What Shows Are You Still Watching, Even Though They're Not What They Used to Be?

I'm sure that some of you Entourage fans are excited for the Season 7 premiere this Sunday. Maybe you're even genuinely excited, and I don't blame you. I think the world needs more Kevin Dillon. But I'm also sure that some of you are experiencing mixed—even disgruntled—feelings about the new season. You know who you are. You're going to tune in, but you're not very happy about it. The show has been going downhill for a couple seasons, but you've made an investment in the characters (or something), so why quit now? It's a difficult question to answer.

Entourage is one of many shows that's fallen into the bloated rabbit-hole category of TV Shows We Can't Stop Watching Even Though They've Gone Downhill. Most shows seem to go bad right around the sixth-season mark (with the exception of the freakishly successful NCIS, though some might argue that the crime procedural didn't even start out strong), and since so many "good" shows debuted in or around 2004, we're starting to see the ungraceful signs of aging in several of our former favorites. Ahem: Weeds, which soured a lot of its fans with the whole Mexican-drug-lord plot twist; It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which beats its politically-incorrect novelty into the ground; How I Met Your Mother, which has dragged out the titular storyline for way too long; and The Office, which just isn't that funny anymore.

Comedies aren't the only offenders. Two of ABC's "Big 3" dramas, Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives (both of which will enter their seventh seasons fall) are still going, but they're far from strong. And Lost, had it not ended earlier this year, probably would have ended up in the same boat. Meanwhile, the CW is hanging on to its two stalwart fan-favorites, Smallville and One Tree Hill, even though their current casts are barely reminiscent of the shows' original ensembles. In the fall, they'll enter their tenth and eighth seasons, respectively.

I'll openly admit to the decline in quality of some of my favorite shows—The Office, HIMYM, Desperate Housewives—yet I'll still follow them aimlessly into the dark. For me, it's the character investment thing. No matter how silly the stories get, no matter how many guest stars the writers trot out to spice things up, I still get a kick out of seeing Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) shrug at the camera, watching Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel) "lawyer" one of his friends, and listening to Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria Parker) verbally bitch-slap pretty much everyone she comes into contact with.

But what about you? Which shows are you hanging on to? And why?


Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom

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Sep 08, 2010
Bones... the stories... just aren't that good, they've disintegrated into practically nothing. Everything changed when Zack left... sigh...
I only watch to see B&B together... but that seems like that won't ever happen. If it doesn't this season this is the last season of Bones I will watch.
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Jul 21, 2010
Entourage don't watch don't care, same with: weeds, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,How I Met Your Mother, and One tree hill-no way..uh, The Office was funny-when? not sure why i still watch Desperate housewives, dont watch much of Greys any more or smallville
time for smallville to go. stopped watching CSI long time ago, before Warrick (aka Gary Dourdan the woman beater) got shot
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Jul 21, 2010
love: NCIS, Supernatural, Bones, The mentalist, True Blood, Psych, Sanctuary, V, House, Eureka, Criminal Minds, The Closer, Castle, In Plain Site, Leverage, L&O svu, Medium and miss Monk. Like: Chuck, Dexter, Fringe, The good Wife, Human Target
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Jul 11, 2010
I'm hanging on to One Tree Hill. I fought hard to keep it around. I voted many times in the E! Save One Show campaign, posted many tweets, and sent The CW a lot of letters. It's not what it used to be, but I am not ready to let it go yet.

One Tree Hill is the last of the old WB shows I used to watch. At one point I was watching 7th Heaven, Everwood, One Tree Hill, Gilmore Girls, Summerland, and Related. One Tree Hill is all I have left and I didn't want to say goodbye to it just yet. I think with season 8 Mark should be able to give it the send off it deserves. The "little show that could" is still loved by the fans after all this time so it deserves to go out in a way that will make the dedicated fans who fought hard and have watched from the beginning happy.
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Jul 09, 2010
I am still a great fan of NCIS. Smallville well I guess it is time for them to wrap it up.I like NCIS LA. and will miss lost.I like the CSI's but they are getting a little old.
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Jul 08, 2010
I was never a completely faithful watcher of CSI Miami--David Caruso is just too peculiar--but it was interesting so I tried to overlook him. It was always the odd one out of the trio of CSIs but it's degenerated to near-parody now. I finally had enough with the episode about the killer triplets, if anybody remembers that one. I'm not going to even try to explain it.
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Jul 07, 2010
Only show what I Stopped watching was Heroes.

I still watch Smallville and One Treee Hill, despite they are now far from good.
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Jul 07, 2010
Still watching despite reservations: Entourage, HIMYM, House, Desperate Housewives, Bones, Dexter, Law and Order: CI



Ditched (these are still on?): Family Guy, Smallville, Weeds, Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy, One Tree Hill
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Jul 07, 2010
HIMYM, Bones, Entourage, The Office, Family Guy. I completely stopped watching Smallville several seasons ago.
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Jul 06, 2010
GOSSIP GIRL. That show is completely boring and random now, but I'm unable to get over my (morbid) curiosity about how much WORSE it can get.
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Jul 06, 2010
entourage is still amazing. can't say that about himym.
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Jul 06, 2010
I think Rescue Me is starting to go downhill.
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Jul 06, 2010
I stopped watching OTH after the first season.
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Jul 05, 2010
OTH was not as good as it had been, but the last few seconds of the season finale will keep me going for a while. Grey's Anatomy had an amazing finale, the only episode of the entire season that was worth anything to me. Smallville turned in some great episodes this season among some klunkers ("Kandor") but I am really excited for the tenth season because it is the final season and they have the ability to wrap up the show's storylines and bring back Mr. Kent, Mrs. Kent, Lana and hopefully Lex.
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Jul 05, 2010
I still follow OTH, Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy, but I don't think they lost in quality. The shows did grow up; which is only a good thing. Some people may not like the way the shows are headed but I like it. I think Gossip Girl is the best example of a show that was great ; but got less and less; but I still watch it. Same with NCIS
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Jul 05, 2010
Yo, gossip girl went downhill the moment they decided to cancel Valley Girls pilot, use it as a flashback for a sucky improvised new plot and twist then go for a third season which was nothing but pure boring absurdity.
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Jul 05, 2010
i didn't even know that one tree hill was still going. i thought that after lucas and paton left that it would kinda be a lost cause...
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Jul 05, 2010
NCIS and the reason I still watch this show is I love the characters even if the stories aren't always great and now I watch the spinoff NCIS Los Angeles for the same reason I watch NCIS.
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Jul 04, 2010
grey's anatomy and one tree hill for me although i think that those two are still really good ones. a couple of episodes not so much but overall i still like them..
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Jul 04, 2010
The Office, HIMYM, 30 Rock (though to be fair, the last season was only a slight dip in quality, gotta give it a chance to rebound) House (again, wasn't thrilled with the last season, aside from the stellar season premiere, but gotta give it a chance to rebound) Heroes (if it wasn't cancelled I'd probably still be watching it). I only recently ditched Smallville, Season 8 finale was way too crappy for me to bother with Season 9. Maybe I'll tune in for some Season 10 eps... if Lex Luthor comes back.
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Jul 04, 2010
Chuck, Entourage, The Office
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Jul 04, 2010
An extra: I watched TV Show \" The Mentalist\" (First Season) at March/10 to May/10, it was very good, now I am waiting to watch the second season.



Heroes: I watched only the first season.

I did not watched the others seasons , I believe that they were More of the Same.
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Jul 04, 2010
Monk (4th season). The CSIs (the seasons that I am watch are not the newest). Two And a Half Men; Cold Case; Close To Home (also). There are differences between the networks that I watch the series and the networks that these series are aired in Brazil (pay TV) or U. S. A.
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Jul 03, 2010
one tree hill for sure...without lucas and peyton there really is no point but i just can't help myself i need to know what's happening
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Jul 02, 2010
BONES is great & grey's anatomy is definitly a show to hang on to.
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Jul 02, 2010
House had an amazing season finale, but yes, it was getting repetitive. Chuck and Bones have definitely gone downhill (they used to be AMAZING), but i will never stop watching them. .. well, i'll never give up on Chuck, at least.
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Jul 02, 2010
House are going downhill since the third season
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Jul 02, 2010
NCIS of course!!!! Why? Love the characters , the cast, the plots and yes with great pleasure this year i think it got away a bit from the american marines thing u know "kill die for the country "etc.
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Jul 01, 2010
House & Bones. Still love them both, but they do tend to get repetitive.
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Jul 01, 2010
I am getting rather bored with The Office.

HIMYM still manages to capture my attention.

I still watch One Tree Hill since I've seen every episode and used to love it. Sadly, its not what it used to be and the storylines are going from bad to worse. However, since I've already invested so much into it, I plan to see it though.
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Jul 01, 2010
Definitely Bones, I mean that love of my life keeps me hanging on with the promise that it'll deliver everything I've ever wanted. (B&B baby!) I mean I was SURE that it would have been the past season but guess what? Nope, they're even further from getting together than they were in the first season. At least then there was just tension and neither of them knew.

Now....sigh. Do the writers realize that the show COULD keep on going if the partners WERE together? It could happen. Just check out the gazillion fanfictions out there. And if there isn't, just contact me and I could give you a couple of ideas or two....
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Jul 01, 2010
for the record i don't watch any of the shows on your list, none of them appeal to me. i can't understand why people watch stupid shows and good shows get cancelled.
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Jul 01, 2010
ha! how can i watch shows past their prime when all my favorite shows get cancelled before they get the chance to reach that point?!
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Jun 30, 2010
How I Met Your Mother is fine and Gray's is better than ever.



Bones is slipping a little. And I love NCIS but it, shall we say, decreased in quality with Shane Brennan's increasing role.
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Jun 30, 2010
The Office & How I met your mother which neither is as funny as it used to be and OTH even though I swore I wouldn't watch after Chad and Hillarie were killed off is getting really bad too
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Jun 30, 2010
House. It was such a great show, but it has turned into a terrible soap opera that is 95% repetitive dramatic plotlines, 3% medical, and 2% sarcasm.
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Jun 30, 2010
All the CSIs, all the Law & Orders, House, Criminal Minds, Burn Notice
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Jun 30, 2010
I hate to admit it, as I'm still a die-hard fan, but Smallville is definitely not what it used to be. Then again, the story has to change because we already know the ending. I'm gonna start watching NCIS this summer, can't wait.
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Jun 30, 2010
I actually thought Always sunny had a return to form last season..
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Jun 30, 2010
Still hanging onto: Entourage, HIMYM, Family Guy, Chuck, The Office, Smallville
Ditched: Weeds, 24, Heroes, Scrubs, Also, looks like Futurama will be joining the Fray given the weak first two S6 eps
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Jun 30, 2010
I'm still hanging with HIMYM. But I did end my association with Desperate Housewives.
The old neighbor is back? Who cares?! I'm not waiting around to see how they stretch that out over 22 episodes.
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Jun 30, 2010
House, though I'm not hanging on that tightly. He's become so mean and crumudgeonly, he's like the legal definition of pornography - no redeeming social value.
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Jun 30, 2010
I think HIMYM has had some pretty good episodes this season. Episode 12 was just hilarious and in my eyes one of the best episodes ever. Ok, some episodes sucked but others didn't. all in all a successful season in my eyes and I'll be awaiting the next season impatiently.
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Jun 30, 2010
I love greys and ncis.. I can say there was a change in ncis but I still like it .. I don't find it being who slept with who . Because none of them have .. Well maybe mcgee and abby but that was never capitalized on. When gilmore girls was on that went south I fell they wrap that up to quickley. I'm just starting watch a lot of shows so to me they seem fine .. Anyone remember providence .. That went down too .. As sad as it is to see a show change it's gonna happen . Criminal minds is a great show . It stays the same .. I like that
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Jun 30, 2010
Definitely 'How I Met Your Mother' most of all. It's gone on for way too long. I think it's the only one. Most shows that I've had enough of, I'll stop watching them completely. i.e. Ugly Betty, Weeds, 30 Rock.
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Jun 30, 2010
Although it's obvious that you (writer of this website) don't like NCIS I still love it. What you don't get is the appeal of a wonderful ensemble cast who play off of each other so well. It's their characters that appeal to us "freakisly" loyal fans. Weird as someone like Abby is most of us just love her despite her crazy clothes and behavior. The soft spot that Gibbs has for her is so great to watch. That's just one example of why the show remains popular despite your obvious dislike of the show, and particularly Abby.....and yes there are still people out there who dress like that whether we like it or not.
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Jun 30, 2010
I wondered why you didn't have 30rock on your list. Then it struck me! To be on your list the show has had to have someone watching it. Unfortunately not many people ever bothered to watch this trainwreck!
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Jun 30, 2010
The ones that come to mind that I still watch, but they aren't very thrilling for me anymore are the original CSI, PSYCH, and HOUSE. HOUSE still has high quality scripts, I just am tired of the whole concept. Yet, I can't quit watching any of the three. I'll keep on as long as they are on. Now that MONK is gone I keep hoping PSYCH will follow soon.
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Jun 30, 2010
Grey's and Housewives jumped the shark for me right around the second or third season. One that I hoped would do well is the Mentalist. I wanted to watch because it was a little like Monk, only easier on the eyes. Attendance for me has been spotty - maybe I would have watched it more had CBS allowed it to be on HULU - I could have caught up. Come to think of it, HULU is where I catch up with lots of stuff I miss. I guess that's why I am not so loyal to CBS programming.
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Jun 30, 2010
i like charmed i would still like to know what happens to the kids in charmed nothing ever became of it. I also like Las Vegas.
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