12 TV Shows That Stopped Being Great After Only One Season

It’s not unusual for shows to eventually go downhill or for them to be bad from the start and get worse, but these TV shows stopped being great after only one season. No more, no less.

That’s not to say these shows aren’t worth watching (at least some of them) but if you’re thinking of checking some of them out it might be a good idea to quit after season 1!


Image Credit: NBC Universal.

I’m pretty sure this is the number one most suggested answer to any question that remotely resembles “what awesome show went downhill?” Heroes season one was amazing and set up what looked like an amazing series. Unfortunately they TV writing strike happened, and what we were left with was a show that was clearly written by folks who had no idea what they were doing.

Once Upon a Time

Gabe Khouth, Jennifer Morrison, Keegan Connor Tracy, Jared Gilmore, and Jeffrey Kaiser in Once Upon a Time (2011)
Image Credit: ABC.

Not everyone dropped this one after season one but a lot of people definitely did. They introduced so many plot lines that it was hard to keep track of what was going on.

“It got way too complicated after the first season” one commentator said of the show.


Ariana Debose HBO Westworld Season 4 - Episode 8.
Image Credit: John Johnson/HBO.

I liked the later seasons but I definitely can see why someone wouldn’t. The person who suggested it did a great job of explaining their point, saying “The first season was some of the best television ever then they kind of ran out of ideas.”

That might be true, especially since they didn’t have much source material to pull from!


Image Credit: The CW Network.

Now, this one might not be great, but it was at watchable. Some people, at the very least, enjoyed season 1 as a guilty pleasure. After that, though, the show was pretty much impossible to stay interested in.

Altered Carbon

Altered Carbon.
Image Credit: Diyah Pera/Netflix.

This one shouldn’t have gotten a second season, or at least one like what they gave us. Altered Carbon seemed to have a lot of potential but it was just never realized – which sucks because season 1 was so good.

The Walking Dead

Image Credit: AMC.

No offense to the people who like The Walking Dead but how many seasons can running from zombies be entertaining for? While there’s an avid fanbase for the show, a lot of people felt that it stopped being good after season 1.

The Witcher

Image Credit: Netflix.

This show has a huge fanbase but not everyone has been sticking the series out after the first season. A lot of folks say it went downhill, especially because of the way they wrote some of the characters (like Eskel) in the second season.

Stranger Things

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things.
Image Credit: Netflix.

The person who suggested this one said they’ll probably get heat for it, but I do see their point even as a fan. The first season was a perfectly written horror mystery that truly had viewers on the edge of their seats. Season 2 is way weaker, and honestly if season 3 wasn’t as good as it was I think this show would have been a bust as a long-term series.

Prison Break

Prison Break.
Image Credit: Fox Television.

OK spoiler, but not really… They break out of prison. That’s where the show should have ended but instead it keeps going. And going. I gave up during season 2 like a lot of other folks because there was no way for Prison Break to be good after season 1.

Designated Survivor

Image Credit: ABC Studios.


This show started with such an interesting premise: a low-level congressman who was designated the “designated survivor” ends up becoming president after an attack that wipes everyone above him out. The first season is extremely well written, but after that the mystery is done and there isn’t much to keep you on the hook.

American Gods

Image Credit: The Blank Corporation.

A lot of people felt that American Gods was going to go places but the second season didn’t follow the same level of writing (or pacing) that they had in the first one. This is likely because the book that it was based on didn’t have enough material to inspire a multi-season show.

The Flash

Image Credit: The CW Network.

This could be replaced with almost any CW show, really, but The Flash gets especially bad. Imagine you have a character who no one is faster than… And then ever season someone faster shows up. I mean, really? It also turns into a teen drama after season 1 which isn’t what a lot of folks signed up for.

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Jim Carrey in The Truman Show (1998),
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Breaking Bad _ Season 5, Episode 10.
Image Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.


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