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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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February 27 2014

ABC to air Marvel special with 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' sneak peek. The docu-special promises to give viewers a "front row seat to the inception of Marvel Studios, the record-breaking films, the cultural phenomenon, and further expansion of the universe by Marvel Television." Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe will premiere Tuesday, March 18 at 8 p.m.

I imagine it will be a tiny teaser as the main cast haven't started filming yet. Maybe a glimpse of Ultron.
This is the sort of corporate synergy we can all get behind.
Any tiny sliver to get me my Avengers fix!
Great news and... oh, crap. Two episodes of Agents of SHIELD and ANOTHER pause to show this. Well, at least this sounds interesting. But i sorely miss my agents... ;)
They are not doing themselves any favors with all the breaks...I get the synergy here but does anyone feel like there may be more reshoots/retooling going on behind the scenes than they're letting on? Or is it just Olympic year scheduling madness?
There are 52 weeks in a year and 22 episodes of show therefore 30 weeks of the year must not have an episode. US networks like to stretch out the season from end of September to end of May so breaks have to happen and they happen to almost all broadcast shows. We only notice on the stuff we really like. It is a high class problem to have.
SHIELD has filmed without break. Just for info.
Im not saying that they dont have an excelent reason for doing this schedule. Im sure they have. I doubt this is anybodys ideal schedule. Not even theirs. The only thing i say is... i still dont like it, the same way even knowing going to the dentist is for the greater good of my health and i am actually by doing so avoiding greater pains in the future, going hardly thrills me, quite the contrary. ;)

Somehow, complaining once bi-monthly kinda makes me feel better. Indulge a simple mans simple pleasures, please. ;)

Thanks for that clarification, Gossi. :)

I promise iŽll try to buy some patience. Somewhere. Not one of my strenght, though.

Still, trying to be positive: this sound great. Will not overhype myself with the possibvle Ultron coverage. At least i will try. Its easy to expect too much. There is always pain in that.

[ edited by Darkness on 2014-02-27 23:25 ]

[ edited by Darkness on 2014-02-27 23:26 ]

[ edited by Darkness on 2014-02-27 23:28 ]
I'm not a fan of the scheduling really. It's too stop start. But it is what it is. I know ABC are toying with the idea of two 12 episode blocks per season with some shows to avoid reruns - I think if shield returns for a second season, ABC should look at splitting it. Start in January 2015 and run straight into Avengers sequel.
I watch Hannibal,looking forward to the season 2 premiere tomorrow,and Bates Motel and I do like the way they sort of handle their seasons.A shorter season schedule but all the episodes aired in consecutive weeks with no breaks.Another show I watch is The Walking Dead and they do a elongated version of this where their seasons now are longer(16 episodes) but they split them in half and air the halves in consecutive weeks.The first 8 epsiodes with no break until the midseason finale at epsidoe 8.Go on break until after the holidays/New Year and return in Feb. with the second 8 episodes without a break until the finale.

I don't know if this sort of thing will work as well on networks but some of them are toying with versions of this format like above mentioned Hannibal on NBC.

I think this is sort of like what Gossi is suggesting.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2014-02-28 00:17 ]
Cable networks usually do the shorter seasons like Bates Motel and Walking Dead. Broadcast is toying with it especially where they have big name stars with negotiating power in lead roles. The Following is on a shorter ep order because that is the only way the star would do the series. Sleepy Hollow was a short order for season one because it is CGI heavy and thus needs a lot of lead time. Season 2 may follow the same pattern.

Still the vast majority of broadcast network shows will be stretched from September through May in the foreseeable future but it may be (very slowly) changing as more networks experiment with straight to series orders and competing with cable for top talent.
Yeah, i mean, besides my own shortcomings as an impatient man, the real subtantial problem i have that I think has not so much to do with my likes and dislikes is that this kind of scheduling breaks the momentum of the series, and nowadays with the obsession over continuity vs the older stand alone episode is even more jarring.

I wish they could find a way of schedulling tv series taking theyre own schedule as part of the narrative the same way tv shows have been doing with the adverts breaks. A series that takes in account the fact of its own schedulling structurally is far better off than getting excited with a story and picking that same excitment where you left it in a month.

Even the XIX century monthly writers knew they came out every month and worked with it. Use the problem. Cause if you not, all you are getting is an alleatory set of unwanted and irritating interruptions.
Darkness, the biggest, most popular, and most successful shows on broadcast (the NCIS and CSIs and the like) aren't serialized, are very standalone and are 22-24 episodes spread from September through May. They aren't the kinda show I enjoy but they have been working great for many years and are insanely successful.

Changes will happen in scheduling and every other facet of TV when economic realities indicate they should. But I like the way you think about scheduling as part of the narrative. Shows used to do that a little more with seasonal episodes.

I kinda lean toward the view that unless hiatuses cause irreparable fall offs in viewership, the breaks create anticipation, allow people to get caught up and drive demand. Depends on the show I guess.
Back in the day, I used to follow Desperate Housewives. ABC did the same thing to it, despite it being a hit show at the time. All I'm saying is it's frustrating, but I think it's pretty typical for ABC.
Regarding scheduling and reruns;

1) At one time when a network bought a series what they got was two airings. That made reruns extremely important to profitability, Can someone in the business tell us if that is still the practice ?

2) The conventional wisdom used to be that, all other things being equal, reruns got worse ratings in June-Aug than the rest of the year. Therefore you wanted to air your reruns in the
Sept-May period as much as was feasible. Is this still the case ?
I'm a huge "The Good Wife" fan and the show took a break after airing a momentous episode in January, only to come back in March. And yes, it's killing me because that show is much more serialized than AoS. I've also heard a lot of grumbling about how fans of "Scandal" can't wait for it to return from hiatus.

And this is still better than how NBC treats its sitcoms. "Community" only got a mid-season pick up and it's still off the air for weeks, while "Parks and Recs" has been off for seemingly forever.

This is always how networks did it, btw. If you recall all the way back to "Buffy" airing in the WB, there were similar gaps in airing episodes. It's only since DVD, cable and streaming options came into being that viewers are suddenly unused to it.
Two weeks of AOS and then time for a commercial break:)

Seems like the old network scheduling model is changing, just wish it changed faster, specifically since a lot more people are following shows on the US schedule than used to be the case.
I was going to say, the opinions being expressed here about breaks in airing date back when Buffy began airing in the late 90s, where this fandom began. The only difference then was the episodes were generally available to download before they aired on TV, as the 'Wildfeed' was captured and posted online before the stations actually aired the episodes. In fairness to broadcast networks, there have been attempts to change the model in the past to all year programming - notably FOX with shows like Drive airing in June 2005 and prior attempts to abandon pilots - the problem is historically viewers just haven't shown up.
I was originally excited, believing Paul Lee was gonna do the two interrupted breaks. I can't really make heads or tails of the way he's handled it.
While I realize the Marvel Studios mythmaking is pure marketing it's a story that deserves to be told and told again.

I'm not looking for the rest of Hollywood to imitate their shared universe or make even more comic book movies, but I would like to see more studios only making movies when there is real creative fire rather than just a hot property.
@gossi, Imo cable and netflix have successfully shown how scheduling can be done and the audience have adapted, the big networks have done some experiments but their overall downward spiral is making them afraid of large scale changes.

@ks, creative fire seems to be in short supply specifically among the people who make the big money decisions.
JDL, networks still have the right to repeat airings. They just usually don't run them because they don't rate well against first run shows on other broadcast and cable channels. On any given night 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the US TV audience is watching cable. Broadcast fights over the remaining bit. US audiences are watching more TV than ever but their choices dwarf what there was just a few years ago. The biz is changing at lightning speed and everyone is just trying to keep up/gain a competitive advantage.

And everyone really does need to keep in mind that no matter how important to the overall economics of a show from a studio perspective, the international markets/viewers have no bearing at all on the decisions of a US network that only gets money for US eyeballs.

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