Power of 10: Why networks are ordering shorter seasons for their hit shows
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The network has quietly been heading in this shorter-season direction for a couple years. Two of HBO’s recent long-running dramas, True Blood and Boardwalk Empire, each began with several 12-episode seasons; Empire’s 2014 finale lasted just eight episodes, while True Blood’s final two seasons in 2013 and 2014 were 10 episodes each. Previously, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos used to be 13, but 12-episodes seasons had became the norm in the last decade.
Despite appearances, however, HBO insists that there is no 10-episode edict in place. “The number of episodes for any of our series is determined by the story,” Lombardo told Quartz. “From conversations with showrunners, writers and/or producers, we find the appropriate amount of episodes necessary to tell that particular story. You never want to rush or drag out a story, so this is a very important step in the production process.”