View Full Version : I'm confused! (In relation to US TV schedules)

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September 18th, 2005, 03:40 PM
I know in the US, many of the major shows go on hiatus for a few months. While I'm not sure why this happens, (someone told me it was because sport season starting up and drawing people away from other TV?) I didn't think it happened until much later on in the year.

However, when downloading StarGate SG1 and discovering there where 2 episodes of it and non of Atlantis I decided to check the Sci-Fi channels website where these two episodes where down as being the season finale and during the epsidoes an advert comes up to tell you that next week will be season finale for Atlantis.

Now I've seen episode outlays for the rest of the seasons and know that we are only up to episodes 9/10 (nearly half season).

So my questions are: A) Why does this happen and how long does it last? and B) Why have it down as the season finale? Is it just to draw "semi-fans" to watch the episodes?

September 18th, 2005, 08:20 PM
We often get half-seasons Australia. Must be a ratings thing. LAst month was weird though: they took Atlantis off free-to-air with 1 episode to go, showed the first new SG1 episode, showed the Atlantis finale 2 weeks later and now SG1 is nowhere to be seen.

September 18th, 2005, 10:13 PM
I'm not sure of what you are talking about regarding SG1 and Atlantis but as for the TV scheduling I think what you are describing is the summer reruns season. Not sure exactly why it is done although one could speculate that during summer people are more likely to go on vacation or go out and do things outdoors and spend less time in front of the television. It does cost stations money to buy a hit series so it is more cost effective to air reruns than air a completely new series. Also reruns allow viewers who may have missed an episode the opportunity to catch it again. Keeps the series in mind too so viewers are primed when the new season starts instead of forgetting about the series all together during the summer.

September 19th, 2005, 10:24 AM
Bond is right about the summer hiatus. Everyone needs time off, but with TV, ratings are king. The Neilson rating service has what they call sweeps weeks, which is how the networks set their advertising pricing. They base rates when viewers are at a maximum, in the fall and spring. So summer is mainly a wasteland for TV.

I am beyond pumped up this week. It is the beginning of a new TV season and the brilliant L O S T has its season premiere! This is the best show on TV, bar none, in many many years. Blows Stargate out of the friggin water IMV!

September 19th, 2005, 12:02 PM
Ah they are very different shows - while I agree that Lost is a great show (based on the few episodes that have been shown over here).

But what I don't get is the fact that it's not summer - in fact summer has been and gone! The autumn season is just starting off yet the Stargates are already finishing after 10 episodes!

September 20th, 2005, 01:40 AM
The SG-shows have different schedules then the other shows (just like Battlestar Galactica). I would think it is to ensure higher ratings, as their new shows are showing before all the other series are starting. The remaining ten episodes will probably be on in january or so, when the other series are having a hiatus.

September 20th, 2005, 07:17 AM
Surt - thanks for that, suppose it makes sense!

September 20th, 2005, 09:50 AM
It has everything to do with ratings, and it has everything to do with how CABLE TELEVISION has changed television watching here in the states. Ratings correspond to advertising dollars so in order to make sure that sponsers get the ratings/audience exposure they need, traditional TV scheduling has changed over the past decade. StarGate and Battlestar Gallactica are SciFi Channnel shows, a cable only commercial station, so they often schedule their shows to NOT compete with the regular networks, like in the summer. The SciFi channel pretty much caters to a nitch target audience that is considerably smaller than the regular network audiences, so they try hard to get a hold of their whole potential viewing base when they can, like the summer, when they wont lose a significant portion of their already small audience to the major networks.

September 21st, 2005, 10:31 PM
What it has to do with is the difference between traditional networks, and the old UHF stations and new cable stations.

The traditional networks ABC, CBS, NBC ran new shows fall to spring and had re-runs in the summer. It gives the actors and everyone time off in the summer, when a lot of them go into summer stock and movies. It also means that a 'year' is only 2/3 the proper length so the studios are getting paid for a year, and have to provide less than a year. And it is also so because people go away and spend more time outdoors, and watching sports in the summer, also big block-buster movies come out in the summer, so viewership is down.

The old UHF stations often didn't have any new or fresh content so they didn't keep to the fall to spring schedule. When they ended up as cable networks they were trying to get people to watch their tailor-made stuff, and they would put it on when there was nothing else on (during the summer) the regular networks. So they ended up doing the opposite in terms of when they took hiatus. Then the new cable networks just picked odd schedules, in between the two because they wanted to be different and offer something new when others didn't.

So now it is pretty much a hodge-podge. And because cable stations often run things continuously you may have a season-end and the new season start-up the next week.

September 26th, 2005, 09:47 AM
Thanks for the replies - still confused but at least I know why now!