RINGER Cancellation Causes CW To Consider Shorter Serialized Seasons


Sarah Michelle Gellar‘s Ringer may have been cancelled back in May, but it was one of the hot topics at the CW’s press tour.

Reflecting on the decision to cancel the twisty thriller, CW president Mark Pedowitz said that the show’s “fans are still writing me, they want it [back] desperately”, but noted the show’s low ratings were compounded by disappointing results on DVR and social media — two ’emerging’ platforms which can and have made the difference for other serialized shows:

“It was a combination of the complexity of the stories. It was not performing as well as we hoped it to on the digital/online station and the social media station.”

However, rather than being deterred by complex stories, Pedowitz is approaching the challenge a little differently:

“One of the things you learn about the level of these serialized shows is less may be more. Twenty-two [episodes] might have been too many. So if there’s a consideration to redo it, we’d probably go anywhere from six to 13.”

In other words: cable season. In many respects I do think this is the way forward for many serialized network shows. For the more heavily-serialized shows like Ringer, it could mean tighter story with less breaks (a factor that often kills momentum and viewer retention). For the less fully serialized offerings, shorter seasons should mean less room/pressure for standalone episodes that do nothing or little to develop the main story/characters, thus keeping the story focused and progressive.

On the other hand, it’s interesting to look at the likes of Alcatraz, Awake and Terra Nova — all cancelled last season with around 13 episodes and perhaps could have done with more to potentially find maturity and grow viewership (a point recently touched on by TN‘s Jason O’Mara).

On the other other hand, it’s probably no coincidence that they all saved their best for last. They might have struggled doing 22, particularly in a network environment. With only 13 they had too much ‘filler’, so can you imagine 22? (that more episodes could come in another shortened season).

In conclusion, there are cases for and against any scenario, but I think it also depends on how much ‘serialized freedom’ the network is prepared to allow the creators to tell the story within a certain frame of episodes, not to mention the financial implications of 22 vs 13 (or what have you).

Generally speaking, shorter seasons are certainly worth pursuing, particularly if the episodes are highly-focused and not watered down.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what the networks do over the next couple of seasons. I think the one to watch this season is Fringe — 13 episodes, final season, serialized freedom. Let’s see what happens.

Source: THR | Zap2It

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  1. Julia Milstead says

    I am tired of networks ending series without finishing the story. A good story has a beginning, middle, and an end. If a network plans to end a series, they should have the decency to plan an end to the storyline, not just leave it dangling in the middle of the story.

    Well-loved.: Thumb up 27

  2. George says

    I agree i definetly wanted to see what became of both the sisters story and they just left everyone hanging which is not cool they need to make another season at least to have 6 episodes or something just to tie all the loose ends im sure the ratings would go up if they did this WE WANT RINGER BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well-loved.: Thumb up 14

  3. Laura says

    I didn’t catch this series on tv, rather I just saw the entire series over the past 3 days on Netflix. It was one of the best series I’ve seen in a long time. I hope they decide to bring it back in some format. Even a mini series would be good. So many of today’s series are dumbed down to the point of being ridiculous, but this one had so many great twists and turns it was delicious! Loved, loved, loved it! And hope to see it back in any form that makes sense

    Well-loved.: Thumb up 14

  4. Helene says

    I loved this series! I live in Norway so I saw the whole season on Netflix. It’s a shame if you don’t concider to release season 2! I got very excited and hooked when I saw the episodes, and it ends with no end… that’s not right! Bring ‘Ringer’ back with a decent ending before closing it down!!!

    Like: Thumb up 5

  5. Karmella says

    I am very disappointed in the cw. Although you have some good shows, the way you left ringer makes me not want to watch anything you have on. I don’t want to get into another show only to have no idea what happens. You should take a note from the show Robin Hood.

    Like: Thumb up 3

  6. Skye says

    I love this show wish there were more seasons I agree tired of network not finishing the story.

    Like: Thumb up 3

  7. says

    I cannot imagen why such an interesting series could be cancel its Storie line is so fresh ,i loved it they definitely have to bring it back.

    Like: Thumb up 2

  8. Hala Taha says

    This is unacceptable, you dont have the right to cancel a show before you end the story, I am not going to watch anything on your network from now on; this is so disappointing!

    I hate you

    Like: Thumb up 1

  9. Lauren says

    I hate that just bc a show does get the ratings they want they just cancel them. They should ask the viewers.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  10. Tumi says

    After watching some episodes of Ringer, I loved it. But a story without a conclusion? That’s sad. I am tired of those unreal series. Moreover, the Ringer series is simple. People who do not like it wouldn’t understand how it feels. Nobody ‘good’ sets out to become ‘bad’. Great series!!!

    Like: Thumb up 1

  11. Kelly Dennis says

    I have just finished watching ringer tonight as I haven’t been able to stop watching it since I started watching it 3 days ago on netflix. I absolutely loved this series and when it finished how it did I came straight online to find out when series 2 was going to be out to find out what happens with the twins only to be very very disappointed to hear that you won’t be doing one!!!!!!! What the hell is that about??? I think you are well and truly out of order to just cancel a show people have took time out to watch and leave it on a major cliff hanger like that. It is absolutely ridiculous and I cannot express enough how upset I am that you can do this.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  12. Ricci says

    I have watched Ringer more than once and it is one hell of a show. I love this show, and to hear there is not going to be a season 2 is pretty disappointing. Season 1 left everyone hanging and wanting to know what happens next with so many questions regarding season 2. It is worth checking into making a season 3 even if the show did not exceed the amount of viewers on television, a lot of people still watch it on computer sites, and the fact that a lot of people want the show back should mean something. Just because the first season did not do well as most shows do doesn’t mean it won’t do better in a second season.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  13. claire potts says

    plz bring back ringer !!! he first series was awesome , the storyline was fab , the characters/actors was well chosen for the show . even if for 1 more series , just so us fans get an ending . plz .plz .plz .plz .plz xxx

    Like: Thumb up 1

  14. becki Hewerdine says

    I LOVED ringer!!!!!! Was the best series I’ve ever watched and couldn’t wait for the next series to be let down by the news of it ending! At least finish it so we know the end pleeeeeeease!!!
    Big ringer fan!

    Like: Thumb up 1

  15. says

    Here in the UK having a TV show have more than ten episodes per season is quite rare. I think it works as the stories are quite tighter and the producers have more time to plan more engaging shows, in my opinion anyway.

    Like: Thumb up 2

  16. amzz says

    Please do another season of ringer loved it I downloaded them all of sky demand ando stayed up till early hours watching it. It’s brilliant. BRING ABOTHER SEASON BACK PLEASE

    Like: Thumb up 1

  17. Sammy says

    Please bring Ringer back or at least try to end the story, we are soo hooked up. Kudos to the creators of this Series, you guys are awesome

    Like: Thumb up 1

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