Quick Question: What Current Shows Would Benefit from the Shorter Season Treatment?

One of the biggest trends to emerge during the Upfronts a couple weeks ago is that many of the broadcast networks are investing in shorter seasons and "event"-style programming. After years of watching cable programming thrive on 10-13 episodes per season and watching their own shows struggle to sustain ratings and viewer interest for the duration of the grueling September-May calendar, the broadcast nets have, seemingly all at once, finally decided that the benefits of producing and promoting shorter runs outweigh the risks. Although we all want to spend as much time as possible with our favorite TV characters, I would wager that most of us would agree to shorter seasons if it meant more consistent quality and less wheel-spinning. Because let's face it: Realistically speaking, it's just really, really hard to make 22-24 episodes of television under the current industry conditions; the shooting schedule's just too compressed. Plus, shorter seasons would appeal to bigger-named stars who might be a little fearful of the television production grind (that's exactly how Fox scored Kevin Bacon for The Following). Yes, it'd require the networks to put up to twice as many shows into development each year, but the possible outcomes make the practice seem like a good idea for everyone involved: Writers are under less pressure to produce quantity over quality, actors have time for other projects, networks can promote the shorter runs as must-see events, and in the end, viewers (hopefully) get better shows.

However, beyond the still-new The Following (which didn't quite work even at 15 episodes, mostly due to other problems, but could take a cue from most quality cable shows with regard to pacing in Season 2), the network's plans for shorter seasons appear to be focused on yet-to-debut shows; few current series will hit the air with brief runs in mind. But that doesn't mean there aren't shows out there that couldn't stand to lighten their load by a couple episodes (or 13). Here are seven that immediately came to mind for me, and I would love to hear which series YOU think might benefit from this sort of approach in the future.


Revenge

Ideal number of episodes: 10-12

This is my number-one candidate, with a bullet. When Revenge debuted, there were questions about the sustainability of its story, but Mike Kelley and his team did a fine job of making the plot work throughout the first season. The just-ended second season, though? A completely different story. Revenge went off the rails almost immediately in Season 2, and only partially found its way back to the track by the end of the season. Now, Kelley has stepped down, reportedly at least partially because he couldn't handle ABC's desire to keep the episode order high. Kelley's departure doesn't bode well for an already-struggling show, but I would immediately be more interested in watching a Revenge that only had 10-12 hours to tell another chapter of Emily's story. Season 2's expansion of the so-called mythology involving the Initiative and the introduction of more characters pushed the show too far away from Emily's crusade against the Graysons. In traditional problematic television fashion, it expanded the stakes without really raising them, and the show quickly lost the emotional thread that made the first season so compelling. With fewer episodes, Revenge wouldn't have the time to waste on stories about the Initiative unless they directly influenced Emily, nor would the show need to worry so much about superfluous characters like Charlotte and Ashley.  


Glee

Ideal number of episodes: 13-15

Glee has never, ever been consistent, but its most enjoyable runs (the first chunk of Season 1, filmed before the show premiered and Ryan Murphy started believing his own hype; the opening half of Season 4) usually don't last more than half a season. So why not limit the writing staff's ability to write filler episodes about "topical" issues? Glee is no longer even that beholden by its original school year- and competition-based structure, and its sense of time (and space) is only sometimes coherent at this point, so it's not like it wouldn't be able to tell a year's worth of stories in a shorter period. A shorter season would alleviate production problems with the songs and performances, and best of all, it would force Murphy and company to craft better arcs that don't have the time for irrelevant detours into pop-culture minutia. Using the show's current formula, I would love to see a 13-episode season of Glee built like this: four episodes only at McKinley High, four only with Rachel and Kurt, and five that balance the two "worlds." That seems like a fair, worthwhile way to keep all 89 characters around while still telling tighter stories over a shorter number of episodes.


Supernatural

Ideal number of episodes: 13-18

This one might be dependent on what you want from Supernatural. Some folks still enjoy the more visibly procedural episodes just as much as, if not more than, the installments dedicated to ongoing narrative matters, and that's totally fine. I like the show's procedural stories as well, but in recent seasons, Supernatural has struggled with weaving the standalone and ongoing plots together, creating a weird dissonance where one week it feels like the world is ending and the next Sam and Dean are in the middle of a comedic parody. That tension has always been present in Supernatural's DNA, but the whiplash between the two has gotten more pronounced since Eric Kripke left after Season 5. Thus, a shorter season would give Jeremy Carver and the current writing staff two good choices: 1.) They could avoid procedural storytelling all together and dive head-first into what looks to be a compelling story about angels falling to earth. Or 2.) They could keep the procedural stuff around knowing that they have fewer cases-of-the-week to write, which would hopefully help them to sharpen the standalone stories and connect them more to the ongoing stories. Although the show's strike-impacted third season was never intended to be as short as it was and consequently had some uneven moments, it worked well because it had one very clear directive that played out over 16 episodes: Keep Dean out of hell. Why not try that again?


How I Met Your Mother

Ideal number of episodes: 15

How great would it be to know that the final season of HIMYM was only going to be 15 episodes? It's unlikely that the show will recoup its old glory in its homestretch, but I would be more confident in Carter Bays and Craig Thomas pulling off that minor miracle if they were able to plot out 7-10 fewer half-hours than they typically do. This is especially true in light of the news that the final season of HIMYM will take place entirely during Barney and Robin's wedding weekend, with flashbacks and flashforwards likely. That sounds like a daunting approach to 22-24 episodes of comedy with expectations of finality in mind. Cutting down the number of episodes would give the show a chance to dial back on the super-broad and wacky "comedy" that has plagued it in recent years and focus more on the emotional beats that it used to do so well. Plus, I would have to guess that the narrative gymnastics bound to happen in this final season would be easier to execute without having to stretch so far.


The Good Wife 

Ideal number of episodes: 13-18

The Good Wife is probably the closest thing there is to a "cable show" on the broadcast networks, which makes it a prime candidate for a tighter run. On one hand, I'm a little resistant to immediately suggest its needs fewer episodes because more often than not, the procedural stories on The Good Wife are still smart and well-constructed. Four years in, Robert and Michelle King aren't going through the motions with their episodic stories; they're still trying to innovate in little ways. But on the other hand, The Good Wife is a show that tends to project big stories early in the season that fall apart before the finale rolls around, and it's also a show that continues to invest time in stories that simply don't work as well as the creators might've anticipated (sorry, Kalinda). As a result, fewer episodes is probably the way to go. Not only would a shorter season solve some of the show's quality control issues, but it would also allow the Kings to string together a couple of the shorter arcs they like without getting totally disrupted by various procedural masters. If walks like a cable show and talks like a cable show, it might as well embrace the episode count of a cable show, no matter where it airs.


Parks and Recreation

Ideal number of episodes: 16

Parks and Recreation remains one of television's best comedies, but its brand of good-natured comedy and moderate political interest is difficult to sustain over 22-24 episodes. Compare and contrast the third season with the fourth and the fifth. While the latter two seasons were quite good and featured a number of tremendous episodes, their respective stories (Leslie's campaign in Season 4 and her first year in office in Season 5) were pretty regularly disrupted by (admittedly mostly enjoyable) hijinks and side stories. Meanwhile, the third season's intense early focus on the Harvest Festival and later exploration of Leslie and Ben's initial flirtations had a level of energy, refinement, and consistency that Parks hasn't exactly achieved since. The fourth and fifth seasons had 22 episodes, while the third had only 16. I'm obviously suggesting 16 for that reason, but moving into a sixth season, it might be best if Mike Schur and company had a little less time to fill so they wouldn't have to repeat themselves (how many "Character X gets sick" stories can the show do?) or stall on character beats. Look, this show is still awesome; I just want to make its transition into the twilight years as good as possible.


Revolution

Ideal number of episodes: 10-13

Heavily-serialized high-concept shows should never, ever run a full 22-episode season. Lost couldn't do it after the first season. Heroes barely pulled it off even in its first year. And basically every show since hasn't been able to make it that long. Before Revolution premiered, I thought it might have a chance because Eric Kripke managed to harness big ideas into large episode orders while on Supernatural, but if there's one thing the first season of Revolution has proved, it's that Revolution is not Supernatural. Like some of the other shows I've mentioned here, a smaller episode order would allow Kripke and his team to cut the side-quest fat and perhaps feel less beholden to so many empty, uninteresting characters. Then, and only then, Revolution could possibly become what Kripke had with Supernatural in the earlier years: a show about a smaller cast of characters traveling around in pursuit of very clear goals. The show has already done an okay job of answering questions and pushing the larger narrative forward; maybe fewer episodes would help fill in character relationships on the fly, without so much pure plot hanging over the proceedings. 


What shows do YOU think would benefit from a reduced episode count?

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Dec 09, 2013
Doctor Who pulls off 13 episode seasons perfectly!
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Jun 04, 2013
If the future is anything like The Following, then scrap the whole idea. And its not like cable doesn't have god-awful shows or that the networks don't have great shows.
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Jun 01, 2013
Maybe I'm the only one, but here goes.

I hate the idea of shorter seasons. If a show is good, then I want more of it, not less. If a show doesn't have enough oomph to make it for a full season, then air it in the summer when a short season is what you're looking for and make room for a show that CAN last a full season. I think it's very sad that shows (or writers?) have become so horrible that they can't keep people interested for 22 weeks! I don't ever remember people saying 'we need shorter seasons of Stargate and 24'! Has it become ludicrous to expect quality AND quantity?

It would break my heart if Supernatural had shorter seasons. I can't get enough of this show as it is! Stand-alone episodes, arc episodes...I like them all! Not saying every episode is a 10, but less episodes?? No way!

I also have a problem with watching a few episodes, then waiting a whole year to watch a few more. If the show has enough story to run for 5 or 6 years at 12 episodes, then just run 24 episodes for 3 years and move on to something else.

Just one small voice screaming to no avail.
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Jun 01, 2013
A short 13 episode season for Revenge would be good. Loved season 1, partially liked season 2 ( mostly last third part). I guess now the series needs to recenter on the takedown og the Graysons (about 8 episodes) and then the initiative (5 episodes) and the series ends on a good run.

Ok I love Supernatural ( good and bad times), I would be so sad to let it go but it feels like it is time so no matter the number of episodes I will follow. I just want God back (for a non believer it s crazy) and a good end (doesn't have to be happy ending) but we need a full circle story

Rvolution would be good with no season 2
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Jun 01, 2013
Revoultion to about 1 ep or evem zero in season 2
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May 31, 2013
Among shows not mentioned, Grimm could really use a shorter season, and Game of Thrones could really use a longer season. Those were the first two that came to mind.
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May 31, 2013
The problem isn't that a show has too many episodes. The problem is that some shows use a lot of filler.

NCIS and Banshee are good examples of shows with very little filler. Almost everything that happens in an episode is either directly related to the plot of the episode or related to a long-term plot development. You don't often get scenes that leave you thinking, "what was the point of that".

With Revenge, I often find myself thinking, "nobody cares...get on with it". And with HIMYM, I find myself asking, "blah blah blah...is there even a plot in this episode".

But that's not an issue of the number of episodes. It's an issue of bad individual episode writing. Sure, you could make the case that bad individual episode writing is a result of the writers having too many episodes to write in the allotted time.

Personally, I'll take quality over quantity. But when you get a season that's only 7-12 episodes long, that feels really really short. You want to leave the audience wanting more, but sometimes these short seasons leave me feeling a bit cheated.
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May 31, 2013
I think Revolution should have about 0 episode for the next season : That would be way better
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May 31, 2013
Agreed with the general premise, but didn't Revolution really have two short seasons? It was off for, what, 4 months? And when it came back, the tech was very different (guns, explosions) even if the storytelling was less coherent (I'm sure someone at the network demanded more explosions and fewer writer salaries). As far as I'm concerned, that's not much different from the USA Network, Syfy, or BBCA split seasons. And actually, that points up one of the dangers of the short season - it also can lead to wild swings in tone, which is fine if you're 24 (hooray for minor miracles!) or Doctor Who, but not so much if you're Once Upon a Time, whose writers apparently forgot between seasons that you have to be somewhat entertaining, even on ABC.
And apparently the whole short-season thing escalates; witness the agony of only nine episodes in this spring's sensational Doctor Who run.
(And the comment on more time for the pay-cable shows was spot on; even the BBC shortened Doctor Who back to an hour, commercials included, from 75 minutes well after the reboot in 2005.)
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May 31, 2013
I've been a believer of this style of TV for a long time now. I started watching British TV shows beginning with Dr. Who in 2005 and it's seasons were about 13 episodes. Initially I thought it was ass backwards that they were half seasons and instead of saying seasons, it's series. But I soon realized I loved 13-episode seasons. Picked up Merlin when that came out and loved it too.

I've been wanting to see 13-episode shows in the US for sometime now. It's even adopted in Canada (Lost Girl/Continuum) I just think it's much cheaper to film and produce and generally the quality is higher b/c they don't do any filler episodes.
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May 31, 2013
If this meant that there would be something new to watch all through out the year, then I would be for it. But somehow, I just think there would be more junk reality shows.
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May 31, 2013
Actually less would be more for me. I end up spending too much time watching the good shows. I can't keep up with my DVR!
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Jun 01, 2013
I fully understand what you mean! There are a lot of good shows. Sometimes I just save a whole lot of them up and when there is nothing else on, I have myself a mini marathon to catch up.
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May 30, 2013
Revolution Ideal Number: 0

Game of Thrones could be like 16 episodes instead of the 10-12 they are at ... especially with the new storyarcs and locations that are coming. So that we aren't missing out on so many things.
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May 30, 2013
Totally forgot:
The Mentalist Ideal Number: 3
Considering the show is about Patrick Jane / Red John and the usual 20+ Season has like 20 pure filler Episodes. Fortunately they are more entertaining than the Red John stuff that is becoming so old ...
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May 30, 2013
Great Read! Look at Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Dexter, Homeland , The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones etc.. shorter is so much better than 22eps. esp with regard to HIMYM, Supernatural and Revenge.
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May 30, 2013
Although I agree shows like Homeland or Dexter'd never go beyond 12 episodes to keep momentum going, The Walking Dead keeps getting bigger: from 6 to 13 to 16 episodes as the seasons go on.
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May 30, 2013
I love Supernatural and I think it can run with 22 episodes per season or how many they do. Only in this season I had some problems with fillers and Amelia. Overall good outweighs the bad and it is still an awsome show,that just had another awsome season.

Revenge is a joke in some way I think. She wants to avenge her father's death,but it has become something completley different even in first season. I do enjoy it,but my bar ain't set high. I don't see this show running much longer. She went from this zero to master of decepiton,revenge,etc. ,wanting to revenge and now she is "saving the world".

I could tell you,what needs to happen,but it's not like anyone "that matters",that would listen,because no one cares or listens.
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May 30, 2013
I feel like every series could benefit from shorter seasonal episodes. Most actors I've heard talk about the subject insist that 22 to 24 episodes a season is 9 or 11 episodes too much. A tighter season would be ideal for every show, IMO!!! It seems to work for cable shows.

I would insist more interesting TV shows with fewer episodes than less TV shows with more episodes...
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May 30, 2013
Definitely not How I Met Your Mother or The Good Wife. Not to mention, some procedurals should have 24 episodes as standard rule like Elementary, Criminal Minds, Castle, NCIS, Person of Interest and so on.

I would impose the 10-12 episodes to creatively struggling shows like Once Upon a Time, Supernatural or Nikita, in order to compress in small myth arcs that'd make sense to the audience and keep track of underused characters,
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May 30, 2013
I usually watch Revenge, but Emily's character is not the same, I used to LOVE her conviction to destroy all of them. And How I Met Your Mother... well, I would like it never ends !
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May 30, 2013
I don't see any need to cut off episodes from The Good Wife unless they are planning to make it last for a lot more seasons.
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May 30, 2013
Person of Interest does the long season FANTASTICALLY!
Just when you think an episode was so awesome it must have been a finale - 2 weeks later BOOM! another episode!
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May 30, 2013
The only returning shows I watch are Modern Family, The Middle, Last Man Standing, and Suburgatory. The Middle and Modern Family definately should not have shorter seasons. Last Man Standing shouldn't have less than 18 episodes in a season. Suburgatory could maybe have shorter seasons, like 16-18 episodes, but that's just a maybe. I don't think comedies could really benefit from it.
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May 30, 2013
all 42-44 min long shows should have shorter seasons...i agree with supernatural.
i do not agree with a shorter parks & rec season since those shows are only 21-22 min
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May 30, 2013
I'm not sure if I like this new trend or not. I do like that 'writers are under less pressure to produce quantity over quality', but the idea that 'it'd require the networks to put up to twice as many shows into development each year' might be too much. I mean, is what we currently have on network television all that great anyway? Having twice as many shows does not necessarily equal quality television, because it means networks will technically be greenlighting shows for quantity anyway.

While Revenge isn't without it's problems, I don't think a shorter season is what needs fixing with the show, and while some character's plots seem to drag at time, you can see how a story naturally over the course of the season and how majority of the time everything that has happened is necessary to the story.

I would like shorter Supernatural seasons if it meant a more serialised show, but while I am not a fan of the procedural aspect of the show, I think it's a part of the shows charm and most likely the driving force behind it's ongoing success over the years so I wouldn't change it now.

The only show I'd suggest for a short season length would be The Vampire Diaries. While a lot of stuff happens in the show, they often put the more serialised aspects of the show on pause for several episodes (not unlike Supernatural). Unlike Supernatural though, The Vampire Diaries doesn't have procedural episodes, so the characters often stall or change their minds so the natural conclusion of a storyline is prolonged.
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May 30, 2013
The Good Wife needs no tweaking, it is the most intelligent, well-written and well-acted series on TV. I know it isn't for everyone, but if you're into the show at all, I think you can see that. Like a great wine, each episode is worth watching, regardless of things like story arcs. THere's never been one episode where the entire show wasn't full of great dialogs delivered by the finest in TV actors. Great guest stars, too. Don't mess with Julia! :-)
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May 30, 2013
Many cable shows run 60 minutes while a network show runs only 42 minutes.
A network season is usually 1000 minutes long and cable shows 580 -780. Networks intend is to sell as much advertising as possible, while the shows might drag on for too long Cable shows can cross the lines. Imagine Breaking Bad on FOX... Walter and Jessie wouldn't cook meth, they would cook candy that is very bad for your teeth.
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May 30, 2013
Good point. A 60 minutes episode in a 12 episodes per season makes it a total of 17 episodes of 42 minutes network.

The problem doesn't seem to be the number of episodes looking at it from this perspective.
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May 31, 2013
In my experience, cable show(on networks without commercials) air for about 55 minutes rather than 60 minutes. They have about 5 minutes of promos for other shows on the network before or after the show.
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May 30, 2013
I'm actually quite surprised The Good Wife is on this list. I am not a HUGE fan of the show, but I find the writing and storytelling as well as the brilliant cast quite amazing. It's one of those few good-quality shows out there.

And I'm biased concerning HIMYM. I just can't get enough of that show. Even if it means watching 22 episodes of the longest wedding weekend ever.
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May 30, 2013
Audiences always want more great episodes of favorite shows. But what if more quantity means less quality? Some would rather keep the quality up; others just want more episodes. It’s why we keep debating whether Season 4 of Community was a good thing!

Some shows do fine with 22 episodes: most procedurals, comedies, animation, etc.

But I like the potential for other shows. Shorter shows might attract more big stars, who wouldn’t have to pause a movie career if they commit to a 7-year TV contract. It could strengthen programs that just don’t have 22 episodes a year of story (some mythology-heavy shows). We might even get totally different types of stories that wouldn’t fit in a miniseries or 100 episode format. What would we get if a story could be any length?

We’ve already seen some great content from alternative season lengths. American Horror Story can kill off all/most of their characters because they get to reboot the anthology next season. Meanwhile Masterpiece Theatre cobbles together 7 episodes of Downton Abbey, with 3 episodes of Sherlock, a one-night TV movie, etc.

Only drawback: its harder for audiences to find shorter run shows on the schedule.
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May 30, 2013
Grimm is another show that should probably only have around 15 episodes. The filler episodes aren't entertaining and contribute nothing to the greater storyline.
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May 30, 2013
I feel Grimm has found the right formula what with two arcs of 9-10 episode each.

We always end the season in a cliffhanger, but each mini arc gets its own resolution in between.
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May 30, 2013
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May 30, 2013
I'm totally fine with a 10-13 ep season but a 6 ep season isn't enough in the case of Nikita.
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May 30, 2013
I agree w this concept when it comes to heavily serialized shows. One of the reasons I think Falling Skies works so well is that there aren't 10-12 filler episodes, or even worse, a bunch of filler in every episode in attempt to continue the serial wo full filler eps. Instead we have a story that has no choice but to move forward and develop a certain amount each and every week because there's only 10 weeks to get the entire story told. For it to work tho, u have to have the right kind of story and the right writers. A show like Revolution seems like the right type of story, but even as it stands the writers move the story forward w such ridiculous crap that if u took out the filler the leaps would be even more unbearable.

I definately don't think it would work for sitcoms. Sitcoms aren't about telling a great story, they're there to make u laugh for 30 mins and in between there's an element of an ongoing storyline. Cut out 10-12 eps and what are you left w? A half hr comedy trying way to hard to rush a serious angle. No thanks.
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May 31, 2013
completely agree!
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May 30, 2013
I completely agree with you about the season length of sitcoms!
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May 30, 2013
Nearly every serialized show would benefit, at least every drama. Shows like OUAT and Revenge for sure would do better with 2 mini seasons, so that each has an arc the begins and ends within the 13 or so episodes. Shows that have shorter seasons are almost always a much higher quality, more consistent and keep viewers interests piqued longer
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May 30, 2013
I think nearly all shows would be better as 13 episode seasons...that does not necessarily mean 13 episodes a year. If more networks took to having new programming all year around they could potentially have a 13 episode season of a show in the fall, and then 13 more in the spring with no annoying 2 month breaks. All my favorite shows are 13 episode or less seasons: Orphan Black is only 10 episodes, Lost Girl (which struggled somewhat with a 22 episode 2nd season) is 13, and Continuum is only 10 episodes. Even networks did 10 episode seasons they could air 3 episodes skip a week, air 3 episodes skip a week, etc. Again they could potentially have a Fall season of the show, and then a Spring season of it if they wanted. Serialized shows should especially consider this, and no network should pick up a serialized show without the ending being known, and the approximate number of episodes they plan to air. This way the writers can't write themselves in a corner or try to extend something that has no business being extended.
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Jun 01, 2013
Completely agree. Pretty Little Liars has done this, and I enjoy the structure of their schedule. They air 12-13 episodes, take a couple months off, air another 12-13 episodes, take a couple months off, then start all over again. I never have to wait too long on the breaks, I get to watch it all year round and I get a FULL season that feels more like 2 short seasons. Love it!
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May 30, 2013
First, I reject your premise. Some shows are better when comprised of standalones and could do just fine with 30 episodes. It's only when they try to follow the recent trend of serializing every god damned thing that they get into trouble.

Second, cut out all the fat from this season of Revenge and you have nothing left. Fact is, they lost their direction. They should have ended after one season or come up with an actually storyline for the second season. I couldn't cut the second season into a 6 episode season and turn it into an artistic whole. Maybe 4, but probably 0. Not enough story to work with.
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May 30, 2013
I do not agree with glee!!! I need more. But I agree with revenge! For sure
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May 30, 2013
Revenge 100000 percent DISAGREE, Supernatural Disagree, Revolution Disagree the rest I don't watch!!!
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May 30, 2013
I'm surprised you didn't include OUAT. I mean, even if S2 of Revenge was a mixed bag it still managed to move the story forward. OUAT in comparison is the very definition of filler or throwaway stories.
That being said, ABC will kind of follow the cable model this fall with some of their shows (including Revenge). They will air Revenge in two batches of 12 episodes with a beginning and end. In that sense it will basically be like 2 seasons in one.
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May 30, 2013
I totally lost interest in Once Upon a Time because of the forgotten characters and/or storylines.

I'm not going to stick around Wonderland if the Mad Hatter is not going to be around, Storybrook if it will take forever to see Whale and Ruby again or the faiytale land that was after what they did or did not do with whoever got stuck there.
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May 30, 2013
I disagree with OUAT reason their is so many connections they can do between fairy tale land and Storybrook!!! OUAT is like LOST in the way they connect the characters would have cut the Seasons of LOST??
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May 30, 2013
I think that Vampire Diaries should be in this category since they had a lot of filler episodes this season imo.
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May 30, 2013
I love The Vampire Diaries filler episodes, I would never get bored.
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May 30, 2013
not really, they only had a few, but even in filler episodes, they will sneak in some information on the main storyline, the writers did that with Buffy Angel Elementary and others besides sometimes filler episodes can lead into main storyarcs!!!
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May 30, 2013
I would definitely add Once Upon A Time, even Walking Dead could be trimmed down to an awesome 10 episodes, rather than what we've been seeing. Almost any high concept show these days needs to stick with a 10-14 episode limit.
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May 29, 2013
Revenge. 120%.
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May 29, 2013
I disagree with HIMYM on this list. I think that show did wonderfully the first five seasons with a full 20-24 episodes. However, I think the reason the show has suffered is that is was dragged on for 8 seasons. It should have ended around season 7. With the show's endgame of meeting the mother in mind, it just didn't have enough solid storyline to keep going.
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May 29, 2013
While all my favorite shows have shorter seasons 10-15 episodes I don't think this is a good idea for all network television shows. The reason being that some shows do need time to build up rather than becoming hits right away, 10 episodes will not be enough for any show to create story. How about a new trend that has shows be signed up for 2 seasons before they are canned, giving them time to grow? I know that will never happen.

The reason so many cable networks can do this is because they also put money into the budget and advertising. They also concentrate on production and story rather than straight up rateings.

But the main reason the cable networks do so well is that they give creative freedom to their writers and do not worry about censorship as much.

Give up on basic cable already too many good shows have been canceled for the same old mindless drivel.
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May 30, 2013
I agree with you about the new trend of signing shows on for two seasons, at least established ones anyway. While I don't think it'll happen it's definitely not uncommon: Glee, Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, The Big Bang Theory are all shows that got renewed for two seasons in the last year or so, and there have been plenty more before them.
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May 29, 2013
how about 0 episodes of glee
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May 29, 2013
Is it bad that while I don't watch the show, I do like some of their covers? :-)
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May 30, 2013
yeah
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May 29, 2013
I'm torn on HIMYM. I agree that quality zoomed upward when the show was uncertain if season 8 would be its last, but at the same time, that zany, whacky comedy is part of what I look for with the show. Life isn't all serious plot all the time, so a show about life shouldn't be constantly about moving forward. That said, the fact that season 9 takes place over a single weekend does feel like it would do better with a shorter season. There's only so much you can cram into that time span.
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May 29, 2013
I'd like the networks to consider hiring adults to write their shows and to target the writing at adults with IQs in double digits at least. The quality of the writing on most shows has deteriorated to the point where many are simply unwatchable. I'm sick of being insulted by stupid and obvious plots with transparent one-dimensional characters. Many viewers want shorter seasons because they cant stand the drivel being spooned out by the networks.
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Jun 01, 2013
You mean two-dimensional. One-dimensionality exists only in theory as a mathematical value.
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May 29, 2013
Reality shows should all be 1 episode per decade. Or maybe 0. Game of Thrones should run year round.
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May 29, 2013
Grimm and Once Upon a Time.
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May 29, 2013
It may go okay to go shorter but I'd still like a lifespan of good shows to last 100 eps. That seems to be a great test. That'd then mean more years with good enough ratings if we go down to 12 or so eps.. So like with Dexter it's basically there with 96 after 8 seasons. Although series with ep. by ep. plots could easily end their lifespan earlier. But main overall arcs that last a whole series I feel needs 100 total eps.

The ultimate worse thing though with this way is that we may have to wait as long as 9 months for a next season. I absolutely hate that but they'll do what they do.

And I wouldn't be fooled with the 12 eps. having it all packed full and tidy since Fringe had way too much fluff for its shortened last season.
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May 30, 2013
Yeah, the five year plan/ 100 episodes/ syndication deal way of making television has been around for along time, and despite for the fact the model's only there to make networks more money, I think it works well, and that writers should strive to tell their story in that amount of time.
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May 29, 2013
the only thing that hurts having a shorter season (with cable shows) they have some many great characters that make you love the show, so when a show like Psych finale comes on tonight you know you're going to miss Shawn, Gus, Jules, Lassie and Henry. Especially after a pretty good second half.

Does anyone have a Network Character/Actress they really enjoy watching over a Cable one? (Besides Kaley in her Black Dresses, of course)
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May 29, 2013
I don't think networks can win no matter what the season length or scheduling.Iff a shows 13 or so episodes, people will complain that its rushed,too long of a wait in between seasons, not a long enough seasons ect.If a shows 22-24 episodes a season, people will complain its too drug out, too much filler,too many hiatueses during the season and the 3-4 month hiatus in between seasons for fall shows, longer for Midseason shows.If they spilt a season of 24 episodes into two 2 12 episode blocks,like Revolution,PLL. and abc next season with Revenge,Greys,Scandal,Once, people will complain it was too long a break in between and they'll get interested in other new shows or forget what happened.People called NBC crazy, stupid ect for spitting Revolutions season like they did and it's ratings fell shortly after returning.
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May 30, 2013
I think the best criticism a television show can receive it that storylines are going too fast, it means that they've got an abundance of ideas and audiences want them to be dissected further.
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May 30, 2013
etc. = et cetera
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May 29, 2013
While I realize why the obvious comparisson of Lost and Revolution is given, how on earth did you not mention Once Upon a Time? Which has doulbe the obvious Lost factor.


Also... As far as heroes go, the second season was a really short one (the wrtiers strike) and even that one sucked big time. So I don't think length had much to do with it.
That was more of Lost's other symptom : Don't build a mystery show if you don't have a resolution in mind.
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May 30, 2013
Lost had a resolution. Why can't people understand that? Seriously.
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May 31, 2013
a sucky resolution!
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Jun 02, 2013
Far from sucky. One of the best, and perfect for the show it was. Perfect.
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Jun 02, 2013
lol
to each their own;-P
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May 30, 2013
Who said it didn't? I only say they did not have the resolution in mind when they started... big difference.
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Jun 02, 2013
They did a fine job with the ending, a lot of the themes in the first episode touched on in the final.
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May 29, 2013
Personally, I think almost every show (drama's in particular) should be 15 episodes or less. 22-24 is a ridiculous amount of episodes and almost every show seems to have a dip in quality when they hit the middle of the season or just after. Trimming the fat would really help these shows and it's my personal opinion people would stick to a show with a shorter season.

I think Scandal did a great job this past season keeping the audience hooked for a full 22 episodes but I don't know if they will be able to do it again.
CSI would benefit being 13 episodes and having a running arc throughout as it's very repetitive and somewhat boring lately.

It'll be interesting to see how Teen Wolf does this season after S1&2 were both 12 episode seasons and MTV has bumped S3 up to 24.
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