Shows like Heroes may give rise to new type of series

by Paul William Tenny

I've written a guest post for CliqueClack touching on a subject I've covered a couple of times here before, my theory on the emerging "one-off" series concept where a show does just a single season, heavily serialized, and then calls it quits. One season is the perfect length for a single arc allowing you to spend every waking moment on it without burning out trying to stretch it longer than it might otherwise be worth doing.

Here's my opening:

I'm no television historian, but as a keen observer of emerging trends, the thing that piques my interest these days isn't web-to-television series like Sanctuary or Quarterlife, or the resurgence in popularity (though not in numbers of shows on the air) of sitcoms; it's the "one-off" series concept.

For any given idea, you've got a number of mediums that lend themselves to a certain method of storytelling. Some stories are best told in short form and end up as movies. Good book adaptations have too much happening, so you double down and end up with a miniseries. Open ended stories make good television series but are prone to exhaustion, especially serial dramas.

Is there a sweet spot?

My thanks go out to Keith McDuffee and Bob Degon for allowing me the opportunity to guest post over there. You can read the whole thing here.
in Feature, Television


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