HOLLYWOOD—By now, some of you might be aware that some of your favorite shows from the past year or past years will not be returning to the airwaves in the fall. The first week in May is notably known as the TV slaying season.
This is when the TV execs have to make tough choices on what shows to keep, which shows to give a chance and which shows they have to axe. The major networks have already began revealing the new pilots slated to hit the airwaves in the fall, and which shows won’t get the opportunity to rise from the dead.
Well, in some instances, Netflix and other online providers are starting to grab hold of those series that have dedicated fan bases. I mean, I was a huge fan of the FOX series “The Following” and it seems just when a show is beginning to find its footing, it gets the axe. I can’t tell you how many shows are still on the air which should be given an early exit. Like who seriously still watches “America’s Funniest Home Videos?” That show is anything but funny, it hasn’t been for years.
What network television is starting to discover is that TV lovers want content that delivers on multiple fronts. This might explain why “Orange is the New Black,” “House of Cards” and “Orphan Black” continue to mesmerize viewers. We don’t have to sit and wait for new episodes to air, we can binge watch all at once. That’s a great feeling to say the least. Sometimes the anticipation of waiting for a new episode that fails to deliver is just too much to handle.
The only new series to dominate the 2015 TV season was “Empire” and for good reason. That show had a unique, fresh approach to television, giving the audience something each week that they never expected. I mean I can’t recall the last time a series continued to grow week after week in the ratings. This is excellent news for FOX because the advertisers are coming in big numbers, which screams revenue!
That is what TV is about: advertising. The higher the ratings for a show, the better the flow of income for the network; the scary thing about a good show, it never lasts forever. Some shows just run way farther than they should. I think in my little mind a comedy or drama at most can go six to seven seasons on network television. After that time frame, it seems that storylines and plots continue to be regurgitated to the point where the viewers lose interest.
Just when I was willing to give the CBS series “Stalker” a shot, the network cancels the show. The same can be said for NBC’s “State of Affairs.” Then you take shows like “The Vampire Diaries” (which I have no idea how it will survive without one of its core characters), and it becomes apparent that the show has been running out of ideas since season four ended. The problem with network television is this notion of having 20-24 episodes. There is way too many filler episodes that are there just to be there. If it’s not advancing the narrative cut it.
This could be the new direction that many TV series should consider. Heck, cable has been doing this for years and it works fine. Shell out 10-13 episodes for the viewers to absorb all the meaty material, go on hiatus and return the next year with new content. If you haven’t already scoped the Internet to see which shows are returning and which are not you might want to do so now.
Once a show is cancelled it’s usually a done deal for the series. Very rarely do you see repeats of a series that has been cancelled, and what sucks the most is when a beloved show gets the ax, without a proper sendoff. Man it happens way too often.