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Limiting the number of seasons

Luna

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Look at how some series lose their steam in the beginning as they get to the fifth or sixth season. It isn't impossible for a series to run so far, but most story plots are not enough for so many screen hours. Setting a limit may actually prompt the writers to make a tight plot and play with dynamics better.

What do you think?
 

Hal

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I think that some shows would be better if they were limited to a certain amount of seasons. I think the creators of shows typically have one big plot in mind when they begin. When it extends past that, the show starts to take on a less structured feel. There are shows that are great and have a bunch of seasons though. I think sitcoms tend to be the best long-running shows.
 

Zack T

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I think this is really more of a case by case basis. There are some shows that I agree, should only be limited to a certain number of seasons. 13 Reasons Why is a perfect example.

But I think a better answer is to limit the number of episodes per season. Trying to fit 20+ episodes per season in a regular prime time show is just hard. If they only had to do 10 to 13 per season, then you can focus on stories much better in a tighter fashion. MARVELS Agents of Shield has been doing this the last 2 or 3 seasons, even though they have 22 or 24 episodes per season - They'll do a story arc for half a season each and it works out really well. Doctor Who, Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, all examples of great shows that usually only have a smaller number of episodes per season and the quality speaks for itself.
 

Hal

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But I think a better answer is to limit the number of episodes per season. Trying to fit 20+ episodes per season in a regular prime time show is just hard. If they only had to do 10 to 13 per season, then you can focus on stories much better in a tighter fashion.
Great point! That really is the better answer. Needing a tighter storyline leaves less room for dropped plotlines and plotholes, which is always a big plus in my books.
 
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What incentive does a network have to limit a show to a certain amount of seasons? If a show is popular and has a strong following, they're going to milk that for as long as they can. I understand where you're coming from, I just can't see that ever happening. I think @Zack T had a more realistic suggestion.
 
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I think that The Walking Dead is a perfect example of this. They were milking it after season 4, like really milking it, trying to come up with new storylines that just made me go "ugh." I am excited for the new seasons now but there were a couple of seasons I felt like they just had to end it.
 
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What incentive does a network have to limit a show to a certain amount of seasons? If a show is popular and has a strong following, they're going to milk that for as long as they can. I understand where you're coming from, I just can't see that ever happening. I think @Zack T had a more realistic suggestion.
I agree, and that is probably the root of the problem. Financial concerns win above artistic decisions. If limited screen time forces the writers and producers to make tight storytelling, won't the audience love it as well? Won't the increase in ratings and viewership bring the same financial benefits? Can we justify the new system that way?

FlyyGurl, TWD is indeed one of the reasons behind my question.
 
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I agree, and that is probably the root of the problem. Financial concerns win above artistic decisions. If limited screen time forces the writers and producers to make tight storytelling, won't the audience love it as well? Won't the increase in ratings and viewership bring the same financial benefits? Can we justify the new system that way?

FlyyGurl, TWD is indeed one of the reasons behind my question.
Yup, it's the root of the problem for sure. It's sad that finances will always win out, but it's a business at the end of the day. It's hard to imagine it going any other way.

In theory, that should work out. However, that means that they would have to come up with more good ideas. Instead of allowing one successful show to have a very long run, they'd have to come up with multiple ones for shorter runs. That's more work for them.
 
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