TV shows that became better over time?

Most of TV shows (especially the ones that go up to five seasons and more) start going downhill after a while.
I just want to know, are there any TV shows that you feel were the opposite? Became better over time? To the point that you had felt that the final season was the best?

Parks and Rec. I thought the first season was pretty bad but they got their groove after that.

NYPD Blue. I’m not sure that the final season was the best, but I do think that the last six were better than the first six.

Babylon 5 definitely got better in each of its four seasons.

I see what you did there

There are plenty of shows that take 1 or 2 seasons to really hit their stride. Parks and Rec is a great example, as is The Office and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But many of those then have an curved trajectory of some sort… weak first few seasons, very strong middle, some amount of tailing off at the end.

I can’t think of a show off the top of my head which is now completed (so we know the full story start to finish) where the basic quality trajectory was continually upwards over its entire run.

Using this neat site, two that come somewhat close are Angel and Breaking Bad, but both are mainly just “mostly flat, slight upward trend” rather than actually consistently improving.

Fringe got better over time and ended on a pretty high note.

I think Futurama had an upward trajectory for each of its original four seasons. After the cancellation and resurrection (and subsequent cancellation and resurrection), it was wildly inconsistent.

Here is a useful site for this, at least based on IMDB ratings. Babylon 5 kind of did improve and you can see the decline in season 5.

Fringe is a good candidate, as it really increased towards the end.

The forgotten series VR5 started out slowly. Then they killed a main character and it took off.

Dollhouse started out so-so, but by the end of the first season, it was firing on all cylinders.

In both cases, the early episodes were problem-of-the-week, but a deeper subplot slowly came to the fore.

The Dick Van Dyke Show had some of its best episodes in its final season.

Seinfeld had a weak first season, but got better. The last season wasn’t the best, but it peaked around the middle of its run. Ellen’s last season was definitely the best. The episodes after she came out were golden.

I also thought One Day at a Time took a little time to fine its footing. The first season was uneven, and it needed to lose Richard Masur’s character (nothing against him as an actor, his character on the show was just unnecessary). The second and third seasons, before Mackenzie Phillips got fired the first time were probably the best. Unfortunately, it was one of those shows that went on to long, and the last couple of seasons were awful.

Barney Miller was mediocre in its first season, the biggest problem being that most of the humor was based on stereotypes: the dumb Polish guy, the jive-talking black guy, the excitable Hispanic. The show improved greatly when they started to develop the personalities of the main players. For instance, Wojo went from being dumb to being earnest. They also started giving the audience more credit for intelligence, which allowed them to have more funnier criminals and complainants (e.g. the English professor who defaced a billboard because he hated the poor use of language).

Jeff nailed it. Barney Miller got better every day. WKRP was pretty good over the whole run. At least it didn’t go to shit at the end.

Nova keeps getting better, at least to me…

This was the first thing that came to mind.

I’m told the same holds for Farscape, but so far I haven’t made it past the first few episodes to know if I agree.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Started off with a fairly dull first season, mostly standalone episodes, and confined to a space station limited plot possibilities. After that, it got better every year, with several long-running plot arcs developing. Finally, the last two years told the story of the Federation involved in a long and bloody war, which was some of the best Star Trek ever.

This - and, even more, Star Trek: The Next Generation. The first season was frequently moderately awful, and rarely good; even the second was fairly uneven, though better. After that, they started doing generally good to great episodes.

Late Night with Conan O’Brien

The Avengers improved greatly over the first five seasons (in content and form, going from three-camera, black-and-white videotape to single-camera, color film), then kinda nosedived in the sixth.

I like the Full House from the 90s better than the earlier seasons from the 80s.