Special Report

The Worst TV Shows That Have Lasted the Longest

Why is it that some TV shows that are demonstrably bad seem to stick around for so long? We can’t explain it; all we can do is give a round of (ironic) applause to these shows that defied the odds and managed to stay on the air for much longer than anticipated, despite lukewarm to cool audience ratings. 

The process of getting a TV show on the air – and having it stick around for more than a season or two – is an arduous one. First, the show needs to be pitched; then a pilot needs to be written, cast, and shot; then the series needs to get the green light. If all goes well, it’ll get a full season order, and if enough people watch it, a second season or more could be in the cards. (Even some shows that were highly regarded didn’t always have a long life. These are the best TV shows that were canceled after one season.)

But just because a show stays on the air for many seasons doesn’t mean that it’s actually any good. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that a show as laughably bad as “Walker, Texas Ranger” somehow ran for a full eight seasons, or that a Tyler Perry show called “The Haves and the Have Nots” also lasted eight seasons – one more than “The West Wing,” a TV show that’s up there among the top Emmy winners of all time.

To determine the worst TV shows that lasted the longest, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on user ratings and series length from IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon. TV shows with user ratings of 6.0/10 or below were ranked based on the number of seasons in the series. Only English-language TV shows with at least five seasons were considered. Reality shows, game shows, talk shows, and documentary shows were not considered. Cast information also came from IMDb.

Click here to see the worst TV shows that have lasted the longest

Some of these shows were products of their time, and simply don’t hold up to modern standards. Some were dross from the jump but somehow managed to attract a large fanbase. Some are treacly soap operas. But it’s widely agreed upon that none was (or is) especially good, no matter how long their lifespan.

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