It can be hard to stop watching a TV show after you’ve committed to it. Whether out of some weird sense of loyalty or the lingering hope that it’ll somehow rebound and get back on track, we all know what it’s like to stick with a show even after it’s taken a turn for the worse.
Case in point? These shows have all managed to retain fairly solid viewerships and garner renewals, despite increasingly poor reviews. Below, check out five bad TV shows that people can’t stop watching.
1. 2 Broke Girls
The CBS sitcom has always featured more than its fair share of one-note, stereotype-pushing gags, but the chemistry between lead stars Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings kept the series enjoyable (or at least, watchable) in its early seasons. But now, having wrapped up Season 5, the jokes are ruder, fouler, and staler than ever before — making it difficult to continue rooting for Max (Dennings) and Caroline (Behrs).
Considering the low-quality state the show is currently in, it’s hard to believe that people keep tuning in. But apparently, they do — at least, enough to keep CBS on board with the series. Despite the terrible reviews, 2 Broke Girls was renewed for a sixth season this past spring that will premiere on October 10, 2016.
2. Once Upon a Time
ABC’s fairy tale-themed series has turned from an entertaining, smartly written fantasy drama into an outright trainwreck. The last couple seasons in particular have relied on increasingly contrived storylines that do the generally strong cast absolutely no favors.
Last season’s Dark Swan gimmick — in which Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) turned into the Dark One — was laughably disappointing, with her entire transformation basically consisting of grey-tinged hair and dark leather clothing. The latter half of the season was equally bad, with the whole gang escaping the Underworld only to then have another fan-favorite character killed off.
With shaky writing and little payoff, the show has become more frustrating than entertaining. However, while ratings have seen a decline, plenty of viewers continue to watch, either out of a misguided sense of loyalty or lingering hope of a turnaround. The sixth season of Once Upon a Time premiered on September 25, 2016.
The long-running CW show (which premiered on the network when it was still the WB) was initially envisioned as a five-year series, as creator and showrunner Eric Kripke made known time and time again. “Despite what the network and studio may or may not want, I don’t have more than five seasons of story,” he told Entertainment Weekly in 2009.
Clearly, the network refused to take the memo, as it’s seven years later and the show was just renewed for a twelfth(!) season. There’s a reason Kripke wanted to end it earlier, as Supernatural stretches on and on; it feels like it’s spinning its wheels with no clear idea of where to go next.
Even though Season 11 saw a bit of a rebound, the show has clearly overstayed its welcome. That apparently hasn’t stopped audiences from watching though, as the CW seems to have no end in sight for the supernatural series. The twelfth season will premiere on October 13, 2016.
4. The Odd Couple
Starring Matthew Perry as the slovenly Oscar Madison and Thomas Lennon as the obsessively-tidy Felix Unger, CBS’s remake of the 1970 TV series feels like just that – a reboot and a weak one at that. Though the show has charismatic leads in Perry and Lennon, their talent is somewhat wasted on lazy writing, predictable gags, and an altogether tired premise.
The whole show feels somewhat forced and only serves as a reminder of how desperately networks need fresh ideas. Despite that, The Odd Couple‘s second season garnered better ratings than expected, so — you guessed it — CBS is bringing it back for a third season that will premiere on October 17, 2016.
Where to even begin with this show? The Shonda Rhimes-produced series, starring Kerry Washington as White House “fixer” Olivia Pope, had a fantastic first couple of seasons. However, things started getting off track in Season 3 and they’ve only derailed further since.
It’s most recent season, Season 5, was its messiest yet, with Olivia crossing over to the dark side and becoming the latest in the show’s long list of once-beloved characters to become irredeemable and unlikable. Despite that, the show has a strong and active fanbase.
While ratings did decline in the last season, Gladiators continued to make their loyalty known on social media. So it’s no surprise that Scandal will be back for Season 6 in 2017.