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Buzz In: When Do You Give Up on a TV Show?

This week's news about Ugly Betty going off the air for a few weeks while ABC launches a comedy block seems to have a lot of people afraid that ABC is giving up on the show — and, more importantly, that viewers will too. The way many shows struggled to come back after the writers' strike is one sign that people often give up on shows that are off the air for too long.

Of course, that's only one reason people break up with TV shows. Maybe a show starts to explore plotlines you find ridiculous (an argument I've heard a lot in favor of ditching Grey's Anatomy). Maybe it switches nights or times (a complaint I've heard about House now that it's on Mondays). Maybe you hear the network is probably canceling it, so you don't bother getting invested (say, Lipstick Jungle).

So, here's my question: When — and why? — do you decide to give up on a show? Is there a certain number of bad episodes that makes you draw the line? Or are you a person who never gives up, out of hope that things might get better?

Photos courtesy of NBC and copyright 2009 ABC, Inc.

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californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
Usually I stop watching a show if its airs at the same time as another TV show that I like and would rather watch instead. I usually give new shows a few episodes before I quit on it altogether. If a TV show has been on for awhile and I've watched it since the beginning, then I will usually continue to watch it until it ends unless it becomes terribly boring. Most of the time, though, the only reason I quit a TV show is if they kill off one of my favorite characters (like Charlie on Lost) or if they break up my favorite couple (like Nathan and Haley on One Tree Hill in Season 2), but then I resumed watching those shows later after my anger had passed.
merie33 merie33 8 years
Usually once I'm hooked, I don't give up...buuuut it takes alot for me to get hooked to begin with. Generally I give shows two episodes and if I'm not into it, I don't even try. The only two shows that I really watch religiously is because I was stuck in a dorm room with two roommates who watched them ALL the time, and I had no choice but to see more than two episodes...therefore hooking me. I guess I'm really just not a tv person
Miss-Senorita Miss-Senorita 8 years
I can't really pinpoint when I give up on a show but if you are a die hard fan or have been watching a show from the beginning you'll know when you should quit.
Phorrest99 Phorrest99 8 years
Sadly I'm pretty loyal & will watch shows till then end, even when I'm mad at where they story lines are headed or they're going to do something crazy.. I still continue to watch my shows!
cupcake_ cupcake_ 8 years
OHHHHHHHHHH please please please do not give up on Ugly Betty!! I absolutely love that show:(
arienne arienne 8 years
When I get three or four episodes on my TiVo that haven't been watched. If I haven't watched in a month, it really isn't worthy watching.
spicyaroma spicyaroma 8 years
spicyaroma spicyaroma 8 years
I give on shows when that put too many story lines together-that's why I gave up on Heores. It got way too confusing.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Sometimes my interest in them just fades. I was a Charmed fan for about five seasons and then I started watching the sixth season less and less til finally by the seventh or eighth season I wasn't watching at all.
amybdk amybdk 8 years
I give up when the shows stop being regular weekly shows. I will go through a week, looking forward to any given day when I think that one of my favorite shoes is going to be on, only to be disappointed when I discover it's not on that week. They can't hold my interest that way.
meumitsuki meumitsuki 8 years
When they do the break-up/back together thing too often. It really grates on me. Or the torn between two loves...
karisaamy karisaamy 8 years
I'm kinda giving up on House, the story lines are starting to fall and there are other things on at the same time.
lilprisci lilprisci 8 years
I give up when they stop making sense - HEROES.
Kate-Marie Kate-Marie 8 years
I give up on a show when... - it gets boring and confusing (Heroes) - it's inconvenient (Grey's Anatomy--I always work Thursdays and never had time to watch the episodes) - it conflicts with another show and I have to pick which I'd rather watch (like House, Gossip Girl, and the Bachelor, all at 8PM on Monday. I chose Bachelor because I can catch GG online, and House no longer is that interesting to me)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
that's a really good question. for myself - i think that if i'm really into a show, then i don't give up on it, even with the rumors that it's going away (i.e. Lipstick Jungle). if i really enjoy something, then i'm going to take what i can get and hope that maybe there's a change of heart. I don't know - it's hard knowing that there are times when networks don't even give shows a fighting chance. sometimes i wonder if it's a lack of promotion for the show (i.e. they don't talk about ugly betty anymore - i have NO idea what's going on and there are no ads/commercials for it).
NouraBee NouraBee 8 years
i gave up on ygly betty and grays so long ago !
a-million-suns a-million-suns 8 years
Depends. I gave up on Grey's (for the most part), but I'm still sticking it out with Ugly Betty, although it seems to be getting worse and worse. And now this news doesn't make it any better.
Phil Phil 8 years
When a show loses it's humanity and starts to feel like we're watching lazy ideas from a writers room, that's when I stop watching. It's the reason why I stopped watching Heroes, why I almost gave up on Scrubs in the sixth and seventh season, why I'm starting to give up on Ugly Betty (it's getting tedious seeing what foolish and poorly contrived ethical dilemma Betty is going to have to face week in and week out. Her gullibility it getting a bit annoying. I wouldn't be surprised if she were sucked into a pyramid scheme selling Chinese baby formula). Same with Grey's Anatomy which, among other things (Brooke Smith), has completely annoyed me away with its surgical staff that conducts itself with less maturity than the cast of Scrubs. It was nice for a while but none of the characters have actually evolved, grown throughout the show. They're totally static.
Punk-Glam-Queen Punk-Glam-Queen 8 years
I decide fairly early on whether or not a show is something I'll stick with -- I usually know by the third or fourth episode. If it hasn't pulled me in by then, there's no chance it will later. For example, the first episode of "True Blood" was completely boring to me (I think I even walked out of the room halfway.) But I watched the second episode and was hooked! Hearing that a show is being canceled won't deter my enthusiasm for something I love, case in point: "Pushing Daisies". Once a show gets repetitious, boring, or silly (not counting comedies of course!) I'll stop watching altogether. If a show I love is off the air for awhile, they won't lose me -- I just get antsy for a new season -- hello, I'm talking to you "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood"!
outofhere outofhere 8 years
Well, I knew I was finally done with Grey's because I had the last few episodes sitting on my dvr and when I finally got around to watching them, I was bored out of my head! Such a shame, it was a great show, now it's on beyond stupid.
Lukin Lukin 8 years
I gave up on House during the third season, after the annoying legal sub-plot with the guy from "The Green Mile." You know, where he tries to have House thrown in jail for narcotics distribution? It was just so annoying to me for whatever reason.
pargie pargie 8 years
I gave up on Grey's after the whole Isiah Washington thing, I think he added a lot to the show and they could have handled that better. Other than that, If I really like a show I stick with it until the end. Alot of my favorite shows have been canceled prematurely (Journeyman, Veronica Mars, Men In Trees, The Black Donelly's)... I just hate that networks don't give shows a chance like they used to. They cancel them right away. Sucks so bad.
schnappycat schnappycat 8 years
I'm a completist and find it really hard to give up a show once I start and watch more than a few episodes (sometimes I'll watch a pilot and hate it and not tune in again). It has to be really bad or I must really hate a storyline or character for me to give it up. Otherwise, I feel some weird obligation to see the show through to the end, which is silly, really.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
i always think i'm done with lost, and then i get totally sucked back in AGAIN, lol. i guess i'll only give up when the show's not good anymore.
kafarine-tin-tin kafarine-tin-tin 8 years
If I know a show is going to be cancelled soon, then I usually don't care about it. And because I read a lot of American websites, I know that a show won't last longer than a season so when I get it here, I don't even bother watching it. Oh, and I gave up on Heroes. Cuz it got boring.
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