Number of Episodes.

The number of episodes per season on MST3K? 6 episodes, 13 episodes, 22 episodes, 24 episodes? Which seemed to work best and why? Sign of the times, a matter of priority, expense, stretched too thin, then and now. What were the reasons and has a sweet spot been reached? Is 13 the magic number? Was it better before? Or does it really just depend? Or should I just relax?

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MOAR

ALWAYS MOAR

Though I will say the short season 7 is one of the best measured by average episode quality

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Previously: What the network overlords were willing to pay for.

Now: The team set goals for numbers of episodes that could be made and we the subscribers and Kickstarter backers have been able to fund to make happen, with the short gauntlet season Netflix paid for in the middle.

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The flame that burns brightest burns shortest.

I thought Season 12 was another consistently excellent one, also only six episodes.

I dunno. I will take as much of the show as the folks are willing to make, but I can also understand how taxing it is to make so many hours of comedy. I don’t think I really want to make some sort of grand declaration about whether more or less is better.

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13 is where Joel seems to sit. Season 11 would’ve been 13 episodes were it not for backers reacting to his dare and delivering in those final seconds. By the second Kickstarter, money was pouring in but 13 seemed to be the line in the sand. Personally this new season is just about perfect so 13 it is. And I’m fine with it. Whatever works best and is comfortable for all involved. What I ponder… is this new number simply a feeling or intuition or is there is a larger logic to it. I’m simply curious is all. What they’re doing is working so it doesn’t really matter.

A philosophy I agree with. More attention to every little thing. There’s that other line “Don’t bite off more than you can chew” which also relates here.

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I think the number is coming from intuition, but if there’s a larger logic behind that intuition, it’s probably that 13 episodes of MST3K is roughly the same length as 26 episodes of Hour Long Prime Time Drama Show, so in terms of writing and production, it’s probably a good benchmark to shoot for.

It does kind of make me wonder how they managed to do 22-24 episode seasons back in the day, like was there anything about the process that was easier back then? Like the fact that they had their own permanent studio and everyone involved in the show lived in the same area? That was the thing, wasn’t it.

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This is much of what spurred the question. Seasons 3, 4, 5, and 6 had 24 episodes and Season 8 22 episodes. Did the line or expectation move in the nearly 20 years MST3K was off the air or is the process just harder today and thus less. I really don’t know. Which is why I asked.

Oh I thought this topic was going to be on each host’s episode count, and how do we classify the (as of this date) upcoming Holiday special. I.e., will Emily be considered as having 4, 4.3, or 5 episodes (And Jonah 20/20.3/21)?

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Were all 20-something episodes of those seasons written and filmed at once? That might make a difference. In the Netflix and Gizmoplex era, all episodes were done at once (basically). If those longer series were put together over time, it gets to be easier to do more episodes.

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No US television usually does not follow the UK method of filming everything first. So for most of the Comedy Central/Sci Fi seasons, they were probably filmed over the course of 6-9 months, like every other show.

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You can go there with it if you want. That is another way to interpret the title.

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Correct. That’s my understanding also. It was a continuing process back then versus the Netflix Model of Seasons 11 and 12. The Dump and Binge Method.

The best seasons before the reboot all had 24 episodes, so I’m going with that.

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Seasons 3-6, with 24 episodes in each, it’s the bedrock of the show. They were just cranking them out. It became such a well oiled machine, in part due to the same team doing it day in and day out for years at a stretch.

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Two of my favorite seasons were Seasons Five and Eight, and they had 24 episodes and 22 episodes respectively.

So… somewhere in that ballpark, perhaps?

[I say that recognizing the amazing quality of Seasons Seven and Twelve with 6 episodes, Seasons Ten and Thirteen with 13 episodes, and Season Eleven with 14 episodes.]

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