Are You a TV Production and Distribution Expert?



9 Questions

What is the difference between a television series and a limited series?

What are telefilms?

What is the average cost of producing a cable drama in the US?

How are most scripted network television shows in the US financed?

What determines whether a television show continues or is canceled in the US?

What happens to the creators of canceled shows in the US?

What is the duration of most television shows in France?

How long are dramas produced for hour-long time slots in the US?

What is the purpose of ordering only the first 10 to 13 episodes of a new broadcast television series in the US?


Television shows are audiovisual programs produced for broadcast on television sets, via over-the-air, satellite, or cable. They can be produced by television broadcasters or film production companies. TV shows are usually scheduled for broadcast ahead of time, but streaming services make them available anytime. The content is produced using one of two production methodologies: linear production or animation and film productions. A television series is usually released in episodes that follow a narrative and are divided into seasons. A small or one-off collection of episodes may also be called a limited series, TV special, or miniseries. Television films or telefilms are feature films created for broadcasting on television. The first television shows were experimental, and the medium grew after the 1936 Summer Olympics in Germany and the 1937 coronation of King George VI in the UK. Television shows can be fictional or non-fictional and can be topical or historical. Drama programs usually feature a set of actors playing characters in a historical or contemporary setting. The production of a television show involves pre-production, principal photography, and post-production. The average broadcast network drama in the US costs $3 million an episode to produce, while cable dramas cost $2 million on average. Many scripted network television shows in the US are financed through deficit financing. Costs are recouped mainly by advertising revenues for broadcast networks and some cable channels, while other cable channels depend on subscriptions.Television Series Production and Distribution

  • Advertisers pay more to advertise on shows popular with young adults as they are harder to reach.
  • Successful shows can charge a higher fee per commercial despite having fewer viewers than rival shows.
  • After production, the television network sends the show to its affiliate stations to broadcast in the specified time slot.
  • Nielsen ratings determine whether a show continues or is canceled.
  • The creators of canceled shows can shop around remaining episodes and the possibility of future episodes to other networks.
  • Successful shows with a minimum number of episodes can go into broadcast syndication.
  • A full season in North America typically runs from September through May for at least 22 episodes.
  • New broadcast television series are often ordered for the first 10 to 13 episodes to gauge audience interest.
  • Australian television dramas would run from February through November each year and go into recess during summer.
  • Most programs in the UK are referred to as "series," while "season" is starting to be used for some US and international releases.
  • In the US, dramas produced for hour-long time slots are typically 37 to 42 minutes long, while sitcoms produced for 30-minute time slots are 18 to 21 minutes long.
  • In France, most television shows have a duration of 52 minutes.


How much do you know about the production and distribution of television shows? Test your knowledge with our quiz! From the history of television to the different types of shows and their production processes, this quiz covers it all. Impress your friends with your knowledge of Nielsen ratings, the differences between North American and Australian TV seasons, and more. So what are you waiting for? Take the quiz and see how much of a TV expert you really are!

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