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Old June 6 2012, 04:27 PM   #1
jefferiestubes8
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Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

Lost lasted 6 seasons and was a earth-based sci-fi series.

When was the last time we had one of those?
X-Files was a sci-fi procedural series lasting 8 years.

this article brings up the recent few contenders
Have We LOST Our Chance At The Next LOST?
The unfortunate side effect of Lost's finale is that networks took it to mean people like SciFi but in a neat little box. That's why we got Alcatraz and Terra Nova, both of which are done after a season.
every post-Lost mythology show seemed to suck (V, The Event, FlashForward, Happy Town).
Heroes was a comic book type of show but had potential.

Fringe (renewed for final season 5), Doctor Who (an old show that gets rebooted).

I can't see a zombie show like The Walking Dead being a 6 season show. It's a zombie show anyway not really a sci-fi show.

Will a show like the X-Files be rebooted? To me Fringe is the closest thing to it from the half dozen episodes I've seen.
Warehouse 13 is similar and is on season 4.
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Old June 6 2012, 04:36 PM   #2
Sindatur
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
Lost lasted 6 seasons and was a earth-based sci-fi series.

When was the last time we had one of those?
X-Files was a sci-fi procedural series lasting 8 years.

this article brings up the recent few contenders
Have We LOST Our Chance At The Next LOST?
The unfortunate side effect of Lost's finale is that networks took it to mean people like SciFi but in a neat little box. That's why we got Alcatraz and Terra Nova, both of which are done after a season.
every post-Lost mythology show seemed to suck (V, The Event, FlashForward, Happy Town).
Heroes was a comic book type of show but had potential.

Fringe (renewed for final season 5), Doctor Who (an old show that gets rebooted).

I can't see a zombie show like The Walking Dead being a 6 season show. It's a zombie show anyway not really a sci-fi show.

Will a show like the X-Files be rebooted? To me Fringe is the closest thing to it from the half dozen episodes I've seen.
Warehouse 13 is similar and is on season 4.
Falling Skies did really well in S1, and S2 is starting in a couple of weeks. Walking Dead, actually, is already 2 seasons in the can and kept building audience numbers episode after episode, and Season 3 coming up this Fall, I would imagine it'll probably be renewed for S4 pretty early, since it's going so strong. Grimm is more Fantasy oriented, but, it ended pretty strong, so, it's likely to continue beyond it's second season. Eureka made it to 5 Seasons, Sanctuary made it to 4 seasons, Primeval made it through 5 Series, and there's a Canadian Spinoff coming this Fall, so, that's more or less a 6th Season there. Torchwood just did Season 4. So, there is quite a bit that's made it to (Or on target) 4 or 5 years.
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Old June 6 2012, 04:43 PM   #3
Out Of My Vulcan Mind
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
I can't see a zombie show like The Walking Dead being a 6 season show.
I can.
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Old June 6 2012, 04:53 PM   #4
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

Out Of My Vulcan Mind wrote: View Post
jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
I can't see a zombie show like The Walking Dead being a 6 season show.
I can.
Yea, when it was first announced, I thought, "How cool. Too bad it can't last very long. I mean, most Zombie movies that try to go much over an hour and a half generally either take to long to get going, or get repetitive?" But, they've got a really good formula, that can take them through quite a few really good seasons

Speaking of LOST, The Walking Dead has a lot of LOST's style. Camera Angles, Character Drama, usage of musical cues, they even throw in a few flashbacks here and there, and have done the trick where you start at the end and then backtrack through the story of the episode.
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Old June 6 2012, 05:07 PM   #5
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

Very few non cop/doctor/lawyer shows last 6 seasons. Shows have a very hard time surviving on network television because ratings are so important these days. That's just the way it is.
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Old June 6 2012, 05:50 PM   #6
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

Prior to TNG, Sci-Fi shows generally didn't go that long. I think only Twilight Zone and Doctor Who had.

I think 7 seasons of 22-24 episodes sci-fi series might not be as common going forward. I see some tighter series happening though in the model of Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, True Blood, and other cable series. Eventually someone is going to get an idea to sell but I think it needs to be some bold fresh approach.
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Old June 6 2012, 05:56 PM   #7
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

Most of the long-running SFF shows have been on cable, in first-run syndication, or on one of the netlets (WB, UPN, CW). The X-Files and Lost are outliers as long-running shows on major broadcast networks.
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Old June 6 2012, 05:56 PM   #8
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

Alcatraz and Terra Nova didn't fail because they weren't in a neat little box. The reverse is closer to the truth. They were derivative and uninspired, and both deserved to fail.

If you want to complain about an undeserved cancellation, complain about Awake. And even that one's debatable.

The reason sci fi series fail is because the audience for shows of that type is demanding and won't settle for boring crap. Hollywood isn't very well adapted to serving a demanding audience. They prefer the kind of audience who is happy with mediocrity because it makes their jobs so much easier.

Out Of My Vulcan Mind wrote: View Post
jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
I can't see a zombie show like The Walking Dead being a 6 season show.
I can.
Same here. The conflict is largely between the humans, with the zombies just serving as a means to wind up the humans (and sometimes eat one). There's no end to the drama that can generate.

How long a show can gracefully survive depends on its premise and basic approach. A zombie show that was less focused on humans for the core of its dramatic conflict would have a much shorter shelf life.

The important question is not how long can a show survive, but how long should it? I appreciate seeing showrunners with a good sense of when to end their particular show. Two years or twenty, it doesn't matter to me, just as long as its the right length.
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Old June 6 2012, 06:27 PM   #9
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

SFF in my opinion flat out sucks and has for the last decade. Sure there have been a few isolated seasons that stood out and were entertaining(S1 BSG, Xindi arc, parts of ENT S4, Heroes S1, LOST S4/5) but taken as a whole the days of consistently entertaining seasons year after year has been MIA for a while.Writers limit themselves with their premises and that's why so many have great first seasons then collapse.

I know I harp on LOST but it really did ruin sff serialized storytelling--unnecessarily large ensembles, unnecessarily complex series-spanniing mythologies that dragged on for years with plenty of stall tactics ultimately providing no answers or very disappoointing ones, confusing non-linear storytelling, too much plot in an hour, little time spent on scenes because they frantically jumped from one scene to the next spending very little time, weeks without seeing certain characters etc etc.

I much prefer my serialization to be a little more focused and manageable--not given to the excesses that LOST and its brethren were prone to. Frankly I hope there is never another LOST or LOST imitator. Personally I miss a good Saturday sff show like TNG--the problem is it seems when it comes to standalones writers these days just can't come up with something fresh or original they all feel like recycled TOS/TNG/X-Files episodes. And like I said when it comes to serialized sff you get derivative incoherentor overly complicated hot messes like V, Flash Forward, The Event, Game of Thrones, Alcatraz, Invasion, Surface etc.

Why can't we get an intriguing yet easily followed serialized show like B5 or DS9's Occupation arc or Final Chapter.
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Old June 6 2012, 06:45 PM   #10
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

Grimm and The Walking Dead have been reasonably coherent and I'm happy with both.

Falling Skies
has yet to really find its footing, so the jury is still out. No reason to write it off just yet.

Once Upon a Time
is a bit of a mess, obviously made up on the fly, but a charming one that is generally entertaining regardless, and where they left things as of the season finale, S2 could be a lot better than S1.

American Horror Story's "solution" is to jettison the premise every year but keep the actors, which demonstrates that Ryan Murphy understands the show's strengths and weaknesses. It's a risky experiment (the audience may revolt when they realize the story and characters have completely changed) but I appreciate gutsy moves.

So if you just stop watching the bad shows - and forget about the ones that aren't even around anymore - and focus on the ones that are working okay right now, things look a lot better.
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Old June 6 2012, 10:26 PM   #11
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Grimm and The Walking Dead have been reasonably coherent and I'm happy with both.
I know you like both of those shows but like I've said before I don't think they are that great. Grimm is a hybrid of procedural with a weak mythology IMO and the monsters are campy. TWD is yet another iteration on the post apocalyptic theme of what depraved depths mankind will reach in the name of survival. I think the former is poor with the latter being derivative.

Falling Skies
has yet to really find its footing, so the jury is still out. No reason to write it off just yet.
Yeah I think there is plenty to write it off with--namely that if a limited premise type show like this works it is usually with the first season(BSG, Heroes, LOST, Prison Break) if it is a mediocre first season don't expect anything better to come(V). So yeah I have written it off. Not to mention the characters are bland, the storylines are aimless, the aliens are uninteresting plot devices and I'm fed up with post apocalyptic shows.
Once Upon a Time is a bit of a mess, obviously made up on the fly, but a charming one that is generally entertaining regardless, and where they left things as of the season finale, S2 could be a lot better than S1.
It is a mess that's why I just don't care--most characters are bland except Regina and Gold, the present storylines aren't the least bit interesting and the flashbacks are only slightly better. Nope I've been down the road of hoping a show gets better because of all the promises by writers in interviews only to be burned--hello S3 Heroes, hello S4 Heroes, V etc. I swore never again.
So if you just stop watching the bad shows - and forget about the ones that aren't even around anymore - and focus on the ones that are working okay right now, things look a lot better.
Every season I sample shows hoping to find something with interesting characters and compelling storylines but I usually give up after a handful of episodes--I'm tired of recycled storylines, convoluted mythologies, frenetic pacing, lame villains, fucked up rebooted ideas--so I can't help remember a time when I coould sit down and look forward to a series' new episode each week and know that I could expect a good to great episode with some fresh ideas(TNG, X-Files) or enjoy a serialized drama that didn't feel like style over substance was paramount, excess over quality was a virtue the way so many recent sff serialized dramas have been.

Sorry tv in general sucks--it is a ADD paced, convoluted blur of recycled ideas, fancy eye candy and bloated casts. I'll be honest I'd rather rewatch a tv show or sitcom from 15 years ago of which I've seen dozens of times than sitting through a new episode of just about any recent show. Just because something might be mildly better than its contemporaries doesn't mean it in a vacuum all on its own is entertaining.
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Old June 6 2012, 10:27 PM   #12
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

Not an SF show, but we seen to be talking genre in general here-- Supernatural is going to be starting its 8th Season in the Fall. On the same network, Vampire Diaries has been on several years (not sure how many) and is still going strong.

Warehouse 13 could go on a long time-- there's infinite potential there-- but probably won't last more than five, knowing Sciffy. Same with Being Human.
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Old June 6 2012, 10:51 PM   #13
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
X-Files was a sci-fi procedural series lasting 8 years.
9 seasons

In terms of the current crop of sci-fi shows, I'd imagine Doctor Who will keep going on and on, and then something like Warehouse 13, I could see that going for another 3/4 years.
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Old June 6 2012, 10:55 PM   #14
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Not an SF show, but we seen to be talking genre in general here-- Supernatural is going to be starting its 8th Season in the Fall. On the same network, Vampire Diaries has been on several years (not sure how many) and is still going strong.

Warehouse 13 could go on a long time-- there's infinite potential there-- but probably won't last more than five, knowing Sciffy. Same with Being Human.
And Smallville lasted ten (!) seasons and Lost Girl just got renewed for a third . . .

I'm not sure there was ever a period where genre shows were guaranteed at least six seasons. Babylon-5 struggled to make five. The original Galactica expired after only season (and the less said about Galactica 1980 the better). Buck Rogers only lasted two. Ditto for Space: 1999. The original Twilight Zone only lasted five. And there have been plenty of one-season misses like Mercy Point, Cleopatra 2525, Odyssey 5, etc.
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Old June 6 2012, 11:00 PM   #15
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Re: Did we skip a generation in scifi TV series to last 6 seasons?

It's Trek's fault - before TNG I don't think many sci-fi or genre shows ran for that long did they? Even at that time you had Quantum Leap which capped out at five, and more recently Farscape went for four. Atlantis out after five as well.

Trek, The X-Files and SG1 aside, sci-fi just doesn't tend to run that long. Well, besides Doctor Who obviously!
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