50 Worst Shows of the 21st Century : 36th-40th Most Insulting TV Shows

Poor showrunning, knockoffs and senseless violence leave these shows awash in a bloodbath.  Networks are always trying to get viewers' attention, but crossing some boundaries is morally wrong.  Whether delivering a crappy show copying something successful or showing a dismembered woman on screen, viewers do no enjoy this level of violation.

The prior 10 offenders are strung out in shame in the links below:

46th-50th: Overexposure and the Prepostrous

41st-45th: Wasted Opportunities

40. That 80's Show, FOX (2002)

That 70's Show generated worthy buzz as it featured an appealing cast which younger and older generations could appreciate.  Its pinpoint accuracy in dialogue, wardrobe, cultural references, music and settings made a believable backdrop the well-developed characters could flourish in, as well as the true star was side-player Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman.  FOX attempted an unrelated spinoff, That 80's Show, hoping to replicate the magic of its predecessor.  They had the setting, cultural references and music perfected, but the cast failed to connect with viewers.  The problem was the timeline was viewed as too soon to be related to, as well as they were aged into their 20's and didn't attract the right demo for the older viewers.  It's debut episode generated an impressive 11.4 million overall viewers with a strong 6.2 demo.  Within 3 episodes, it hemorrhaged half of those strong ratings.

The ratings stood as proof That 80's Show did receive proper promotion from FOX before it premiered.  And viewers did tune in and initially possessed interest, but exited fast as it didn't click.  The setting was stylish in 1984's San Diego, California, but demonstrated the writing was plot driven as the setting outshined the cast.  After 13 episodes, That 80's Show finished with a 4.27 rating in 102nd place of 153, and on the lower end of FOX's rising 2002 ratings (see the complete 2001-02 ratings HERE).  It was no surprise FOX opted against a second season as viewers demonstrated they had little interest in this failed spinoff.

39. Cristela, ABC (2014-15)

While this failed ABC sitcom was not as bad as some of the prior mentions, Cristela disappointed as showrunners failed to establish the cast and the premise early on was uneven.  In order to be disappointed, expectations are at a higher bar, which we expected from a fresh talent like Cristela Alonzo and a promising premise.  In the show's fairness, ABC did saddle them with the Friday 8:30 timeslot, notorious for being eclipsed by the successful Last Man Standing.  Comedian Cristela Alonzo made history as the first Latina woman to produce, write and star in her own self-titled sitcom, which is where the disappoint settles in further as it would have been landmark if the show succeeded.

The premise was 30-something Cristela Hernandez is a law-school graduate balancing an unpaid internship in a quirky law firm, then returns home to her judgmental family opining about her choices.  The office setting proved intriguing despite the awkward accidental prejudiced remarks by Cristela's boss.  But the homefront?  The majority of Cristela's family delivered one-dimensional and stereotypical humor dating to the 70's.  Midway through the series, Alonzo succeeded in attracting fellow self-titled sitcom star Roseanne Barr to play Veronica Culpepper, the ex-wife of Cristela's boss.  Barr's successful cameos shined a light on potential, as this would have been the perfect opportunity to overhaul the show as the office antics were sufficient to carry the show.  Another shining point was Alonzo's chemistry with costar Josh Leeds, which itself would have made an appealing romance had they invested in developing.

By the time the season ended, Cristela showed limited signs of growth, mustering a 1.2 rating in 120th place.  Contrast that to lead-in Last Man Standing, which harvested a 1.8 rating in 79th place (see the complete 2014-15 ratings HERE).  The show failed to retain more than 70% of its lead-in, and ABC cut their losses as Cristela delivered the weakest among ABC's sitcoms for the season.

38. Flirty Dancing, FOX (2019-20)

Single people going on dates and forced to do choreographed dancing?  That sounds as painful as one's mother joining them on a date and dictating the conversation tone.  Jenna Dewan was indeed an appealing host, but her talents could do little to bolster this clunky reality TV show entry which sat in a high-rated winter season.  The series assaulted FOX's usually strong Wednesdays with 0.6 ratings, coming in at 106th of the 133 series that season (the complete list of 2019-20 ratings is HERE).  By the time this embarrassing series concluded its brief run, viewers were ready to riot as they wanted their worthy and beloved Masked Singer back in its place.

37. Wicked City, ABC (2015)

ABC had a hard year this season as they slid back into 4th place after the prior season delivered a nice renaissance featuring some strong shows.  2015-16 failed to deliver the same acclaim as the prior season due to weaker freshman series such as the crass Wicked City.  Ed Westwick and Erika Christensen proved they had appealing chemistry as their characters crackled in the pilot episode.  The trouble was this sexiness was overshadowed by a gross, misogynistic premise of he was a serial killer in the early 80's targeting women, and she joins him in his devious plot.  Killers on screen are not the problem, but rather the vicious, vile and tasteless way it was on display with Wicked City.  Had the two taken more of a Bonnie and Clyde or Mr. and Ms. Smith angle of robbery or killing villains, viewers may have rooted for the felons and joined in. 

But the series took a vile angle with Westwick's character targeting innocent women, making it hard for the complicit characters to be worthy for viewers to invest in.  One such vile scene showed the lead opening a cabinet to display a dismembered murder victim's body parts in a creepy shrine like trophy display, violating to viewers.  ABC thankfully alerted authorities who tried and convicted Wicked City, handing it the death penalty after 3 horrid episodes.  The series delivered a 1.1 in 110th place, deserving to rot in the lower reaches of the seasonal ratings.  Read about the complete 2015-16 ratings list HERE.

36. Stalker, CBS (2014-15)

CBS has been known to rely heavily on procedural dramas in the 21st century, and often accused of boiler plate entries copying its prior hit shows.  Stalker did indeed update the procedural format but crossed the lines of vileness to the disgust of viewers.  Dylan McDermott proved he could handle playing both heroes and villains from his work in the first two seasons of American Horror Story, and playing morally questionable detective Jack Larsen seemed to be a perfect fit.  The trouble was Stalker's tone was too dark for lighthearted CBS, often with women being victimized in callousness.  One such instance featured a woman being lit on fire alive in her car, dark for even American Horror Story's standards.  Stalker hemorrhaged a third of its lead-in Criminal Mind's 3.6 rating in 16th place and could only muster coming in 46th place with a 2.3 rating, cuing CBS to alert authorities to Stalker life imprisonment in cancellation without the chance of parole/revival after 17 failed episodes.

Did you escape the violence and copycats TVRG shamed in this entry?  Sound off and hope the networks never stoop this low again.

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