Beloved American TV Shows That Started Out Bad but Became Great

2. Bones

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel attend the Bones panel during Comic-Con International 2016.

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel attend the Bones panel during Comic-Con International 2016. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

  • Number of seasons: 12
  • Worst season per Rotten Tomatoes: Season 1, 58%

Critics saw the first season of Fox’s Bones as just another police drama used to populate its network. Slate’s Dana Stevens may say it best: “Watching attractive people poke at skull fragments is not inherently interesting.”

Emily Deschanel’s role as a forensic anthropologist eventually gave the show a unique angle, and the ratings ascended. The Los Angeles Times said, “Having proved that patience is indeed a virtue, especially among television executives, Bones has more than earned its moment of joy.” The 12th and final season concluded in 2017.

Next: This hit show redefined these actors’ careers — after the first season.

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