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Are TV Show season's getting too short?

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Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Old 08-11-09, 03:27 AM
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Are TV Show season's getting too short?

I've noticed over the last decade, especially with cable shows, that episodes orders have shrunk considerably. But the last couple years I've been seeing seasons that are only 9/10 episodes (and that's not because of the writers strike)... I'm just curious what you guys think, is that enough time to plot out an entire season's worth of stories?
Old 08-11-09, 04:36 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

I think it depends on the type of show. For serial dramas smaller seasons are fine. I'd rather have more shows with shorter, tighter episodes than fewer shows with bloated "full" seasons, often containing more than a few filler episodes.

For shows that are episodic, especially comedies and procedurals, more is better, as long as they can keep the quality up.

The worst is probably the UK's common 6 episodes per season. It's just long enough to bother with episodic storytelling, but then just as you get into it the series is over.
Old 08-11-09, 04:42 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

For shows like CSI, Criminal Minds, NCIS and other procedurals. 22-27 episodes a season is fine with me and they will probably continue to crank out that many.

As for serial dramas, 24 is probably the exception since the show is structured for a 24 hour time period.

But, I think serial dramas like Lost, Burn Notice, Mad Men have benefited tremendously from shorter seasons and tighter writing.

You also have to keep in mind that alot of these shows that are getting short seasons are on cable and cable budgets and cable advertising revenue are alot smaller than the broadcast networks. Hence 10-15 episodes is all they can afford.
Old 08-11-09, 04:45 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

USA drives me nuts. They take a show like Monk or Psych and break the 16-episode season into two parts. You get 8 episodes during the Summer, a special Holiday episode during the break, and the final 7 episodes during the Winter. At least they're all standalone episodes without a continuing storyline. But it screws up my whole TV schedule. I always seem to miss the first episode when it returns. And it's over just as I'm getting into the groove.
Old 08-11-09, 08:05 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

I like short seasons, since it usually bumps the quality of the shows that we do get. That is why I find that BBC series are usually much better than US ones, as there is virtually no filler over there.
Old 08-11-09, 08:22 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Depends on the show. 10-12 episodes for shows like Entourage and Curb is very short. The thing though is that they don't fill the shows with fillers...

Lost anyone?
Old 08-11-09, 08:28 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

I'm fine with the 8-13 episode season. That way I can watch 5-6 shows a year and never feel like I'm spending a lot of time in front of the TV. Plus, the level of quality stays much highr with the abbreviated seasons.
Old 08-11-09, 08:46 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
As for serial dramas, 24 is probably the exception since the show is structured for a 24 hour time period.
And even 24 very sneakily has plenty of filler. Not filler episodes but it's loaded with filler plotlines that stretch out half the season and don't have much bearing on the overall story arc of the season.

I agree with the general sentiment. Less is more for dramas. Short seasons, tighter plotlines, less filler. Sometimes I don't mind the filler for some shows. As a standalone episode, the Nikki and Paolo episode of LOST was one of the coolest. There I said it.

But regardless, I'd rather get 12 weeks of straight story arc and substantial plot progression then 18 weeks with 6 eps where nothing important happens.
Old 08-11-09, 08:47 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

I've got no problem with the short seasons for cable shows, but I don't see why the breaks need to be so long. For example, In Plain Sight just wrapped up their season and won't be back until the spring. WTF? 22-ep network shows finish in May and come back in Sept/Oct, so about a 4 month break.
Old 08-11-09, 08:47 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Maybe they can call the show 18 instead. Skip the fillers.
Old 08-11-09, 09:11 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Originally Posted by critterdvd View Post
I've noticed over the last decade, especially with cable shows, that episodes orders have shrunk considerably. But the last couple years I've been seeing seasons that are only 9/10 episodes (and that's not because of the writers strike)... I'm just curious what you guys think, is that enough time to plot out an entire season's worth of stories?
Well except for season 4, OZ only ever had 8 episodes per season and that was amazing. It is enough time if you have decent writers.

I on the other hand think that many shows have too MANY episodes in a season... especially sitcoms. So much bad writing materializes when 22 scripts have to be penned for a single season. Lots of crap fluff episodes IMHO.
Old 08-11-09, 09:25 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Quality > Quantity.
Old 08-11-09, 09:29 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
USA drives me nuts. They take a show like Monk or Psych and break the 16-episode season into two parts. You get 8 episodes during the Summer, a special Holiday episode during the break, and the final 7 episodes during the Winter. At least they're all standalone episodes without a continuing storyline. But it screws up my whole TV schedule. I always seem to miss the first episode when it returns. And it's over just as I'm getting into the groove.
But without that, USA shows would die going against Network prime time in the Fall.

I like shorter seasons also. I think a show like Smallville could benefit from it greatly.
Old 08-11-09, 09:37 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Originally Posted by stingermck View Post
I think a show like Smallville could benefit from it greatly.
BINGO! Classic example of a show chock full of fluff every season!
Old 08-11-09, 10:23 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Imagine if the first couple seasons of Heroes was trimmed down to a cable standard 13 episodes instead of being streched out so far. The show wouldn't suck as much

Prison Break was also another show forced to throw in a ton of filler to reach the 22-24 episode season, and it hurt the show somewhat, especially in season 4.
Old 08-11-09, 11:02 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Originally Posted by Dean Kousoulas View Post
Imagine if the first couple seasons of Heroes was trimmed down to a cable standard 13 episodes instead of being streched out so far. The show wouldn't suck as much
Actually I think Heroes would be awesome if they had a few 8 to 10 episode seasons. The reason that show sucked was because there were so many useless characters and too many stupid storylines with those useless characters.

If they cut it down to 5 (Peter, Sylar, HRG, Claire,Hiro) main characters with a few minors and let the action happen over 10 hours, the show would be great.
Old 08-11-09, 11:03 AM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

For Prison Break every episode after the first season was filler.
Old 08-11-09, 12:58 PM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

To me shows on channels like HBO, USA, and Showtime are much better because they run shorter seasons. I think there are exceptions but really I think I bored of so many shows because seeing like 20 some odd episodes a year started to make me get tired of and not like certain shows as much. There are exceptions of course but overall I feel like most tv seasons are too long.
Old 08-11-09, 01:08 PM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
USA drives me nuts. They take a show like Monk or Psych and break the 16-episode season into two parts. You get 8 episodes during the Summer, a special Holiday episode during the break, and the final 7 episodes during the Winter. At least they're all standalone episodes without a continuing storyline. But it screws up my whole TV schedule. I always seem to miss the first episode when it returns. And it's over just as I'm getting into the groove.

Since I have those on my DVR I never miss the episodes, and I love it. For some reason, the two mini seasons make me feel like the show is on more than it actually is. Burn Notice is always around, and is never gone for too long. I think the USA model is perfect for its shows, and I really like that they're staggering the release of Burn Notice and Psych now, which are the main USA shows I dig.

On HBO, the shorter seasons makes Big Love a really intense show, but I absolutely hate the waits between seasons for this.
Old 08-11-09, 01:19 PM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

I like the shorter seasons, too. I don't mind being left wanting more. I think that's why many of the BBC shows are so good. I'm guessing they write the stories first, then figure out how many hours it takes to tell the story, rather than the other way around.
Old 08-11-09, 01:34 PM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Originally Posted by Goat3001 View Post
Actually I think Heroes would be awesome if they had a few 8 to 10 episode seasons. The reason that show sucked was because there were so many useless characters and too many stupid storylines with those useless characters.

If they cut it down to 5 (Peter, Sylar, HRG, Claire,Hiro) main characters with a few minors and let the action happen over 10 hours, the show would be great.
Heroes was essentially split into two seasons last year. It didn't help. There's no helping that show until they fire Kring.
Old 08-11-09, 01:40 PM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

Originally Posted by rfduncan View Post
Originally Posted by stingermck View Post
I think a show like Smallville could benefit from it greatly.
BINGO! Classic example of a show chock full of fluff every season!
I think a 3 episode season would be a bit extreme.
Old 08-11-09, 01:52 PM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

BSG and The Sarah Connor Chronicles are two examples of shows that went completely to shit when they tried to go to full length season. It just ruins the pacing of a story. Thats why all the best shows are on HBO IMO. There is very little filler there.
Old 08-11-09, 02:14 PM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

I like the shorter seasons. I'd much rather have a shorter season with no fluff or poor storylines that 22 episodes where 6 or 7 are bs.
Old 08-11-09, 10:00 PM
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Re: Are TV Show season's getting too short?

It depends on the show, a really weird show is Nip/Tuck which often had close to a year between seasons of only like 10-12 episodes. I know Chuck only got renewed for 1/2 season of only like 13 episodes and doesn't air until March. Some shows have fewer episodes because they follow just one story arc, as apposed to standalone stories like in sitcoms such as King of Queens or Friends.

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