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Old 10-01-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
betts4
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Giving up on a show after just the pilot episode

I am reading all the threads on the new shows and noticing how many people are just deleting a SP after the pilot - or for some, not even before it ends.

Yes, I was guilty of this last year with Under the Dome and another one that is now a hit. I starting thinking about this and decided to revise my thinking for the fall season. Give it at least 3 episodes...or more even.

Are viewers turning into quick to delete without giving a show a chance to really blossom?

There have also been several shows that I wish HAD gone more than one season. Shows I really enjoyed but am not sure why others didn't - at least enough to have the studios keep them around. And of course there are the shows that I wonder about why they are STILL around.

I am wondering how many shows you gave up on and then they went on to be hits or at least on for a few seasons?

Do you give a show more than just the pilot a chance? Let them develop, grow or change at all?
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:21 AM   #2
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Well, in the past I have simply cherry picked some shows that I thought looked interesting and recorded them. I usually gave these shows multiple episodes.

This year the my recorder is set to record ALL new shows. So far some shows have earned a season pass, some are probationary and others were eliminated after 1 episode (and in one case so far part of an episode). With returning shows that I still watch I just don't have the time to be overly generous in evaluating new ones.

For the record. Betrayal is the only one I turned off before it was finished.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:25 AM   #3
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If a pilot shows some sort of promise I will stick with it. But with all the new shows (and existing ones that I watch), it is a tough sell. I can't spend 8 hours a day watching TV so I have to weed out ones that just don't grab me.

I bailed on the pilot of The Big Bang Theory. Tuned in again during season 6 and loved it. Now I am hooked.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
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If a pilot shows some sort of promise I will stick with it. But with all the new shows (and existing ones that I watch), it is a tough sell. I can't spend 8 hours a day watching TV so I have to weed out ones that just don't grab me.
This is how I do it these days. I'm going the opposite of the OP. There's SO much on TV and I have SO much to watch, that I feel if they can't at least get me interested after the pilot, then I'm bailing. If word of mouth or something else says some show has "gotten better" I might come back. It's usually fairly easy to find old episodes these days. For instance, I bailed on the first episode of Mad Men, which I found boring, but gave it another shot over last winter break, and I enjoyed it after that slow start. But for me to watch within the time frame the advertisers want me to, the show better hook me on the pilot.

When there were just a few channels, I'd be much more likely to stick with shows I didn't care for immediately.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:33 AM   #5
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Are viewers turning into quick to delete without giving a show a chance to really blossom?
Yes. Not here, but I was reading comments on "Agents of SHIELD" elsewhere, and there were comments like "Bored after 10 minutes. Gave up." Seriously? People have a ridiculously short attention span these days.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:36 AM   #6
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This is how I do it these days. I'm going the opposite of the OP. There's SO much on TV and I have SO much to watch, that I feel if they can't at least get me interested after the pilot, then I'm bailing. If word of mouth or something else says some show has "gotten better" I might come back. It's usually fairly easy to find old episodes these days. For instance, I bailed on the first episode of Mad Men, which I found boring, but gave it another shot over last winter break, and I enjoyed it after that slow start. But for me to watch within the time frame the advertisers want me to, the show better hook me on the pilot.

When there were just a few channels, I'd be much more likely to stick with shows I didn't care for immediately.
There is so much to watch that I can't keep up. I do also cherry pick - I am really picky about sitcoms because there are so many. I am just trying something new - not stopping after the pilot. Maybe by episode three I will say 'no more time to waste on this'.

What else happens is that I don't even watch a pilot and then hear about it half way into the season and how good it is. Mad Men, West Wing, Once upon a Time. Then I wonder how I can catch up!
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
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Yes. Not here, but I was reading comments on "Agents of SHIELD" elsewhere, and there were comments like "Bored after 10 minutes. Gave up." Seriously? People have a ridiculously short attention span these days.
I just wonder if this is because we all have TV overload. For dramas, I'll give a show a half hour if it's something I wasn't that interested in the first place, but gave it a chance. For sitcoms, 10-15 minutes. But if it's a show I had some real initial interest, I'll watch through the pilot and maybe another episode even if the pilot didn't grab me.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:39 AM   #8
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There is so much to watch that I can't keep up. I do also cherry pick - I am really picky about sitcoms because there are so many. I am just trying something new - not stopping after the pilot. Maybe by episode three I will say 'no more time to waste on this'.

What else happens is that I don't even watch a pilot and then hear about it half way into the season and how good it is. Mad Men, West Wing, Once upon a Time. Then I wonder how I can catch up!
The nice thing is, there's always a way to catch up these days. It might cost a little something, but you can catch up. You also might have to wait for the season to be over too.

I'm generally more selective for dramas than sitcoms, mostly because it takes more time to watch a drama. I can get through a sitcom in 22 minutes.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:51 AM   #9
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I have so much TV I want to watch at some point in my life. Still haven't watched the last season of Battlestar Galactica. I'd like to watch The Wire. Haven't watched the last 3 seasons of Dexter. I'm behind a season on Boardwalk Empire. Goes on and on.

I don't really need new shows in my life. I usually give shows a couple episodes, but I'm not afraid to give up on something quickly. Last year there was some new show about a groups of dads. I literally did not give the show 2 minutes. The dads were sitting in a bar with their babies having stupid dialogue. I immediately hated it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:10 AM   #10
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I used to give shows multiple episodes. This is the first year I am much less inclined to do so. I feel capable of discerning when a pilot is mediocre because they are setting up the show and when it is because it's an unappealing idea in the first place. In the past when I've said, "I'll give it a few episodes before I decide" I have always ultimately decided that my first reaction was correct. The only exception really was half-hour comedies, which I do give a wider berth.

This year, my wife didn't want to continue watching Sleepy Hollow or SHIELD after about 15 minutes. It was painfully obvious that Sleepy Hollow was not my type of show and SHIELD was even after just 15 minutes. I'd be surprised if my reaction after 15 minutes were not generally quite accurate of a predictor. Historically, I'd be proven wrong now and again, but I bet it would work out 95% of the time. And for the other 5%, I can always try again later via the multitude of streaming options.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:12 AM   #11
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how about the ones who delete their SP before they watch the pilot based on "reviews"
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:18 AM   #12
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I used to give shows multiple episodes. This is the first year I am much less inclined to do so. I feel capable of discerning when a pilot is mediocre because they are setting up the show and when it is because it's an unappealing idea in the first place. In the past when I've said, "I'll give it a few episodes before I decide" I have always ultimately decided that my first reaction was correct. The only exception really was half-hour comedies, which I do give a wider berth.

This year, my wife didn't want to continue watching Sleepy Hollow or SHIELD after about 15 minutes. It was painfully obvious that Sleepy Hollow was not my type of show and SHIELD was even after just 15 minutes. I'd be surprised if my reaction after 15 minutes were not generally quite accurate of a predictor. Historically, I'd be proven wrong now and again, but I bet it would work out 95% of the time. And for the other 5%, I can always try again later via the multitude of streaming options.
There's a reason why people say "There's only one time you can make a first impression". It's up to the writers to get me hooked and quickly or I'm moving on. Now it happens that I'm hooked and then, I watch a few episodes and they lose me. The Last Resort was a show like that. I thought the pilot was one of the best I ever saw. By episode 5, it had gotten REALLY bad.

So at least give me a reason I want to give your show a chance, then it's up to you to keep me.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:20 AM   #13
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Yes. Not here, but I was reading comments on "Agents of SHIELD" elsewhere, and there were comments like "Bored after 10 minutes. Gave up." Seriously? People have a ridiculously short attention span these days.
You are totally right. People can't even..




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Old 10-01-2013, 11:38 AM   #14
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The only show I can remember bailing on early was Under The Dumb and I lasted five episodes with that. The really bad ones usually get canceled before I drop them.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:43 AM   #15
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I've been known to drop a show after the pilot, but not that often. Sometimes a pilot is kind of crappy, but I see promise and I keep going. Sometimes I really don't see that, FOR ME, a show has any promise and I feel comfortable with just letting it go. I don't see anything wrong with that.

I've never just dropped something, without watching, based on somebody's review or opinion, though.

These days, what with all the channels (I grew up with 3 channels), there are so many choices out there. I watch a LOT of shows, but there will also be a lot of shows that don't grab me. A lot of them will be mainstream shows, but that's ok. I still have plenty to watch.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:44 AM   #16
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I am reading all the threads on the new shows and noticing how many people are just deleting a SP after the pilot - or for some, not even before it ends.

Yes, I was guilty of this last year with Under the Dome ...
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:44 AM   #17
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Ah, I forgot that a couple of times I have dropped a show without watching it based on the ratings it received (so low that it had no chance of surviving a full season). Certain types of shows just are too frustrating to watch when you know you will never get answers or have a chance to see the story properly unfold.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:44 AM   #18
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I have too much to watch, and a show has to REALLY intrigue me for me to even give it a chance. If I don't enjoy the pilot, it's bye-bye.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:04 PM   #19
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Agree...if you can't grab my attention with the pilot, odds are I won't keep watching. Not enough time in the day/week/month to "test the waters" of a show by watching it several more times.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:09 PM   #20
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The nice thing is, there's always a way to catch up these days. It might cost a little something, but you can catch up. You also might have to wait for the season to be over too.
Yes. Thanks to Netflix and binge watching I was able to get into watching Breaking Bad, Downtown Abbey, Homeland and a few others. Thanks to Netflix I was able to watch and love West Wing, Friday Night Lights and others.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:09 PM   #21
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I think the last show we dropped after the pilot was "Chicago Fire". Wasn't horrible, just boring. The next, for me at least, will be "Lucky 7". My wife liked it and will probably keep watching. Though the ratings indicate it likely won't be around long anyway.

Most of the time, I'll drop something after at two or three episodes if I don't really like it. I'm not a "might as well watch because it's in HD or there is nothing else on" type. If I don't really like it, I'm out. Too much else to do.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:15 PM   #22
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My approach in the last few seasons has been this:

1. Make a very short list (3 - 4) of shows that seem very compelling because of topic/actors/writers/directors/producers
2. Watch a few episodes of them, even if they seem to start slow
3. Watch for groundswell on other shows that we didn't choose
4. If other shows that seem interesting are getting lots of good press (especially from the harshest critics around, the people in this forum, and I'm only half kidding), "obtain" the missing episodes from "somewhere", and if we like them, get an SP going forward.

It's kind of a way to not have to commit to so many shows up front, but be able to get in the game later.

As for the original topic: I'm not sure I can think of a single show that I stopped watching after seeing only the pilot.

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Old 10-01-2013, 12:30 PM   #23
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Not really that big of a deal, bailing on a show. Most often it can be found streaming online somewhere. So in the chance that it does become something great, you can always catch up if you like.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:44 PM   #24
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I am wondering how many shows you gave up on and then they went on to be hits or at least on for a few seasons?
A lot. X-files, ER, 24, Fraiser, Party of Five, Gilmore Girls, just to name a few. Do I feel like I missed out on anything? nope. And not once have I ever thought 'I need more TV to watch'

and I don't get not understanding how so many people can watch just a pilot (or part of the pilot) and decide that it's not for them when millions more don't even do that much before deciding to not watch a tv show and that's ok to do.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:54 PM   #25
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Too much to watch, if it doesn't grab me, it's gone. It's just a tv show.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:28 PM   #26
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I usually research all of the new shows before they air and set up my recordings based on what sounds interesting to me (which totally eliminates anything in the "reality TV" realm, game shows, talent shows, and most sitcoms, most of which could not even remotely be considered as quality TV). I already have a large number of shows that I have stuck with from past seasons and there's only so many hours in the week I can devote to TV viewing.

I'll try to record and watch as many premieres as I can, but chances are there are some that just don't fit into my schedule that might be something I'd like to watch. A show has to be just plain awful for me to bail on the first episode or else bore me to tears. So far only one show has gotten the axe in my lineup (Brooklyn Ninety-Nine; I just didn't find it all that funny and making Andre Braugher gay was just annoying and completely unnecessary).

Any show that doesn't follow a tired old format and cast of characters will more likely get my attention. There are far too many shows about cops, firemen, doctors, lawyers, forensic scientists and, more recently, vampires. I dropped just about every such show from my recording schedule except for a select few. Hollywood must think that anyone that works outside of these professions is just too boring to make a show about.

Anything by Aaron Sorkin or Joss Whedon gets a season pass automatically.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:03 PM   #27
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It's really tough to know when to bail on a show. If I am really hating it, it will be after three episodes. The pilot is always just introducing the concept and characters, and I have never found it a good episode to judge what a show will be. I like to give it a couple of regular episodes to see what they are doing with it. If I am on the fence I stay a little longer.

Scripts are normally written weeks ahead of filming, and the writers won't have seen the actors in the roles, and so the parts on the page won't have as much life.

It can be five or six episodes before the writers begin to incorporate aspects of the actors in their scripts, and that is where you actually see things come together. If I am still on the fence at this point, I give up, because to me it's not going to get any better.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:36 PM   #28
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Sitcoms get one episode because I haven't enjoyed a sitcom since "King of Queens".

Dramas may get a few episodes because I'm initially drawn by the actors, the premise and/or the writing. I watched a few episodes of Season 1 Breaking Bad, for example, when initially aired and dropped out. Meth has destroyed communities and I didn't like the idea of glorifying its manufacturing. Season 3 starred Giancarlo Esposito (an actor I enjoy watching), so I decided to try a couple of episodes in Season 3, got hooked, and went back to watch Season 1 & 2. I watched 3 episodes of Revolution because of the same actor and the premise before dropping it.

There are too many shows to watch and books to read for me to invest time in something that doesn't grab me right away.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:38 PM   #29
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Sitcoms get one episode because I haven't enjoyed a sitcom since "King of Queens".

Dramas may get a few episodes because I'm initially drawn by the actors, the premise and/or the writing. I watched a few episodes of Season 1 Breaking Bad, for example, when initially aired and dropped out. Meth has destroyed communities and I didn't like the idea of glorifying its manufacturing. Season 3 starred Giancarlo Esposito (an actor I enjoy watching), so I decided to try a couple of episodes in Season 3, got hooked, and went back to watch Season 1 & 2. I watched 3 episodes of Revolution because of the same actor and the premise before dropping it.

There are too many shows to watch and books to read for me to invest time in something that doesn't grab me right away.
It's interesting that you made the last statement and did the exact opposite with Breaking Bad
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:42 PM   #30
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It's interesting that you made the last statement and did the exact opposite with Breaking Bad
Yep. I liked an actor and the premise of Revolution but I couldn't stand the show. The writing and the direction didn't hold me.
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