allowed één, who already did not permit phone-in game shows on their own network, to have so much control over the phone-in game show format that Medialaan, the only company that aired those type of shows, was forced to cancel every single phone-in game show that they ever created. While it only had an effect on the game shows that were airing in Flanders, it killed off the entire phone-in game show genre there, to the point that some people think that the genre is banned in Belgium.
- Soap operas may be popular in the US, the UK, Latin American and Asian countries among others, but one country they'll never be popular in is Canada, thanks to the 2000s notorious flop Train 48. The show was an attempt at persuading networks in Canada to have their own soaps, however the show was, reception-wise and production-wise, a disaster. The show was a loosely-based remake of popular Australian improvised dramedy Going Home, which was about a number of commuters chatting about popular topics at night on a commuter train.
The show had an admittedly novel production concept - the show would be (sort-of) written, filmed, edited and broadcast all in the same day, on an actual replica train traveling from Toronto to Burlington, with improvisation by the actors. This probably would have been a good idea had anyone had a clue what they were doing. The actors clearly had no idea how to make the improv flow, and the discussion topics were both incredibly dull, and inaccessible to people who had no idea what they were talking about. The show also had gotten criticism for its poor audio mixing (the actors couldn't even be heard at times over the trains' loud engines) and Jittercam (which did get better as the show neared its end, but not by much). When the writers heard about these criticisms, they attempted to spice things up in 2005 by bringing in comedy (which predictably failed - one such case was a mother being fooled into thinking the video game Halo was a game about catching angel halos), "dramatic" storylines about outlandish concepts like a snake getting loose on the train, or someone getting shot, or hostage threats - none of these worked and after 2 years, the show was abruptly halted in 2005 due to an increasingly poor reception and ratings. Another criticism was that the show never made it clear where people were going, so the final scene showed the characters getting off the train in Burlington.
The poor ratings (the show was featured in the 7:30 death slot too - this was before digital cable and satellite with "Eastern time channels" were more popular), production costs of $45,000 per episode, and awful reception not only killed the idea as a whole, but also convinced some networks to drop their airings of American or British soaps too, and the show is seen as one of the worst Canadian TV shows of all time.
- In the United States, daytime soap operas have fallen victim to this trope. Back in The '70s and The '80s, ratings for daytime soaps hit peaks of 30 million viewers for events like Luke and Laura's wedding on General Hospital, and ad revenues from them helped to fund the networks' elaborate, expensive, all-but-nonprofit news divisions, as well as tide the whole network over in years when the Prime Time lineup was struggling. Now (due to Values Dissonance and society marching on, themes that used to be considered 'taboo' being commonplace nowadays) soaps are lucky to pull in three million, and some people are recommending that the networks drop them altogether and replace them with talk shows and other daytime fare which some networks are already doing (ABC and NBC are down to one soap apiece, CBS has two). Nowadays, the phrase 'daytime soap opera' has come to be synonymous with pure dreck in the minds of many TV fans, associated with bad writing, outrageous plots and shoddy acting, something that can be seen whenever disgruntled fans of a Prime Time series talk about how bad writers or actors "should never have been let out of daytime". A list of theories explaining this fall can be seen on the Soap Opera page. The fact that the cancellation of Guiding Light, the longest running fictional TV show in the history of the medium, was barely a footnote in TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly just goes to illustrate how far soap operas have fallen in the public eye.
- Power Rangers was such a success that no other American tokusatsu adaptation has been able to get too far off the ground. Usually they just end up viewed as rip-offs.
- VH1 released a host of popular "celebreality" dating shows in the mid- to late 2000s, starting with Flavor of Love (itself a spin-off of a spin-off), which ran for several seasons, and the next most popular series, Rock of Love, where contestants would compete to date celebrities Flavor Flav and Bret Michaels, respectively. Popular losing bachelorettes from those shows ended up getting their own dating shows such as I Love New York, Daisy of Love, and Megan Wants a Millionaire, and losers from those shows even got their own spinoffs (Real Chance of Love). Popular contestants from Flavor of Love and eventually Rock of Love would end up on Charm School, while all contestants were eligible to compete for money on I Love Money. Though spin-offs kept multiplying, the genre itself was already suffering — not only were ratings dipping lower as viewers started losing interest in Z-listers whose only claim to fame was being in a genre perceived as seedy and trashy, but many felt the channel was oversaturated with spin-offs, as well as the fact that the scripted nature of the apparent "reality" series, though always apparent, was getting more and more obvious. The death blow to the "celebreality" genre came at the close of the decade with a contestant named Ryan Jenkins, who was a competitor in Megan Wants a Millionaire and won the third season of I Love Money. Jenkins' wife Jasmine was found dead with Jenkins the only suspected killer; he committed suicide while attempting to flee. VH1 quickly pulled the plug on the remaining episodes of Megan and cancelled I Love Money without showing Jenkins's winning season, broadcasting only the already-filmed fourth season after a year. All future celebreality projects were shelved, including the third season of New York and future seasons of Flavor slated for the following year. The passing of time and the shock of the violent incident chilled most interest in the genre, and VH1 has toned down reality programming in general to this day, with most of the celebreality contestants, the majority of whom failed to achieve fame outside of VH1, fading into obscurity.
- In the Philippines, celebrity gossip talk shows used to be dominate the weekend afternoon time-slots and was a favorite pastime for celebrity-obsessed viewers. However on the midst of social networking where many Filipinos would rather read gossip news online and many celebrities discuss their views on their social media accounts, these gossip talk shows slowly lost their purpose. As a result, the longest-running talk shows such as ABS-CBN's The Buzz and GMA Network's Startalk ended up cancelled in 2015 and the afternoon weekend timeslots are filled for Tagalog-dubbed Hollywood and Chinese movies instead.
- Also in the Philippines, the success of Marina and Mulawin in the early 2000s spawned the genre of fantasy shows up to the 2010s. What killed the genre was the access to American and Korean series, tv writers running out of ideas to the point that the premise of these fantasy shows just became notorious for memes.
- The murder of Scott Amedure in 1995 and the subsequent legal fallout, in addition to serving as a wake-up call for the issue of homophobia in American society at the time, killed the kind of trashy tabloid talk show that had become popular in the late '80s and early '90s. Before that, talk shows such as Geraldo, The Montel Williams Show, The Charles Perez Show, and The Jenny Jones Show were regularly staged for maximum sensationalism, openly inviting audiences to gawk at the dysfunction on screen. After Amedure's murder (perhaps more specifically, the $25 million awarded after a lawsuit against The Jenny Jones Show), many of these series either faced cancellation or promised to tone down the sleaze. The final nail in the genre's coffin was the rise of reality television in the early 2000s, which provided similar content in a manner that many audience members considered far more accessible than the old Talk Show format. As of 2019, only Maury is still airing, and even then on a strictly niche appeal.
- The 1987 ABC miniseries Amerika didn't quite kill off the "epic" miniseries on American television, but it was arguably the turning point in the decline of its prestige. Premiering to great fanfare and controversy due to its daring premise (America being invaded and conquered by the USSR), ratings started strong but proceeded to drop week after week as viewers found it boring due to its slow pace and focus on dense political drama. The following year, ABC's miniseries War and Remembrance, despite critical acclaim, saw its premiere bungled due to the 1988 WGA strike, turning it into an expensive flop that finished the job Amerika started. For the next twenty years, miniseries were seen as a disreputable format associated with over-the-top melodrama, sweeps-week ratings stunts, and past-their-prime actors slumming it for a paycheck, only recovering with the rise of "prestige TV" on cable and streaming in the 2010s.
- According to TV Trash host Chris "Rowdy C" Moore, after Sheena (2000) starring Baywatch alumnus Gena Lee Nolin was cancelled following two seasonsnote , it gave TV producers the hint that syndicated action shows (such as this, Baywatch, Xena: Warrior Princess, Queen of Swords, Relic Hunter, and She Spies) couldn't just sell itself on pretty women's faces and bodies alone. With the #MeToo movement shining light over Hollywood's most distasteful aspects almost two decades later, it's now highly doubtful that any shows could get away with females showing T&A for pubescent boys.
- Cable likewise pretty much killed off scripted shows in first-run syndication. Shows in first-run syndication were massively popular in the Nineties (Baywatch, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, with Baywatch and Xena each holding onto the title of world's most popular show at one point or another). However, shows that have tried since then haven't had the same success. First-run syndication was something of a shaky market anyway (after a show was bought, the station could air them whenever they wanted, and some would exile them to unholy timeslots such as 1am. Even if they weren't, varying timeslots made it nearly impossible to advertise; since almost every market had a different schedule, commercials and print ads couldn't show a time or channel, only being able to tack on a generic 'Check Local Listings'). With a guaranteed timeslot on cable and a promise of frequent reruns, along with Infomercials being more dependable sources of revenue, shows that normally would have went the route of first-run syndication instead went to cable networks, and shows in first-run syndication struggled (She Spies endured an ill-conceived retool and imploded, Mutant X simply stopped despite solid ratings after the production company went bankrupt, and all of the shows made by the Herc/Xena production team, such as Beastmaster, Cleopatra 2525, and Jack-of-All-Trades, all of whom were hobbled by the same problems that plagued Xena's later years, namely a lot of the behind-the-scenes talent in New Zealand jumping ship and moving over to The Lord of the Rings, simply couldn't match their predecessor's success and withered away). While first-run syndication is still used to create daytime fare like game shows, talk shows, and courtroom shows, Legend of the Seeker might go down as the last-ditch attempt at a scripted series in first-run syndication specifically for the American market. Some first-run series may still run in weekend syndication, but are mainly Canadian content or European-financed action fare that was rejected by most cable networks.
- The advent of digital video helped diminish the need and demand for sitcoms to be shot on video tape. During the 1970s and even on through the '90s, a number of television programs, particularly sitcoms, were videoed as opposed to being shot on 35mm film. Videotape was far cheaper than film, and its processing and post-production costs were far lower. The tradeoff was that quality of videotape was inferior to film and most of the series shot on videotape have not fared well in syndication, especially since the early 1990s. While some overcame the stigma of being shot on video (All in the Family, The Cosby Show and Three's Company being among the most prominent examples of this) the majority of such programs have either lost ground, or are simply no longer aired. On the other hand, filmed programs (M*A*S*H, Cheers, Friends, etc.) remain quite popular not only due to the talent of their respective casts, but also in part due to the quality of their production values. It's much easier (easier being a relative term) to clean up the filmed footage of older program than it is a video. Ultimately, quality and cost were the decisionmakers in the past when shooting television productions in either film or using video.
- Fundraising through digital and social media means like livestreaming, crowdfunding and Facebook has all supplanted Telethons as the desired avenue for philanthropy. Prior to this, telethons such as the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, which benefited the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the post 9/11 telethon America: A Tribute to Heroes, or Children in Need in the UK featured celebrities performing on camera and answering phone calls, all to raise money for a charitable cause. With the rise of modern, digital-first forms such as video game streaming, funneling donations as opposed to calling in like participants did for telethons makes the fundraising process more instantaneous. Telethons such as Children in Need have in the past, been criticized for providing a skewed perception of reality and adding to the societal stigma of those they are trying to help, by presenting them as weak or inferior. The Jerry Lewis telethon in particular, had long been accused of portraying people with neuromuscular diseases as objects of pity, and viewers were told about all the things they couldnt do. More to the point, the image of much-loved celebrity bonding with and experiencing the sadness of their surroundings contributes to a feeling of guilt. The final nail in the coffin for at least the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge overtaking it in its popularity. Even with the 2015 Ice Bucket Challenge barely making a ripple in comparison to the 2014 one, it likely won't be enough to revive the telethon. Lewis departing the telethon in 2011 certainly didn't help matters though.
Genre Killer / Live-Action TV