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WORST Couple of Years for NEW SERIALODIC Shows ever ?

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WORST Couple of Years for NEW SERIALODIC Shows ever ?

Old 11-25-06, 04:17 PM
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WORST Couple of Years for NEW SERIALODIC Shows ever ?

Last year Reunion, Invasion, Threshold, Surface and others didn't make it

This season Vanished, Kidnapped, Smith, the Nine and others haven't made it

Is this the worst few years for serial dramas ever ?

I can't remember this many getting cancelled !
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Old 11-25-06, 04:45 PM
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I think it seems bad because the overall numbers of new serial dramas are high. Everyone's jumping on the bandwagon after the success of "24" and "Lost". By nature, most new shows fail ... so more serial dramas in general means more failure.

That said, I think shows are asking a lot when they come in with the whole show riding on one central gigantic story. It just kicks you in the stomach when they get get cancelled and you were into it -- makes the whole thing feel like a big waste of time. Plus, if you don't get in on the ground floor it feels like too much work to catch up, and many people just never bother. How many times has a multi-year storyline actually been pulled off (and finished to general satisfaction)? "Babylon 5" ... err, anything else? "24" is nice that the seasons are mostly self-contained. "Buffy", "Angel", "BSG", "Star Trek" had multi-episode arcs that played out (sometimes lasting as long an entire season) -- while the adventures of the characters always goes on, you get some closure as the arcs close out (and new ones begin). A lot of these new shows seem like good concepts for mini-series, or even a single season. But it seems to be stretching it for a multi-year story
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Old 11-25-06, 08:10 PM
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I am just afraid to watch any of these in case of cancelation. I will just wait for the dvd if I think I will be interested, like heroes this year. I also think some of these shows would be better if they were only 1-2 seasons long at start, or even miniseries.
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Old 11-25-06, 10:55 PM
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I like how you capitalized your made-up word in the subject line as if it would make it a real word.
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Old 11-26-06, 05:52 AM
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I agree with Brainee. You have to PLAN to watch one of these serial dramas from scratch or else you are out of luck.

By the time I hear someone say they love Invasion or Surface it's 10 eps in and there is no way I can catch up. And I'm NOT going to just jump in.

The flip side of that are the CSI's and Law and Orders. Self contained little 45 minute stories every week. How nice. You can jump in and out and not lose a beat.

I don't watch any of those, by the way.

I do watch Battlestar Galactica, and I think it's suffering the same fate as the other Serialodics. It's seems to be losing viewers ever so slightly, yet there is no way to get NEW ones. Who decides to start watching Season 3 episode 8 of a show like this?
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Old 11-26-06, 09:16 AM
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I think they all got too complicated with the writing remember there are more dumb people out there than smart people
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Old 11-26-06, 09:16 AM
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Like Rome I heard a guy say he quit watching after five episodes because he had no clue who was who and what guy was doing what.
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Old 11-26-06, 10:02 AM
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I think this has probably been the BEST couple of years for serials. Veronica Mars has gotten an amazing amount of leeway. Prison Break and Heroes are both rather strong (in the ratings) new serials from that time period. We have the likes of BG, LOST, and 24. I get the idea that Grey's Anatomy would qualify for the serial status. Desperate Housewives certainly would.

There are so many successful serials that the networks have decided to try a bunch of new ones. That's the only reason so many are cancelled.

If you want to talk about a TV format that is seriously challenged, try sitcoms. We have a couple of networks with a block of Monday sitcoms, one with a block of Sunday sitcoms (mostly animated), and one putting together a Thursday night block. That's about it for the format these days.
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Old 11-26-06, 09:40 PM
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Correct me if i'm wrong but Desp H, Lost, 24 and Veronica mars aren't from the last 2 seasons, but the one before that.

I'm talking about the last 2 seasons, this current one and last year
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Old 11-26-06, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Original Desmond
Correct me if i'm wrong but Desp H, Lost, 24 and Veronica mars aren't from the last 2 seasons, but the one before that.

I'm talking about the last 2 seasons, this current one and last year
Yep DH, Mars, Lost are in season 3. I think 24 is one more season
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Old 11-26-06, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mh4268
Yep DH, Mars, Lost are in season 3. I think 24 is one more season
Few more, 24 starts its 6th season in Jan. (The first season was in 2001).
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Old 11-27-06, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cornflakeguy
I do watch Battlestar Galactica, and I think it's suffering the same fate as the other Serialodics. It's seems to be losing viewers ever so slightly, yet there is no way to get NEW ones. Who decides to start watching Season 3 episode 8 of a show like this?
Mid-season catching up is hard on serials. With shows on cable though, the network can decide to run mid-season marathons to help people catch up. Broadcast networks can do the same if they have a sister cable network. For example, Sci-Fi is airing a marathon of all the episodes aired so far of NBC's Heroes on Wednesday. Sci-Fi has also re-ran the most recent episode later in the week since the show started, which helps people to stay caught up, on top of the free online streams.

The networks really have to work at attracting new viewers with serialized shows though, as opposed to episodic shows that can gain viewers more easily since they don't necessarily have to watch from the beginning.
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Old 11-27-06, 05:07 AM
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But now things are working against the network and we are in vicious circle

Viewers have been burnt too many times with cancelled serialized shows that more and more people give them a miss and wait and see if they make it, then may watch the show on dvd or tivo. This reduces the viewership and more of these shows gets cancelled.
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Old 11-27-06, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Original Desmond
But now things are working against the network and we are in vicious circle.
After this year's spate of failures, I doubt the networks are going to be greenlighting as many serialized shows next year. We're probably going to see a return to more episodic television, if the networks stick with scripted dramas at all.
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Old 11-27-06, 10:10 AM
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I think one of the most important problems with these new serials that have failed is the casting. Look at the lead actors in the serials that have failed:

Kidnapped: Jeremy Sisto/Timothy Hutton/Dana Delany
Vanished: Gale Harold/Eddie Cibrian
Threshold: Carla Gugino
Invasion: William Fichtner/Eddie Cibrian
Smith: Ray Liotta

I really don't think any of these people can be regarded as strong "Lead" actors who can carry their own show. I think pretty much all these actors were never casted in lead roles prior to these shows and I think their really wasn't any appeal for these shows because these actors don't have a solid fan base. I know Carla Gugino was in Karen Sisco and that show flopped as well. My 1st reaction to Gale Harold being casted on Vanished was "Who is this guy?"

I think 24 has become really successful because Kiefer Sutherland had a pretty solid film career and had several lead roles in action/dramatic films prior to being casted as a lead character for this show. However, one excpetion to this can be Prison Break since that is more of an ensemble based show as opposed to having 1 strong lead character.

Last edited by DJariya; 11-27-06 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 11-27-06, 10:25 AM
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I think the trouble is actually with the success of the slightly older shows.

Audiences only have so much time and attention to give, and only so much ability to devote themselves to serial drama. People are watching Lost and DH, 24 and VM, and they have little surplus time and attention to give to additional serials. In this context, the success of Heroes is a little surprising...
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Old 11-27-06, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by WillieTheShakes
I think the trouble is actually with the success of the slightly older shows.
That's precisely what I was getting at. We have a great number of serial dramas right now, and that has led to two things happening:

- saturation of the market
- lots of so-so concepts getting made because everybody wants to jump on

The success of Heroes shows that a new serial drama can catch on if it's a little different and brings something to the table the audience really wants.
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Old 11-27-06, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by brainee
I think it seems bad because the overall numbers of new serial dramas are high. Everyone's jumping on the bandwagon after the success of "24" and "Lost". By nature, most new shows fail ... so more serial dramas in general means more failure.
I think this is probably the main reason. That and the fact that I don't think that networks fully understand what makes serials work well -- that you can't just take anything and serialize it. Putting random twists and characters in a story without any logic gets tedious. Serial or not, bad TV is still bad TV.

Just MHO, but I've seen a LOT of just godawful serials in the past couple of years. I applaud the idea of rewarding loyal viewership, but I haven't seen many that I'd voluntarily spend time watching.
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Old 11-27-06, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DJariya
I think one of the most important problems with these new serials that have failed is the casting.... I really don't think any of these people can be regarded as strong "Lead" actors who can carry their own show. I think pretty much all these actors were never casted in lead roles prior to these shows and I think their really wasn't any appeal for these shows because these actors don't have a solid fan base. I know Carla Gugino was in Karen Sisco and that show flopped as well. My 1st reaction to Gale Harold being casted on Vanished was "Who is this guy?"
That's an interesting theory, but it falls apart when faced with the fact that one of the most successful new TV shows this season, Heroes, is an ensemble cast of virtually complete no-names.

In fact, the majority of successful new TV shows for the past few seasons are populated by no-names. Grey's Anatomy's biggest star was probably Sandra Oh. LOST's biggest star was Matthew Fox, who did Party of Five 7 years previous and was a lead in a canceled TV show in the between time. the 2nd biggest star on LOST played a hobbit in Lord of the Rings, so not exactly carrying-the-show material either.

Prior to House, who would've pegged Hugh Laurie as the lead of a hit US TV show? The title character in Bones is played by an actress who, prior to the show, was best known as the sister of the actress that was in Elf. Scrubs had one of the Bobs from Office Space and guest appearances by the actress from the Drew Carrey show.

Most really successful shows start of with actors that aren't that well known. The shows make the stars, not the other way around.

For example, everyone watched and loved Seinfeld. However, when Jason Alexander, Michael Richards, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus all launched shows after Seinfeld ended, they all promptly failed. People loved their characters in Seinfeld, but that didn't translate into viewers following them to their next show. It's telling that the person from Seinfeld who's had the most successful sitcom since, Larry David, wasn't even an actor on the show.

I think 24 has become really successful because Kiefer Sutherland had a pretty solid film career
Kiefer's last notable film role prior to 24 was in Dark City, about 3 years before. His last lead role of any consequence was back in 1994. Snagging him for 24 was just a step above getting Judd Nelson on Suddenly Susan.

No disrespect to Kiefer, mind you, I think he's a great actor. However, if a movie star is still getting lead movie role offers, that's what they're going to keep doing.
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