jump the shark

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jump the shark

1. In television programming, to resort to using an obvious or unbelievable gimmick in a scene, episode, or storyline as a means of maintaining viewership, especially when the show's quality and/or popularity has begun to decline. The phrase alludes to the sitcom Happy Days, in which the character Fonzie (Henry Winkler) jumps over a shark on water-skis in the fifth season. This show used to have some of the wittiest writing in television, but they really jumped the shark when they introduced a contrived alien invasion in the seventh season.
2. By extension, to signal, especially through a conspicuous activity, event, or maneuver, a decline in the progress or evolution of something (e.g., a company, a brand, a political endeavor, etc.). The global tech giant, whose smartphone brand transformed the everyday technological landscape, seems to have jumped the shark this week when they revealed a line of computer-synced sneakers touted as their new flagship product. The governor was accused of jumping the shark during his re-election campaign by joining in with the cheerleading squad at his former high school's football game.
See also: jump, shark

jump the shark

To undergo a sustained decline in quality or popularity.
See also: jump, shark
References in periodicals archive ?
CUTLINE: Three who have jumped the shark, er, nuked the fridge: Writer/Director M.
The Trojans beat the Bruins 66-19 Saturday at the Coliseum, and I was going to pull out the TV-generation vernacular and say the whole local college-football show just jumped the shark.
I'm not exactly sure when Eugene jumped the shark - it could have been when people started crying upon learning they were building a natural grocery store downtown, or maybe when they started indiscriminately digging holes in the ground and leaving them there like in that Disney movie - but it's happened and, sadly, when it comes to small towns with big city amenities, Salem is delivering a major drubbing to Eugene.
But with links like the first draft of a really poor edition of EastEnders, Newsline has jumped the shark.
To some, the series officially jumped the shark closer to the day Dan Dierdorf was assigned a dressing room ('87) and then wouldn't leave.
Maybe TV historians will determine the moment when coverage of the Major League Baseball All-Star game jumped the shark was after Fox's little cable sister decided to include a red carpet pregame show in what was mostly a desperate effort to please a certain car sponsor.