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SpoilerTV's Weekly Round Table: 19th Edition

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Welcome everyone to a new edition of SpoilerTV's Weekly Round Table. Hope you are ready for some passionate rants and some tough love. This week I'm (MK) joined by Milo (MI), Samantha (SB), Babar (BS), Jimmy (JR), Laura (LS) and Lisa (LM). Nothing much to do for you guys, beside take a sec, enjoy the read and if your up to share your thoughts in the comment section down below.

1. The 10pm Broadcast slot. Is it really worth it anymore? Should networks avoid this time slot entirely? Numbers are low and people don't care enough anymore to tune in to watch something regular so late.

MI: I don't watch shows live as I don't live in the US, but the lack of a 10pm slot would certainly streamline television on a regular basis - and force networks to hopefully go for more quality shows with less room for filler. It would also encourage more competition across networks, but at the same time, it would be a struggle for every show to fit in. For now, it's not an issue for me, but it would be interesting to see what would happen if it was removed...

SB: Yes and no. First and foremost there are too many TV shows. In the UK primetime TV hours are roughly the same as US (from 7 through till 10 but the first hour or so is dedicated to soaps with the hard-hitting shows from 9 onwards) and during that time you have to show a lot of Tvs. I think the problem is expectations. No Network should expect a TV show at 10pm to be getting high ratings. It's the time most people tend to head off to bed if they've got an early morning the next day. Also, have to take into account that programming content may mean that airing a show at 8 or 9pm is inappropriate. Plus watching TV life is becoming a dying trend, due to catch-up and streaming TV which I think is a great thing. Too many times in the past I've missed an episode for various reasons, and with the lack of repeats & availability online, I've ended up falling behind. If you get rid of the 10pm slot then you're losing an hour of TV and again, with so many programs on air/waiting to air/beginning production etc, you can't afford to lose an hour.

BS: I don't see why networks should drop the 10PM hour. The Good Doctor's stability shows that people will stay up to watch the right show. HTGAWM might be getting low(er) ratings now but it did pretty well in its first two seasons as a 10 PM show, too.

JR: Cutting the 10pm slot would cut a third of available prime-time viewing on network tv. When you think of the impact doing that will have from that perspective (one third fewer shows, one third fewer jobs, one third fewer showrunners, etc) I think you can see why the 10pm slot will stick around. Even if networks opted to drop a third of their programming, they would surely drop a day such as Friday before dropping an hour off every day. Though small, a 10pm audience does exist, so rather than dropping that entire viewership, they’d rather drop a single day so they retain the full viewership across the longest period of time on all other days.

LS: I don’t see what’s wrong with it. The Good Doctor is showing stability there so clearly it’s a matter of putting the right show in that slot with the right promotion to generate the hype. And, of course, the right continuation to keep people coming back for me. It’s just like any other hour.

LM: I'd be more interested in what the DVR numbers are like. Are people still watching the shows but time to shift them? I don't think that the networks can simply drop a timeslot. I do think that it won't be much longer before all content is available online to stream at people's leisure and timeslots will become meaningless. I think that's a really good thing because it will mean that a show that might have gotten lost due to being in a rigid timeslot up against a lot of competition may end up getting an audience when a viewer's weekly viewing is a schedule entirely of their own making.

MK: Considering that out of 16 10pm slots only 1 is doing above 1,5 means that something did change on the scoreboard. The 10 pm slot seems to have become the safe haven for syndication runs and tossing long runners or dead weight into the slot. The Good Doctor doing well this season doesn't really mean anything at this point, both Designated Survivor and Quantico held well during their first couple of week. The longtime deal is that people prefer to start DVRing it one point. Doesn't mean that TGD won't do well in the future.

2. Rick and Morty ended the 3rd season with no time span on when the 4th season will be coming, so is it ok for writers to leave storylines unresolved or do they owe it to the audience to provide some form of resolution before an indefinite hiatus?

MI: It's kind of frustrating when Rick and Morty does this. There isn't as many unresolved storylines as say, serialised network shows, and it helps that we know for certain that it's coming back at some point, but at the same time, closure on storylines like the Citadel stuff in the Ricklantis Mixup would have been nice - which was admittedly what I expected the finale would be about. Either way, it's not the end of the world. It just means waiting a little longer than normal, which I'm fine with at the end of the day, provided the wait is worth it.

SB: Trying to curb the urge to launch into another Rick & Morty rant, I'll say no it's not ok for ANY TV show to leave things unresolved. Years before now, if you were a bubble show and ended your season on a cliffhanger? 99% of the time Networks brought you back so you could resolve, and do the same thing over until the show naturally reached its end or the Network just decided to pull the plug. I've lost count of the many times I've read interviews with EP's saying most of the storylines were resolved, but they left some things open in case they came back. Or were so sure they were getting another season, they left multiple cliffhangers to pick up on & never came back. It's extremely irritating & I hate it because it's a pretty crappy way to treat your viewers. I still remember the Kyle XY season 3 finale, where they show had pretty bad ratings the whole season, it was an open secret ABC Family were axing the show, but still Julie Plec for reasons only she'll be able to answer decided to end on a cliffhanger. What happened? As predicted the axe came a few weeks before the finale, the cast wanted to shoot a different ending that'd give the fans closure, ABC Family said no, show ended on a cliffhanger & only if you bought the DVD or read JP's interview after did you find out what she intended to do with it.

I completely understand the need for a break from a project. If you've worked on 1 thing solid for over 5 years, you can get bored & want to test yourself in other areas, and in the animated business it's probably twice as hard, but do not leave your audience hanging. Especially when there's no set date on you coming back. Give the storylines that have taken center stage a proper conclusion, and then when you come back in years from now maybe? You can hit the reset button and do whatever you want with the show, providing it makes sense.

LS: Oh god, this. Do not get me started on this. I am not even qualified to talk about the cliffhanger they did after Season 2's finale since I only had to wait 4 months until the Season 3 premiere dropped, whereas the rest of the fans had to wait a year and a half. I understood why it took that long, they took a long time writing the season and then animation takes so much time to get right. And I’m glad they took a bit of extra time, specifically for the animating, since it was a stark improvement over seasons past. But this year? Oh no. They did something entirely different for this cliffhanger and it’s truly unacceptable. Sure, they brought Mr. Poopybutthole back to let everyone know Season 4 will come…in a long time. But as I discussed in my review of the episode, the juicy ending we have to wait years for? Is nothing compared to the previous season? Rick going to prison was the perfect cliffhanger. It had the right amount of emotion and heaviness and truly kept you wanting to come back for more. It was agonizing, but in a good way, since the quality was so consistent throughout the episode that you felt like you could afford to wait. But here? The big thing we are waiting for is if Beth is a clone or not. Jerry is back with her. And the whole family sits and laughs while it zooms in on Rick looking annoyed. THAT’S IT? AND WE HAVE TO WAIT YEARS FOR THIS? This is a poor decision on the writers’ parts. I won’t be surprised if people slowly forget about the show and lose interest during this hiatus. And hey, you know another show that is in the exact same situation as this one? It’s Always Sunny. Their 12th season finale left on just as egregious of a cliffhanger and now the show is on extended hiatus. What now? Honestly. What the f*ck do we do now. I hope fans of this show consider checking out other ones, I guess. Or we could always rewatch Ricklantis and think about the good times. Or, much worse, we could all lose our minds over Szechuan Sauce and pickles. What a strange show and fanbase this is.

LM: I don't think cliffhangers can be blamed on the writers. Most writers will try to provide closure if they know they aren't coming back - but there's so much pressure to get viewers to tune back in - especially after a very lengthy hiatus - that they can't really afford not to have a cliffhanger. I think it really rests on the networks and studios to give the writers a heads up earlier so that they can plan appropriately. I do think that there is a responsibility to give viewers some closure when a series ends.

3. SEAL Team got a full season order, where do the standards for new shows lay? What is more important for a back order, numbers or brand?

SB: I was honestly really surprised SEAL Time got a full season order. I'm guessing having David Boreanaz on board probably helps the show a little bit since he's a well-known actor with a fanbase that follows him around and quite honestly the show is perfect material for the CBS base. Generally speaking with new shows though I think it depends on the Network. I've gotten used to seeing Networks swing the axe within 3 episodes of a show airing, because its viewers aren't matching up with the numbers they're used to getting, and with some shows taking on a cult status after being axed & Network execs admitting they may have been too hasty to pull the trigger, I think unless ratings are abysmal & there are no viable alternatives, they're gonna give a full season order out just to fill up the weeks & come May say bye-bye.

JR: Every season has a few shows which get a back order or additional season that didn’t deserve it. Rather than overthinking it, it pays to remember that the majority of the US population votes for Trump after all.

LM: Numbers are highly overrated - but then so is brand! I suspect it has a lot more to do with star power in many cases. I haven't seen SEAL Team but David Boreanaz has a lot of pull. They'll give his fans time to find the show. On some level, numbers will continue to matter a great deal in relation to attracting those advertising dollars - at least for network shows.

MK: I'm honestly not sure what to think about this decision by CBS. On one hand, this is pure CBS following their blind faith otherwise it seems nonsense as the numbers are really low. I think this was a vote of confidence by the network but I really doubt that an old-skewing network like CBS can pull a win in a demo from this. We shall see. Overall Networks are more patient with their backorders and find that pretty smart. Take a minute see how the show is doing on all platforms and how your midseason shows look. Patience is a virtue.

That's it from us, hope you've enjoyed the read and are ready to share your thoughts with us in the comment section down below. Till next week. . .

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