There is a new show on the CW (an American TV production/station) called ‘No tomorrow’. This show premiered October 4, 2016.
That show has a built in end date.
I’m getting ahead of myself let’s start at the beginning.
The premise of the show is that a hot guy has found out the world will end in 263 days from a meteor strike. The guy is trying to do a check of things each day until the end of the world. Each episode crosses off several items. A hot woman starts to hang out with him. Since there are a finite amount of items on his list this gives the show, given that each season was 10-20 episodes and they crossed off at least 5 things an episode around 4 to 5 seasons which would include reruns.
This got me to think of other shows with a hard end date. Babylon 5 storyline was 5 years. Star Trek – 5 year mission, the original Dr. Who only 12 doctors.
So is this a good idea or a bad idea? The writers start off knowing that you have only so much time or episodes to tell your story would this make the show better or worse? Would it make what you are watching better or worse knowing the end is coming? Would you count down?
Think of all those TV shows that kept on going and going, some running out of ideas until they, ‘jump the shark’.
Worse what about those shows that ended way too early because of a major cast member leaving taking down the show.
What about those too short of a show but have become fan favorites. You have to ask yourself, are they good because they were well done or are they fan favorites because they didn’t stay around long enough to become bad?
Miniseries and Maxi series are like potato chips. They are scarfed up when they aired and trend heavily on social media and for those going back a ways around the water cooler, but are soon forgotten about. So did being limited in episodes hurt those or not?
The TV series ‘The Prisoner’ originally was six episodes. It was such a hit they had to scramble to continue the storyline. It went 17 episodes. That was a rare animal of a show. Planned a short run and then had to, out of popularity, kept going.
When does a show draw the line? By using rating as a guide? Their budget? Casting salaries? At the whim of some stuffed suit of a studio head? Built in limited storyline?
I feel that when a show starts it has some idea where it wants to go and if it reaches that goal then it should wrap it up.
I was listening to a fantastic episode of Fatman on Batman, Kevin Smith’s comic podcast and he quoted someone in the comic industry. ‘All comics are second acts. We never get to the third and final acts. That is what makes comics boring and exciting all at the same time.’ Or something to that extent.
So after the first episode of any TV show which is Act I, then comes Act II, which is rest of the series and then we are just waiting around for the third act and the curtain call. So with that idea, should shows start off with a set story line? Should they build as they go? No show starts of thinking of the third and final act, but should they?
I really enjoyed this first episode. I think if they focus on the finish line they have set up this can be a great show. Even if they get to day 283 and the show is still going it still can grow without the ‘oh the world is ending’. Adventures can still happen.
Did you see the first show? Did you like it? Do you want to see where this goes?
Let me know.
Check out the show here:
The other shows I talked about can be found here