Categories: Entertainment & Music

Understanding the New Style of American Serials

If you had left America and went to somewhere there is no television and spent ten years there, you would find all the new programs very strange.

In ancient days there was a Star, Co-Star, and some co-co stars.   If the Star left, the show might collapse. If the Co-Co Star got into problems with the other cast members, the show might collapse.

These two scenarios have been repeated many times, starting in the 1960s.   The Star or a Co-Star gets this huge ego and starts to make demands.

In some cases, the demands backfire.

Ed Brynnes was a character on a show called 77 Sunset Strip.  He was getting a lot of teenaged fans.  He wanted more money.  He got more money but had to sign a strangulation contract.  You’ve never heard of him because his career ended when the show went off the air.

Denise Crosby, on Star Trek, the Next Generation, wanted more air time and more dialogue.  Her character was killed off.

However, in many cases, when there is not a large cast, the show collapses.  The star leaves, and the show dies.  The co-star leaves, and the show dies.

For a show to die before it no longer has viewers costs the studio and a lot of people their jobs.  Think of a show like Mr. Novak, when the star decided to leave, and the show ended, and everyone on the show pretty much sang into oblivion.

Producers have learned their lesson.

Every Show today has an ensemble.   They are deployed in a new pattern.   No longer One with the spotlight on him, such as William Shatner in Star Trek, but in a pattern in which the ‘Star’ is matched with the co-stars and guest stars, while other members of the cast move in and out of focus.

Related Post

This is the new paradigm.   A show has eight different featured characters.  They are; One, Two, Three,  FourA, FourB, FourC, FiveA, FiveB, FiveC.

One is the ‘Star’ Two is the Co-Star, Three is another Co-Star, the Fours are virtually interchangeable when it comes to air time and plot, and the  Fives are virtually just ‘there’ but can be deployed if necessary.

The show focuses on One, One and Two,   One and Three, Two, Two and Three, Three with One, or Three with Two.  The Fours are in and out of the other permutations as are the Fives.

If One starts to give trouble s/he can be replaced because Two has gotten enough air time to fill his space along with Three and the Fours and the Fives.

Hence, CSI had a problem with One and FourA.   It got rid of One, replacing him, got rid of FourA and left the space, using Five and FiveA to take up the slack.  No one noticed, and the show didn’t miss a beat or drop a rating.

Grey’s Anatomy began with the pattern.   There was Meredith, (One) Christine, (Two) George, Alex, and Izzie. (the Fours)   There was Doctor Shepherd (Three) and Doctor Burke, (Five)  Doctor Bailey, (FiveA) and  Doctor Webber, (FiveB).

When the actress playing Izzie left, it was not a problem, another Character, Doctor Avery was brought in.  Two was replaced, another of Fours, George was replaced,  Shepherd was replaced, Burke was replaced, and the Fives were moved up in status.

The show has remained on the air going into its 13th season.   If One, the actress who plays Meredith leaves, the show would continue without her, the slack taken up by the other characters.

In short, all the characters can be replaced because they share the spotlight and have the interest.

The show goes off when the public stops watching. So the public controls, not the ego of the actor.




  • kaylar

    View Comments

    • It is probable that only those familiar with dramas of the 1950s, 60s, 70s and early 80s would notice the change from the one/two star to the ensemble.

      For example, if the actor playing Dr. Kildare was unwell or unavailable there was a problem. Now the actor playing Dr. Preston can leave the show and no one much notices his absence.

    Recent Posts

    Heart Attack Causes and its Solution

    What is the Main Cause of a Heart Attack? What is its Solution? A heart attack is the blockage of… Read More

    6 months ago

    Understanding the Debt Ceiling: Its Impact, Importance, and Implications

    In the vast economic arena, one term that often takes center stage, inciting extensive debates and discussions, is the "debt… Read More

    11 months ago

    De-Dollarization: The New World Order of Currency and Its Global Impact

    De-Dollarization: The Changing Face of Global Finance The financial landscape is in a state of flux, with an intriguing economic… Read More

    12 months ago

    Unstoppable Bayern Munich: The Story Behind Their 11th Consecutive Bundesliga Title

    The curtains closed on a dramatic Bundesliga season with Bayern Munich standing tall once again, clinching their 11th straight title.… Read More

    12 months ago

    Celine Dion Cancels Concert Tour Due to Deteriorating Stiff-Person Syndrome

    The Unfolding Story of Celine Dion's Health In recent news that has left fans across the globe stunned, iconic singer… Read More

    12 months ago

    Navigating the Crossroads: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the LA Lakers’ Uncertain Future

    As the echoes of the recent NBA season start to fade, the attention of enthusiasts is firmly glued to one… Read More

    12 months ago