Thursday, April 30, 2009

When Jump the Shark jumped the shark

TV Guide got greedy.

The old Jump the Shark website was a cultural phenomenon. It let folks submit all the moments when their favorite TV shows fell to shambles. It was an uproarious read! Jump the Shark was so lucrative that its owner sold it to TV Guide in 2006.

But the TV Guide people didn't care about what made Jump the Shark so special. The company that owned TV Guide was only interested in building its media empire.

It turns out though that TV Guide's eyes were bigger than its business sense. The operators of TV Guide mismanaged the magazine so spectacularly that recently it sold for only $1. Not just one copy - the entire magazine.

By that time, the publication had been retooled so much that it wasn't even the same TV Guide we remember. It had become a celebrity gossip rag.

Welp, earlier this year, the TV Guide geniuses did the same thing to Jump the Shark - which proves they hadn't learned a damn thing from the previous debacle. Now, if you try going to the Jump the Shark site, it redirects to TV Guide's gossip crap. There's no sign of Jump the Shark anywhere.

This shows that when TV Guide purchased Jump the Shark, all TV Guide cared about was buying the mouse clicks of folks looking for the Jump the Shark site - not about Jump the Shark itself. To add insult to injury, TV Guide began calling some of its boring National Enquirer-like gossip tidbits "shark bites" - even though they have nothing to do with Jump the Shark.

Worse, all those hilarious entries that were on the old Jump the Shark site are now gone. Gone into thin air. All the years that went into making that site a legend are wasted. All that work, wastage bastage!

Some have suggested that TV Guide's greed is even deeper than it appears. TV Guide wants you to think there's no such thing as bad TV (even though TV is worse now than ever) - because its business is based on TV. So it's been claimed that its purchase of Jump the Shark was actually intended to silence the ridicule of the hundreds of TV shows that had entries on that site.

The outrage over Jump the Shark's gutting is so intense that someone has opted to resurrect the original Jump the Shark concept on a new website - which bears the much edgier name Bone the Fish.

To quote Principal Skinner of 'The Simpsons': "And bone we will!"

I'm sure I can list quite a few examples of legendary television programs Boning the Fish. I bet you can too!

The new Bone the Fish site can be found at:



  1. For a minute there, Tim, I thought the Pail was going to jump the shark and proclaim that the government should seize control of TV Guide.

  2. It already did, when Rupert Murdoch took control of it.

  3. Hey thanks for the shout out to bone the fish- it's a great website, with a growing community. The people and the internet TV critics among us will have a voice with!!!

  4. Well said.

    I've just discovered what's been done to JTS by the philistines at "TV Guide" . I was loking for a favourite website, got the redirect, thought "what the **** is TV Guide?" and have been utterly dissillusioned. I've just remembered - here in Britain, we get to see "Family Guy", and I now twig exactly WHY it's Peter Griffin's only reading material - I see that joke, on American lowest common denominator tastes, so much more clearly now!

    I've just emailed the buggers in protest, not that it'll do any good. Email runs

    " Hi - what the heck's happened to Jump the Shark? Where's the old A-Z that seemed to cover just about every TV show everywhere? Where are the comments and ratings pages? Why does it just seem to cover only American television - the strength of the site was that it gave equal weighting and access to British viewers and allowed the wider English-speaking world a forum to review our own TV shows. What's "TV Guide", (is it the american version of "Radio Times", ie a TV listings mag tied into a specific channel?) and does it mean what I suspect it means, that JTS has sold out to a vested interest and is no longer an independent voice?

    Does the old free-comment JTS exist anywhere or is this just a pale gutted ghost of what it used to be?

    If the A-Z and viewer comments from around the world accumulated over the years are still there, and I hope they are, can you provide guidance as to where to find them - some sort of navigation pointer? If they've just been dumped as if they don't mean a thing - well, that's just vandalism.

    Yours from Great Britain

    Paul C"

    Says a lot about the thing that makes us wince in the worst type of American attitude - insular, parochial and inward-looking, that there's no room any more for a funny, intelligent, talk forum about TV that bringsd together people from all over the world, as the old JTS did. I remeber happy times spent explaining British cultural references to switched-on Americans who like our comedy, and appreciating how American people see the native programmes we get as imports.

    I mean, many of you are broadminded likeable people who know the USA doesn't exist in a vacuum and there's a whole world out there to talk to and exchange opinions and ideas with. What the TV Guide people have done is to reduce it to the lowest common denominator of Americans who can barely find their own country on an atlas, let alone anyone else's, who have never travelled outside the USA, and beleive the way to engage in dialogue with the rest of the world is to bomb the fuck out of it until it does what its told.

    I' glad a lot of you aren't that hard-of-thinking, as i've had some great chats on the old JTS. But today...

    Off to find bonethe fish.

  5. Agprov- did you find ?

  6. The seel-out for money issue [or FISH-sue, as we ARE talking SHARKS] is dead-on.

    I don't even BOTHER going to that stupid site, and even had to read comments abotu PETA going naked, tlak about polkitical correct, whilst looking at the fishbones of the Shark site.

    So I guess my porpoise is to advoise fish to tuna out of the shark site, and for to school themselves, for every salmon Mary that should God forbid, haddock chance to sotp by jump the shark hoping for the old site only
    to ask halibut that.

    In short, in a nutshell fish, I'll clam up but Jump the shark was our oyster.

  7. It's not gone. All the data is backed up here:

  8. I just now found this thread and I agree with everything re: JTS and TV Guide, but mostly I had to say that I almost fell out when I read this:

    Wastage bastage.

    The Toilet Bandit rules!

    jen -

  9. It's irritating how every time the internet has something good going for it, it's either banned or deleted completely. Does the first amendment not guarantee freedom of speech? I may not have paid much attention in history, but I know the peoples' rights!


      Pretty basic site but i think theres over 300 commets on it already. Quite funny but obviously not as much content as the awesome original

  10. Typical lib blog. You don't understand how the world works. It is all well and good to rail against the corporate greed of TV Guide, but what of the site's author? Was he not greedy to sell for >1 million? Does he need all that cash? He could live quite well and donate half of his earnings to the Occupy Bowel Movement? He is greedy to keep all that money!

    He didn't really earn it anyway. he was doing what most blogs/personal sites do - give content away for free or for small amounts of ad revenue. It only became worth 7 figures after that greedy corporate devil TV Guide decided that the site would be worth it to THEM. They then owned it an could do, therefore, as they wished with it. P.S. genius above, you do NOT know the 'peoples' rights'. Nothing was banned or deleted. This has nothing to do with free speech and yes you missed a great deal of school it seems. Something was purchased and changed. You are free to cough up whatever TV Guide will charge for the rights and you may freely speak away. Would you pay $1,000,000 for something and not use it to raise revenue? Was TV Guide supposed to spend all that and let it operate as was? TV Guide could have done spent nothing and simply paid a small fee for a link. Silly socialists.

    1. Agree with you. TVguide overpaid then didn't capitalize on what they had. 1mill was a crazy price in my opinion.

      But in the meantime atleast i have.... and

      to keep me entertained