Today I’ll be answering the question, “Is there a standard for when (American) TV shows’ seasons start and end and how long they are?”
If you care about the timing of your shows then you’ll find this article helpful.
We got more points that can explain why the shows air at the times they do.
Also I will explain what type of shows follow this formula.
But let’s get straight to it, and show how they do it.
Is there a standard for when (American) TV shows’ seasons start and end and how long they are?
Yeah. It started in the 2000s. From there they were making new seasons that were also shorter. Then premium cable made their own spin on the formula, and then it was glamorized on reality TV shows.
The 2000s would have a season that would start after Labor Day in September.
The season around that time would be 22 to 24 episodes long.
It would actually be a decrease from what it usually would be; 30+ episodes.
However, there were shows that started at different times as well.
Some shows would also start in the spring and summertime.
You might remember the reality TV Series called Survivor.
The show started in the 2000s (the exact year of 2000 to be specific).
It was actually one of the first successful reality shows that debuted in the summer.
New / Shorter Seasons
You may remember when I spoke about the shows having a decrease to 22 to 24 shows after having 30 episodes.
Networks decided that making seasons shorter would fix low viewership.
The shows in the 90s had predecessors that will go on for what we feel like forever.
It made it hard for viewers stay locked in on the story.
Another thing that they wanted to emphasize with the shorter seasons was that their new.
The networks discovered that viewers were tired of the same old formats they were doing in the past.
It even played a role in what time of the year the show would get released.
Let’s take a moment to talk about premium cable.
HBO and Showtime first introduced original series which changed the game.
The cool thing about it was its ability to break the rules in terms of when shows would drop.
They dropped shows on these premium materials whenever they want.
It was that or stick to the September-spring format.
Another benefit in doing that was also picking or many episodes go into a series since it original.
This blueprint was discovered to be successful by other networks, and had their formula duplicated by the likes of FX, A&E, U.S.A. and TNT.
“Let’s Get Real”
Let’s talk about the reality shows.
There is a trend, a trend that happen with reality shows particularly.
Some of these reality shows you’ve probably heard of before.
America’s next top model, project runway, and say yes to the dress.
They were known to do the same things mentioned before; airing at different times.
It was easier for these shows to do that since it was less scripted than a sitcom or something similar.
The most common distinction was that they would share multiple seasons over the course of one year.
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