Has Star Trek had more hours made for the screen than any other?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Chrono85, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Chrono85

    Chrono85 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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: Dec 17, 2013
  2. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I think there are soap operas out there with far more output than Star Trek.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    ^^
    The OP mentioned those, and asked to exclude them.
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Oops. That's what I get for skim reading:ouch:

    *climbs under a rock*
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
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  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I confess, I almost suggested Dark Shadows . . ..
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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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  9. Chrono85

    Chrono85 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
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  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  11. Chrono85

    Chrono85 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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 :).
     
  12. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  13. Chrono85

    Chrono85 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  14. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ 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.)
     
  16. Chrono85

    Chrono85 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    From my count, 698 individual comic books set in the world of Star Trek, have been produced over the years, and about 591 original Star Trek novels, not counting novelizations of TV episodes and films. These novel series are still ongoing. Unfortunately, there are only seven original audio dramas of Star Trek. So Trek way outpaces Who in print, but Who blows Star Trek away in audio productions.
     
  17. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Doctor Who probably blows away other audio dramas based on a Television show full stop. No one else is that crazy ;)

    Odd to think there could well be more hours of Paul McGann playing the Doctor, than there are of William Shatner as James T Kirk.

    Big Finish would have loved to have got hold of Trek - they could have released 4 a month (single reader personal logs perhaps?) without running out of possibilities or actors. But I think the rights were unavailible due to the movie revival.
     
  18. Chrono85

    Chrono85 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I would love for Big Finish to produce some audio Treks :) Unfortunately, CBS and Paramount are way protective right now, which seems to be why we can't get another TV series. Plus, CBS and Paramount would probably demand that it be set in the Abramsverse. How many hours has McGann produced for audio? Shatner actually isn't the most prominent Trek actor; that honor belongs to Michael Dorn, but I'm not sure that even he surpasses McGann in total recorded time portraying the same character.
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would include Dark Shadows, it definately is fantasy, and included science fiction storylines involving time travel and medical (med-babble) explainations, research, and attempted cures of vampires and werewolves.

    Unless you what to exclude those Star Trek and Doctor Who episodes that were primarily fantasy.

    :)
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There are more than seven. Peter Pan/Power Records produced eleven different "Star Trek Story Records" adventures, seven based on TOS and four based on TMP (and six of the eleven were released in comics form alongside the records). And Simon & Schuster published three original Captain Sulu Adventures in 1994-5, as well as the two Spock vs. Q audiobooks produced by Alien Voices. That makes sixteen in all.


    Bad Robot probably would, but I don't think CBS would. If anything, it might be considered preferable to keep the audios in the original continuity so there was no conflict with the Abramsverse -- much like the Big Finish Doctor Who audios only have the license to classic Doctors.