19 Longest Running Shows On TV...That Need To Be Canceled

Social media has impacted so many aspects of our lives, including how we watch television. Prior to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, the only way to binge watch your favorite shows was to use a DVR and record them, head down to Blockbuster and rent them, or catch them as they aired.

That is no longer the case. Although television shows continue to air on major networks using the classic method of airing one episode a week, some of the most watched shows are released in seasons to allow users a chance to watch them all at once, instead of waiting several weeks, or even months.

This has led to television shows lasting a lot longer, especially the ones you probably had no clue were still on television. So we decided to find the 20 shows that have been around the longest, but should have been canceled awhile ago.

19 NCIS: Los Angeles

via cbs.com

Some shows surprise us with how long they have been on television. NCIS: Los Angeles is one of those shows. Did you even realize it has been around for 11 years?

For the first five years, NCIS: Los Angeles had been a staple in the Tuesday night CBS lineup. But then they moved it around and the numbers have slowly decreased each year until last year saw its smallest number of viewers yet. Who can blame them when it's tough to keep track of when it even airs?

18 American Dad!

via denofgeek.com

Many people might not remember this, but Family Guy was not a massive hit right away. It was cancelled a few times by Fox. It was actually cancelled and replaced by American Dad! hoping to take the audience leftover from Family Guy and give them a new series to enjoy.

But Family Guy lived on and came back to a strong audience, which then led to Seth MacFarlane doing double-duty and having to work on both shows concurrently. It would eventually be moved around from network to network and is still airing on TBS today, 14 long seasons in.

17 Shameless

via ew.com

Since 2011, one of the most underrated cable television shows has been Shameless, the hilariously chaotic adventures of the Gallagher family and their many flaws. The show never struggled to create brilliant plot lines and interesting stories, until now.

Emmy Rossum left the show and many people thought it would be over, but it remains on, being brought back for a tenth season without her.

16 Blue Bloods

via ew.com

CBS has always had a significant stronghold on primetime television audiences. They have a specific group of viewers that they aim for and those viewers are the most loyal of them all. For shows like Blue Bloods, they struck gold once again and for eight years, it was rocking Friday nights, bringing in 13 million or more viewers every night.

But the last two years have seen the show lose viewers in the process. Many of their viewers are so loyal they are going to stick with it until the very end, regardless of how bad the writing has become, though.

15 It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

via denofgeek.com

How many times are we going to hear that It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is entering its final season only to have them come back the next year? And the next year?

For a show that was supposed to end around the tenth season, it continues to air as it heads into its 14th season. The ratings have taken a dive recently, but because they were so high to begin with, FX will continue to keep them around as long as they can.

14 Family Guy

via fox.com

If anyone in Hollywood needs a break, it is Seth MacFarlane. He has not stopped since 1999 when Family Guy debuted on Fox and gradually became one of the greatest television series of all time. He has also acted, sang, performed, wrote, and created several other series.

So while he continues to cash massive paychecks, his baby, Family Guy, could be running towards its ending sooner rather than later.

13 Grey's Anatomy

via huffingtonpost.com

How many times will we be forced to watch the same storylines year after year, in hopes of things changing and the show going back to its earlier seasons, when it was dominating the ratings?

Grey's Anatomy has struggled to get back to the success it once had and is basically on auto pilot as it sleepwalks through each season, just trying to find some kind of new audience somewhere.

12 The Walking Dead

via collider.com

When it comes to overstaying your welcome, The Walking Dead is king. The zombie apocalypse series has started to write off their main characters every season, starting with season seven when they introduced us to Negan.

But the biggest shocker was when Andrew Lincoln left the show, leaving The Walking Dead without their main character, Rick Grimes. His absence is evident as the show struggles to regain the success it found in the earlier seasons.

11 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

via nbc.com

Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T are the only two people who have stuck around since the very beginning of the series. Although Ice-T did not come on until the second season, he has remained a staple on the show and will remain there as long as they let him.

However, the show has continued to lose viewers and has seen a steady decline in viewership since season eight. They had close to 15 million viewers each week back in 2007 while their latest season has only brought in under four million.

10 Last Man Standing

via tvseriesfinale.com

In the beginning, Last Man Standing was a funny sitcom about the personal life of Mike Baxter, a senior executive for a Denver sporting goods store. But when the ratings began to drop, and Tim Allen just could not keep his mouth shut about politics, things changed.

The show was actually cancelled, but Fox ended up picking it up and has turned it into a way for them to force their political views on their audiences.

9 The Flash

via dccomics.com

For six years, The Flash has gone from a must-see television series on The CW, to a giant mess that is heading for a cancellation in the near future if things do not change.

The only reason the show has remained on TV is because it is part of the Arrowverse created by DC Comics, not dissimilar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which multiple series all come together and interact as one.

8 The Blacklist

via nbc.com

The Blacklist has been one of NBC's highest rated shows for a few years and that alone has been enough to keep it around even on life support, as it has been the last couple years.

But there comes a time when the ratings drop so much that there is no choice left for the network but to cancel it and move on. This show is worth a binge watch on Netflix, but just keep in mind that is has a Dexter-esque slide.

7 Mom

via tvnz.com

Allison Janney can literally play any role, in any genre, on any platform, and it will be a success. That dates back to her earlier days on television when she was on The West Wing.

But now she is on Mom, one of the highest rated shows on CBS for a couple years now. That is, until season seven, which has seen a massive drop in ratings as the newest season gets underway.

6 American Horror Story

via ewedit.com

We hate to include American Horror Story on our list because the show is just so brilliantly written and constructed that it always seems to find a way to turn a horrible premise into a wonderful one.

That said, in recent years, the show has found itself taking a steady nose dive during the middle episodes of the season, losing much of their audience in the process. That has taken a toll on the overall viewership numbers too.

The writing is still very strong but there comes a time when they are going to run out of ideas, and it seems like that is already happening.

5 Bob's Burgers

via unothegateway.com

The main difference between most of these shows and the few animated series featured is the audience. In the case of Bob's Burgers, the audience is so niche that maintaining an average of 1.6 million viewers is actually not bad.

However, the first four seasons saw a consistent viewership around four million each week. So now that they continue to lose viewers each year, they find themselves forcing a tenth season with its lowest audience numbers so far.

4 Hawaii Five-O

via fanart.tv

The longer a show remains on the air, the harder it is to maintain viewers because there are only so many plot lines the writers can create without repeating themselves. Hawaii Five-O continues to bring in almost ten million viewers each year, but that does not tell the whole story.

Their season finales have seen a massive drop in viewers each year and now they can barely muster six million viewers, about half as many as in previous years.

3 How To Get Away With Murder

via tvguide.com

For some reason, ABC decided long ago that they would only have 15 episodes per season and hardly ever promote How To Get Away With Murder. That promotion is very important since the show usually starts off strong in late September, but then goes on a hiatus during the holidays.

No one knows when it is coming back and the audience has grown tired of it. Not to mention, the show's title is also the entire concept of the series and they have gotten away from it the last couple years.

2 Madam Secretary

via pinterest.com

We wanted to include Madam Secretary on our list, even though it has already been announced that the show was ending after its current sixth season, because of the differences between season one and season five.

If you watched the show, you would understand how quickly the show got away from its original purpose. It is not very often that a show brings in 14 million viewers during its first year and then loses two million a year until it falls down to seven million viewers in season six.

1 The Simpsons

via deadlinehollywood.com

Since 1989, Fox has been lucky enough to secure one of their Sunday night time slots with the same show, The Simpsons. For years, it was the leader in adult animated television. But, eventually, the writing dried up and the show started to dip in ratings.

There are some fans that will stick with it until the end of the world, while others have long since moved on.

Sources: Deadline Hollywood, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post

More in TV