Do You Like Shorter or Longer Episode Counts for Comedy Series?

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Network television is dying. It’s true. But if network television dies, so does the 22-episode season. The majority of shows made for streaming have episode counts per season ranging from 6 to 16. Netflix, for instance, usually does 10-episode seasons. Here’s my issue with that. If you do five or six seasons (which seems to be the max for most streaming shows), you end up with 50-60 episodes. Even if you go to 16/season that’s still less than 100 episodes.

The most-binged shows on streaming are usually comedies with over 100 episodes like The Office. Yet, streaming seems hesitant to actually order 22 episode seasons of comedies, which seemingly have a high rewatch value. Even after That ’90s Show did numbers for Netflix, the streamer only ordered a 16-episode Season 2, which it called “super-sized.” In my mind, I’d be ordering 24 episodes.

So, the question I ask today is: do you guys prefer longer or shorter episode counts for comedies? And don’t make this about “if the quality is there.” Let’s assume it is.

When I become attached to characters in a comedy, I want to see them a lot. That’s why The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Seinfeld, Friends, etc. continue to do numbers. Viewers like seeing these characters. It’s comforting. It’s also nice to be able to cycle through 200 or so episodes before repeating. With streamers, that number is like a quarter (Blame the British maybe for streamers copying their low episode counts, idk?).

Anyway, to answer my own question, I want longer episode counts, especially for any streaming show that is similar to the ones I mentioned above. For a show like The Good Place or Never Have I Ever that is actively building towards a conclusion, I’m fine with shorter episode counts. But if you’re going to give me a good old-fashioned sitcom, give me 22 episodes.

None of these sitcoms the streamers make will ever become as beloved as the network ones if they don’t have a lot of episodes to warrant binging or rewatching several times a year.

So what about you, screenagers? Do you prefer longer or shorter episode counts for your sitcoms?

I’ll see you in the trenches.

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"