Q. Did "jump the shark" originate from this web site, or did you create the site to capitalize on the phrase?
A. It all started here. The site went up December 24, 1997 and gave birth to the phrase "jump the shark." As the site continues to grow in popularity, the term has become more commonplace. The site is the chicken, the egg, and now a Catch-22. On June 20, 2006, Jump The Shark, Inc. was sold to Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc.
Q. What is jumping the shark?
It's a moment. A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak. That instant that you know from now on...it's all downhill. Some call it the climax. We call it "Jumping the Shark." From that moment on, the program will simply never be the same.
The term "jump the shark" was coined by site founder Jon Hein's college roommate of 4 years, Sean J. Connolly, in Ann Arbor, Michigan back in 1985. This web site, book, film, and all other material surrounding shark jumping, are hereby dedicated to "the Colonel."
The aforementioned expression refers to the telltale sign of the demise of Happy Days, our favorite example, when Fonzie actually "jumped the shark." The rest is history.
Jumping the shark applies not only to TV, but also music, film, even everyday life. "Did you see her boyfriend? She definitely jumped the shark." You get the idea.
We invite you to comment when any show jumped the shark.
Q. How do I add a show?
A. Shows are added automatically as they debut.
Q. How do I vote for a show?
A. Go to the show's page in our Shark Categories and then click on the vote link next to the reasons at the top of the page.
Q. I don't see the reason I want to vote for. How do I add it?
A. Send us an e-mail at Jump the Shark (be sure to tell us what show you want to add that reason for) and we'll add it to the list of reasons for that particular show.
Q. How do I add a comment?
A. Just go to the bottom of any show page in the Shark Categories. There is a box at the bottom of the page where you can add your comments.
Q. Where do you come up with these categories?
A. The original eight categories (Same Character Different Actor, Death, Birth, Live, Puberty, Singing, and of course, Ted McGinley) were just that...original, and they debuted with the site. Other categories are a combination of visitor suggestions, brainstorming, and a result of your many votes!
Q. Does Ted McGinley know he's the patron saint?
A. Yes, he does...and he has a great sense of humor about it too. We loved him in Nerds and he's a fine actor. Thankfully, Ted remains gainfully employed in the industry and keeps us in business. Remember, it's just business, never personal.
Q. Whose opinions are these anyway?
A. The opinions and comments listed under each program have been provided by our staff and our visitors. We simply post 'em as we get 'em. If you want an "official" opinion, e-mail Jon Hein directly and he'll let you know what he thinks.
Q. Where's the book?
A. Now available at a bookstore (online or otherwise) near you. The TV Edition (no movies, sports, politics or celebs) was released as a paperback in September, 2003.
Q. When will Jump The Shark jump the shark?
A. Jump The Shark action figures. Or a breakfast cereal. You decide.