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Shows that went on way too long
"Californication" (seven seasons)
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Brandon Carter had a 68-yard touchdown on one of his one-handed catches, linebacker Kenny Cain recovered a fumble along with two interceptions and 17th-ranked TCU beat Virginia 27-7 Saturday for its 11th consecutive victory.
Casey Pachall threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns for the Horned Frogs (3-0), whose winning streak is the longest among FBS schools.
Josh Boyce had his TCU-record 18th career touchdown catch. Freshman Jaden Oberkrom had field goals of 46 and 47 yards, the second field goal set up by Cain’s 40-yard interception return.
The Frogs hadn’t allowed a touchdown this season until Virginia (2-2) finally scored with 4½ minutes left, when backup quarterback Phillip Sims threw a 5-yard TD to E.J. Scott to make it 20-7.
Carter put TCU ahead to stay on its first drive when he made a one-handed grab while leaping with his right hand fully extended near midfield behind safety Brandon Phelps. Carter sprinted untouched to the end zone, capping a 94-yard drive after a punt that Virginia’s Anthony Harris slapped back from the goal-line to prevent a touchback.
Carter had five catches for 128 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard receiving game.
Cain is the first TCU linebacker with two interceptions in a game since Chad Bayer on Nov. 20, 1999, the same day LaDainian Tomlinson set an NCAA record with 406 yards rushing for the Frogs against UTEP.
Late in the first half, Carter reached up with his right hand for another big play, turning a short pass into a 43-yard gain to the Virginia 3. The Frogs failed to convert that one when Pachall, with plenty of time to throw, tried to force a ball to Boyce that was intercepted by Maurice Canady.
It was the first pick of the pick of the season for Pachall, the nation’s most efficient passer so far this season. He completed 21 of 32 passes.
Matthew Tucker, now the primary running back for TCU, ran 15 times for 52 yards. Leading rusher Waymon James is out for the season after a left knee injury, which he sustained in last week’s 20-6 win at Kansas.
Boyce’s TD catch put the Frogs up 14-0 in the second quarter. The play ended with Pachall emphatic fist-pumping and Boyce cradling the record-setting football to the sideline.
That seven-play drive was set up by Cain’s fumble recovery at the Virginia 42. Kevin Parks, who had 84 yards on 12 carries, lost the ball after being hit by Elisha Olabode.
Cain’s first interception came later in the second quarter on a ball that deflected off the intended receiver. In the second half, Cain reached out and grabbed Michael Rocco’s pass that was thrown behind a receiver.
Rocco finished 13 of 28 for 126 yards.
TCU had two turnovers a week after four fumbles at Kansas in its first Big 12 league game. But for the second game in a row, the Frogs had a fumble roll through the end zone to wipe away a likely score.
Skye Dawson had a 27-yard catch in the fourth quarter and was at the 2 when linebacker Daquan Romero hit him from behind, knocking loose the ball. It rolled through and out of the back of the end zone for a touchback.
The closest Virginia came to scoring before their touchdown was late in the third quarter when Michael Rocco threw a pass to Darius Jennings near the goal-line before a jarring hit by Chris Hackett knocked the ball loose for an incompletion.
"Californication" (seven seasons)
"Entourage" (eight seasons)
Much like “Californication,” this man-centric show started strong and buzzy -- a perpetual nominee at the Golden Globes and Emmys, and a perceived gender-swapped “Sex and the City.” Then it ground on and on, and what might once have been read as a sophisticated satire of Hollywood materialism became a grinding conveyor belt of self-congratulatory guest-star appearances.
"Will & Grace" (eight seasons)
Hey, did someone say “self-congratulatory guest-star appearances?” Look -- it’s Jennifer Lopez, and Cher, and Janet Jackson, and Madonna! The latter seasons of “Will & Grace” effectively ruined the fun of watching the show in syndication now -- will it be a fun and jaunty early episode, or a later episode in which title characters enact an Ibsen play about having a baby together (really) while Jack and Karen meet one pop star or another? The fact that the show hastened a widespread acceptance of gay people that, then, made the show something of a throwback by the time it ended is one thing; the fact that the show itself seemed uninterested in relying on its actors’ sharp comic timing is quite another.
"The King of Queens" (nine seasons)
This CBS stalwart just kind of kept going, exactly as long as was needed to launch Kevin James’ film career. In the show’s final minutes, a formulaic sitcom became a mile-a-minute soap, with the central characters considering divorce and then having two children.
"Frasier" (11 seasons)
Though it ended strong, "Frasier" had something of the opposite problem as “The King of Queens”: While the CBS comedy chucked a whole bunch of plot at viewers toward the end, NBC’s Emmy magnet stayed stuck in familiar ruts, with Frasier questing endlessly for love and Daphne and Niles in fairly unthrilling domestic bliss. The jokes stayed good, but this maybe could have gone one or two years shorter.
"Weeds" (eight seasons)
As “Homeland” viewers may be learning, Showtime isn’t particularly good at keeping its shows coherent over time. (Maybe this is “Californication”’s issue -- we wouldn’t know!) This show changed settings and, effectively, organizing conceits so many times that by the end, it had few earnest defenders.
"Nip/Tuck" (six seasons)
This FX series, too, changed settings midway through, moving from Miami to Los Angeles four seasons in for no compelling reason. The show’s most gripping subplots had a way of petering out (remember the anticlimactic solution to the mystery of the Carver?), and its bizarre tendencies overtook any sense of fun.
"Glee" (five seasons and counting)
The series has, like its sibling show “Nip/Tuck” (Ryan Murphy created them both), switched locations, moving in large part to New York once its core cast graduated high school. But what’s the point of a high school series when the stars graduate? Despite some lovely moments, the show’s heat seems gone, and attempts to get back into the conversation (the school shooting episode, for instance) have been more desperate and tone-deaf than effective.
"Grey's Anatomy" (10 seasons and counting)
Here’s the thing: By all accounts, “Grey’s Anatomy” is not a creative failure. And it’s still widely watched. But when you begin your life as a world-beating hit, anything else seems somewhat marginal. “Grey’s Anatomy” has shed more regular viewers than many shows will ever hope to get in the first place (same’s true of “Survivor” and latter-day “ER,” to name just a few). Those who stopped watching once the Golden Globe nominations petered out may wonder why the show is still on; loyal viewers know better.
"The Simpsons" (25 seasons and counting)
Like the “Grey’s” doctors, the Springfield clan and their neighbors still draw a crowd. But “The Simpsons” is so omnipresent in syndication and in pop culture that the first-run series seems besides the point (not least because, though there are good episodes here and there, the show’s best days are universally agreed to be behind it -- like way behind it, in the 1990s).
"The Office" (nine seasons)
There was a natural break for this show, where it ought to have ended -- with the departure of lead actor Steve Carell in Season 7. The latter years were a creative fugue state, and as NBC’s Thursday night lineup continued to flatline in the ratings, one-time fans could be forgiven at their surprise that the adventures of Jim and Pam kept on unfolding.
"The X-Files" (nine seasons)
Once one of the show’s leads departs and has to be replaced -- as Steve Carell did on “The Office,” or David Duchovny did here -- the show faces a reckoning; if the lead is so central to the show’s plot as to make people wonder how the show could possibly go on, maybe the show shouldn’t. And even “X-Files” superfans might have been happier with fewer seasons of drawing out the conspiracy string toward a famously unsatisfying ending.
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