To "Jump The Shark" is a Hollywood term that dates back to the 1970's, when "The Fonz" made a water-ski jump over a shark on the sitcom "Happy Days." It identifies the point at which a TV show or series has turned the corner from legitimate to ridiculous, and usually marks the beginning of the end for the program.
That moment has come for the long litany of "talent" shows on television.
For starters, there are a lot of them.
It's no secret that networks ran out of imagination and creativity about a decade ago. Instead, here's how things now work in Loopy Land:
A struggling last-place network, desperate to try anything, will trot out an idea they stole and repackaged from the earliest days of television. For example, the new ABC show "What Would You Do" is touted as this ground-breaking hybrid of reality TV and news documentary.
Yeah. It's "ground-breaking" all right. As in, the ground should break open over the grave of Allen Funt, the creator of the old "Candid Camera" show from the 1950's, and the dead host should start handing out butt-whoopings and lawsuit subpoenas to anyone even remotely involved with this tired ABC ripoff.
But the show will probably skyrocket the way Simon Cowell's blatant copycats "American Idol" and "X-Factor" hit the stratosphere on the wings of "Ted Mack's Amateur Hour," similar television gold from the 1940's. Of course, even stealing Mack's idea (which he actually stole from radio host Major Bowles in 1948) isn't particularly original, since Ed McMahon did the same thing with "Star Search" back in the 1980's.
Anyway, once the new version is rolled out and gets some ratings attention at a dying network, executives at every other network on the planet will scramble to "create" their own version of the same lame ripoff instead of actually offering something original of their own.
And that, children, is how you wind up with the "America's Got X-Factor Voice Idol Singing Bee Talent" hodgepodge of screeching Kelly Clarkson wannabes.
Fortunately, the signs of the apocalypse have arrived, heralding the end of the world. Or at least, the end of these no-talent shows.
And it came upon a pale horse named Kardashian.
Initially, I thought the end of the era was marked by American Idol's decision to blend their Star Search clone with the reality show "Real Housewives of Atlanta," a mess created when they hired has-been Mariah Carey and talentless never-was Nicki Minaj as judges. The catfight queens were hired to replace two real musical stars -- Steven Tyler of "Aerosmith" and Jennifer Lopez of big-butt fame -- who must have been humiliated or seriously hung over to have ever agreed to appear on this farce of a show.
According to recent news reports which have carefully and salaciously been leaked by Fox, a very ghetto feud has erupted on the set between Mariah and Minaj.
Even President Obama has weighed in on the nonsense, which is just ratings gold for the network whose news sibling has made a career out of hating the president.
But the real "jump the shark" moment for singing shows was announced earlier this week.
The X-Factor is so starved for attention, it took a similar dip into the reality-TV cesspool and came up with its very own Kardashian. According to the report, Khloe Kardashian will be co-hosting the show with Mario "Dimples" Lopez in the upcoming season.
In its own way, the hiring is another "ground-breaking" move. It will now spotlight a host who isn't attractive, can't act, can't talk, can't think, and can't do anything much beyond whining about her more famous but equally untalented older sister. Basically, she's the Anti-Vanna.
Who would have thought it possible that the show which features singers who can't sing has finally managed to find a host that can't host?
So the era of the singing show is officially over. And we should be grateful.
All that's left is to find Simon Cowell a leather jacket and a nice pair of skis.