Home Forums Television Ideal length of a TV season?

Ideal length of a TV season?

CREATE A NEW TOPIC
CREATE A NEW POLL
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
Created
2 years ago
Last Reply
2 years ago
19
replies
1348
views
17
users
2
2
1
  • Daniel Montgomery
    Participant
    Joined:
    May 14th, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358623

    I read this really interesting article at Vulture about how so many shows air seasons of such different lengths. What’s the ideal length.

    For me, as the sheer number of scripted shows explodes, I want fewer and fewer episodes just so I can commit to more of it. A show with 6-10 great episodes makes me soooo happy. More than a dozen feels a little like work these days, even for shows I love.

    Reply
    Halo_Insider
    Participant
    Joined:
    Jul 3rd, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358625

    8-10 sounds about right to me. I’m generally pretty happy to binge a 12-13 episode season, but I’ll generally find at least one or two episodes that will feel inessential.

    I do think it depends on the showrunner, though. I remember thinking that Torchwood’s five-part third series, Children of the Earth, was incredible, and showed that Davies had finally gotten a proper handle on things so it didn’t just feel like some juvenile “Doctor Who after hours” spin-off. It was tight and precise in what it wanted to do. But, then, with Series 4’s Miracle Day, it was back up to a 10 episode run, and you could feel the padding. It was just such a mess.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Patrick
    Participant
    Joined:
    Oct 18th, 2014
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358626

    Although I love when shows are 18-25 episodes long because I’m so obsessed with television (especially when I’m binging it), I think 10-13 is best for quality reasons. That way, all of their energy can be put into a more managable workload of 10-13 episodes rather than having to complete the writing, editing, costume design, directing, memorizing lines, and so much more for so many episodes. Less is usually more in that respect because it allows the story lines to be more concise without dragging on and there are little to no filler episodes that are very common in the longer seasons of television. For me, less than 10 feels way too short, but can still be done well. Even though Season 2 of The Comeback is a flawless season of television with just 8 episodes, I would have liked a few more because I can’t get enough of Valerie Cherish!

    ReplyCopy URL
    CanadianFan
    Participant
    Joined:
    Jul 23rd, 2012
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358627

    It is no coincidence that 90% of the best TV shows have shortened seasons.

    ReplyCopy URL
    KyleBailey
    Participant
    Joined:
    Nov 15th, 2013
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358628

    ^ Funny cause The Good Wife is still holding strong at 24. 

    I think 8 episodes is ridiculous to even consider a “Season” especially for 30 min shows. 13 episodes at the least. 15 works well for me too like How to Get Away With Murder did. I agree 24 is a bit much especially in this age of binging but that’s what a season of TV is!  

    ReplyCopy URL
    mikeboy898
    Participant
    Joined:
    Feb 3rd, 2012
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358629

    I agree – shows with around 10-12 episodes are perfect. I’m specifically thinking of shows like Mr. Robot (currently binging)

    Less (especially with 20-30 minute comedies) seems like we’re getting jipped.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Halo_Insider
    Participant
    Joined:
    Jul 3rd, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358630

    The Good Wife would really be improved if it shortened its episode length, particularly last season.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Icky
    Participant
    Joined:
    Jun 28th, 2012
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358631

    ^ Funny cause The Good Wife is still holding strong at 24. 
     

    And its best seasons (two and particularly five) still feel a bit diluted and have a decent amount of throwaway episodes.

    Comedy is different. So much depends on its format, tone, how deeply serealized it is. When it comes to drama 10-16 episodes seem ideal no matter the type. But even less will do depending on how norrow the focus and arc is. 22-24 episode dramas, particularly ones that mix serealized and procedural drama or are almost entirely character driven, can manage a couple of really good seasons, but later seasons tend to suffer from such length. So, yeah, 10-16 is the should-be target for most. 

     

    ReplyCopy URL
    AMG
    Participant
    Joined:
    Sep 20th, 2012
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358632

    A great drama would be ideal for 10-12 episodes, unless they can sum it up in 6, like most British Drama Series do. Comedy, I prefer longer runs, mainly if they’re 20 minutes each. But if they are half an hour then 12 is good because I’d rather have 12 high quality episodes than a mix and match of good and meh episodes for 24. The Good Wife suits a longer run because of the different stories it can run across the series, while also allowing for the story of the week.

    ReplyCopy URL
    BenitoDelicias
    Participant
    Joined:
    Nov 3rd, 2010
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358633

    It depends on what shows you’re talking about.

    I think Transparent was ok at 10 episodes since not much happened anyway. Girls too. But a show like Kimmy Schmidt could’ve done more than 13 since it’s more comedic and they have the time to waste on nonsense asuming it’s going to be funny. I think true comedies, 30 minute comedies, can go further than 13 episodes. 

    I don’t recall a single drama series that had 24 perfect or completely necessary episodes. The Good Wife being a show about lawyers, courts, cases can put out episodes that focus on single cases that take up most of the running time plus character stuff, but I can’t imagine 24 episodes a season of The Sopranos or Breaking Bad. Much less a slow moving show like Mad Men.

    24 is an interesting case because they needed it for the gimmick or premise of the show, depending on how you want to call it, but I think that way too many things happened in “one day” for every single season and made it all even less believeable, so they could’ve worked around it like they did with Live Another Day.

    ReplyCopy URL
    GoMe91
    Participant
    Joined:
    Sep 25th, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358634

    13-15 for comedies
    10-13 for dramas

    Although, at the same time, I am grateful that shows like 30 Rock and The Office had more. Otherwise, there are many shows (Scandal comes to mind) that would benefit from shortenend seasons. 

    ReplyCopy URL
    ETPhoneHome
    Participant
    Joined:
    Jan 3rd, 2013
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358635

    If it was uniformly 13 for dramas, that would be fine with me. Though comedies can vary much more. I would generally prefer at least thirteen for a half hour show, and 20-24 is always fine.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Webly
    Participant
    Joined:
    Jul 8th, 2012
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358636

    Dramas – 13 or less unless it’s a show that splits into two parts and is basically framed as two seasons OR it could just be The Good Wife and be great most episodes.

    Comedy – I don’t think an episode limit should be placed on comedy. Some of the best comedy series have 22 episodes each season. But, some “comedies” like Transparent which are really just “comedy-dramas” should stay at about 10.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Alex
    Participant
    Joined:
    Mar 8th, 2015
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358637

    I prefer Drama series to have 10-13 episodes. It is no surprise that some of the most acclaimed modern series (GoT, BB, MM, Sopranos, Homeland, SFU, Dexter, Hannibal, HoC, TD etc.) have shorter episode runs, whilst longer series tend to have more complaints about being overbloated.

    Comedy series, however, have no strict episode limit in my eye. A series of 22-24 episodes, such as Friends, Modern Family or 30 Rock etc., can be just as effective as a series of 10 episodes, such as Veep, Silicon Valley, Girls etc.

    ReplyCopy URL
    FrozenBarbie
    Participant
    Joined:
    Sep 27th, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #358638

    10-13 for drama.  Those that have less seem to end way too soon, especially if it’s a really good show… then you have to wait a year for the next season. Six episodes for Rectify went by way too fast  That felt too short.  I’m also not a fan of shows splitting a “season” into two parts. 

    ReplyCopy URL
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
Reply To: Ideal length of a TV season?

You can use BBCodes to format your content.
Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

Similar Topics
Denis - Oct 22, 2017
Television
Luca Gi... - Oct 21, 2017
Television