So you’re watching The Walking Dead, just loving the season. You’re new to the show, and you know you are only about 8 or so episodes into the season, so you are still very excited about all the show left. Suddenly, the episode ends, and they tell you that was their mid-season finale. Wait, mid-seasonal finales are a thing now? Yes. Yes, they are. Many of the highest rated and best shows on TV do it now. But don’t think it is lazy TV making. The fact of the matter is, the shows you get 22 episodes of every season spend about a tenth as much per episode as the shows that take a break. Plus, the break ups the demand. It is a brilliant business move, actually. Allow me a moment to tell you why.
Think about the shows that do it. Walking Dead. Game of Thrones. These are shows that have insanely high budgets, and if they ran full seasons, straight through, the show would run out of money. I also want to point out that the shows that take breaks often result in better TV. Would you compare a good episode of Game of Thrones to a good episode of Two and Half Men? Exactly my point.
The second reason we get mid-season finales now is supply and demand. They know you want the product, and they know you will wait for it. By waiting for it, they know the hype will rise. By the hype rising, they know this will bring in more viewers when the season comes back. So as frustrating as it may seem when a show you like vanishes for six weeks (or six months), remember, it always comes back stronger and better than ever.
Doesn’t that sort of make mid-season finales worth it? We think so.
[Photo via Frank Ockenfels/AMC]