The standard reason for a TV show to get cancelled is when the ratings drop. Was that the case for "The Next Generation" too? What exactly is meant by "low ratings": is it absolute numbers, or relative to other shows, or relative to the production costs?
Ratings are not the only conceivable reason for cancellation. Sometimes a show just loses steam, or the people behind the scenes lose interest. (For instance, "Seinfeld" ended because Jerry Seinfeld wanted it to end, despite it being enormously successful at that point.)
If ratings were the reason, does anybody have any insight as to what the the actual viewer numbers were? And how strong they would have had to be in order for the show to continue? Wikipedia has a section on the cancellation, but it's quite vague, I'd like to know some actual numbers.
(I personally think TNG never jumped the shark, I thought the longer it ran the stronger the show got, but who's asking me :-))