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 ?
Our redesign will enhance the Jump the Shark experience for loyal users while preserving site founder Jon Hein's unique and wry take on TV.
She had to jump the shark at some point, and I think Madonna as the Hebrew prophet just may be the one giant leap into the abyss.
The term Jump the Shark refers to the episode of "Happy Days," where Fonzie literally jumped over a shark during a water-skiing scene, an episode many TV fans believe signaled the show's demise.
Gemstar-TV Guide will develop and promote Jump the Shark across its multiple media platforms with Jon Hein, founder of Jump the Shark, Inc.
We believe Jump the Shark will be a valuable addition to our repertoire of entertainment content.
Hein said, "I'm thrilled to have Jump the Shark become a part of Gemstar-TV Guide.
Live Band Of The Year Competition 2012, Heat 1 / 2nd Month featuring: Venom & Apathy (Darlaston, rock), Jump the Shark (Wolves, indie), Greenwood Park (Wolves, rock blues): Robin 2, Bilston.
Jump The Shark -- Chronicling The Moments When TV Shows Go Downhill -- Featuring commentary on favorite shows, Jump The Shark lists more than 1,400 programs and, based on readers' votes, defines the exact moment a show meets the beginning of its end.