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One of the biggest current TV trends is that miniseries and/or limited event series are back. Seriously, they're everywhere: We already knew that Fox was developing a 12-episode extension of 24 and developing M. Night Shyamalan's Wayward Pines, but the network recently announced a U.S. adaptation of the British series Broadchurch, and network president Kevin Reily noted that new series Gang Related won't debut until after the traditional TV season ends—a clear attempt to make it seem like a cable or Under the Dome-like summer event. NBC has apparently ordered every miniseries or event series pitch thrown at it, including a four-hour mini about Hillary Clinton starring Diane Lane; Plymouth, a story about pilgrims; a sequel to The Bible (not an Onion headline); and remakes of Rosemary's Baby and Tommyknockers (because Stephen King). At ABC, network president Paul Lee confirmed that, of the shows it announced during the Upfronts, many of them will run in a limited capacity, including BetrayalResurrection, and Once Upon a Time in a Green Screen Wonderland. Finally, CBS is super high on Under the Dome and has even renewed the summer mega-hit for a second season, plus the network seems committed to running Hostages and Intelligence in shorter, 15-episode blocks in the 2013-2014 season.

Frankly, there are so many reasons why that this is a good idea that I almost can't believe all the broadcast nets are doing it, and at the exact same time. Let's break down why.


The lower the episode count, the better


Networks are calling this... initiative... by lots of different names, sometimes conflating the terms miniseries and limited event series bt random, but typically a miniseries is a one-off, mostly self-contained story like Hatfields & McCoys (don't listen to the Emmys and their assertion that American Horror Story counts as a mini), and a limited event series is something shorter than the normal 22-24 episodes, but with the possibility to return for another round, like the 24 reboot or even Under the Dome (basically, a cable season). This move is clearly in response to the proliferation and increasing dominance of scripted series and event-style programming on cable, which—outside of similar projects ABC Family and MTV—usually air fewer than 15 episodes a season. I'm not opposed to the more traditional 22-episode season; there are a number of shows that continue to make great TV even with a high number of episodes. But the proof is out there: Cable shows, even ones that aren't that serialized or high-concept, like those on USA or TNT, don't have to worry about slowing down story arcs or stalling with filler. Meanwhile, four- to eight-hour miniseries like The Bible prove that writers can get in and get out of the stories they want to tell, without as much pressure as to whether or not they'll get renewed (well, until NBC comes back four months later and says, "Sequel!"). I'd selfishly love to live in a world where every season of Breaking Bad was 25 episodes long, but the constraints of TV production are so grueling that it's challenging to argue against less episodes, no matter the show. 

Furthermore, it's obvious that miniseries especially give networks and writers the ability to explore big, compelling ideas that won't work for 50 to 100 episodes. For example, historical stories with beginnings and ends are still worth telling on television; they just don't need drawn out over several years. 


It's easy to promote "big" events  


Of course, from a network perspective, fewer episodes for one show means it's necessary to fill the schedule with something else (and it's harder to amass enough episodes for syndication). In recent years, dirt-cheap reality programming has often helped fill the resulting void, especially with most networks trying to limit the number of reruns they air, but that hasn't necessarily worked either. Although more miniseries and shorter seasons means that networks will probably have to pick up additional (and ultimately more expensive) projects, the right kind of promotion can help them recoup their costs by turning these projects into true short-term events, especially during the summer. In the best case, the phrase "event series" should have real meaning. Audiences are so used to seeing reality shows, reruns, and burn-offs on the broadcast schedules during the warmer months that anything promoted as a BIG DEAL will actually feel that way. 

We have the evidence of this strategy working with CBS and Under the Dome. Sure, it's based on a very popular author's work and has a really fascinating hook, but that's the exact kind of things that smart network marketing folks can use to their advantage in promotional content. CBS* did a great job of pushing Under the Dome as a must-see TV event, and it worked. The ratings started very high and have barely faltered after seven weeks. Now, CBS is better at winning viewers than everyone else, but that doesn't mean Fox won't know how to push 24's return, or that NBC will struggle to get eyes on a Hillary Clinton miniseries. And while ABC and CBS's plans to run limited events in-season with projects like Hostages and Betrayal will be tougher to pull off, both networks have smartly been emphasizing their respective plans since May, which will give at least some viewers an idea of where the shows are going by the time they premiere. 

* Full disclosure: TV.com is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS.


It's easier to secure high-profile talent


One of things networks can count on when it comes to drawing viewers is a cast full of household names, the kinds of actors and directors who aren't interested in the 10-month grind that is making a single season of a network television show. It's not the perception that broadcast TV isn't any good (that's not true), or that it doesn't allow for much risk-taking (eh, that's often pretty true); it's that network TV is so restrictive, scheduling-wise. Again, cable's been doing this for ages, but we're already seeing the combination of a shorter episode order and some big names pay off. The Following is dreadful, but Kevin Bacon, Kevin Williamson and a grand total of15 episodes worked very, very well for Fox. It's a setup that's easier to sell to a movie star who isn't interested in being tied down to network TV for most of the year. 

With the success of The Following, lots new projects are following suit (PUN ALERT). Diane Lane, Toni Collette, Matt Dillon, and even Kiefer Sutherland probably wouldn't have shown as much interest in the various series mentioned above if they were all 22- or 24-episode offerings, and it's not like the stories would be any better if they were extended to that length. We've already seen how 24 can deteriorate over 24 hours and I don't know about you, but I'm not sure how the premise of Hostages will even survive its scheduled 15 episodes; I can't imagine what tacking on another six hours would do. (Now, I'd totally watch 22 hours of Diane Lane doing anything, but let's not piss off Hillary too much.) 


Beyond those three biggies, there are lots of additional reasons why the networks should embrace, or re-embrace, the miniseries and the event series: There are more awards possibilities, especially for shows with big names attached. Heavily marketed events can have a big social media impact. A lower episode count encourages binge-watching. And so on. That's why it's been so frustrating to watch them run away from this kind of programming for so long—especially when cable is stealing so much of the buzz and awards recognition with the exact same approach. 

Of course, there's no guarantee that the current projects in development will work out, let alone become Under the Dome-sized hits, and there's something to be said for what can happen when a network decides that something it originally sold as miniseries can work as an ongoing story, like with CBS and Under the Dome. There's always going to be a desire to keep a hit going, no matter how long it is, and that decision can ruin a show creatively (and burn out actors, fans, etc.). But even if projects like Under the Dome or the rebooted 24 do come back for seconds and thirds, I'm certainly more comfortable knowing that there will still be fewer episodes in each season, with a little more production time to plan and less airtime to pad out with dead-end stories.

All told, while we can't totally trust the networks to keep their word, the fact that the broadcasters are trying the miniseries strategy is good news. It'll give them the opportunity to diversify their schedules, create reasons for people to watch live, and appeal to actors who fear the broadcast model. And for the viewers at home, it'll hopefully bring us more interesting television, all over the schedule and all year round. 


Do you think broadcast TV's shift toward more miniseries and limited event series is a good idea? Of the projects that've been announced so far, which ones are you most looking forward to?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/22/2015

Season 2 : Episode 8

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I'm gonna miss the real time aspect. Not sure it will have the same appeal for me, but I'll hold my reservations until I have gotten through the premiere.
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I'd much rather see a trilogy of Jack Bauer movies that involve him traveling across the globe without the worn out "real time" concept. Every protocol has been broken at CTU, every mole has been has been unveiled. It's time to take this story to the next level, not run it further into the ground.
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Hopefully that will come...but the miniseries is ditching the real time format...haven't you hearddddddd
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Not true. It's keeping real time but only showing 12 of the 24 hours.
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Who cares whether American Horror Story is rightfully a miniseries? Pretty much everyone involved deserves an Emmy! I know it's sneaky but to be fair, the stories are finished at the end of the 12 episodes hehe Sorry... I'll take any chance to rave about my fav AHS.
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I never understood this American obsession with 20+-episode seasons. It works for procedurals (and 24) but not much else. It more often than not leads to things like Revolution, which had more filler than actual story.
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I agree, IMO seasons should be somewhere form 10-13 episodes each, personally id prefer 10.
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I'd love it if 10-13 episode seasons became the norm for dramas. The traditional format has a huge gap between the premiere and the finale which demands that story lines be stretched out and padded with unimportant filler and uninteresting subplots. Ultimately this dilutes the material and weakens the season. It also requires a rotating door of writers which can create a consistency issue; "too many cooks in the kitchen," as they say. A number of shows come to mind that could've benefited from the shorter format. A condensed season focuses on the meatier material, quickens the pace of the story and, I believe, is more conducive to sharper writing.

Comedies, on the other hand, I think vary from show to show. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Louie seem to thrive in the shorter format, but when an episode "misses" it can be a lot more detrimental to the season. Meanwhile, shows like Arrested Development, Parks & Rec, or 30 Rock are consistent enough that the traditional format doesn't negatively impact them. But maybe when those longer-running comedies start to lose steam they could change to the shorter format to keep things limited to their A-material.
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I agree with most of this article, however, I'm of the opinion that most writers are totally incompetent with no real creative passion for what they do. I know that sounds harsh but the truth is, any writer worth his/her salt should EASILY be able to write 22+ episodes while still keeping their viewers entertained. In fact, a decent writer should be able to keep a story going indefinitely and the longer they have, the better it should get. The fact that so many writers struggle past anything over 10 episodes is shameful and hardly indicative of talent. Or maybe, they are just plain bone-idle and lazy. Well, if that's the case, I don't even want to see any of their work because it won't have any of the passion for storytelling.

Writers always seem to piss me off. They don't know how lucky they are to be writing for television so they should just shut up, stop moaning and get on with it. I would absolutely LOVE to have the opportunity to write for TV so they should realize how lucky they are.
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Also this. Writing by comittee is not the greatest idea. When was the last time a show (even a miniseries) was written by a single author? I can't think of any.
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That is the norm in the UK. Also if you want an American example, Ally McBeal was largely written by David E Kelley, and you could tell. The continuity in that show is ABSURD. (It got tired near the end, but you could see he was trying.)
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You say that it's "easy to promote big events". The fact is, miniseries and special events need more promotion.

It's much easier to promote a show that airs in the same slot week after week, month after month, even year after year. In contrast, to promote a miniseries you have to tell the audience what a show is, why they should watch it, and when it will air - and you have to say it a LOT before people really get it. The end result is that one hour of a miniseries requires a lot more promotion than one hour of a longer series.

The problem gets worse the more miniseries you put on a single schedule, unless you can find a way to consistently group miniseries together on the schedule. AHS does this by essentially grouping together a bunch of single season horror stories under the AHS umbrella. PBS does this with Masterpiece Theatre.
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I can't wait for the LOST Season 6 Do-Over miniseries!!!
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NBC should look into it's past to solve this problem. In the 1970's they had the "NBC Mystery Movie" on Monday nights. They would make 90 minute movies that fit a theme and were similar in tone. That similarity made it marketable as a package. With McMillan & Wife, Columbo and McCloud they had a block of programming that could still air in a regular time slot, build viewers, be re-packaged for syndication, and have shorter production schedules to get "movie stars" interested in doing television. Quincy started out on that show and then went to a regular series.
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I know another thing that's everywhere: Spin-offs. Seriously they're popping up everywhere. Are you gonna do an article on this to explain this trend?
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I like the idea of short seasons, 24 coming back for a 12 episode run is interesting (mainly to see if there is a new audience for Jack)

USA are doing it right for years with 16 episode seasons (spliting those into 8 episode runs each half of the year). I think that's the main reason why shows like Breaking Bad, Dexter, Burn Notice and Game of Throne thrive, they are short seasons and they are able to pack so much into those seasons. Network could learn alot from cable right now..
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yes.
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I don't know whether I'm a fan of the miniseries trend yet or not, I guess I'll wait and see, but I think I'm just mostly excited about the television industry doing something new.

That being said, I don't think less episodes equates to a better quality television series. There are many cable network shows like The Walking Dead, True Blood and Dexter, which despite having short episode counts, are often berated by people for having 'filler' episodes or dragging out storylines to build up to their finales. So while I'm interested in seeing where this trend will lead in how stories are told on television, I'm not expecting instantly great shows, I mean, look at Under the Dome.
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When you look at a lot of TV shows that have 20-26 episodes per season, you find that half the episodes have nothing to do with the overall storyline, they are actually more like filler episodes made to fill in the gap as the actual plot doesnt last that long.

Most shows would be better off being 13 episodes long, more money can be spend per episode making them better, and they'll be less waffle which could put some viewers off. If also saves money allowing the production of other shows which may never have been given the green light, or axed due to lack of funding.
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I know this is not a financially viable option, but what if networks promoted the shows they plan to 'burn off'' in the summer as television events?

As someone who watches a lot of television, each season there's usually two or three shows I watch that end up being cancelled, but they're put on hiatus and sparsely advertised when they return and I often miss how it ends. Networks have obviously put the money into making the show, and obviously already plan to burn off the episodes in the summer period, and, as Cory said 'the right kind of promotion can help them recoup their costs by turning these projects into true short-term events, especially during the summer.' They could even replay the entire series to entice new viewers, and again, as Cory said, 'a lower episode count encourages binge-watching'.

The most recent show that I can think of that may have benefited from something like this is ABC's Happy Endings. ABC were obviously planning to cancelled the show, because they moved it to Friday's and started airing double episodes, but they didn't announce it until the series was over. All they would have had to do was announce its cancellation and promote it a little more (they could have kept it on Fridays) and it would have gotten way more viewers because people would have know it was ending for good. Just an idea. What does everyone else think?

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I'd love to see something like this too. The problem is that once networks decide that something is dead, they aren't going to want to put any money into it.
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Great article. I'd love to see some of the philosophies British broadcasters employ practiced in US television, especially the limited run. I'm disappointed that we already know Under the Dome is renewed. The story needed to resolve itself in the course of this run. I won't be returning to Chester's Mill next year. Perhaps if they could have come back and had the dome over a different town, then there might be something interesting. But as it stands, I've not yet found any investment with these characters or the town.

Consider the incredible appeal of Sherlock and Luther and what they accomplish in a third of the air time most of the networks are considering. Look at what Rectify accomplished with its first season. Amazing, beautiful, thrilling stories can be told and we'll still be talking about it and impatiently waiting for another taste. The problem I see is that networks seem to want to make every success a cash cow and milk it for all its worth, failing to realize they are diluting it and reducing its value and appeal.
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I like the longer seasons! But, I'm more into comedies, so I don't really deal with dragged out storylines.
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Yeah, I tend to agree that comedies do better with longer seasons. Even bad episodes tend to have a few decent jokes in them.
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American networks figured out what the BBC understood years ago.. and it only took cable to kick their asses on a regular basis for them to finally get with it. Well.. better late than never, I guess.

By the way, the way Cory wrote it made it sound like "Rosemary's Baby" was written by King... which it wasn't. Just in case someone didn't know it... and why do we need a remake of a perfectly fine horror classic easily available anywhere/everywhere?

Oh... whatever.
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Hey at least Ira Levin doesn't have to watch some weak sauce remake of his classic. He and Ruth Gordon can kick back and laugh at it with the rest of us.
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Some stories just have an ending and should not be continued forever, for example the series Revenge which would have benefitted imho with a shorter arc.
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YUP. Should have been like 20 episodes and out, or at least like 10 a year.
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I know we've had this conversation in other threads in the past and I'm glad to see it get its own article.

I definitely like the trend. I think there are quite a few shows that would benefit from the shorter season avenue. I hate the year long wait as well, but I hate feeling like I've wasted an hour of my life for a filler episode because I am just so busy and I've had to be picky over the years about what shows I do and don't watch (even with a DVR). So if it means that every episode has the minimal amount of filler, I'm all for it.

I think my biggest factor in favor of limited run shows is the scheduling it allows for. I absolutely hate having two or three episodes air and then being off for a month. This would allow the production on the shows to stay ahead of the game so we don't have those extended breaks and we can have uninterrupted fall and spring runs of the traditional shows. Then we can have these limited run shows fill in the winter and summer gaps in the schedule. It would mean the end of the traditional September-May run and sweeps but do either of these concepts really matter anymore?
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Another fantastic point. Even the USA model (and I guess now AMC model) where they run like 6-8 for a bit, then come back 8 weeks later works pretty well.
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Yeah, i think this model is the best there is
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I just don't see how a ratings-based-system could pull this off, the reason the 10-12 episode format works is because, with or without the ratings, the writers commit to finish the story the way the intended (it doesn't matter how well zombies, dragons or vampires sell).

In a rating based system, however, the showrunners hang on to a successful product well past its life expectancy as long as it generates revenue for the network: Under the Dome, Glee, Revenge, American Horror Story, How I Met Your Mother just to name a few.
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But at the end of the day, I think this move means the networks are also starting to realize that the ratings-based system is dying. Sure, we talk about ratings every day, but the way that people view shows anymore had rendered it kind of pointless.

I think slowly but surely, the networks are looking at social media and entertainment site buzz on a show, DVR and online playback (and not just that night or next day), and DVD sales to really gauge the success of a show.

No matter what happens with the trends, we will always have those shows that overstay their welcome. That's been happening since we've had TV and will never change.
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An end game seems more important than the success of the product in the long run; if its about plane crash survivors that cheated death, the end game should aim to death catching up with them; if its about the 24 hour day of a CIA operative, the end game should aim to the last day of his life; if its about a bunch of socially awkward phycisists, the end game should aim to what's socially normal for them.

The 10-12 episode format could aim to how long Rick Grimes survives the zombie apocalypse and whether or not the Jennings can make it as a Russian marriage, but it can't help the Once Upon a Time-Once Upon a Time combo or the JAG-NCIS-NCIS: Los Angeles style procedurals.
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I think we'll end up seeing a split in programming. Procedurals and sitcoms will continue to get the 22-24 episode orders, while plot oriented shows where you need to watch every episode without breaks to follow will be reduced. Hannibal wouldn't have worked with 22 episodes, same with Dexter and American Horror Story. This is a win for everyone, especially since it means we'll be able to greenlight more episodics.
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Yeah, I don't think I necessarily want EVERY show to be 10 episodes. Like I said in the piece, it'd be cool if every show ran 25 episodes a year, but it's just no possible for them as laborers.
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I agree, shows like Elementary and Grimm benefit from two arcs of 10 to 12 episodes a year without breaking the 22-24 episode season format. This way, its audience can enjoy a long season procedural, but momentum within the mini arcs is not lost until it reaches its natural conclusion.
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You do know that AHS isn't network. Its on the channel FX, which is cable.
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I tried to get at least one example of a not-network show with the same issue, The Walking Dead isn't neccessarily past its life expectancy, but AHS was clearly extended because of the success of the product regardless the original concept.
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Ryan Murphy said he always saw the show as an anthology, with new setting and characters every season. And with only 2 seasons, I dont think they have stretched out. But if you're talking about the number of episodes per season, I agree with you. Both season finales felt like they could have been compressed in 15 minutes.

Also, I think AMC is the network counterpart in cable. They extended TWD's season because it got so popular, and now its the most watched cable show. They also cut in half Breaking Bad's last season for more publicity, and I heard they wanna do the same with Mad Men.
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Well to be fair, cable does miniseries stuff a lot more, even not including AHS. AMC, TNT, USA, HBO, History, they've all done minis.
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An anthology is based around a nuclear core: whether it's the eclipse that gave Heroes their superpowers, the police unit UK Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes sent their dying detectives to or FBI agents/reporters/colletors that investigated the supernatural.

A self contained story with a beginning-middle and end doesn't count as an anthology just because it repeats the same actors in differnt roles or time period.
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also, a miniseries will have a definite end, and won't just drag out hoping to carry on to the next season, like Strike Back.. even though it's just Strike Back in the US, the seasons each have a different a subtitle in the UK that fits with the storyline and then it changes when it's done.
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It's about time this happened. Seriously, ever since Lost reduced its episode count from 22 to 14, I noticed a huge spike in quality. They had fewer filler episodes and that quickened the pace of the series. Same thing with Breaking Bad- eight episode runs, costs less to make, tighter story. On top of that, its less of a time commitment not only for the crew, but also the viewers. By reducing the episode count, you not only cut the fat from programs, you also make room for other mini-series as well.

22-episode seasons air over 32 weeks. That gives you 10 weeks during the year where you won't be watching a new episode. In many plot-driven shows, a down week can be a ratings death sentence. So by shortening series into 13-episode runs and having different plot-driven series during the fall and winter blocks, you not only eliminate the need for reruns, you make advertisers happy as well.
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YEP. I almost mentioned Lost, but didn't want to open up that can of worms about the show's presumed decline in quality. S4 and S5 are straight-up thrilling from start to finish, and the episode order has a lot to do with it.
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Finally Cory, something we agree on!
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I'm not saying it should all be about the money: I love mini series and the high quality they usually bring. But it all comes down to the big execs giving the thumbs up/down on whether they want to pursue something.

The only real *financial* downside I can think of besides the one listed above (more expensive to fill out the year) is advertising. You're dedicating a lot of money for advertising a show that's only going to air for "half a season." As opposed to long-running shows where you can recycle the advertising from the previous (year) and just make some minor new ones here and there. Or not even have to show as many commercials because everyone already knows about "The Big Bang Theory" or whatever.
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I love mini-series as much as the next person but I don't buy that the major networks are actually going to give us any. Under the Dome was marketed as a mini-series and as we all know now, it isn't. The networks are too greedy to actually give us a beginning, middle, and end in a single go.
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Not a bad point, and one I addressed. But even a 13-episode EVENT in the summer, once a year, is better than dragging out 25 episodes across nine months.
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I think this is great and I hope that in the future more shows take advantage of this. Not every show can handle 22-24 episodes of good storytelling, and the prime example I can think of right now is Revenge. It had so much filler and/or random/not important/confusing side stories this past season and the quality dropped a lot. I heard that even the creator of the show wanted 13 episodes but ABC didn't want that so he quit.

Another thing, with more episodes you get more random breaks. With a limited series/miniseries, you can (hopefully) get 13 straight weeks of your show, which I think makes viewers stick around more. You know what...i'm sure that network tv shows who do 22-24 episodes can get the best of both worlds. I mean, have the show air from fall and have a 'winter finale', and while technically it's not the end of the actual season, they can treat it like one and can pick up again maybe starting in February up until may with the second half of the 'real season', but the start of the 'new short, season'. Does that make sense? Either way, i'm glad that network TV may become bearable to watch again! It will also make for better/interesting programming, because that initial premise/hook won't have to last a full blown 24 episode season +extra seasons.
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The same thing happened with Battlestar Galactica.
The first season was without a doubt the best, 13 tight episodes that had to get the story from A to B with no room for detours. The show gets extended to 20 episodes a season and wheels start to fall off, it gets a flabby and directionless. Ronald Moore even said that the story in the first 7 episodes should have been done in 4. They did try and pull it back together by treating the final season as two seperate short seasons, but 10 episode seasons weren't enough to tell the story without it being rushed.
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As long as vampire diaries stays with a full season, I'm ok with this! Vampire Diaries is the only show, IMO, that is non stop action from the beginning of the episode to the very end! They do not know what "fillers" are! Lol I know Teen Wolf is doing the same lately, but TVD has been doing it from the very beginning.

And has anyone seen how GREAT the Revenge season 2 finale was?? It goes too show how much magic can be put in to that show! Revenge is what I'm voting for to have shorter seasons. I believe if the seasons were shorter, the show would be so much more powerful! The finale felt like the first season, which I miss SO VERY MUCH.
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I realize how much rambling I did during that comment but you have to realize that I skipped my morning coffee today.
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Not sure if you know this or not, but the creator of Revenge Mike Kelley left the series at the end of season two. Apparently one of the reasons for his departure was that he wanted to do shorter season, but ABC wouldn't allow it.
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I knew there was going to be a new show runner, but I had no idea about Mike wanting to do a shorter season.

they should've listened! Lol
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I think everyone would agree that there are certain times of year that mini series would be great for.
UTD (even though i stopped watching it) is the show that demonstrates you can have successful programming in the summer, which to me means that the mid season break territory should be open to review. People would rather watch a series week to week with no breaks, so if this means starting a series earlier or later than usual, there will be viewers there.
The mini series could be a safer option.
With the internet making it easy to find series to watch at anytime, having a mini series running 5 nights a week would be a viable idea for times when sports are going to dominate.

As long as the series are of sufficient quality and not too expensive they should be moderately successful. Broadchurch is a quality show but its not an expensive show.
And certain genres of mini series can be managed into multi year programming - mainly crime dramas (successfully done in the UK with Prime Suspect, Cracker and Jonathan Creek to name a few - all well written and not that expensive), Political dramas (State of Play, Secret State and the original House of Cards - UK again), history (Sharpe and Hornblower spring to mind - but a mini series could be made for different genres's as well, such as Sci fi, horror, fantasy, legal or biography.

The main problem would come from "big event series" or "big name stars" failing to garner decent ratings - with the networks so eager for instant gratification, this could kill the mini series model. With UTD's ratings decreasing the mini series model could just be seen as a fad - and the networks go back to the cheap reality tv model
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Personally, I don't think big networks should reduce the number of episodes per season of TV shows. Even though cable shows are top quality with only 8-12 episodes per season, the wait for another season is just too long. That is the reason why I mainly watch more network shows than cable, regardless of quality. I just usually buy the DVDs for cable shows because personally, they are better enjoyed to watch a whole season straight than wait week after week for a new episode.
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I like the idea of shorter seasons (unless the show has a certain actor, then I would want moar episodes) but I really don't prefer watching miniseries that won't have at least a 2nd season, I can't get invested in a season long storyline.
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moar, really?
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Yes, in a greedy voice.
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nice comeback my friend
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*bows down*
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24 was already pretty good with having no/minimal amounts of filler. My favorite seasons of 24 (5, 7) had absolutely no filler in them at all.
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I love the idea that less is more. From a viewer's perspective we get a tighter storyline, hopefully, without all of the filler and meandering and an easier series to marathon if needbe.

Plus I'm all for TV shows having actual endings, I'm not a fan of the whole let's bring it back, and make it a comic, and a movie, and it will live FOREVER! Some stories aren't meant to be told for generations.

That being said though, I can see how limited runs are great for actors but I'm wondering how ideal it is for TV production crews. More time to see the family might be nice but from my understanding they only get paid when they shoot so I wonder if 22-episode orders are nicer b/c its more financial security. Just a thought...
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Very few shows get that initial 22 episode pick up, though, so there is always that waiting factor to see if you are going to get picked up for the back 9. It kind of seems like a 6 of one/half dozen of another situation.
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I think one show that's really making use of a shorter season is Suits. They're making it work as if they are on a rolling contract of producing two, half seasons a year.
So Season 2a had did it's thing in 8 episodes and sets up Season 2b.
In the hiatus the network renews so the 2b & 3a become the "full" season.
If they network doesn't renew again then 3b acts as a swan song and a way to tie everything up. And if the network does renew 3b & 4a are the next "full" season.
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(Now if only they could do mini-reality shows, that'd be great.)
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Shut up and start filming already!!! B-)
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I think it's a good thing if the miniseries format becomes a real contender in the TV scene. Because, while I do love myself some good long-going show, miniseries often come with an upped exigence in quality, stronger narratives, less filler episodes and never-ending story arcs and, sometimes, the possibility of bigger names.
Hopefully, it will not only bring a lot of quality miniseries to our screens but also call for higher quality for longer shows, to which we will rightfully be able to ask: "why didn't you do a mini if you had so little to say?"
Plus, I think miniseries also come with the growth of the likes of Netflix, which has unveiled some very interesting stuff this year, and it's probably a sign that the TV industry is changing, hopefully for the better.
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The best reason for me: no need for filler episodes!

Many big shows seem to have a big start, then filler episodes, then big event for November sweeps, then a Thanksgiving themed episode with fillers either side if they fit, then a Christmas show and/or big mid-season finale, then big start to second half of season, then fillers, then Feb sweeps event episodes and then fillers of varying interest building to a big finale in May. Repeat until cancellation or show's natural end.

It gets a bit draining and its millions of dollars that I think would better be spent on other interesting shows.
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Yes ultimately but I hope it doesn't scare too many longer term projects. Like Arrow or Person of Interest.
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While, yes, I think there are a lot of great things that come from limited series, short season, miniseries, what have you...

Basically, I do not have the attention span in most cases to continue to remain hyped and excited for shows that make me wait 14 months for the next season. And the way Leverage would break up its season with 3 here, 2 month hiatus, 3 here, 4 month hiatus, and the last 4 or so episodes... It was exhausting. Not fun. Not exciting. Instead of filler episodes, we're getting filler WHITE NOISE as we wait.

Personally, I'm just one of those people that would rather spend week after week with my favorite characters as they go through a less-than-par episode for an hour than to be stuck with nearly a year-long hiatus. I've dropped so many shows for the mere fact that I just didn't feel the "spark" anymore.
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Yep, me too
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