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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old December 17 2013, 10:20 PM   #1
Chrono85
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Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

Has Star Trek produced the most hours, on screen, of any 'Science Fiction' franchise?

I knew that it would have to come down to Star Trek and Doctor Who, and at first, I thought that Doctor Who must have more hours of screen time than Star Trek, because the original Who aired almost continuously from 63 to 89 for 27 seasons. It turns out that in the original Doctor Who, episodes were only 25 minutes long, whereas over all of the live action Star Trek TV series, including the original pilot from 1964, episodes have ranged from 43 to 50 minutes in length, and only the animated series episodes were significantly shorter, at about 23 minutes each.

Because Who was off the air from 1989 to 2005, except for the TV movie, and Trek had new episodes airing continuously from 1987 to 2005 over four TV series, it was able to catch up to and surpass Who during this time period, plus all of the movies if you want to count those, since they are 'on screen'. After searching the web, I have found that there has been about 372 hours of screen time produced for Doctor Who over both series, and about 544 hours of screen time produced for Star Trek over its six TV series and 12 films, and 520 if you only count television.

Since the new Who currently has about fourteen 45 minute episodes per season, it will be a long time before it can surpass Star Trek. This is not counting the Doctor Who spin-offs like Torchwood and the Sarah Jane stuff, but I'm not sure that those would put it over the top anyway, or that they should really be counted. So has Star Trek produced more hours on screen, than any other Scifi franchise? I know it has not produced the most of any scripted TV franchise, because you have to count those fifty year old soap operas, but maybe the most of any primetime show.

Last edited by Chrono85; December 17 2013 at 11:33 PM.
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Old December 17 2013, 10:22 PM   #2
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

It depends how you define a "franchise." I'd be willing to be the glut of animated superhero shows (not to mention live-action fare) would put DC or Marvel past the number of hours of Trek that have been produced.
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Old December 17 2013, 10:35 PM   #3
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

I think there are soap operas out there with far more output than Star Trek.
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Old December 17 2013, 10:39 PM   #4
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

^^
The OP mentioned those, and asked to exclude them.
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Old December 17 2013, 10:42 PM   #5
F. King Daniel
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

Oops. That's what I get for skim reading

*climbs under a rock*
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Old December 17 2013, 10:54 PM   #6
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

In total for Star Trek TV shows (including TAS) and movies, it's roughly 542 hours (based on minutes per progam).

[EDIT]I previously missed the "rule" about limiting the comparison to sci-fi shows, but I think that's just a way to set the rules to make sure Star Trek wins.[end edit]
Gunsmoke, which ran for 20 seasons, 6 as a half hour show (233 episodes) and 14 as an hour show (402 episodes), totals about 449 hours for TV, and that's a SINGLE show, not a franchise. There was also a short-lived spinoff called Dirty Sally which ran for 13 episodes for another 5.2 hours of programming, so make that 454 hours.

I realize the topic is "made for the screen" but I think it's worth pointing out that Gunsmoke started as a half hour radio show, with 422 half hour episodes totaling about 183 hours, which would mean that if you mash up radio and TV you get 637 hours of Gunsmoke alone.

Hell, All In the Family and its spinoffs account for 816 episodes and 345 hours.
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Last edited by Maurice; December 17 2013 at 11:41 PM.
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Old December 17 2013, 10:58 PM   #7
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Oops. That's what I get for skim reading

*climbs under a rock*
I confess, I almost suggested Dark Shadows . . ..
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Old December 17 2013, 11:23 PM   #8
Maurice
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

[EDIT]Again, originally I previously missed the "rule" about limiting the comparison to sci-fi shows, but I think that's just a way to set the rules to make sure Star Trek wins.[end edit]
Law & Order and its spin-offs total 709.8 hours of programming and 1,014 episodes, and its SVU show is still on the air.
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Last edited by Maurice; December 17 2013 at 11:52 PM.
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Old December 17 2013, 11:31 PM   #9
Chrono85
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

Maurice wrote: View Post
In total for Star Trek TV shows (including TAS) and movies, it's roughly 542 hours (based on minutes per progam).

Gunsmoke, which ran for 20 seasons, 6 as a half hour show (233 episodes) and 14 as an hour show (402 episodes), totals about 449 hours for TV, and that's a SINGLE show, not a franchise. There was also a short-lived spinoff called Dirty Sally which ran for 13 episodes for another 5.2 hours of programming, so make that 454 hours.

I realize the topic is "made for the screen" but I think it's worth pointing out that Gunsmoke started as a half hour radio show, with 422 half hour episodes totaling about 183 hours, which would mean that if you mash up radio and TV you get 637 hours of Gunsmoke alone.

Hell, All In the Family and its spinoffs account for 816 episodes and 345 hours.
To be fair, I did specify 'scifi' franchise Gunsmoke was a western. As for radio, Doctor Who has a bazilian audio dramas, but those aren't 'screen' Still, they are produced stories. Although, I think Star Trek probably has more original novels than Doctor Who, but since you can't count running time on novels, it's hard to factor those in.

Last edited by Chrono85; December 17 2013 at 11:50 PM.
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Old December 17 2013, 11:38 PM   #10
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

The title of the thread doesn't specify sci-fi, and I missed that disqualifier in your first message. However, Star Trek is amongst one of the top TV/film programs in terms of total hours re a franchise, period, so I don't think it needs to be sectioned off into a sci-fi category. It's indisputably got the greatest total running time of all science fiction shows.

I edited my comments above to reflect this.
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Last edited by Maurice; December 17 2013 at 11:53 PM.
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Old December 17 2013, 11:49 PM   #11
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

Maurice wrote: View Post
The title of the thread doesn't specify sci-fi, and I missed that disqualifier in your first message. However, Star Trek is amongst one of the top TV/film programs in terms of total hours re a franchise, period, so I don;t think it needs to be sectioned off into a sci-fi category. I think it's indisputably got the greatest total running time of all science fiction shows.

I edited my comments above to reflect this.
Yeah, it's not your fault, I ran out of space in the title of the thread, and did not explicitly state 'scifi' until the end of my post, but I did edit the post so that I mention it from the start .
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Old December 17 2013, 11:50 PM   #12
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

Doctor Who is I think still the longest continuously running sci-fi series, and it can be proud of that. But in terms of screen time it is curtailed by its very nature.

There are a number of factors why Doctor Who lasted the distance though. The ability to reboot the entire cast/format every few years being the primary one. The Star Trek format/s tended to be set in stone to a certain degree (a cast member here or there could be changed out or moved around, but it wasn't by any means a cast clear-out, and the core cast of each series remained the same for their entire run). Doctor Who could literally shake up everything and still be a viable proposition. It was part of the format, and part of it's longevity.

After seven seasons, even Tom Baker was beginning to look old hat. So the ability to just change the entire cast for some new guys and revitalize the entire format as a result was a key component. In a lot of ways that resembles soap opera production more than anything else; the format and the characters have each got a degree of seperation that means the former is never affected by the departure of any of the latter.
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Old December 18 2013, 12:09 AM   #13
Chrono85
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

Lance wrote: View Post
Doctor Who is I think still the longest continuously running sci-fi series, and it can be proud of that. But in terms of screen time it is curtailed by its very nature.
Well, Doctor Who has not run continuously from its debut, since it was off the air for 16 years between 1989 and 2005, except for the one-off TV movie. Still, I think that original 27 season run may still be the longest running, or at least I can't think of any other scifi show that matches it.
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Old December 18 2013, 12:18 AM   #14
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

Chrono85 wrote: View Post
This is not counting the Doctor Who spin-offs like Torchwood and the Sarah Jane stuff, but I'm not sure that those would put it over the top anyway, or that they should really be counted.
Certainly wouldn't put it over the top (adds about 52 hours) but I don't see why they wouldn't be counted. Same franchise, with crossovers.

Comic strip totals might be interesting to compare, since I guess 2 or 3 Trek's must have been running at the same time. Doctor has had a strip in some form since 1964. As well as longest running magazine based on a TV programme.

How many original Trek Novels? At least 300 for Doctor Who in print, not counting 156 novelistions, or original books for audio.

And that's without counting audio drama.

I'm surprised Trek's never got very far with audio drama.
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Old December 18 2013, 12:20 AM   #15
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Re: Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

^ That's what I meant. The original show ran continously for 26 years. That's the record setter. The current one has only been around for 8 years so far.
I don't suscribe to the theory that Doctor Who was merely 'rested' and then came back, old Doctor Who and new Doctor are two different series that happen to share a single continuity. No matter how long new Doctor Who goes for, it doesn't 'count' towards the original 26 year tally as part of a continous series any more than DS9, VOY and ENT count towards TNG's seven year run.

(Continuously running franchise, that's a different matter.)
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