Why a Great Second Season Is Often Too Late to Save a Struggling Show

FX had to dynamite The Bridge. Could S.H.I.E.L.D. be next?

Very few TV series emerge fully formed. Most shows take at least a season to figure themselves and their characters out, or to course-correct after a rocky beginning. Often by Season 2, a series—like FX's The Bridge or ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—can finally complete its necessary adjustments and become the outstanding show it was always meant to be. Except that audiences no longer have the patience to stick around for such extended fine-tuning.