February 21, 2024

It’s official (well, as official as polls and the like can get): Viewers have realized how easily, and so quickly, networks are canceling things, and they’re starting to adjust to this new television landscape. After all, why commit to a show and invest time in characters only to be axed shortly after the season ends, like recently? Reboot (even if it deserves a second season)? Or it’s only been running for a month, like many others A long list of canceled shows in 2022? There’s also the option to set aside a show’s renewal, and eventually cancel it (shine), in fact, without mentioning anyone in particular, “The business of business money and shares”. Not only is the impact on the many behind-the-scenes people involved, but the directors, writers, and those first-timers on the call sheet with all the names quickly appearing in the end credits, the audience is growing. jerked around.

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Like recently YouGov (via The variety) survey revealed, 27% of American adults would prefer to wait until a season is over and the future is looking bright, or at least decided, before starting on a new streaming show. Apparently, they’ve burned them more than once and concluded that waiting until they’re done is the best course of action against wasting time. 27% does not seem like a very high number, there is also 46% of the same survey; that’s the number of Americans who want to wait until the end of the entire series before starting the first episode.

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It’s likely a case that many refuse to sweep under the rug. Maybe they’re long-time TV watchers who see the constant stream of new streaming services and the plethora of shows each brings with them, making it the perfect opportunity to step back with a wait-and-see approach (or “cut the cord,” as the catchphrase used to dismiss cable TV altogether). Maybe it’s a younger viewer, and they’ve never experienced a different TV selection than the carte blanche nature of different streaming options, in which case feeling a special attachment to any old way of watching things is a complete non-starter. Either way, they don’t want to play the game.

The cast of Reboot
Image via Hulu

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From “Must Watch TV” to “Can Wait TV”

For those who still remember the old days of television when it was the only way to watch the latest episodes of their favorite networks, the options have become countless. Instead of trying to hold on to everything that’s impossible, viewers can now choose on their own terms and in their own time. If the DVR allowed TV viewers to catch an episode at their leisure, apparently the immediate gratification of binge-watching has combined with the delayed gratification of wrap-watching (waiting for a series to wrap before starting) to become a binge. – collect the clock. Depending on the person and the series, it’s entirely possible to wrap up an entire show in the time it would take to air two new episodes on TV. There’s something to be said for a television season that stretches out over a period of time instead of being a flash in the pan that burns so bright and so quickly. At the very least, it inspires forced patience in an increasingly go-go-go world.

Ensuring that society values ​​patience and other meritorious qualities was not the intent of things like “Appointment Viewing,” “Must-See TV,” or any other catchy phrase found on page after page. TV Guide, but the effective words made the concept of regularly sitting down and watching a show fleshed out and established as fun that would be talked about with friends, family and colleagues for days to come. From September to May, with perhaps too many reruns packed in, that was generally the deal. Within this established regularity, however, the managers seemed to understand that schedules and promises really meant something. Shows were canceled all the time, obviously unfairly and for good reasons, but generally there was an order to things (again, it should be emphasized, generally). A show would air for a while, sink or swim, and then be canceled or renewed right after the series ended. There were some aberrations, of course, but mostly it was reliable and easy enough for the audience.

It feels safe to say that the scope is gone. There are still many series that do the classic TV model on old-school networks, and many of them remain quite successful, but the broad structure that once worked has been replaced with a looser understanding. Everything from things like how many episodes a show can have in a given year to when the next season will air, everything is a little trivial. A fun new trend that Warner Bros. recently took part in is canceling shows that have already been renewed for another season. Not only that, but in some cases these decision makers wait until production on a new season is finished (or completely finished!) before handing the entire cast and crew a pink slip. That sort of thing hasn’t gone unnoticed by TV viewers, and it’s surely a factor in some people’s reluctance to launch new shows.

Ophelia Lovibond in Minx
Image via HBO Max

Quit or binge?

According to that too The variety In the YouGov study, 48% of those surveyed said the reason they want to wait until a series ends is because they prefer binge-watching. As if the cancellation wasn’t enough, the reality is also that many have no interest in waiting to watch the final episode every week, one by one, for months. TV seasons, especially for streaming services, are often in the 6-13 episode range, and whether episodes are 30 minutes or an hour long, a long weekend at the end is too appealing for millions of fans. Whatever the reason, many viewers have come to the same conclusion, re-checking a series they heard about when it’s over and done with.

There’s almost no learning curve for a show anymore, that time when all the writers and actors don’t even consider what works, what doesn’t. They have to be immediately amazing in some way so that it’s a huge hit, or at least successful enough that people give it a shot, but then the show also has to nail the ending in a way that makes some kind of waves. social networks. What’s missing from that stage is often the whole middle section, between the premiere and the finale, where a series really finds itself and the audience discovers what it’s like, from the characters to the stories to the music and whatever else. As the saying goes, it’s about the journey rather than the destination, and putting it off until some hypothetical deadline for fear of burning out again will miss out on a lot of fun and only lead to unattainable expectations.

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