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August 31, 2015

serialized dramas

Seven things I learned from the 2006-07 television season

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 8th 2007 12:01PM

Heroes, the surprise hit of the 2006-07 seasonWelcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.

With the 2006-07 season now just a fading memory in our short attention-span universe, it's a good time to sit back and reflect on what came to pass. The beginning of it was full of excitement and promise. The end of the season was pretty much the same as others before it: some good (and not-so-good) stuff survived, the bad stuff didn't, and stuff that we thought was good went down in flames fairly quickly. There were some surprises in the freshmen class and some resurgences in older fare. In the meanwhile, American Idol remained the show killer.

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Too much serial in the television bowl

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 21st 2006 9:10AM

Serial drama VanishedEvery television season has its trend. After The Cosby Show premiered in 1984 the trend was toward family sitcoms. In the late 90's and the early 21st Century reality shows and nighttime game shows dominated the schedule. Last year, the trend was towards science-fiction and supernatural shows like Surface, Invasion, Threshold and, well, Supernatural.

This year is no exception as the very prominent trend is leaning towards the serial drama or comedy. Now, before you get all defensive I know that the serial has been around since the dawn of television, particularly in the daytime soap operas and previous shows such as Dallas, Dynasty, and Melrose Place. And, I also know that shows like Surface, Invasion, and Threshold, as well as the late-lamented Heist could all be considered serials. But, this year seems different because it looks like a good number of these shows could actually last the whole season and beyond.

This is a bad thing. Would you like to find out why? Then, jump ahead, my doubting friend.

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Fox president think fans of serialized dramas deserve closure

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 25th 2006 3:11PM
Reunion castSpeaking to critics at the TCA press tour, Fox Entertainment president Peter Liguori mentioned that the proliferation of serialized dramas offered by the networks this year might start to wear on viewers, especially if many of them end up getting cancelled before fans see a satisfying ending to the show's story arc. He felt the networks and show producers should put together a plan to wrap such shows up if they get axed prematurely. "I think the audience deserves some closure," Liguori told the critics.

Why is he so concerned? Apparently, the serialized show he axed last year, Reunion (see picture above), has been used by the critics as the poster child for network mistreatment of such shows. Every network president has gotten a Reunion-related question when talking about his or her company's new serialized shows. So I'm sure Liguori isn't all that happy with being the source of those questions. At least he's aware of the problem and willing to fix it. We'll see if he and other executives actually do.

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