Why did the tv show Mythbusters get canceled? It was arguably the most popular science-based TV series worldwide, from early 2000 to 2010. The only show where you could see what happens if you shot a wheel of cheese from a cannon, or built a boomerang guillotine. But that all abruptly ended in the mid-2010s, much to the dismay of many fans worldwide.
Much of it had to do with the funding issues for increasingly larger projects. But the team chemistry is also a reason behind the show's closure, along with a frighteningly low supply of new myths for the team to bust.
The team came up with a rational conclusion and decided to quit while the series was still popular. None of them felt it necessary to drag on the inevitable and see the series hit bottom before calling it quits. This article will discuss the finer details of the ending and the underlying factors leading to that.
Lack of Funding
Mythbusters took off in 2003 and peaked around 2009. Interest in the series kept decreasing with each subsequent year. Which inevitably led to budget cuts, and the coffers were starting to run dry on replicating new Myths.
1. Declining viewership
Declining viewership is a big deal for any TV show, and even more so for a show that needed an exorbitant amount of capital for each set. The hardcore viewers may not like hearing this part, but the series was declining. The clock started ticking long before the eventual closure of the series.
The ones that grew up with the show or the dedicated fanbase were always there. But they were only a small portion of the viewer base. The ratings came from all over the world, and most people watched it as a recreational activity.
According to Google Trends, 2003 to 2009 was the show’s golden age. After that, people started losing interest in the show, and the general concept of it. But make no mistake, it was still a very worthwhile show, it just lost the novelty factor.
After 2009, the series saw a slight increase in viewership during the end of 2011, but it did not last long.
2. Increasing production cost
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Mythbusters was a show that tested science-based myths in a controlled environment and broke down the science behind them. It was a very educational, and very fascinating concept. Some of these myths were so outlandish that people would stay hooked for the entire episode.
But on the flip side, Mythbusters had a higher-than-average production cost. The equipment, tools, and prototypes for the experiments were not cheap. It took highly skilled workmanship to produce the experiments. Even though the cast members did most of the work.
In the early seasons there used to be 3-4 myths per episode. The entire thing was very fast-paced. While they did explain the core concepts behind each myth, they did not go into too much detail about them. The later seasons, however, had only 2 myths per show, and they spent a considerable portion of the show explaining the finer details of each experiment.
While that was good for avid fans or science enthusiasts, the average viewer did not share the same sentiment. The experiments were getting too in-depth, which was reducing the enjoyment factor.
3. Shortage of “Myths”
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Mythbusters generally dealt with myths from popular pop culture references, such as movie scenes and urban legends. There were also some scientific theories that many people knew about but did not have any definitive experiments done. It was very unique and engaging content, but therein lies its downfall.
Human history is short, and there just wasn’t enough of these popular myths to tackle after a certain point. Many people would wonder whether Jack could have fit on the door with Rose. But that kind of well-known reference was getting harder and harder to come by each subsequent year.
This lack of new myths meant that the series had to reduce the number of myths they could cover per show. Which directly meant reduced content for many people. The stars supposedly had disagreements with the producers concerning this.
The latter seasons of the series featured less interesting but larger experiments. There was also a distinct increase in explosions and large-scale light effects. They thought giving the audience more flashy things would work in their favor.
Lack Of Off-Stage Chemistry Between The Cast
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The ending of Mythbusters had a lot to do with the core chemistry between the team members. Specifically, the relationship between Adam and Jamie was not as good as you may see on-screen.
Mythbusters was becoming a dead-end show for all the stars. The Show was not raking up as much rating and viewership, and that number kept going down with each passing year. It reached a point where the producers started offering the stars less than what they started with. Needless to say, none of the cast members were too thrilled by the prospect.
Jamie and Adam were never friends, to begin with, and that did not change after 25 years of working together. They merely treated each other as coworkers and nothing more, it was all very professional. This is no overblown fan theory either. Those two men have never been friends, and they’ve taken great care to acknowledge that on multiple occasions.
They may not be friends, but they did nurture a very healthy professional relationship. They respected each other for their professional skills, and that was that. It’s just they did not get along on a personal level. Despite their lack of personal friendship, they did manage to sustain a very productive professional career together.
That means the prospect of working together did not keep them on the show. When it came time to call it quits, neither of them hesitated for even a second. They had nothing to lose since it had been a splendid conclusion to an otherwise glorious professional career.
Laying off of Important Cast members
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Kari, Tori, and Grant shared a connection that was the exact opposite of Adam and Jamie. These three were as close to a pair of siblings without being related by blood. The set's cameraman nicknamed them Technical, Practical, and Logical.
These three were a pretty good team with both on-stage and off-stage competency and chemistry. But due to the budget cuts, the producers decided to let this trio go in the latter seasons. Fans speculated that the trio had a fallout around that time.
However, that theory collapsed pretty soon when they started the new show called White Rabbit. White Rabbit was moderately popular, and it was good for what it was. The show was mostly about pop culture, which was not the primary field of any of the three stars, but they managed to make it work.
The point is that letting go of Kari, Tori and Grant was a fairly big hit to Mythbusters. Yes, it did free up more resources for the production team, but there wasn’t enough interest in the show to keep the ball rolling with just Adam and Jamie.
Hopefully, now you know why did the tv show Mythbusters get canceled. It had a great run, and the cast decided it was time to call it quits before the show dropped even further.
The show remains a cultural icon, as well as an inspiration for the many young people it influenced. It helped make science fun, and its effect will live on for generations to come.