They should all be dead by now.
None of the following shows were expected to survive this long. But these TV hits have defied the odds and still trounce rivals despite having passed the usual age of retirement. Below are 10 prime time and late-night shows across several genres that chase the young hipsters off their lawns. Plus we reveal how long each show is expected to continue.
Let’s start with the newest title on the list and work our way up to the oldest (and no, they’re not all on CBS, but the first three are).
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Age: 10 seasons, the longest-running live-action sitcom on TV.
Senior Power: Nielsen ranked No. 3 among adults 18-49.
Survival Secret: Silly sex jokes are funny. You might not think so, but 15 million viewers disagree. Men delivers a titillating bachelorhood fantasy; comedy comfort food. As one defender points out: “Anyone can put a show on with a bunch of risqué jokes, but there’s obviously something more to it – you have to like the characters or it doesn’t work.”
Life Expectancy: Men is probably the most endangered show on this list even though it’s the youngest. Is that because co-star Angus T. Jones called the show “filth” and might depart at the end of the season? Nope. If Charlie Sheen can be replaced, Jones can’t derail this train. But rising costs such as Ashton Kutcher’s salary demands and the network’s annual haggling with Men’s studio could. Still, we suspect CBS will bring the show back for at least one more round.