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LOG
03-02-2011, 06:35 PM
I was just looking at this series called Dark Shadows, it has 1,225 episodes. W.T.H?
Each is ~20 min long, so that's like, 408 hours total. It only ran for 5 years, did they just decide to ignore petty human concerns while they were filming it?
In Doctor Who's run from the 1960's to the 1990's it made several hundred serials, I don't even know how many episodes that actually encompassed.

Cyia
03-02-2011, 08:53 PM
Older shows didn't follow the "once a week" model. Some aired 2-3 times a week. There weren't as many shows on to fill the time slots.

(And DS is awesome. Hopefully they'll make the proposed movie with Johnny Depp.)

dpaterso
03-02-2011, 09:00 PM
Yeah I was reading the film blurb just the other day, but damned if I could remember the TV series!

Google search results (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Dark+Shadows+imdb)

-Derek

sailor
03-02-2011, 09:00 PM
The original Dark Shadows was a daytime soap, on five days a week. There was a remake done and I believe it was a primetime show and lasted half a season.

Maryn
03-02-2011, 09:40 PM
Sailor's nailed it. 52 weeks a year, 5 shows a week, no more than a few a year pre-empted for other programming, and the numbers climb really fast.

Maryn, giving sailor a hearty handshake

GeorgeK
03-03-2011, 12:25 AM
Yeah, I was watching something or other the other day and the info read "Season Finale, Episode 6".

I want to get rid of Dish Network satellite and just do Netflicks or something like it since we can't get broadband here. There's still a few shows that my wife likes though.

LOG
03-03-2011, 12:49 AM
Ah, I see.
Just out of curiosity, does DS really need all the episodes it has? I got the sense it had a more unified plot, than say, Doctor Who, so I'm curious as to how they would manage to make a plot last so long. Does it have a lot of stand-alone episodes that aren't really relevant, or is it just really complex?

And is the reason the DS collection on Netflix starts on ep 210 because of DS: The Beginning?

sailor
03-03-2011, 01:17 AM
Dark Shadows ran from june 1966 to april 1971 with 1245 episodes. As a soap opera, it had multiple story lines. When one came to a conclusion, another would start. The remake, from 1991, lasted only 13 episodes on prime time. Perhaps, when the decision was made to put the show on dvd the first 209 episodes weren't available or couldn't be found. The 'the beginning' could reference that it was the original series and not the remake.

As for the question in your title, the length of the television season has changed. This is for mainstream networks, and not cable/specialty channels and the numbers are from the internet movie data base IMDB

gunsmoke season 1 (1955/56) 39 episodes
season 10 (1964/65) 36 episodes
season 20 (1974/75) 24 episodes

mary tyler moore show from 1970-77 24 episodes/season

the carol burnett show started the first season with 30 shows in 1967/68 and 24 in the final season 1977/78

the cosby show went through the 80's and 90's with 24 episodes/season

For each network, the season length was pretty much the same. It used to be that during the hiatus, there would be summer replacement shows doing a limited run until the fall and the new tv season.

blacbird
03-03-2011, 01:34 AM
I was just looking at this series called Dark Shadows, it has 1,225 episodes. W.T.H?

Dark Shadows was a daytime soap opera, analogous to As the World Turns and The Edge of Night. A half-hour, five days a week, lots of episodes, slow pace, continuing story. That's a far different production endeavor from the once-a-week single-episode shows that characterized night-time TV in the 1960s.

LOG
03-03-2011, 01:39 AM
Wikipedia, FTW.

A total of 1,225 episodes were produced, but during the course of its run, the show was preempted 20 times. ABC would compensate for this by sometimes double numbering and, in one case, triple numbering episodes in order to keep a show ending in a 5 or 0 airing on Fridays. This is why the last episode produced has #1245 when in actuality it was only the 1,225th episode produced.

MPI Home Video currently holds the home video rights to the series. All episodes were issued on VHS from 1989 through 1995. Episodes 210–1245 (Barnabas' arrival through to the end of the series) have been released on DVD in 26 Collections from 2002 through 2006. Episodes 1–209 were released in 2007 under the title of Dark Shadows: The Beginning.
Apparently it's only missing a single episode as well (1219), although it seems it was reconstructed with a home audio soundtrack and other footage/stills in the compiled release.

thothguard51
03-03-2011, 02:10 AM
There is something very important missing on why Older TV shows ran more episodes than modern TV shows and networks allowed them to find their audiences. COST.

Production cost was lower back then. Many of the actors were in a studio stable and paid by the week, not the episode. Same with writers and directors.

One of the reasons reality TV is popular with the TV exec is that they are cheep to make. You don't need high priced actors, directors or writers.

Remember when a new car, Cadillac at that, was under $5,000? Same deal, production cost were lower...

LOG
03-03-2011, 03:49 AM
When you say cheaper are you talking simple dollar figures, or was there an actual percentage shift?

Cyia
03-03-2011, 05:43 AM
When you say cheaper are you talking simple dollar figures, or was there an actual percentage shift?


Both. Back in those days, everyone was replaceable.

There's a pretty well known anecdote about the actor who played Tatu on Fantasy Island. He wanted more money, and had he been in a modern show, he would have probably gotten what he asked for, as he was one of the iconic characters on the show and his "The plane, the plane!" was their catchphrase.

However, when he went in to speak with the network execs, they walked him through a room full of similarly built and styled actors reading for his role. The message got through and he didn't get his raise.

Celia Cyanide
03-03-2011, 06:34 AM
Also, soaps do not take a break in the summer. They keep shooting year round.

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
03-03-2011, 07:15 AM
Wikipedia, FTW.


Apparently it's only missing a single episode as well (1219), although it seems it was reconstructed with a home audio soundtrack and other footage/stills in the compiled release.I am something of a DS scholar <adjusts monocle and shuffles stack of parchment>, having actually seen every episode at least once.

There was certainly no unified storyline. The series is best known as the story of vampire Barnabus Collins, but (as you point out yourself in your facts) he did not come onto the series until after episode 200. Dan Curtis' original idea was to make a "gothic" rather than "supernatural" soap. It was to show a once mighty but now declining (perhaps cursed) family, the Collins. seen through the eyes of a new governess, Victoria Winters.

Originally every episode was introed by Vicky doing a voice over--this was eventually replaced by a voice over by any actor otherwise appearing in the episode as Dan discovered he would have to pay the actress playing Victoria whether she did anything else in the episode or not (and they were on a shoestring budget).

The show was not initially successful--the first major arc included Vicki's pupil, David Collins, trying to murder his father by cutting the brakes on his car--and the subsequent coverup of the whole thing by the family. The next major arc was the arrival of David's estranged mother who turned out to be the first pseudo-supernatural creature, a phoenix. Actually David did have a friend who was a ghost prior to this, but for a long time the show played coy that this ghost friend might only exist in David's imagination.

When Barnabus finally did arrive the show finally took off--and completely embraced its supernatural bent. Several months later the show took a drastic step and actually shifted all the action back in time...and stayed there for a very long period, setting the paradigm of alternate periods, and alternate universes that it utilized until the very end (the series actually ends in an alternate universe).

That's just my primer...

Anyway, like any soap, there are no "stand-alone" episodes, altho you can easily jump into the series at any point and get up to speed pretty easily. The two big villains, Barnabus and Angelique, eventually make 'face turns' becoming heroes, which could be confusing if you skip a bunch of the middle. And my personal favorites are the episodes featuring Quentin, the family werewolf.

There were two movies made using the cast of the soap. The first, House of Dark Shadows, condenses the Barnabus storyline into a two hour feature. It is really underrated imo, but certainly not art. The second, Night of Dark Shadows, is a reimagining of Rebecca and any number of witch-hunting movies. It was actually completed just after the series ended and stars Kate Jackson who got her start on the soap. More importantly, both movies feature the fantastic (and fantasically camp) Grayson Hall, as well as Nancy Barrett (the only actress to be in the soap from first to last--with one short break--and both movies).

LOG
03-03-2011, 08:22 AM
Thanks for the info :)

darkprincealain
03-03-2011, 05:23 PM
Ah, DS. I miss when they used to air the original, early in the mornings on SciFi.

Priene
03-03-2011, 05:28 PM
As of 25 February 2011, there had been 7544 episodes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronation_Street) of Coronation Street. My grandad used to complain it had been going on forever, and he died in 1964.

brainstorm77
03-03-2011, 05:29 PM
I love Coronation Street!

LOG
03-03-2011, 05:39 PM
What's the premise?

SirOtter
03-03-2011, 09:55 PM
Ah, DS. I miss when they used to air the original, early in the mornings on SciFi.

I miss running home from elementary school to watch its original run at 3:30 every afternoon.

Hell, at my age, I miss running, period.

jaksen
03-03-2011, 10:20 PM
I watched DS in high school and for the kids (and teachers) who followed it, it was like our "Lost" or other can't-miss TV show. Since there were no way to record the shows, if you missed it (due to work, practice or painting the scenery for the class play), you'd come to school the next day and get filled in by your friends. I remember my English teachers talking about it and one of them often put a question about it as a 'bonus' on some of his quizzes. If you didn't watch the show or missed it, any creative answer would earn you the bonus points.

The show had episodes set back in time, too. Whole storylines were set in the 1800's and the characters who were featured in the present often took on a different character in the past. (I think a mirror in a 'secret room' was the passage way to this time period.)

Some of the earliest shows were great. No time for a lot of rehearsing, so if some scenery tipped over or a rubber knife bent as it 'pierced a victim,' the actors would grin, struggle not to laugh and just carry on.

BenPanced
03-04-2011, 10:32 AM
Here's another one I just remembered this evening: in the Central time zone in the US, network programming used to begin as early as 6:00 PM (The Wonderful World of Disney and Ed Sullivan, being two prime examples on Sunday). Now it's another run of the local newscast (just a re-reading the 5:00 broadcast but in a different order) and Wheel Of Fortune or some other syndicated program.

Priene
03-04-2011, 01:25 PM
What's the premise?

People sit around in a Northern pub saying just a half, love, I'm off down the dogs and cheer up, it might never happen and hey, did you sleep with our Kevin? for half a century while the actors get grey and grizzled and the whole show reeks of mortality and incipient death.

maxmordon
03-04-2011, 02:44 PM
See, folks? This is why Telenovelas only last 6 months as a rule of thumb.

Though this has been running since the late 50's:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_3dCbqEvwwTM/SQFIWs20VUI/AAAAAAAABbA/UCl_dnHMsKg/s400/chabelonta19abr08.jpg

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
03-04-2011, 03:04 PM
People sit around in a Northern pub saying just a half, love, I'm off down the dogs and cheer up, it might never happen and hey, did you sleep with our Kevin? for half a century while the actors get grey and grizzled and the whole show reeks of mortality and incipient death.The Street had its moments....http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ggvBw1DtymI/SK_p-yNVFqI/AAAAAAAAAAM/5S0xDhbBH_Q/s320/rob-01.jpg

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
03-04-2011, 03:08 PM
Some of the earliest shows were great. No time for a lot of rehearsing, so if some scenery tipped over or a rubber knife bent as it 'pierced a victim,' the actors would grin, struggle not to laugh and just carry on.There was a scene--I admit I can't recall exactly where, but somewhat late in the series--where an old gypsy came to the Collins' house to remove a curse. The poor old dear was alone on stage, acting up a storm, and made it about half way through her speech. Then she paused... The pause stretched... And you distinctly hear a man's voice from off stage feed her the next line. To her credit, she proceeds to deliver the line herself with gusto.