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Five Popular Shows That Should End This Season

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 28th 2011 5:30PM
CSIWhen is it time for a popular TV show to come to an end?

If the show is still getting good ratings, the network might not want to lose a hit. But fans could counter that the quality has deteriorated over time. Another reason for a show to end is if the star leaves the show and it naturally has to end with them (as will likely be the case with 'Two and a Half Men').

All of those scenarios are covered in this list of five shows that are still popular but probably should end this season anyway. Now, all of these shows won't be ending this season -- in fact, all but one have been renewed -- but from a pure storytelling viewpoint, it might be time for them to be over.

This is a list we do in some form every year, but with the upfronts in a few months and pilot season, it's worth another look.

1. 'CSI'/'Criminal Minds.' Yes, the first entry is actually two shows, because they're pretty much interchangeable.

Sure, it's easy to figure out which one is which (for example, 'CSI' uses a song by The Who), but they still follow the same formula and pattern. CBS has a lock on this type of formula -- the intros, the way the murder is shown, how the carefully-crafted cast of quirky characters investigate the crimes -- using it for all of their procedurals, but at least there's still freshness and character development in 'The Mentalist' and 'NCIS.' 'CSI' and 'Criminal Minds' just seem to go more for the flash and the gore.

It's not like they haven't been on for years. 'CSI' is in its eleventh season and 'Criminal Minds' is in its sixth. Both have produced spinoffs that seem more like brand extensions than different, quality shows. Hey, when 'Rhoda' spun-off from 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show,' they didn't call it 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show: New York.'

Take a look at this promo. Everything they try to tell us is a positive thing for the show -- all of the different cases the team has had over the years -- actually just shines a light on how they've run out of ideas:

But relax fans. Both of these shows still get good ratings so they're not going anywhere. In fact, 'Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior' seems to be a hit, too, even if the ratings for episode 2 did drop 24 percent. But most critics are going to put it on their "worst" list for the year (and it's only February).

Desperate Housewives2. 'Desperate Housewives.' There has always been a lot of silliness on 'Desperate Housewives' along with all of the murders and mysteries, but it has become too silly in recent years. Even viewers who were die-hard fans the first three seasons are saying, "Wow, is that show still on?"

The writers seem to be straining to come up with a new crazy situation for Susan or a new neighbor to squeeze into the show. They've killed off Edie and aged the twins and had things explode and more storylines you would expect from a soap opera. Heck, I wouldn't be that surprised to see a spaceship crash on Wisteria Lane, with all the neighbors wondering if they can deal with robots from another galaxy living next door. The aliens could take the form of a hunky actor or bombshell actress, maybe have an affair with one of the housewives and get her pregnant. Sweeptastic!

The Office3. 'The Office.' It sounds simplistic to say that Steve Carell leaving 'The Office' would have made for a great opportunity to end the show, but Steve Carell leaving 'The Office' would have made for a great opportunity to end the show.

Let's face it, hasn't the show been getting a little ridiculous? Especially the fact that this documentary crew is still filming at Dunder-Mifflin after all these years? Not even Ken Burns has ever done anything this extensive.

There's been talk about who will replace Carell. Everyone from Danny McBride to Harvey Keitel to Ricky Gervais has been mentioned, along with people still in the office like Rainn Wilson or Zach Woods. But wouldn't that make it seem like the show is really pushing things too far? Sure, it's all in the writing, but it has had a good seven-year run, and it just "feels" right that the show should end. 'Threat Level Midnight' demonstrated that Michael Scott has grown up -- he'll probably even ride off into the sunset with Holly. Wouldn't that be a nice send-off for the entire series?

Burn Notice4. 'Burn Notice.' How many seasons can a show about a spy trapped in one city go on before it starts to become a little too formulaic and safe? Turns out it's about five.

'Burn Notice' is still a good show, but that formula -- Michael has to save yet another "victim of the week" while still trying to find out who burned him -- has become a bit tedious. How can the show shake things up? Have Michael actually find out who burned him -- the real Big Kahuna who is truly the top person -- and end that plot for good. Then he could either become a spy again and go on official missions (insisting that Sam and Fiona be on his "team," of course) or he could decide give up that game and continue to help people as a troubleshooter/private eye. (The prequel movie will be a nice change of pace though.)

Either way he has to get out of Miami, at least once in a while. It'd be great to see Michael and Sam and Fiona on missions in New York City or Paris -- let's make that happen.

Burn Notice5. 'Chuck.' This is the last entry on this list for two reasons. One is because, unlike the above shows, 'Chuck' could still have a lot of stories left to tell. And two ... well, it's my favorite of the shows on this list.

Like 'Burn Notice,' another show about spies, 'Chuck' is in danger of repeating itself, if they haven't already. It's been very impressive to see how 'Chuck' has grown over the seasons. Not the character of Chuck (though he has grown, too), but the show itself.

'Chuck' has avoided getting stale so far by changing things up. A lot of shows would have kept the Morgan character in the dark for the entire run of the series, so it made you smile when he finally found out about Chuck's secret life and actually became part of the team.

A lot of shows would have kept Awesome as the goofy brother-in-law who didn't know anything, but the writers actually made him find out about Chuck's double life, leading to some great plots involving Chuck's sister Ellie. This is one of those light adventure/comedy shows that has a lot of deeper things going on, and that's been great to experience.

But after several seasons, it's starting to feel a little unrealistic and thin. Chuck and Sarah having yet another argument? Casey threatening Morgan with a growl and a look again? The Buy More guys acting all creepy and odd?

How could they shake things up for a final season or two? Ditch the Buy More and the relationship stuff and focus only on the spy work. Make it a completely different show, with the gang battling Volkoff (an organization now headed by his daughter) one last, spectacular time.

Who knows how much longer the show can stay on the air anyway. Of the shows on this list, it's the only one that hasn't been renewed yet. It has always been on the bubble, with only online fans and submarine sandwich lovers saving it, but it looks like this could actually be the last season of the show. And if it is, that's OK. Chuck and Sarah are together, the mom has been found, Morgan has found someone, Casey has reunited with his daughter, the Buy More was rebuilt, and Awesome and Ellie have a baby.

That would be a great ending for any show, wouldn't it?

Follow Bob on Twitter.

Which show would you like to see end this season?
CSI395 (19.2%)
Criminal Minds123 (6.0%)
The Office510 (24.8%)
Burn Notice78 (3.8%)
Chuck176 (8.5%)
Desperate Housewives695 (33.7%)
Other (say in comments)83 (4.0%)

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Keep Criminal Minds (the original one). I stopped watching CSI yrs ago...David Caruso drove me crazy with those stupid glasses.Keep Chase, loose Body of Proof PLEASE...I like Chicago Code and Detroit 1-8-7.


May 18 2011 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I gave up on Criminal Minds, too graphic. I redubbed The MENTALIST The Mental Case and quit watching; he's the second most annoying character on network tv. The original CSI is a must see but Fishburne's character has yet to mesh with the rest of the cast. Peterson's character held the group together. Hmmmm...Alfred Molina is available.

May 13 2011 at 10:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mandy patikan was the boss on criminal minds not CSI William Peterson was the boss man > Laurencw Fishburne didnt ruin the series CSI is still good I do wish William Peterson didnt have to go. He was great. They should not of brought Sara back she quit she should of moved on to something else. Hopefully it wont get canceled. the one that better not get cancelled is CSY NY. That is my favorite one. They always have good storylines and Gary Sinise is a Great Actor, That should get more credit..... he is a class act! He does alot for the troops but know one sees to recognize that. It is all about the Crazy and ignorant people that are getting arrested right and left that get publicity that they don't deserve. That is MESSED UP!!!! Please don't cancel CSI NY or CSI (vegas) the reality shows need to go thats why everything is gettting cancelled in the first place to show a bunch of morons that act like ignorant people and become famous for acting like a bunch of A**Holes!!!! Sister wives is the worst it is disgusting and I can't believe thes people are not in Jail !!!! those housewive shows need to go! who cares about these people . Survivor needs to go too! They are cancelling alot of good shows. you know what older people like these shows that are getting canceled. I don't want to see any more shows that have ignorant people on. People are going to boycott Regualar TV if they keep cancelling good shows!
Start recognizing the real talented actors on TV and instead of the scumbags on these reality shows!

May 12 2011 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Survivor is one show they need to lose and Hawaii 5-O. Just bring William Peterson back to CSI.

May 06 2011 at 7:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ronda Bynog

look i like Criminal Minds and csi so dont tahe it off

March 06 2011 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does it really matter most shows are just crap anyway. Though 2 shows I would like never to be on again are. 19 Kids and Counting ..Yes the annoying Duggars and Sister Wives another show of demeaning crap..

March 06 2011 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just wish they would end the pinnacle of overacting, CSI Miami. The only reason to watch it is to laugh at David Caruso.

March 06 2011 at 7:43 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

What kind of ridiculous nonsense is the author spouting? C.S.I.? Out of all the shows listed, that's the LAST one to go! How can you even list it with some of those other "losers"?

March 06 2011 at 7:30 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

notice that the showa with the original cast seem to stay on top.CSI to me was great when Manny Patrikin was the boss.Fishburn ruin the series as far as i'm concerned,dosen't matter what color he is he's just a terrible actor and not any good.

March 06 2011 at 7:01 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to prncsssophiegirl's comment

Sorry Prncss but you have shows as 1. Fisburn is in CSI taking over for Grissom and Patrikin was in Criminal Minds replaced by Rossi. Don't let this writer make you even more confused!

March 06 2011 at 7:11 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

i hate kendra she does nothng there are a million girls with more talent brains and looks she needs to gwet a real job and stop ******* up to the sugar daddies

March 06 2011 at 6:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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