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Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

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Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Old 01-03-24, 10:32 AM
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Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Maybe because I'm retired and have time on my hands but when I just want to relax with TV I put on an episode of The Wild Wild West, or Bones, or Psych, or any show where I like the characters and don't really care about the "arc". The AV club is the worst click-bait but I liked this article.
https://www.avclub.com/bring-back-th...son-1851018940
Old 01-03-24, 10:35 AM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Plenty of ABC/CBS/NBC shows still have 20+ episodes*.... from dramas (Law & Order SVU, the Chicago franchise, Blue Bloods, etc.) to sitcoms (Abbott Elementary, The Conners, Ghosts, etc.)

*Not counting strike-impacted seasons

Last edited by GuessWho; 01-03-24 at 10:42 AM.
Old 01-03-24, 10:52 AM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Yeah like GuessWho said, there are still plenty of 18 to 20 plus episode seasons being produced. Obviously this season will be different.

Network TV is more likely to be able to continue doing it because they have to fill programming time slots from September to May. And they have bigger ad revenue coming in.

I know, especially in this forum, that not everyone has time or likes to keep up with that much TV. And some think the quality of that much TV is poorer. So personal tastes are highly subjective.

Im personally tired of 7 to 10 episode seasons every 2 to 4 years. I mean talk about interest and momentum killer.
Old 01-03-24, 11:00 AM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

It depends on the show. Ghosts is fun and is 20+ episodes.
Old 01-03-24, 11:04 AM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

I personally love 20+ episode seasons of the FBIs and SWAT (although SWAT is only doing 13 for its final season). I like having a new self contained mini adventure movie every week.

Serialized probably don’t really work with that many episodes anymore. There are always the dreaded “filler” episodes.

Last edited by DJariya; 01-03-24 at 11:17 AM.
Old 01-03-24, 11:22 AM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Awesome that someone else saw the AV Club article and created a thread here. I think it says so much about how the TV landscape has changed in the past 20 years that even an avid TV watcher such as myself sometimes forgets that some of the network dramas I watch (such as NCIS: Hawaii) actually do have 22-23 episode seasons. I stepped away from the Law and Orders, Chicago show universe, Grey's Anatomy type shows several years back so I really do sometimes think that 20-23 episode seasons pretty much are not a thing anymore, but that is not true.

The author of the AV piece is really lamenting that "quality" shows such as Stranger Things (yes, I know this is a streaming only show with all episodes released at one time, but I think what I am about to say still hold true) offer up too few episodes, and a longer season might allow for some episodes that are perhaps, filler episodes, but still fun to watch and let you enjoy the show even if you are not paying attention to every detail on the screen, and hey, give the show another 2 or 3 episodes and that "important" episode that propels the overarching narrative will be available to watch soon enough. In the meantime you get to enjoy Stranger Thinks on more of a weekly basis and do not drift away from the show.

Here is the thing, I get it, I really do, and while I agree that for quite a few shows with only 8-12 episodes seasons it would be nice to see more episodes, and that not every episode has to be heavy and important, the problem is that some of these shows have episodes that are quite good because real money is spent on an episode, so you get actors paid enough to actually put some effort into their work on an episode, they do not simply sleep walk their way through an episode (put themselves on auto-pilot if you will), the special effects are not completely eye rollingly bad, and yes...that means you to pay some attention to what you are watching to really get everything you can out of the show/episode (i.e., it is time for someone like me to put down the tablet/phone when watching certain episodes of tv shows), and that all started with the folks in the writing room actually putting some effort into coming up with a good story for a particular episode of TV.

It is also not economically sound to produce 22-23 Stranger Things (or pick whatever prestige highly praised show that is your cup of tea) that are absolutely worth talking about around the water cooler the next day, and spreading the money spent on each episode around so more eps can be generated sounds okay in theory, but then you end up with studios that end up spending as much as they would have on 12 episodes but now that money covers 22-23 episodes and might produce enough watered down in quality episodes that the chatter on-line, etc., drives folks away from watching yet another ho hum show that people can take it or leave it if it is no longer on the air.

I noticed that now that the release a seasons worth of episodes all at once model (the binge model) has matured, that plenty of streamers are starting to try and wean us into anticipating the next episode by releasing say two eps at once, then weekly for the remainder of the season. This way, even though Percy Jackson is only eight episodes long, it still is at least around 2 full months before you get to the final episode, and if the show is any good at all, this gives folks a chance to talk it up on-line or amongst friends, and can help sites like this one stay alive.

Let me explain the sites like this one stay alive comment, I know that in the past their have been many posts lamenting that with the binge model, that even a show as good as Stanger Things gets a ton of posts the weekend it starts airing, but even as little as 2-4 weeks out so few new posts in the show thread are generated that if you did not know better you would think that no one is watching Stranger Things, that it is a dud, not worth one's time, but that is not the case for many a show that has aired the past 5-10 years.

Last edited by Inhumans99; 01-03-24 at 12:12 PM.
Old 01-03-24, 12:04 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Exactly 24 episodes
Old 01-03-24, 12:07 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

You only have to look as far as most of the now-pretty-much-defunct CW shows to see that maybe not everything needs 20+ episodes. It really depends on how good the writers are, how good the actors/characters are, and how much behind the 8-ball it puts the plotting.
Old 01-03-24, 12:12 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

As a child of the 70s/80s who grew up having the entire primetime schedule memorized, I have to say that I think the economic model for viewership that supported or mandated that volume of production is part of the past.

The point of making so many episodes of, for example Friends, was so that NBC could have an episode of Friends airing in the Friends Time Slot on their schedule every week, all year round. So people who wanted to watch Friends knew when to be in front of the TV and the show would be there.

I'm certain there is still an appetite for consuming shows in that manner, but now what used to be called "programming" (because the networks were selecting when to present the shows to maximize eyeballs) is now just "content." The accumulated episodes of a show just exist in this mass for people to consume whenever (if ever) they get around to it. And let's be honest, even the best shows when they were making 20+ episodes a season put in a bunch of filler and clunkers. Just for myself, I was recently considering a rewatch of Fringe, but was wondering how many of these 100 hours did I really need to watch again to enjoy the best of the series and the longform narrative.

But I do want to echo the comments of the OP in that I know many people my age or older who have come out of the MeTV / COZI / ION closet to admit that we just like to turn on these old reruns at night and veg out on these stand-alone episodes.
Old 01-03-24, 12:22 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Originally Posted by Inhumans99

I noticed that now that the release a seasons worth of episodes all at once model (the binge model) has matured, that plenty of streamers are starting to try and wean us into anticipating the next episode by releasing say two eps at once, then weekly for the remainder of the season. This way, even though Percy Jackson is only eight episodes long, it still is at least around 2 full months before you get to the final episode, and if the show is any good at all, this gives folks a chance to talk it up on-line or amongst friends, and can help sites like this one stay alive.
I think the Netflix "dump it all at once" model was the result of how Netflix saw itself as so dominant in the streaming marketplace. People just had Netflix. They subscribed and stayed subscribed. The lure was just the sheet enormity of the content available, with the promise there would always be more coming.

I know that Paramount schedules their Star Trek series for weekly drops because they don't want people to subscribe for a month, binge everything, and disconnect the service. And I expect with more competition in the field, the other streamers have figured out the same trick.
Old 01-03-24, 01:03 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

But you can just subscribe for a month AFTER the show you want is done, binge watch, then disconnect the service.
Old 01-03-24, 01:30 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Never had a problem with 22 episode seasons. Fringe, Grimm and Chuck were able to keep long seasons entertaining buy having standalone episodes mixed in with long season stories.
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Old 01-03-24, 02:13 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

No.

But I also don’t watch network TV anymore, and they are really the only ones doing it.
Old 01-03-24, 02:39 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Originally Posted by dex14
No.

But I also donít watch network TV anymore, and they are really the only ones doing it.
Same here. Doesn't make a difference to me.
Old 01-03-24, 02:46 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Not necessarily. But on streaming series I wouldn't mind a "best of both worlds" type bump from 8-10 ep seasons to 13-15 ep seasons.

I would also love a streaming series to go from 40-43min eps to 50-56min eps

Last edited by Giantrobo; 01-04-24 at 05:38 PM.
Old 01-03-24, 03:05 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Originally Posted by fujishig
But you can just subscribe for a month AFTER the show you want is done, binge watch, then disconnect the service.
In the example of the Star Trek shows that I gave, the most dedicated fans are almost certainly involved in online communities that follow the shows, so it's not just consuming those shows that matter, it's keeping up with the ongoing conversation.

I'm sure you can appreciate that there would be people who could not tolerate new episodes of something existing out there to watch, while they waited to binge it all. And of course there are others who don't give a shit.

And I suspect that is the case for many other shows as well. Besides the streaming content, there is an interest in discussing the shows online (remember LOST). So the streamers get longer subscriptions, and the fans get something they want as well.

Plus, I guess watch parties are increasing in popularity, so everyone has to be on the same schedule, and don't want to fear anyone watching ahead.

My ultimate point is that whatever the streamers are doing, they are doing it as part of a business model to increase subscribers and revenue, so there must be a rationale for some shows dropping entire seasons at once and others going week by week.
Old 01-03-24, 03:10 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

I would assume if you're that big of a Trek (or whatever) fan then you probably just leave the sub on all the time anyway (or for a few months whenever a new series is coming out), I was talking only if you want to be cost conscious (but still legal) you could still binge watch at the end.
Old 01-03-24, 03:13 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Originally Posted by dex14
No.

But I also donít watch network TV anymore, and they are really the only ones doing it.
Except for SNL. there is not a single scripted program that I will watch on a broadcast network's schedule.

And last year before the strike was the end of my keeping up with the last handful of primetime shows I was still watching. And I figure an old "raised on and devoted to network TV" person like myself giving up the ghost must be exemplary of where a lot of people have already gone.
Old 01-03-24, 03:19 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Originally Posted by fujishig
I would assume if you're that big of a Trek (or whatever) fan then you probably just leave the sub on all the time anyway (or for a few months whenever a new series is coming out), I was talking only if you want to be cost conscious (but still legal) you could still binge watch at the end.
You are correct that if you really want to wait and binge to save money, you can still do that, but there are other factors in play.

I stand by my observation that these decisions by the streamers are based on what they will believe will increase their subscriber revenues. And since all those people are super-rich and running billion dollar companies, while you and I are chatting on an internet forum about their businesses, I'm guessing they know something.
Old 01-04-24, 06:45 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

Depends on the type of story. Episodic could have a few extra if it's just telling one story then I like shorter seasons or broken up. HOWEVER, those ten episodes could be sooner than once every two-plus years. Strange New Worlds would have fifteen plus while Discovery feels better with a shorter season because it's one long movie.
Old 01-04-24, 07:57 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

110 entertaining episodes in a 5 year story arc (might be a couple of duds in there somewhere) vs. 40 episodes (in an 8 episode season) for the same time period. I feel cheated.
Old 01-05-24, 01:35 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

I would love 22 episode shows like ER, The West Wing, The Practice, Homicide or NYPD Blue, but most network dramas have hardly any character development and shows like that have moved on to premium content providers with 6 to 13 episodes.
If a show follows the same pattern in every episode even the best characters, like House can't save it for me. I'm a pretty loyal viewer and I complete most shows that caught my interest in the first 5 episodes, but a few years back shows like NCIS, Criminal Minds or Supernatural felt like chores and I stopped watching them.

I did pick up Supernatural again last year and watch an episode now and then. I finished season 10 and I'm half way through season 11, but the fact that there a still 98 episodes to go, is scary. To my own surprise and against my reluctance to watch a procedural I started Seal Team one year ago and have watched 85 episodes in 2023.
Old 01-05-24, 01:49 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

I mean if you could guarantee the content quality and writing/plotting would stay consistent, the budget (particularly for sfx) wouldn't need to be stretched and the actors wouldn't get burned out, then sure, make more content. That seems to rarely be the case though.
Old 01-05-24, 05:41 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

We would have lost a ton of great television content back in the day if shows like The X-Files were only 10-14 episode seasons. I have not noticed any particular bump in overall quality because seasons now in the streaming era only run 10-13 episodes. The only thing cutting down the episode order does these days is limit the number of filler episodes older shows used to get 2-3 times per year obviously written by junior staffers. But the writing quality has generally declined in Hollywood since the last writer's strike of 2008, so it's more or less a wash.
Old 01-05-24, 07:52 PM
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Re: Would you like to see the return of 20+ episode seasons

One factor in the standard 20+ production of episodes per season was that all the series were deficit financed, meaning that it cost more to make the shows than the networks paid to air them. The production companies were gambling on the series becoming successful enough to go into rerun syndication, which is how they would make their money back plus (endless) profits.

A show had to get out about 100 episodes before it was considered viable for syndication, so they needed to get to that number asap.
So, making fewer episodes per season was just delaying the back end profits that the production company was banking on getting. So, why would they do that?
Now, obviously, shows produced directly for streaming have no syndication future, so that part of the "make more epsiodes" equation is eliminated.

I certainly have watched many completed series on streaming that I wished there were more of, but we all also know the truth that many people don't want to make the commitment to 100+ episodes of an unfamiliar series in the binge-watching world.

Also, shows like The Sopranos, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad increased the belief (in teh content providers and the content consumers) that shows needed to have an autuerist vision behind them, and taht translates into fewer epsiodes per season and overall as well (unless you're Chuck Lorre).

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