7 TV Seasons That Killed Their Shows

Summary

  • Major TV shows like Riverdale, Game of Thrones, and The Office faced crucial declines due to poorly executed seasons.
  • Riverdale season 3 suffered from convoluted storylines and character inconsistencies, leading to a decline in quality.
  • Archer season 6 struggled with uneventful plots, out-of-character interactions, and a decline in the show’s signature humor.


Warning: this article discusses drugs.


Over the years, some great TV shows have been killed by a single season, even if they continued for years afterward. As they became more popular and built up a strong audience base, some shows have faced pressure to deliver a new season that was better than the last. For highly anticipated TV shows, especially ones with a big worldwide following, releasing a new season was fatal if not executed correctly.

Bad seasons of a TV show have happened for several reasons. These have included issues such as a TV show losing a main character, a change in writers or production staff, or even because the show ran out of stories to tell about its characters. Although no TV show has ever released a terrible season on purpose, one wrong decision has frequently led to audiences losing interest in its premise.


Related

10 Amazing TV Shows Where The Worst Season Is Still Good

TV Show

Season That Killed The Show

Riverdale

Season 3

Game of Thrones

Season 8

That ’70s Show

Season 8

Archer

Season 6

Community

Season 4

The Office

Season 7

Rick and Morty

Season 6



7 Riverdale

Season 3

Riverdale

A darker take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends from the Archie Comics series, Riverdale is a CW supernatural mystery series that sees the group trying to illuminate the truth surrounding various strange occurrences and murders in the titular town. When a teenage girl is found dead in the once-quiet town, the event starts a series of ever-growing mysteries that ultimately lead to darker secrets in the town’s history. Led by Archie, the Riverdale gang will attempt to navigate their new normal while dealing with all of the drama that comes with being high school teenagers.

Cast
Camila Mendes , Marisol Nichols , Ashleigh Murray , Cole Sprouse , Ross Butler , Madelaine Petsch , K.J. Apa , Luke Perry , Lili Reinhart , casey cott

Release Date
January 26, 2017

Seasons
7

During Riverdale‘s original run and after its end, it was commonly considered that the show went downhill because its storylines were too complicated and lacked sense. Although Riverdale was adapted from the Archie Comics series of the same name, the show had a rather different tone compared to its source material, especially in the beginning. Riverdale season 1 set the show up as a murder mystery drama TV show, but its later seasons veered away from this premise significantly. There were plenty of odd moments throughout the show, but season 3 marked Riverdale‘s decline in quality.


Riverdale
season 3 felt like all sense of rational thought had been discarded, and the consistency in its characters was no longer needed.

Supernatural elements in Riverdale season 3 started off brilliantly but quickly became convoluted and difficult to follow, such as the Gryphon and Gargoyles storyline for example. Archie’s (KJ Apa) stint in jail was also very odd, and it was rather overdramatic that Hiram Lodge (Bob Montana) would frame a minor for murder, even in Riverdale‘s fictional world. This experience also resulted in some bad character development for Archie, who suddenly decided to plead guilty despite being innocent. Riverdale season 3 felt like all sense of rational thought had been discarded, and the consistency in its characters was no longer needed.


6 Game Of Thrones

Season 8

Game of Thrones‘ controversial ending caused a lot of chaos in the show’s community, although it was widely agreed that season 8 was the worst season overall. The hit HBO show, based on the George R. R. Martin novel series, reached its end in 2019. The Game of Thrones finale was highly anticipated because the TV show had surpassed the books, so readers weren’t already aware of what would happen next, especially who would end up on the Iron Throne. Throughout Game of Thrones’ run, the show set up some incredible characters and storylines that were ruined in season 8.

One example of this was Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) descent into madness.


One example of this was Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) descent into madness. After spending years avoiding her fate as the Mad Queen, Daenerys destroyed Kings Landing very suddenly, and her personality change was incredibly jarring. Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) also ascended to the Iron Throne despite multiple prophecies implying that the seat truly belonged to Jon Snow (Kit Harrington). Another prophecy was ignored, too, and the Night King’s (Vladimir Furdik) death ended up being rather anticlimactic, especially by Game of Thrones‘ standards. Season 8 felt rushed, and Game of Thrones missed the chance to give itself a fitting end.


5 That ’70s Show

Season 8

That ’70s Show season 8 was the final installment of the hilarious sitcom, but its overall tone and atmosphere didn’t reflect the rest of the show. Season 8 had lost Eric Foreman (Topher Grace), who was an essential character throughout. Although he did return for the finale, Eric’s absence was very noticeable, despite the rest of the characters being unique and engaging enough that the show shouldn’t have needed Grace to keep audiences’ interest. While away in Africa, Eric broke up with Donna (Laura Prepon), which felt completely out of character and a terrible way for their relationship to end.

Donna and Eric’s relationship in
That ’70s Show
frequently held her back from pursuing her dreams.


Season 8 introduced Randy (Josh Meyers) as Donna’s new love interest, but the character wasn’t fully developed or really needed for the show, so a lot of his storyline felt forced. She should have also taken the opportunity to be by herself, as Donna and Eric’s relationship in That ’70s Show frequently held her back from pursuing her dreams. The final season also forced a relationship between Jackie (Mila Kunis) and Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), which felt like an attempt to give the former exchange student a quick happy ending, but as That ’90s Show proved, it didn’t last long.


4 Archer

Season 6

Archer

Archer is an animated sitcom following the agents and support staff of ISIS (International Secret Intelligence Service). Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) is the show’s narcissistic protagonist and ISIS’s star agent, working under his mother Malory (Jessica Walter), and alongside agents Lana (Aisha Tyler) and Cyril (Chris Parnell). With a quirky and irreverent sense of humor, Archer spoofs spy stories with the exploits of the colorful characters that make up ISIS.

Cast
Lucky Yates , Aisha Tyler , Adam Reed , Amber Nash , H. Jon Benjamin , Chris Parnell , Judy Greer , Jessica Walter

Release Date
December 28, 2010

Seasons
14

The animated TV series Archer was very successful in its earlier seasons, but it was during season 6 that it began to struggle. Archer often relied on ridiculous storylines during seasons 1 to 5, but this worked perfectly for the show’s sense of humor and is one of the main reasons the show was so popular. However, season 6 seemed to lose this charm, and it is considered to be very uneventful compared to previous installments. For example, Archer‘s meta jokes were still present in season 6, but there were significantly fewer of these moments in general compared to before.


There were also many out-of-character interactions in
Archer
season 6, and one notable moment saw the agency agree to follow Sterling’s lead.

Another problem with Archer season 6 was Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) and the rest of his cohort being tricked into trafficking drugs. This resulted in some of Archer‘s weirdest storylines and random missions, such as fighting aliens and entering a scientist’s body to destroy a blood clot. There were also many out-of-character interactions in Archer season 6, and one notable moment saw the agency agree to follow Sterling’s lead. Although season 6 had some good moments, such as the birth of Sterling and Lana’s (Aisha Tyler) daughter, it also set off Archer‘s gradual decline into the dream sequence seasons.


Season 4

Community

Created by Dan Harmon, Community is a comedy series that follows a study group at an unorthodox community college where zany antics occur daily. When disgraced lawyer Jeff Winger is forced to enroll in a local college to get a degree and reinstate himself, he gets roped in with fellow students from different backgrounds, races, religions, and ages and reluctantly forms a study group. Together, these lovable misfits will navigate their school lives in some nigh unbelievable situations as they all try to figure out where their futures lie.

Release Date
September 17, 2009

Seasons
6


During Community‘s original run, the show faced several production issues behind the scenes, which started in season 4 and continued to impact it until it ended in 2015. At the end of season 3, Community creator Dan Harmon was replaced, and season 4’s storylines suffered because of this. Community season 4, or the “gas leak year,” resulted in so many crazy moments for its characters that the show joked about it in the season 5 premiere, acknowledging just how out of place season 4 was. A great example of this was the season 4 puppet episode, “Intro to Felt Surrogacy.”

Although
Community
‘s array of wacky characters was charismatic and easy to relate to, their lack of character development and stories written by Dan Harmon was immediately noticeable.


While enjoyable, especially as Community mixed up its visual style, the episode didn’t replicate the same appeal and charm that “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” and “Digital Estate Planning” achieved. Although Community‘s array of wacky characters was charismatic and easy to relate to, their lack of character development and stories written by Dan Harmon was immediately noticeable. Community‘s specific humor was a staple of the show, but without its original creator, it simply wasn’t as funny. Harmon returned to Community in season 5, but the damage was already done, and the show was eventually canceled with season 6.

2 The Office

Season 7


The Office

The Office is the U.S. remake of the British comedy mockumentary series of the same name. The show follows the misadventures of a Dunder Mifflin Paper Company branch in Scranton, Pennsylvania, led by their unconventional and clueless boss, Michael Scott. The series covers nine years of footage as they find themselves recorded through their work days and off times.

Cast
Mindy Kaling , Jenna Fischer , Kate Flannery , Ed Helms , Craig Robinson , Paul Lieberstein , Ellie Kemper , B.J. Novak , Angela Kinsey , Oscar Nunez , Rainn Wilson , Brian Baumgartner , Phyllis Smith , Leslie David Baker , Creed Bratton , Steve Carell , John Krasinski

Release Date
March 24, 2005

Seasons
9

During The Office season 7, the show lost its lead character, Michael Scott (Steve Carell). Michael reunited with Holly (Amy Ryan), and the two decided to move to Colorado to be closer to her family and this decision resulted in Dunder Mifflin Scranton’s biggest absence. Michael, despite being cringey and often annoying, was the heart and soul of The Office and motivated several of the show’s best storylines. However, Michael leaving the show wasn’t the disappointment in season 7. Several supporting characters had awkward and unfunny moments, like when Andy (Ed Helms) revealed he was dating a high school student.

Michael’s replacement, Deangelo Vickers (Will Ferrell), was a completely wasted character.


Michael’s replacement, Deangelo Vickers (Will Ferrell), was a completely wasted character. Ferrell only starred in a few episodes as the new Regional Manager, but the character was simply painful to watch and didn’t fit in with the rest of the staff. Deangelo was then killed off-screen, and it was barely acknowledged, which made the whole storyline feel like a bad fever dream. After season 7, The Office tried to shake things up by introducing new characters like Nellie (Catherine Tate), Pete (Jake Lacy), and Clark (Duke), but none of them were able to replace Michael.


1 Rick And Morty

Season 6

Rick and Morty

Rick and Morty is an adventure/Sci-Fi animated series that follows the intergalactic, inter-dimensional adventures of super-genius Rick Sanchez and his less-than-average grandson Morty Smith. Rick’s daughter, Beth, his granddaughter, Summer, and his hated stepson, Jerry, also take center stage more often than not. Hailing from creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the series blends comedy with science fiction as a way of exploring a wide variety of themes aimed at an adult audience.

Cast
Spencer Grammer , Kari Wahlgren , Chris Parnell , Sarah Chalke , Ian Cardoni , Harry Belden

Release Date
December 2, 2013

Seasons
7

Although Rick and Morty season 6 could be considered to be the show’s killer because it was Justin Roiland’s last season as both Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith, there are plenty of other reasons that suggest otherwise. The hilarious animated sci-fi TV show was praised in its earlier seasons for its use of meta comedy and complex storylines, but these elements also caused its downfall. Season 6 felt repetitive of past Rick and Morty episodes and tried to replicate the same audience response but failed to do so. A great example of this is the episode “Analyze Piss.”


Rick and Morty
‘s meta references went into overdrive in season 6, too.

Rick was reunited with Dr. Wong from the famous “Pickle Rick” episode in season 3, but “Analyze Piss” was nowhere near as funny. Pickle Rick Sanchez didn’t return either, which was a wasted opportunity. Rick and Morty‘s meta references went into overdrive in season 6, too, especially through the characters of Story Lord (Paul Giamatti) and NPC Roy (Roiland). Although metaness has been a core part of Rick and Morty since its pilot, the overuse of these references quickly became old and felt like lazy writing.


This was the same for Beth’s (Sarah Chalke) sudden relationship with her clone, Space Beth. Their abrupt affair was forced and was simply another way for the show to cause issues in her marriage to Jerry (Chris Parnell). Although each episode of Rick and Morty season 6 was unique, its repeated callbacks to previous stories gave the season a huge déjà vu effect, and it was difficult to remember just what happened in the show and when.