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SpoilerTV's Weekly Round Table: 3rd Edition

Hello community and welcome to a slightly belated edition of our weekly round table. If you missed the previous two you can find them by clicking here. At the round table this week Milo (MI), Jennise (JH), Lisa (LM), Samantha (SB), Jaime (JC) and me (MP). So sit back, enjoy the read and later let us know what you think in the comment section down below.

1. The rise of the Spin-Offs at the CW. Supernatural and The Originals are giving it another try. Does it reek of desperation or is this valid try from the CW?

MI: Normally I'd be on the fence about a Supernatural spinoff after the last one turned out awful but the Wayward Sisters concept sounds excellent and just what could be needed to give Supernatural some fresh blood, especially if it keeps a monster of the week style format and doesn't try to one-up itself each season. I love how The Originals is turning out as well, and I actually have always preferred this show to The Vampire Diaries, so I'm really glad that the CW have kept it around as long as they have. So as long as they keep making good decisions, and the quality is good, I'm fine with a spinoff.

JH: Networks have been spinning off their shows for decades. It makes me smile that the CW seems to be considered ‘desperate’ to contemplate spin-offs. They’re a long way from the spin-off record that CBS has.

I’ve never had a problem with spinoffs. I love good stories. If a spin-off creates an arena for great story telling then the television audience can only benefit. I’d much rather a show come up with a way to freshen and tell do stories rather than contort itself to maintain the original paradigm. (for example, Burn Notice trying to come up with ways to keep Michael from getting back into the CIAs good graces because they had to stick to the original definition of the show.)

LM: Given the strength of the franchises, I think it's actually smart of the CW to try for spinoffs. The Originals is a spinoff itself after all. The problem with the SPN spinoffs - and the only one I can really speak to - is that it's not simply the premise of the cast or the proximity that are going to spell success or failure. It has a LOT to do with the showrunner. Robert Berens and Andrew Dabb can't carry a show. This season of SPN is a good case in point. It had some decent moments, but in the end, it was a mess. Kim Rhodes is a good actor and I've liked her in the past, but she's come to believe her own hype and the fan love she gets at conventions. I was not at all impressed with her last few appearances - and Jodi Mills was one of my very favorite characters. In fact, if you search back through my reviews, you'll see that I pushed HARD for them to give her a spinoff the last time. I do like Brianna Buckmaster - also a good actor who I'd like to see do more serious stuff - she's good at the comedy, but has the capacity for more. The actor who plays Alex is competent, but the actor playing Claire Novack is utterly awful. If she was to be regular - or even recurring - it would be enough for me to stay away, and it seems a given that those other 3 will have to be involved. Finally, the one thing that no one ever seems to get is that the largely female audience may pay lip service to be Wayward Sisters, but at the end of the day, I don't see them supporting a show that doesn't feature Jared and Jensen - just look at the meltdowns when those two don't have what fans consider sufficient screen time!

SB: I don't watch either show but I think this falls into both categories. The CW is desperate to not be seen as overly relying on their superhero shows for ratings, but unfortunately for them, the programs they've tried to launch in recent years haven't found an audience. As we've seen over the years, spin-offs can work but I think it depends on how good the mother show is doing and the story. Pretty Little Liars attempted to launch a spin-off show not too long ago and it failed miserably. If The CW has learned the lessons from the previous attempt at the Supernatural spin-off, then considering it is their longest running show they are more than entitled to try again.

JC: I'm usually a fan of spin-offs because it means that some characters who aren't the main focus on the mother show will get their stories told as well. However, I do think it's become a "go to" move for some. The mother show needs to have a large and strong enough fanbase for this to work. I'm all for a spin-off of the Originals but I don't think the show is strong enough for it. Only just this year where we all expected it to get canceled. Even really strong shows have had spin-offs fail. Gossip Girl, NCIS, Supernatural, The Blacklist, Agents of SHIELD, Chicago ... Some of these never even got made into a series because there was no interest. The CW needs to do their research before trying to launch one of these because it can affect the mother show as well. Just look at Bobbie and Hunter's disappearance from AoS.

MP: As I'm really not ready to let go of the TVDverse, I'm all for another entry into the franchise (P.S. Dibs on reviewing it ;)) ). But the key to maybe making this work is keeping the romance to a bar minimum and embrace Hope as one of the most powerful witches out there. As for the SPN spin-off, it being a Buffy-alike boot camp really sounds solid. Not sure how it will work as the SPN writers don't have the best track record with female characters.

Is CW desperate? I wouldn't say but they are trying and don't forget that all networks are having issues in finding strong new shows so why not give these a shot? They can do Riverdale numbers for sure.

2. Where did all the viewers go? All summer entries so far are underperforming, especially the ones airing on the broadcast. Should summer turn into rerun heaven or should networks invest more into their summer programming?

MI: It's a lot easier to watch shows on atchup nowadays through streaming services than it used to be, so that definitely plays a part in the decreasing of viewership as audiences know they can always catch up later if they don't see it live. There's also a lot of TV on at the moment, even more so than previous years, forcing viewership to be spread out across multiple shows. And of course in HBO's case, Game of Thrones isn't back yet - so the shows that usually follow it, Veep and Silicon Valley, don't get as much viewership as they would normally as there are plenty of people who just subscribe to HBO for Game of Thrones.

JH: I really hope that the nets don’t give up on original summer programming. It’s felt like the lower stakes give the nets room to try ideas like “Brain Dead”. I hope what’s happening isn’t that viewers are gone but that with all of the alternative mechanisms for catching up with shows they’re just not getting accurate numbers. Honestly, I don’t think “rerun heaven” can be profitable anymore. If you missed episodes during Arrow’s live broadcast season you can either watch it in the short term on The CW app or wait a week or two and rewatch the entire season on Netflix.

LM: Ratings are down across the board. People rely so heavily on streaming and binging now, that I don't think you can take the downward turn of ratings as a sign to turn the model back to reruns in the summer. Let's not forget that that WAS the original model - it wouldn't be turning the summer into something new. Ratings will continue to be less and less important in the traditional sense. People with Neilsen boxes are not the typical viewer... I suspect that what will happen is that the model of making tv may continue to evolve so that networks and studios will create more short run series and will produce on a more rotational basis, saving the best fare for the fall/winter and the less successful for spring/summer - rather like the movie model, but on a different release schedule. Streaming is going to continue to change everything.

SB: Viewing figures have been down across the board this year. Streaming and binging have revolutionized the way in which we consume content, and I think this needs to be embraced because otherwise a lot of shows will be canceled in the future. I think summer shows are doing so badly because there's not enough quality in them, and the only way you can fix that is by investing instead of just using summer to burn off shows that aren't great.

JC: I tend to not keep track of ratings but I do think that the networks need to invest more into their summer programming. I, myself, am using the summer to catch up on my shows but perhaps I wouldn't if there was more to choose from in the summer. So much buzz goes towards the fall line up each year but I wish the same kind of attention would go to the summer lineup (or even the mid-season one). In my country, summer is nothing but reruns and it's god awful. So I say they should put in more effort regardless of the terrible ratings. Perhaps some more promotion might help.

3. A new Game Of Thrones trailer dropped!!! What are your expectations with the premiere being only 3 weeks away?

MI: I'm super hyped for Game of Thrones as usual. I'm expecting lots of action, things to start to move towards a closure and hopefully, plenty of awesomeness to come.

JH: My Game of Thrones desires have always been a little askew of what I think is considered “the norm.” The machinations and intrigue of the Lannister stories always felt like ‘been there/done that’ to me. I loved the Dothraki story because it was a new more interesting society. What I really want for next season is more dragons and more of the White Walkers. I’ve gotten much too little of that (for my tastes) since the show began.

LM: I'm beyond excited for Game of Thrones to return. I am most looking forward to our favorites all becoming allies to fight the Night King - and then whoever is left will have to fight over the Iron Throne...

JC: My expectations for Game of Thrones are high. Before season 6 they were much lower but now that I've seen what they can do, I'm expecting even more for season 7. And I definitely expect a cliffhanger that will make us beg for season 8.

4. Taken took out 6 regulars. Is it worthy to bring back a show for another season if you completely change its core? And can a new rooster help the show bring in viewers?

MI: I haven't seen Taken so I'm not one to judge, but if the quality improves by the core roster switching it can be a good thing. Doctor Who normally does a complete reboot every so often and that doesn't hurt it so why can't other shows do that too? It also adds to the unpredictability in Taken's case with the fate of the characters in question who are leaving the show, too.

JH: The key to increasing the show's viewership will be the writing. Will the six new characters be interesting? Will the stories be compelling? Given the paradigm for the show, I think it really could work if they go for a new case per season type of paradigm. I don’t know what they’re planning to do to reinvigorate the show. Personally, I didn’t like the main actor/character so I really can’t see them pulling me back in unless the lead is one of the 6 regulars being replaced.

JC: It really depends on the show. I've only seen 2 episodes of Taken so I don't really know what effect this would have, but Taken isn't the only show that's done this. OUAT is planning a similar move which might help since the show hasn't really been living up to it's full potential for years. Skins used to do this as well which sometimes worked, other times not so much. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the idea. When you follow a show you can't not get attached to certain characters. If the viewers suddenly decide there's no longer any point in watching because their favorites are gone anyway, you might not be able to make up for it with new viewers.

It is your turn now guys. Scroll down and share your thoughts in the comment section down below. Hope to see you again next week.