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Shows that went on way too long
"Californication" (seven seasons)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Wynn Resorts Ltd. said Monday that it made less money than expected in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau, and its second quarter results missed analysts’ forecasts.
Excluding special items, Wynn made $1.51 per share on revenue of $1.33 billion in the latest quarter.
Analysts polled by FactSet forecast, on average, earnings of $1.57 per share on revenue of $1.34 billion
Revenue from Wynn’s two properties on the recently sluggish Las Vegas Strip soared by 16.2 percent compared with last year. But revenue in the usually robust Macau market was up by just 2.6 percent, due in part to hotel renovations that limited the number of available rooms.
In a conference call with analysts Monday, CEO Steve Wynn warned against interpreting the relatively strong showing in Las Vegas as a sign that Sin City is finally bouncing back along with the rest of the U.S. economy from the crushing blow dealt by the Great Recession.
“I think we are having a limp-wristed sort of crawl out of a hole, but a recovery is a more robust word,” he said.
Instead, the billionaire casino mogul attributed the jump in revenue from the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore casinos to the “premium niche” the company has carved out in Macau.
“Our brand, because of the market segment we cater to, tends to benefit from the international market. In these emerging markets, a lot of people are enjoying success outside the United States, and they make their way to Las Vegas. And I think that we are one of the first choices for that kind of visitation,” he said.
Wynn noted that the company is refurbishing 600 rooms in the Wynn Macau Resort, which opened in 2006, and the renovations have taken a sixth of the available inventory out of commission.
An hour from Hong Kong by ferry, Macau is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, and has become the biggest gambling center in the world, as the Chinese middle class has expanded in recent years.
Revenue per available room, or revpar, at Wynn Macau increased 5 percent to $300. The metric is a key gauge of a hotel operator’s performance.
The company is building a second Macau casino resort in the peninsula’s Cotai district expected to open in the first half of 2016.
Total revenue was up by 6.3 percent, but income was down 6 percent, to $129.8 million, in part because the company retired debt early.
Also on Monday, the company announced it will be issuing a $1-per-share dividend, payable Aug. 26 to shareholders of record on Aug. 12.
Wynn shares rose by 29 cents to $131.27 in trading Monday.
Hannah Dreier can be reached at http://twitter.com/hannahdreier .
"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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