Seven Sitcoms That Lasted More Than 10 Seasons But Never Lost Their Way

Everybody knows the name of at least one of them (it’s also in the picture)
Seven Sitcoms That Lasted More Than 10 Seasons But Never Lost Their Way

On New Year’s Day, FOX will premiere the two-hour special M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television as a tribute to one of the greatest sitcoms ever made. Not only did M*A*S*H have the largest audience for a series finale in TV history — with a stunning 106 million people watching live — but it lasted 11 seasons without ever experiencing a serious dip in quality.

While it’s rare for sitcoms to last more than a decade without jumping the shark, M*A*S*H isn’t the only series to boast such an achievement. Here are seven other sitcoms that lasted more than a decade without overstaying their welcome...


There was hardly ever a bad episode of Cheers, much less a point where the series soured as a whole. Even with the introduction of new characters like Woody, Frasier and Lilith, there was never an unwelcome addition. Along with the death of Nicholas Colasanto’s Coach, the biggest change in the series was when Shelley Long’s Diane was swapped out for Kirstie Alley’s Rebecca. But despite some debate on the topic, most fans tend to agree that Rebecca’s introduction in Season Six revitalized the series and allowed it to last six more seasons, as the Sam and Diane, will-they-won’t-they story had run its course by the end of Season Five.


Admittedly, Frasier did experience a noticeable dip in quality during Seasons Nine and Ten, in large part because when Niles and Daphne finally got together, they both became a bit less funny (no one likes to watch a happy couple). When it came time for Season 11, Kelsey Grammer knew it would be the end as he wanted to match the number of seasons Cheers had run, so he and the showrunners did something special — to revitalize Frasier for its final year they invited back many of the show’s original writers. The plan was to go out with a bang, which they absolutely did, as Season 11 is one of the show’s best. It’s just too bad that wouldn’t really be the end.

King of the Hill

You might think four guys standing in front of a fence would get old after just a few episodes, but King of the Hill’s slow burn and its overall sensibilities allowed it to stay fresh by never venturing too far away from its foundation. Bill remained sad and alone; Dale remained paranoid and insane; Peggy remained enthusiastic and ignorant; Bobby remained endearing and outgoing; and Hank always struggled to keep up with a changing world.

King of the Hill did falter on occasion — I’d argue Luanne’s husband Lucky was completely unnecessary and Cotton Hill’s death undid all of the character’s development in the previous seasons — but the core of the show remained strong to the end. It’s too bad that, like with Frasier, we’re getting a King of the Hill reboot next year that may endanger the show’s legacy.

South Park

The reason South Park has stayed relevant for a quarter century is because the show pivoted early on from general offensive hilarity to topical offensive hilarity. And because a typical episode is made in just six days, South Park can nimbly comment on something in the news in a way other animated shows can’t. South Park has certainly had its ups and downs, but it still delivers more often than not.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

On one hand, Curb Your Enthusiasm has coasted on the singular, irascible charm of Larry David, but it’s also managed to last so long because it hasn’t exerted itself too much. In 24 years, there have only been 12 seasons, each with just 10 episodes. The show has taken a bit of an album approach, where David et al only make a season when they’re feeling up to it and have enough good ideas to warrant one.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Like Curb Your EnthusiasmIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (at 16 seasons and counting) hasn’t had to bend to the harsh demands of a major network, allowing it to slow down and wait until the good ideas come. For the past few seasons, It’s Always Sunny has only made eight to ten episodes every couple of years and, because they never overstay their welcome, we still enjoy it whenever the horrible gang from Paddy’s Pub makes its return. 

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