ABC revamping how it airs drama seasons


Greys Anatomy


ABC is thinking outside the box and revamping the way it airs some of its serialized dramas next season. Series like 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Scandal,' 'Once Upon a Time' and 'Revenge' (which were all picked up for new seasons over the weekend) will be aired in two uninterrupted runs of twelve episodes each, bringing into play the newly-popular mid-season finale episode for each.

Paul Lee, ABC President, announced that a "selected group" of dramas will be screened in this new format, including the series named above with the possibility of other series being added to the list. But that's not all: not only will the series seasons be halved, but the down-time between blocks of twelve episodes will be filled by new limited series, which are now all the rage at the big networks.

Announced so far is the bridge between the twelve-episode blocks of 'Once Upon a Time,' which will be filled by the new reality series 'The Quest.' Although this particular bridge limited series is a reality show, Lee specified that not every limited series will be unscripted. While the current plan remains blocks of twelve, twenty-four episodes is a higher than standard order for serial ensemble dramas; when questioned on the matter, Lee explained that the blocks of twelve were not "set in stone" and could diminish to nine or ten.

It was also announced that the new drama 'Betrayal' will be treated as a limited run, airing eleven or twelve episodes in total. These moves are being made in the face of falling ratings for repeated episodes; with more competition than ever for every viewer's attention, repeats can easily be passed over for new content on any other channel. This new model ensures that ABC will air the maximum amount of new content over an uninterrupted period.

Will the experiment pay off?


- Grey's Anatomy
- Once Upon a Time
- Revenge
- Scandal
- Betrayal

Written by: bad_subject
May 14th, 2013, 4:37 pm

Images courtesy of ABC


Message Posted On May 15th, 2013, 4:57 am
Good news for the Networks. If a series doesn't do well in its first half, the break makes a perfect spot to drop the show entirely.

Message Posted On May 15th, 2013, 1:06 am
Indeed. It always struck me as counterintuitive, which I'm not sure to what extent this latest bit of a hyperbole addresses.

Message Posted On May 15th, 2013, 12:35 am
In Europe most shows are just aired without the stupid break of months. That way intelligent, people can and do, just watch the show, at the same time and day EVERYWEEK!!! Mind you, the BBC seem to be adopting this staggered crap too. (Dr. Who) They started talking over and shrinking the end credits just as the US stopped doing it. duh? It stops people watching! Imagine that?? Wow USA catches up with the rest of world!!! Let's hope they'll work out not to show 2 or 3 episodes then axe it. Evolution is alive and at work in the US.

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Message Posted On May 14th, 2013, 8:38 pm

Jericho had a break between Nov, and Feb. 3 Months, but I believe promotion has alot more to do with it. Especially OUTSIDE your own network channel. Revolution was off air quiet a while, and still has just as many fans, and its not as good as Jericho.



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Message Posted On May 14th, 2013, 7:27 pm

If memory serves me correctly, CBS did this (perhaps unintentionally) with Jericho and the ratings suffered with a lengthy break in between because the fans didn't return.

Naturally the difference is these ABC shows are established with an already set fan base so it may work.


Message Posted On May 14th, 2013, 5:37 pm
About time a network tries this. Well done!
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