Fran Drescher is making a comeback. Well, she was. Only, the comeback began last March with her new show Happily Divorced, and tapered off after only 10 episodes that aired sporadically for a few months. But wait!
No, her show didn’t get cancelled. However, someone in charge decided it’d be a good idea to wait more than a year before premiering season two (which begins this June on TV Land).
I used to think good things come to those who wait. But in the world of television shows and level of interest, I think the industry is falling apart.
I’m often trying to figure out what season a show I enjoy is in simply because they’ve taken so many breaks. Does a spring premiere mean a new season? Who really knows? (Wikipedia of course).
The television industry has definitely changed a tremendous amount in the past decade. Soap operas are being cancelled left and right, and premium channel shows like True Blood on HBO, or Dexter on Showtime, only show up once a year for a 12-week span—then to be thrust back into the closet—left for 10 months (or more) until producers decide to roll out the new season.
Then there’s the ever popular major network shows like Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, which have so many breaks in between new episodes that I’ve given up trying to figure out what season it is.
It’s a sad day when WWE Raw and Smackdown have the most consistency in airing new episodes. Good thing I still find two guys fake-tearing each other apart amusing. However, it’s unfortunate because so many don’t hold the same sentiment.
The logic I guess is that it all comes down to money. The more breaks between episodes, the fewer episodes that have to be made, and the less money spent on special effects, actors and various other costs that rack up when filming a television show.
However, it is not the amount of episodes that ruins a show for me as much as the consistency in showing them.
Viewers today have the attention span of a fifth grader. If you lose their interest, you may have lost it for good. They may not remember the show is returning in three weeks, only to air four more episodes and break again.
Having to pull from the depths of our brains to remember a storyline we haven’t seen anything of for weeks isn’t the most enjoyable viewer experience.
The solution is simple, but still somewhat painful. Network and basic cable scripted shows simply need to go the route of the premium channels. Film whatever amount of episodes that can be afforded, show them all at once, week after week, and then build up the hype the rest of the year until the next season airs.
After all, there’s a reason why True Blood gets out-of-this-world ratings. And it’s not just because Eric the brooding vampire is drop dead gorgeous and often without clothing. Although, that doesn’t hurt.