Today is the 54th anniversary of the premier of the original “Star Trek” TV show, back in 1966. It’s been rebooted several times, so it’s not the longest continuously running series in the U.S., but it is certainly a very long-running franchise.
Some shows have much longer runs of episodes than “Star Trek”: “The Simpsons” is entering its 32nd season. “Guiding Light” was on for 72 years before being canceled in 2009. Can the Netflix era produce shows that last like these?
“I wonder whether we can in a time of streaming and binging on shows,” said Jeff Jarvis, a professor at CUNY’s Newmark School of Journalism. “Even if you look at the great shows on premium cable – ‘Sopranos’ in the day, now ‘Succession’, they have fairly short runs.”
Daniel Herbert, associate professor of film, TV and media at the University of Michigan said in the old world, the point of a long running show was to get it syndicated, so royalties could flow in.
“Whereas in a streaming world, having a long-running show is more about maintaining brand identity and subscribers.”
So, long running shows should still be possible. At a minimum, the proliferation of streaming platforms means old shows have new homes, and old franchises, new places to reboot. The latest iteration of “Star Trek,” for example, is on CBS All Access.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.
Donate now to get almost any thank-you gift.