Why You Don’t See Mini-Series on Broadcast TV Anymore

Viewers love watching mini-series. Writers love writing them. So what the $#@! happened to them? According to Kimberly Potts, the answer is simple: Nothing personal. Just “business.

Why Broadcast Networks Killed the Miniseries

By Kimberly Potts

“Roots.” “Shogun.” “Rich Man, Poor Man.” “The Thorn Birds.” “North and South.” “Gulliver’s Travels.” Those classic broadcast network miniseries from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s made for marquee television. They were multi-night programming events that drew people to their TVs in numbers unachievable today outside televised sporting events. They won awards for their networks.

And then the networks stopped making them. The last broadcast-network miniseries to receive an Emmy nomination was CBS’ “Elvis” in 2005 — and in 2011, there were so few miniseries in the running on both broadcast and cable networks that the Television Academy surrendered to the inevitable and folded the Outstanding Miniseries category into a newly combined category, Outstanding Miniseries or Movie.

What happened?

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Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.