March 11, 2010

374 words 2 mins read

I hate modern TV schedules

Let’s take a quick look back at TV in the mid 90s. When a show started for the season, you were safe in assuming that the show would be 24 to 26 episodes in length and that it would be on essentially contiguously. Sure, nothing was on TV during the week of Thanksgiving or Christmas, but who cares? It was the holidays, specials were on and generally you were busy with other things. If a show came on in September, it was on at the same time every single week until it went off the air in February or March. Times were good…

Nowadays, modern TV scheduling is stupid, plain and simple. I don’t particularly mind the “summer” shows which tend to be half seasons (roughly 13 episodes) though most of those that I watch are, I feel, better than the regular TV seasons and should be on full length. The scheduling though, who thought of this bull? A show can be on for 2 weeks, off for 3, back on for a week, off for another 2. Even the half season shows aren’t immune to this. The TV executives blame the fall of TV viewership on DVRs (like TiVo), streaming (Hulu) or illegal downloads (Torrents). Sure, those might help, but the reality is that people TiVo their shows because THEY CAN’T FIND THEM.

Let’s look at a few examples: Chuck Season 3 took a 2 week break in February. The start of Human Target was just all over the place. FlashForward started at the end of September and ran to November, then took a few week break to come back for ONE more episode. It is supposed to FINALLY come back on the air next week. A 3 month break? V (2009) ran 4 episodes in November and won’t be back till the end of March. Castle (Season 2) started in September and ran until the beginning of December (didn’t skip Thanksgiving) but then took a month off for the “Holidays”. It returned only to take another 3 weeks off in February/March.

I could keep going, but you get the point. If TV execs want to save TV from being completely destroyed by the internet, give us a damn schedule we can follow.