12 TV Shows That Started Out Promising, but Turned Out to Be Garbage as They Went On

There’s nothing more frustrating than a series taking a turn for the worst just when it’s getting good. All these examples are TV shows that started out promising, but turned out to be garbage as they went on.

These aren’t just series that fell apart after multiple seasons, either. Each of these TV shows began awesome but quickly turned out to be garbage early in the series. There’s quite a few shows I dropped on this list – how about you?

Under the Dome

Under The Dome.
Image Credit: CBS.

I really thought Under the Dome was going to be a great show, but sadly… Not so much. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this show wasn’t it. A lot of people (myself included) stopped watching partway through the first season and didn’t look back.

Wayward Pines

Wayward Pines.
Image Credit: Fox.

Like most shows based on books, Wayward Pines fell apart during season 2 when they no longer had the source material to reference. If they had kept it only one season they could have avoided it turning out to be garbage. Even worse, it was cancelled after season 2 anyway so ruining it was a waste.


Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Where Revolution starts and where it ends are very different to what we were all expecting. Part of the reason for this was that the ending was rushed due to the show being cancelled, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have gotten to this at a much slower pace if it had been renewed.


Image Credit: ABC Family.

Another one that looked so good at the start, Stitchers should have been an amazing sci-fi crime show. After all, it was about a company creating technology that can see the last few minutes of someone’s life – which was used to solve murders.

Except the show wound up being a freeform style show that was more about romance and drama than sci-fi mystery.


Image Credit: CBS.

Based on a book by James Patterson, Zoo should have been about a zoologist that discovers some very strange things happening with the animals of the world. If the book is to be believed, that would have been great; but sadly this TV adaption was nothing like the original.


Image Credit: The CW.

If you’re not familiar with what happened to Riverdale let me fill you in. It starts off as a show based on the Archie comics. What transpired over the next seasons, though, was surreal and very different from the source material or what viewers expected.

Designated Survivor

Designated Survivor.
Image Credit: Netflix.

Where does Designated Survivor turn into garbage, you ask? The exact moment differs, ranging from “it got bad in season 3” to “it was horrible after the first episode”. Either way, plenty of people felt it stopped being good at some point!


MANIFEST SEASON 04. (L to R) Sydney Morton as Alex Bates and Parveen Kaur as Saanvhi Bahl in Manifest Season 04.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

Manifest started off really interesting: after a plane lands safely on a turbulent flight everyone finds out the whole world has aged five years. Unfortunately only a few episodes in it was clear this wasn’t going to be as great as it seemed. Guess this wasn’t the calling for the Manifest writers!

How to Get Away With Murder

How to Get Away With Murder.
Image Credit: ABC.

Most people agree this show started off as a great series with a great format, but went on for way longer than it should have.

Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online.
Image Credit: A-1 Pictures.

This one is good through the first half of season one, then suddenly starts to decline very quickly. It’s really a shame, too – I for one had high hopes for this series. It felt like an anime version of Tom Clancy’s Netforce .

The Big Bang Theory

Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Jim Parsons, Melissa Rauch, and Kunal Nayyar in The Big Bang Theory (2007).
Image Credit: CBS Entertainment.

At the beginning, The Big Bang Theory was actually pretty nerdy and clever. Over time it shifted from “nerdy jokes” to “nerds being the joke”. This increased the mainstream appeal but definitely lost that initial audience.


Image Credit: Fox.

If you watched the pilot for Glee you know exactly what I mean with this one. It seemed like it was going to be a completely different show than what we got! The first season was a little closer to that, but over the years Glee really went downhill from what we started with.

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The End of The World.
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Jim Carrey in The Truman Show (1998),
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

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Breaking Bad _ Season 5, Episode 10.
Image Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.


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