Gone & Back: New Study Analyzes TV Shows That Return
Television, much like Hollywood, is built on reboots and reimagining. Recently, a study came out about what happens when we bring back retired shows. Let's look at the numbers!
With shows like Brooklyn 99 being saved by NBC, Veronica Mars coming back once again (hell yes) on Hulu, and Roseanne rebranding as The Conners, it seems like our TV screens are being dominated by things we've seen before. Yes, the reboot and rebrand game extends past film and has worked its way to television. Even streaming has gotten in on the game, with new seasons of Sabrina and Lost In Space coming to a home screen near you.
A new analysis of scripted TV shows and game shows by AAG analyzed the numbers of shows that had been canceled or gone off the air and later returned or rebooted. The study looks at things like count of episodes before and after, number of years off the air, and the networks they were on. Seventy-five different shows were studied in all.
Check out some of the major findings:
- For scripted shows, the average number of years in the initial run is a bit over 6. For the return run, it’s 2.6 years.
- Interestingly, the Rotten Tomato score for scripted shows is roughly the same for initial and return runs -- 75.6% to 72.9%.
- 88% of game shows returned on a different network than their original run.
- The average number of episodes per show is slightly higher for game shows’ return run 1,114 to 1,067.
The study also had these awesome infographics made. Let's pick them apart!
I think it's easy to predict that revived shows get fewer episodes in their final runs, but what stands out to me is how revivals and reboots are here to stay. And it even has crossover into game shows. Netfowkrs are trying to attract people based on their feelings of nostalgia, and they're winning.
It's hilarious that Roseanne only made it nine episodes into her revival, but she made that happen herself. Hawaii Five-O is one of the only one of these shows that can claim success aside from Dr. Who. But I do think we need to take into account that most of these shows debted with smaller budgets, less competition, and under a different network strategy.
It's easy to see how these shows can fizzle out. Nostalgia often comes with a price. And you have to remember these ideas were developed in a different world. Sometimes the main themes don't translate. Also, if it's an old show, your audience might...not be alive anymore. The biggest thing to keep in mind is how to keep it feeling "of the time."
Networks live and die with a new slate yearly, but they all try to revive things to see if they'll stick longer this time.
Game shows are particularly interesting. If the rules translate, they'll always be timeless. That means to can capitalize on a good idea again and again.
Look at how some of our biggest game shows have translated to different eras. Again, this is the timeless nature of each show keeps it relevant. But also you have to understand that fewer episodes are made for the current market.
What's next? Choose Your Film Color Palette!!
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