Usually a show jumps the shark when it finds itself in a rut and needs to kick-start the series. That’s most likely what the writers of Showtime’s Weeds had in mind when they had the fictional towns of Agrestic and Majestic burned to the ground in the final episode of Season 3. The trouble starts when heroine Nancy Botwin has secured the protection of trigger-happy gangster Guillermo, who is a bit too thorough in an act of arson. Oh, and did we mention that in the final scene she’s riding away on a Segway?
8. The Hills (2006-2010)
Lauren Conrad led a cast of young, spoiled, and attractive 20-somethings all over Los Angeles, and nothing was more thrilling than watching her and Spencer battle it out over the soul of Heidi. So when Spencer and Heidi got hitched in season five, first drunkenly in Mexico, and then again in LA, it was obvious who had won the war. Cut to Lauren leaving the series and being inexplicably replaced by her old high school rival Kristin Cavallari. The sixth season was the show’s last, the final scene of which produced quite an uproar when cameras pulled back, revealing a sound stage and how staged it had all been.
9. Gossip Girl (2007- )
Many shows (24, M*A*S*H) are set to naturally end at a certain point, but often producers extend a show if it’s a hit in the face of logic. When Serena, Blair, Chuck, Dan and the rest of the gang graduated high school, it would have been a natural stopping point. However producers — which in this case included O.C. creator Josh Schwartz — pushed on into a third season, attempting to maintain the same roster of permanent characters in to various colleges. But if we had to pick one shark-jumping scene it would have to be Chuck getting shot in the finale of Season 3. In other words, it’s all downhill from here…
10. Skins (2007-2010)
British TV show skins gave the audience quite a jolt when lead character Tony gets hit by a bus at the end of Season 1. What’s even more surreal is we cut directly toward Sid’s rendition of “Wild World.” The third season of the show would open with an almost completely new cast.