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It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

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It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Old 12-24-16, 02:31 AM
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It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Other than long outdated notions of 'ratings seasons' which with modern technology need to be abolished

You have way more people off work, at home with families with time to do lots of things include watch some quality tv together

Doesn't make sense not to air brand new content during this time

Not talking about live type shows or anything like that, fresh episodes of scripted shows
Old 12-24-16, 07:31 AM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Ratings are still the driving factor. With 22-23 episode seasons the networks want their hit shows to last until May, which is a ratings month.
February is also a ratings month. Used to be the Super Bowl was in Jan. and the Oscars in April. Both were moved to Feb. for ratings reasons. These are no longer live events covered for television, but rather events produced for television with a live audience.
The heavy serialization of scripted shows plays a part. Networks don't want to break up the week to week continued story. So we get a cliffhanger "fall finale" around Nov., another ratings month. We also get the "winter premiere" in ratings month of Feb.
This is what we end up with:

November(ratings month)-big fall finale
February(ratings month)- all the big specials and winter premieres
May(ratings month)- season finales
July(ratings month)- cable show premieres. Last Ship, Strain etc.
Old 12-24-16, 07:36 AM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

That;s what i'm saying, every month should be a ratings month
Old 12-24-16, 08:20 AM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

What makes them "ratings months"? There is nothing particularly special about those months.

I can recall when networks would have new episode - repeat - new episode - repeat. Now, I think I reaction to cable networks with smaller scripted seasons - they networks have tried to chunk up the seasons into blocks. Fox seems to do the worst because they have to contend with baseball post season and football.

In contrast, just as all networks aired their winter finales, I noticed Amazon released the second season of Man in the High Castle for binge viewing. Good timing!
Old 12-24-16, 08:50 AM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Originally Posted by Original Desmond View Post
You have way more people off work, at home with families with time to do lots of things include watch some quality tv together
Not sure what year/world you are living in, where families gather and watch TV together.

I am actually glad that the networks are taking the next two weeks off. It will give me a chance to catch up on some full seasons of cable shows like "You're The Worst" and "American Horror Story"
Old 12-24-16, 11:48 AM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Originally Posted by Superman07 View Post
What makes them "ratings months"? There is nothing particularly special about those months.
Nielsen, in addition to its year-round TV and people meters, sends out millions of "diaries" for additional people to fill out their viewing, and thus the ratings for these months are more detailed and reliable. It's also referred to as "sweeps." I believe the ratings they get in sweeps months help the networks set their advertising rates for the other months.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nielsen_ratings#Sweeps

I feel like if Nielsen was interested in statistic validity, they'd move the sweeps months around annually, because at this point the networks all pretty much game the system.

Originally Posted by Superman07 View Post
I can recall when networks would have new episode - repeat - new episode - repeat....
I don't think it was every that regular, but networks would intersperse reruns into a show's season to help "pad it out" until the spring finale. Even then, though, I recall them often filling December with mostly reruns after airing the requisite Christmas episode.

It's kind of an interesting history. Looking back at shows like I Love Lucy, they aired exclusively new episodes from fall through spring, with 31 episode seasons.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._Lucy_episodes

Of course, I Love Lucy was the show to pioneer the use of re-runs, while Lucy was pregnant. Networks didn't think people would want to watch the same episode again, but it turned out there were people that missed the first airing, as well as people who liked watching it again (there was no other way to watch an episode again back then, no VHS).

So networks started reducing episode runs and sprinkling in reruns throughout the year. However, they still tended to air only new episodes during "sweeps," which meant some other months bore the brunt of the reruns. Also, the holidays likely have a huge drop in "live" viewing, as people are going to parties and on trips. So this was a huge factor to consider before DVR.

The tendency of the networks to prefer procedural over serialized stories so that people could still watch a new episode even if they missed a few, also played into the ability to easily insert reruns into a season, as the episodes didn't feel drastically out of place. It also made for easy syndication, as the episodes could be run in any order. I remember I started watching House somewhere in its second season, so as I watched it each week I saw new episodes but also caught up on older ones.

With the advent of DVD Sets, DVR, and on-demand, it started becoming more likely that viewers of a show would've seen every prior episode, and could keep up with heavily serialized shows. However with serialized shows, networks found out that people really hated breaks in the schedule of new episodes, and also that re-runs did very poorly, as they seemed out of place in the story, and didn't work well on their own. LOST in particular had pretty poor reruns. However, networks wanted to save these high rated shows for sweeps months, and also have them run through to spring, so the idea of a winter break and "winter finale" came into play.

Originally Posted by Superman07 View Post
In contrast, just as all networks aired their winter finales, I noticed Amazon released the second season of Man in the High Castle for binge viewing. Good timing!
It's good counter programming, but Amazon Prime's business model is very different than the networks. Amazon doesn't have to care about advertising at all, so they don't have to care about ratings, especially "live" viewings, which are still the most critical for networks. And Amazon doesn't have to worry about you "tuning in" week after week. You can basically watch on your own schedule, so even though the second season of Man in the High Castle was released December 16, 2016, it doesn't really matter to them if you watch it that day, a week later, a month later, episodes on and off between holiday plans, etc.

Netflix has a released a number of new shows/seasons this month, and even released a Christmas Special for Sense8 outside of its regular seasons, something common in the UK, but not here.

Also, networks have looked at ways to fill the gap. ABC has now aired The Great American Baking Show twice during December as something new to watch. ABC also used Agent Carter's seasons as a gap filler during Agents of Shield winter breaks, although that show didn't start until January.
Old 12-24-16, 11:53 AM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Originally Posted by Count Dooku View Post

I am actually glad that the networks are taking the next two weeks off. It will give me a chance to catch up on some full seasons of cable shows like "You're The Worst" and "American Horror Story"
I agree as Christmas and the summer are when I catch up with alot of shows.

I'm binging Damages right now (5 seasons) simply because Homeland, The Leftovers, The Walking Dead all don't come back til January/February.

I'll probably pick 2-3 shows to binge next summer when there is nothing on then.
Old 12-24-16, 01:21 PM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

The headline seems to conflict with the first post.
Old 12-24-16, 01:55 PM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Yeah there appears to be a typo in the title of this thread. It contradicts his 1st post.

I don't know if Desmond is complaining or just making an observation. He doesn't even live in the U.S. and just picks and chooses what U.S. content to watch by what's out there. And as I mentioned in a recent thread, 455 hours of scripted content aired this year (cable/OTA/streaming), so it's not like there's nothing to watch right now. There's plenty to watch in this "slow" period. It's just a matter if you have the time and if the content interests you or not.

I'm glad there are slow periods like this. It lets me catch up on stuff I've fallen weeks behind on.

Another reason for the slow Holiday period is that these shows actually go on Holiday production breaks. Around this time they usually have anywhere from 12-14 episodes in the can (talking about network shows) and this time is usually for the writers to catch up on scripts. It allows the actors to take a brief break before they return to work and finish their seasons around March or April. Actors and writers aren't working in factories. They have to take intermittent breaks.

Last edited by DJariya; 12-24-16 at 02:02 PM.
Old 12-24-16, 02:12 PM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Pretty sure people are paid lots of money to make programming decisions.
Old 12-24-16, 11:02 PM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

The ad rates companies pay the networks are determined in Sweeps months. Back in the day the month of December was practically wall-to-wall Christmas specials. There were tons of live music specials and variety programs. The broadcast networks have moved away from them to mostly air repeats during December.
Old 12-25-16, 09:24 AM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
Back in the day the month of December was practically wall-to-wall Christmas specials. There were tons of live music specials and variety programs. The broadcast networks have moved away from them to mostly air repeats during December.
I don't know why the Star Wars Holiday Special doesn't get replayed:

Old 12-25-16, 10:19 AM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Another big change, in the 50s and 60s ratings determined what a network would charge for a time slot, not a particular show. Shows were still rated but the information was used by sponsors whether to drop a show or not.
Networks would sell a time slot to a company for an entire season. Sometimes a sponsor would own a timeslot for several years.
A studio would make a pilot and then shop it around to advertisers, not the networks. If an advertiser liked a show they would sponsor it and tell the network to air it in a timeslot they owned. A show got cancelled when the sponsor dropped it because of bad ratings. Then the sponsor would pick a replacement show to air in that timeslot.
Most long running shows aired in the same time slot their entire run with the same sponsor.
Old 12-25-16, 06:34 PM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Originally Posted by majorjoe23 View Post
The headline seems to conflict with the first post.
Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
Yeah there appears to be a typo in the title of this thread. It contradicts his 1st post.

I don't know if Desmond is complaining or just making an observation.
I'm sure he meant the thread title was supposed to be dripping with sarcasm.
Old 12-26-16, 12:26 AM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
I don't know why the Star Wars Holiday Special doesn't get replayed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3a5j8PgQxg
There is an urban legend that George Lucas hates it. Supposedly he personally blocked the special from ever coming out on home video or repeat broadcasts.
Old 12-26-16, 10:31 AM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

This is why I'm glad that Netflix, Amazon, and to a lesser extent Hulu are around to create programs that are not created for the sole purpose of selling ads. Not only do you get better programming, but they dropped a lot of good stuff right in the middle of the holidays.
Old 12-26-16, 10:57 AM
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Re: It does make sense not to air Brand new primetime content during the Xmas period

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
This is why I'm glad that Netflix, Amazon, and to a lesser extent Hulu are around to create programs that are not created for the sole purpose of selling ads....
Well, I mean before streaming there were the pay cable stations like HBO, Showtime, etc. that made shows without ads. It's more an issue with the delivery method, i.e. a "live" broadcast where if you don't watch/record at the set time, you miss it and have to wait for it to air again.

This is why the pay cable stations still air their shows one episode at a time instead of a massive marathon, although they at least tend to air a season all the way through without a break, although that's easier for them since they tend to be shorter seasons than a network show.

And, as you pointed out, Hulu does show ads on their free & low cost tiers, so including advertising, in and of itself, isn't why there's a December blackout period.

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