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Saturday, May 12, 2018
Are Long-Running TV Shows Providing Clues To Authors?
shows and late night talk shows, including The
Today Show, 60 Minutes, Saturday Night Live, and other television
institutions have been part of America’s viewing landscape for many
decades. These shows have each aired at
least 1,000 episodes – and in some cases, over 10,000 episodes. But what of the
TV shows that aired in prime-time, the ones America refers to as a scripted show?
cartoon sits atop that list when episode 636 aired for The Simpsons April 29th.
Gunsmoke holds the top spot for non-cartoons, at 635 episodes. Rounding out the Top 10 are:
#3 Lassie (591)
#4 Law & Order (456)
#5 Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (435)
#6 Bonanza (431)
#7 Law & Order: SVU (429)
#8 My Three Sons (380)
#9 Dallas (357)
#10 NCIS (330)
does this really mean? Many shows
were successful with far fewer episodes, such as Seinfeld, Cheers, Bewitched, Hogan’s Heroes, All in the Family,
Roseanne, NYPD Blue, etc. The Honeymooners, with just 39 episodes,
is an iconic show.
quality and high-rated shows don’t always go together. Some shows have a more successful life in
syndication than when they originally aired, such as Star Trek, The Brady Bunch, or The Twilight Zone. Some shows were great in their day – and
remained popular for generations – like I
you look closely, 5 of the 10 shows with the most episodes involved violence –
either modern court and cop stuff or old Western shootouts. Overall, dramas ruled. Why is that?
any of this provide, insight for America’s reading tastes? Are TV shows the same as books?
and again, Americans are fascinated with the police and justice system. The 1960s featured shows like Adam 12, Perry Mason, Ironside, and Hawaii Five –O. The 70’s had Columbo, Kojak, the Rookies, Barnaby
Jones, Cannon, Rockford Files, SWAT, Baretta, and TheStreets of San Francisco.
The 80's, had HillStreet Blues, Matlock, Miami Vice, and Murder, She Wrote. The 90’s had NYPD Blue and Law & Order.
The 2000’s had NCIS, Criminal Minds, Law
& Order SUV, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Dexter, and the The Wire.
So are there books that fall under thrillers, mysteries, and crime
dramas? Plenty. John Grisham has made a career
out of such best-selling books. So have
James Patterson and Scott Turow.
it seems like TV could be the enemy of books – people spend hours daily escaping to the boob tube when
they could be reading books. Television viewing preferences and patterns could
offer useful insight on what might appeal to readers when it comes to
books. Or maybe we need more books about