Best Example: Saturday Night Live

The creative rut that SNL has labored in for the past several years is nothing compared to the troubles the beloved sketch comedy series faced in 1981 during Lorne Michaels' brief absence. Under new executive producer Jean Doumanian, SNL floundered and very nearly got the axe. Network exec Brandon Tartikoff, whose campaign is largely credited with NBC's dominance during the '80s, eventually stepped in on the show's behalf.

With new exec producer Dick Ebersol, SNL found its way back with a cast that relied heavily on eventual breakout star but then-unknown Eddie Murphy. The most acclaimed years of Ebersol's tenure featured heavy-hitters like Billy Crystal and Martin Short, his bold decision to put the show on Eddie Murphy's back is what helped the show regain cultural relevance, with winning characters like an adult version of Buckwheat and Mr. Robinson, a hood version of Mr. Rogers.