How Do I Hate the Mid-Season Hiatus...Let Me Count the Ways!

By Melissa Minners

            I remember a time when sweeps were over and the television networks would run reruns of our favorite shows until various events (World Series, awards shows, etc.) were over and we would receive new episodes.  Recently, networks have chosen to do something completely new and quite annoying. 

            The mid-season hiatus has become the norm with television networks everywhere.  What, pray tell, is this beast?  Well, it's when the network runs a show for about six episodes, then decides to put it on vacation for six to ten weeks while it runs another show in its place.  I struggle to see the logic in this new method of network madness.

            For one thing, when the original show that went on hiatus actually does return, one must struggle to remember where it left off a couple of months ago.  For another, once you get used to the new show, it is either cancelled or not renewed until the following year.  Some well-established shows, like Lost and Grey's Anatomy, did not show any diverse effects from their mid-season hiatus, but for other shows, this practice has become a disaster. 

            Take, for instance, Jericho.  This show was amazing and new with a multitude of directions that the story could have gone in.  Television fans were really getting into this series and the ratings soared.  Then came the hiatus.  When the show came back from hiatus, ratings plummeted and things never returned to normal.  The show was eventually cancelled.

            Jericho is just one show that suffered from the mid-season hiatus, but there are many shows that ended up on the chopping block because returning from hiatus met with disastrous ratings as the shows were out of sight and mind for two months.  And often times, the shows that are run during the hiatus are so horrible that one veers away from the network in search of something more enjoyable, never knowing that their old favorite has returned until it is too late.

            The mid-season hiatus is an abomination that does networks and television series more harm than good and should be done away with.  I've never heard one person say that they couldn't wait for mid-season hiatus to come around.  I've never heard of one person who had mid-season hiatus parties to celebrate the time that their favorite shows are on vacation. 

            What good could these series vacations possibly do for the networks that they enjoy them so much?  For once, do TV fans a favor and listen to what they ask for - stop the nonsense and end the hiatus for good!


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