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Will scripted TV survive the current and possible upcoming strikes?

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Will scripted TV survive the current and possible upcoming strikes?

Old 12-20-07, 12:26 AM
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Will scripted TV survive the current and possible upcoming strikes?

Promoted by the recent posts in this thread it's got me wondering since "reality" tv is so much cheaper to make and there just seems to be more and more of it these days if the current writers strike and the possible upcoming entertainment industry strikes may strike a near total final blow for scripted TV (Dear God...I hope not).
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Old 12-20-07, 01:38 AM
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Of course it will. Probably not all the current shows will survive, but there will be new ones just like always.
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Old 12-20-07, 02:58 AM
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Scripted TV will definitely survive. It has tremendous replay value and makes the studios lots of money in downloads, DVD sales and syndication.

Reality TV is cheaper, but has pretty much zero replay/syndication value. Basically it's much not worth a damn thing after it's original airing. Have you noticed that CBS stop releasing Survivor and The Amazing Race on DVD???
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Old 12-20-07, 03:15 AM
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I think it will survive, but it may not survive in its current structure, so I voted "perhaps". With all the talk of abandoning pilots, abandoning the fall season entirely as the launch point for new series, and possibly going with shorter "seasons" of scripted series, the result may be that scripted series as we now know them could changed quite a bit.
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Old 12-20-07, 04:28 AM
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NBC's idea of expanded reality programming (with the first hour of primetime being designated for reality/game shows) will become a reality, but scripted tv isn't going anywhere.
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Old 12-20-07, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunde
Of course it will. Probably not all the current shows will survive, but there will be new ones just like always.
I agree except I think that shows that would probably have been cancelled by now (e.g. K-Ville) will be renewed for a 2nd season if the strike prevents new pilots from being produced.
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Old 12-20-07, 08:15 AM
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I think some of reality's allure is that it is alternative programming. If it became the norm, then people would get very bored, very fast.
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Old 12-20-07, 08:35 AM
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I think it would be great if networks could vary their schedules a little more. Why is their goal to make a show that can go on for years until it's a shell of its former self? They should have more limited run shows. I want shows that the writer says, "I have 20 episodes worth of really strong material." Just give them 20 episodes and if it doesn't catch on, at least let it run its course, and move on to the next project. I think people would be more willing to jump onto serialized shows if they were guaranteed an ending.

Networks are just so set in their own ways, and I think it would benefit them greatly to start shaking things up a bit.
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Old 12-20-07, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
I think it would be great if networks could vary their schedules a little more. Why is their goal to make a show that can go on for years until it's a shell of its former self? They should have more limited run shows. I want shows that the writer says, "I have 20 episodes worth of really strong material." Just give them 20 episodes and if it doesn't catch on, at least let it run its course, and move on to the next project. I think people would be more willing to jump onto serialized shows if they were guaranteed an ending.

Networks are just so set in their own ways, and I think it would benefit them greatly to start shaking things up a bit.
I'm in agreement with you 100%. I'd love to see more short run, high quality shows.
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Old 12-20-07, 10:27 AM
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I can see the horizon of 12-16 ep seasons..., I think 22 or 24 eps might be a dinosaur in a few years. Cable has trailblazed a new approach on that one
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Old 12-20-07, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mphtrilogy
I can see the horizon of 12-16 ep seasons..., I think 22 or 24 eps might be a dinosaur in a few years. Cable has trailblazed a new approach on that one
And the UK has been doing 6 episode comedies for forever!

I could watch repeats of a great comedy series like Fawlty Towers 4 times a year over the 22 episode sitcoms they're forced to crank out.
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Old 12-20-07, 12:04 PM
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I'm using the strike to get caught up on acclaimed scripted shows like Friday Night Lights, which I didnt watch when it premiered, so I will be a new fan when the 3rd season starts. So some scripted shows might actually pick up viewers.
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Old 12-20-07, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by magiccmom
I'm using the strike to get caught up on acclaimed scripted shows like Friday Night Lights, which I didnt watch when it premiered, so I will be a new fan when the 3rd season starts. So some scripted shows might actually pick up viewers.
Hey now, the 2nd season isn't even through yet. FNL is one of the few shows that'll be able to film the majority of its season despite the strike.
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Old 12-20-07, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
I think it would be great if networks could vary their schedules a little more. Why is their goal to make a show that can go on for years until it's a shell of its former self? They should have more limited run shows. I want shows that the writer says, "I have 20 episodes worth of really strong material." Just give them 20 episodes and if it doesn't catch on, at least let it run its course, and move on to the next project. I think people would be more willing to jump onto serialized shows if they were guaranteed an ending.

Networks are just so set in their own ways, and I think it would benefit them greatly to start shaking things up a bit.
You make a great point, and a point that I agree with. There is one problem, however. I'll use Matt Groening's response to the declining quality of The Simpsons as an example: "I honesty don't see any end in sight. I think it's possible that the show will become too financially cumbersome... but right now, the show is creatively, I think, as good or better than it's ever been. The animation is incredibly detailed and imaginative, and the stories do things that we haven't done before. So creatively there's no reason to quit."

Even Dick Wolf (Law & Order creator) thinks his show is doing fine, creatively. Last year, Law & Order was terrible. With Jeremy Sisto and Linus Roache joining the cast this season, I think Law & Order might be one of the very few long running shows too bounce back after a decline in quality.

Some shows have actually done very well with 22 + episode seasons. Actually, a lot have. Comedies seem to be better for the 22 + seasons, than 1 hour Dramas, creatively. A show like 30 Rock (bloody brilliant comedy) getting a 5 or 6 episode season, that would make me feel "cheated".

Shows like CSI would benefit from a 6-14 episode season. Less "filler" episodes.
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Old 12-20-07, 03:16 PM
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My theory is that the strike will actually help scripted television. Most of the scripted shows on TV this season will probably be renewed for the next fall season, mostly because of network's lack of pilots this season. Additionally, with almost all scripted shows in repeats now, the networks are filling the void with an unprecidented amount of reality television 80% of which wouldn't have been greenlite without the strike threat around last summer. Thus, the American public will finally be fed up with reality television by the end of the stirke and hungry for the good old days of scripted dramas and sitcoms...
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Old 12-20-07, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Doughboy
Hey now, the 2nd season isn't even through yet. FNL is one of the few shows that'll be able to film the majority of its season despite the strike.
Are you sure about that? I thought they only had nine in the can, and those have all aired.
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Old 12-20-07, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rfduncan
Are you sure about that? I thought they only had nine in the can, and those have all aired.
They've got 6 more left.
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Old 12-20-07, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rfduncan
Are you sure about that? I thought they only had nine in the can, and those have all aired.
We are going to get 15 episodes total for season 2. There was an article in TV Guide that said Jason Katims, the showrunner for FNL, runs the best ship amongst scripted shows.
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Old 12-21-07, 10:03 AM
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I think that a 22 episode format is fine for a good show, and if a show isn't good, then there's no reason to watch it. As long as they can come up with new situations, the plotlines will provide joke opportunities, so it's not like they are spreading the jokes out, and could pack all the comedy into fewer episodes.

I would like to see shows that do what they're going to do in a year. Twin Peaks was groundbreaking, but it failed to transition past the resolution of its central mystery. The response to that is to drag out the central mystery forever, like "Lost," or to descend into inanity like "Desperate Housewives."

The rationale is that, since so many shows fail, it's important to keep a good thing going. But if you miss the beginning of a serialized drama, it's very hard to pick it up. And network shows have far too many narrative digressions and fillers.

There are disparate story arcs that span seasons, or end in cliffhangers, but the need to go on and on and on removes the ability to have themes or ideas or a narrative spine that connects the series. This is the reason why HBO dramas are better than network dramas. I think television would benefit from shows with planned resolutions.

Shorter series would not have to accommodate problems like actors' real-life pregnancies, injuries, contract renegotiations, drunk driving convictions etc, that force the shows to compromise the storyline to accommodate those realities. I say, let them end and let the creative teams move on to new projects.

As much as I like shows like, for example, "Pushing Daisies," I can't imagine the conceit holding up through 4 seasons, and, like many viewers, I'm frustrated with the inscrutability and slow pace of the mystery on "Lost." However "Lost" resolves itself after season 5 or 6 or whatever, the show will, as a complete work, be worse than if it had been about 1/3 as long.
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