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I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

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I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Old 06-05-19, 12:52 PM
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I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

DC Universe, Streaming Services and some British TV series have really made me really want more shows that do short 10-15 ep seasons. I know that means less work for people on the shows but then again, maybe that opens them up to work on more shows?

Either way, I see where short season are good safety net against long drawn out story lines and filler eps. 20+ Eps per season works for a few show but not most.
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Old 06-05-19, 01:03 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

I would say 10-15 hours rather than episodes. Usually a 22 minute comedy can do more episodes, but I agree that most shows start dragging after that amount. Hell, I would say the Netflix Marvel shows still had too much padding for the shorter episode counts.

Of course, this is always dependent on how they can tell a story. I like that Amazon and Netflix have opened up the episode length requirements since they don't have to deal with broadcast times.
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Old 06-05-19, 01:08 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Most already do. It's the major networks that do more and even they are starting to gradually change, sans their staples.
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Old 06-05-19, 01:36 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Yeah, I think the Good Place has like 13 episodes a season; it definitely makes for tighter plotting on serialized shows, but for other shows I'm sure it makes more sense to get as many episodes as possible in for syndication.
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Old 06-05-19, 02:22 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

My perfect TV show:

5 seasons

10 episodes a season

1/2 hour episodes, unless it's a real indepth Drama like Game of Thrones or The Americans where the show needs 60 minutes per episode to tell it's story.

With the amount of TV shows to watch these days, I am more apt to stick with a 1/2 hour show than an hour show (unless I really love it).
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Old 06-05-19, 03:29 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Not only this (the episode length) but Cobra Kai has proven you can make GREAT drama in a 30-minute show - all the fat is trimmed out of those episodes and they just "pop". Then again, sooner or later hour dramas on commercial TV are going to run about that length anyway...what is it down to now, about 40 minutes for an hour?
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Old 06-05-19, 03:32 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
Not only this (the episode length) but Cobra Kai has proven you can make GREAT drama in a 30-minute show - all the fat is trimmed out of those episodes and they just "pop". Then again, sooner or later hour dramas on commercial TV are going to run about that length anyway...what is it down to now, about 40 minutes for an hour?
Great point. Most shows are 42 minutes with brief titles; I haven't timed one of these "limited commercials" shows. You might as well face it, commercial television needs the hour format for enough commercials to pay the bills and promote their other product.
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Old 06-05-19, 08:47 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

I suggested this to a friend a long time ago and he thought I was onto a great idea. Particularly, that shows should be single-season, because then you could attract big name talent, I.E., movie stars. They wouldn't be locked into any extended contract. This seems to already be happening, like with the recent Fosse/Verdon that featured two actors who mostly work in movies.
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Old 06-06-19, 04:26 AM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

I lot of what I watch is currently doing this aside from the CW shows I watch. And some of those could either get shorter seasons or stop having one bad guy stick around all year as it just drags things down unless it's good and sometimes it is. Mostly want shorter seasons so I can have a tighter story and have two shows for the time of one normal network show.
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Old 06-06-19, 11:13 AM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Personally I think that is a short sighted approach. It used to be shows ran for 32 to 39 episodes per season. Under your plan that would be the equivalent to 3 or 4 full seasons. It's much easier to follow a story when there's little down time between the seasons. At 10 episodes the networks will have to find 5 shows to fill in 1 time slot. Different actors, all those sets, that's a lot of money. If a show lasts most of the year the costs would be cheaper for 1 show with a short filler than 5 complete shows. With 5 shows per time slot and all of the competition from cable and streaming that's a lot of shows. Some of those shows wouldn't survive due to the numbers. A longer show would have time to catch and show its worth.
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Old 06-06-19, 11:31 AM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Originally Posted by barelypure View Post
Personally I think that is a short sighted approach. It used to be shows ran for 32 to 39 episodes per season. Under your plan that would be the equivalent to 3 or 4 full seasons. It's much easier to follow a story when there's little down time between the seasons. At 10 episodes the networks will have to find 5 shows to fill in 1 time slot. Different actors, all those sets, that's a lot of money. If a show lasts most of the year the costs would be cheaper for 1 show with a short filler than 5 complete shows. With 5 shows per time slot and all of the competition from cable and streaming that's a lot of shows. Some of those shows wouldn't survive due to the numbers. A longer show would have time to catch and show its worth.
I'm not sure how much more or less downtime there would be between seasons, but for most serialized shows, I think the benefit of a more cohesive show would be a decent trade off. Isn't that how UK series work?

It should also allow for momentum to pick up after the season is finished, via word of mouth or whatever, with reruns or a release on a streaming platform/physical media.

I'm not sure how having a longer show will give it time to catch on, when the networks will pull the plug well before 10 episodes anyway if it's struggling. I think that's why shows like the Office and even Seinfeld have like shortened first seasons.
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Old 06-06-19, 03:20 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Shorter seasons almost by default cut out any special standalone episodes, holiday episodes or any extended focus on minor supporting characters. It's harder to organically develop fan-favorite characters that weren't intended to be popular in the first place.
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Old 06-06-19, 04:44 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Shorter seasons almost by default cut out any special standalone episodes, holiday episodes or any extended focus on minor supporting characters. It's harder to organically develop fan-favorite characters that weren't intended to be popular in the first place.
Yeah, I used to think like OP, but the more shows do this, the more we see the loss of episodes that give us great character pieces, or episodes where they were running short so they filmed a 3 minute scene of two characters talking about chocolate and that turns out to be the best scene of the ep.

I think there's something to the idea that 26 may be too much, but 13 seems to be too little.
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Old 06-06-19, 04:56 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Originally Posted by barelypure View Post
Personally I think that is a short sighted approach. It used to be shows ran for 32 to 39 episodes per season. Under your plan that would be the equivalent to 3 or 4 full seasons. It's much easier to follow a story when there's little down time between the seasons. At 10 episodes the networks will have to find 5 shows to fill in 1 time slot. Different actors, all those sets, that's a lot of money. If a show lasts most of the year the costs would be cheaper for 1 show with a short filler than 5 complete shows. With 5 shows per time slot and all of the competition from cable and streaming that's a lot of shows. Some of those shows wouldn't survive due to the numbers. A longer show would have time to catch and show its worth.
The flip side to short seasons would be that the next season doesn't have to start one year after the previous season started. 15 episodes (three months) then maybe five months off before the next one starts.
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Old 06-06-19, 05:25 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Shorter seasons almost by default cut out any special standalone episodes, holiday episodes or any extended focus on minor supporting characters. It's harder to organically develop fan-favorite characters that weren't intended to be popular in the first place.
Maybe this thinking needs to change then. Focus on the overall show, efficiency of the story in a smaller ep order, and leave creating fan favorites to...well... the fans.
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Old 06-06-19, 06:23 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

I'd like to go back to long seasons where it isn't just one long story. I want like 20-24 individual stories again. TV was much more entertaining back when that was the MO.
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Old 06-06-19, 06:27 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Originally Posted by ben12 View Post
I'd like to go back to long seasons where it isn't just one long story. I want like 20-24 individual stories again. TV was much more entertaining back when that was the MO.
Aren't basically all procedurals like that, though? There are still a ton of shows that are individual episodes, it's just that it doesn't garner that much discussion around here (well, not much garners discussion anyway... )
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Old 06-06-19, 08:12 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Personally I think it just depends on the type of show. If it's a more serialized show I think it can be beneficial to keep things short and sweet. Some shows I still like the episodic format and I think some can still be longer and work fine. Like certain network dramas or comedies I think are still fine with a longer season.
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Old 06-07-19, 09:45 AM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
DC Universe, Streaming Services and some British TV series have really made me really want more shows that do short 10-15 ep seasons. I know that means less work for people on the shows but then again, maybe that opens them up to work on more shows?

Either way, I see where short season are good safety net against long drawn out story lines and filler eps. 20+ Eps per season works for a few show but not most.
It means less shows would be available to sell into syndication
It means broadcast networks would have to advertise twice as many shows each season

It's not gonna happen. The broadcast networks want to pump out as many episodes of shows they own to sell them as fast as possible. Short season can be great, but it leaves more time for the viewers to not give a shit when the show returns 9 months later.
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Old 06-07-19, 09:50 AM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
Personally I think it just depends on the type of show. If it's a more serialized show I think it can be beneficial to keep things short and sweet. Some shows I still like the episodic format and I think some can still be longer and work fine. Like certain network dramas or comedies I think are still fine with a longer season.
This is how I feel. Episodic shows like FBI could be new every week of the year and I'd be happy.
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Old 06-07-19, 10:21 AM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Originally Posted by Gizmo View Post
It means less shows would be available to sell into syndication
It means broadcast networks would have to advertise twice as many shows each season
Yeah that's been pointed out. Maybe someone needs to figure new ways to make money...


It's not gonna happen. The broadcast networks want to pump out as many episodes of shows they own to sell them as fast as possible. Short season can be great, but it leaves more time for the viewers to not give a shit when the show returns 9 months later.

You sure? Several post say more or less say "It's already happening". Sooooo... And as far as forgetting shows in 9mo, hell... mid-season breaks are far more annoying. But that said, HBO has proven people don't forget GOOD SHOWS even when the break between seasons is long. Game of Thrones, Westworld, etc...

Last edited by Giantrobo; 06-07-19 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 06-07-19, 12:04 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Aren't basically all procedurals like that, though? There are still a ton of shows that are individual episodes, it's just that it doesn't garner that much discussion around here (well, not much garners discussion anyway... )
Yeah, but procedurals suck. I want different kinds of stories. I like that the DC shows, as trash as they are, usually try to tell short stories in their episodes a lot, even if they do tie in to the season-long arcs somehow.

If you're wanting one season-long story, yes 22 episodes is too much. But I also think a 10-15 episode story is too long. If you want to tell a long story, do a movie. Or if it's too long for a movie, you got a four episode miniseries. Otherwise, TV series should be for premises where you can tell many more shorter stories using the characters and setup. A TV series shouldn't just be a super long movie.
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Old 06-07-19, 12:38 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

What I'd like to see are more mini-arcs, running no more than 2-4 episodes at a time within the greater season. Not every plot needs 12 episodes to tell a tight story.
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Old 06-07-19, 01:51 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Seasons 2, 3, and 4 of Babylon 5 seemed too short at 22 episodes because there was so much great stuff going on.

DS9 had 26 episode seasons that felt just right.

Better Call Saul feels too short at 10-12 episodes per season.

Daredevil felt like it should have had 18-20 episode seasons.

I'm not a fan of shorter seasons at all. I don't want to watch TV for the ADD generation.
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Old 06-07-19, 02:18 PM
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Re: I think it's Time for Everyone to go to Short 10-15 Ep Seasons

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
Seasons 2, 3, and 4 of Babylon 5 seemed too short at 22 episodes because there was so much great stuff going on.

DS9 had 26 episode seasons that felt just right.

Better Call Saul feels too short at 10-12 episodes per season.

Daredevil felt like it should have had 18-20 episode seasons.

I'm not a fan of shorter seasons at all. I don't want to watch TV for the ADD generation.
I disagree about Daredevil. Pretty much all the Netflix Marvel series felt like the seasons dragged on far longer than the story could maintain. It's why they started cutting down to less eps per season in the last few Marvel seasons they put out.
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