Why Midseason ‘Finales’ Are Bad for TV

Another compelling case against the TV status quo, propounded by a knowledgeable and talented writer – with whom, we hasten to add – we here atTVWriter™ thoroughly agree:

the-walking-deadby Nick Cannata-Bowman

We’ve all seen it: Our favorite show finally returns after months off the air as we eagerly tune in every week. Then as quickly as it came back, it disappears for another two months, only to return again to finish out the season. Here we have the odd new-ish trend of the “midseason finale,” taking over the most popular shows on virtually every major network. For the networks themselves, it’s a slam dunk. They get to drag out their most-watched properties, and then rebuild hype for a “midseason premiere.”

It’s a strange game of cat and mouse that has these shows dangled like a carrot in front of viewers for weeks at a time. Long hiatuses are generally designed to allow more time for production, but in the end, all they do is interrupt the flow for both viewers and the show. It creates a disjointed storytelling structure that makes it hard to get into anything that resembles a creative flow. Some series and networks are more guilty than others, but it would appear as though the days of running through a season in at least semi-consecutive weeks are long since over.

No show represents this trend better than Fox’s New Girl, having gone far beyond simply airing half its episodes in the fall and the other half two months later. Its fourth season that concluded in May of this year took four breaks that lasted two or more weeks, going so far as to take a half-month hiatus after returning for only two episodes following a one-month layoff. If your head is spinning trying to make heads or tails of this, know that you’re not alone. It’s become a whirlwind adventure trying to figure out whether or not this will be a week one of our favorite shows airs.

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