The lifespan of TV shows: How long should they go?

Long lived TV shows

The Simpsons” is celebrating 30 years on air, with new episodes airing in September. The show has become an international success, making it the longest aired show in history starting back in 1989. It is groundbreaking for a show to last as long as “The Simpsons,” when so many shows cannot get passed two season.

However, more TV shows are starting to follow in their footsteps. For example, “Law and Order: SVU” has been on for 20 seasonsand “Grey’s Anatomy” has been on for 15 seasons.

This begs the question, is the general audience excited for another season or are people bored? “The Simpsons” is good at creating episodes that appeal to the audience, touching on current topics. They keep their audience entertained which is ultimately what keeps a show alive.

The Big Bang Theory” has announced that they are ending the show after 12 seasons, and social media isn’t afraid to speak their mind. People were excited that the show is coming to an end, despite how popular the show was. People were getting bored and were annoyed when a new seasons was announced.

“I’ve never watched The Simpsons…but for me overall, I like the drama to a certain point, after that I won’t really follow it because it’s so long,” sophomore Riddhi Parmar said. “If it just continues I’ll just quit watching it.”


How and why do they stay on for so long?

Infographic by Amy Kodrich

The reasons theses shows have continued to be on TV for so long is because of the international success they have.

Shows leave a huge impact on their audience that makes them coming back for more. With drama shows, they’ll end on a cliff hanger and draw the audience in, wanting to see what will happen next.

“I think it’s great when a show is on for so long because it really lets the writers get creative to keep fans captivated,” sophomore Olivia Young said. “I think shows that run for that long stay on partly due to the fact that they grow such large fan bases. ‘The Simpsons’ is a funny show that gets everyone who watches it to laugh and has a character for every type of person. The writers have gotten highly creative with it and I think that’s why it’s been so successful.”

The audience get attached to characters and keep wanting more. In “Grey’s Anatomy,” there are many characters with different stories. There is always a character you can relate too or a character everyone woes over.

“They introduce new topics and themes that are interesting that bring in a new audience and keep it going,” sophomore Gillian Copestick said.

Most TV shows don’t usually last more than nine seasons. The average TV show runs between 7-9 seasons. Most of the shows that have this many seasons are over. Once you get over ten seasons the list starts to decrease.


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