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Marathon This TV Show

Bob Chipman | 19 Jan 2015 12:00
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HD: TV Marathons: social

"Every Simpsons Ever" was great, so when are we going to see more TV mega-marathons?

Last year, spin-off cable network FXX celebrated its change in stature from a channel that no one knew existed or acknowledged to "That channel that plays The Simpsons and I assume sometimes other stuff" with a weeks-long marathon of every episode of The Simpsons running nonstop in chronological order. The result was a ratings behemoth and a cultural mini-phenomenon, particularly on social-media - a rare moment when millions of media consumers found themselves fleetingly united by shared memories of the pop-zeitgeist. This put to lie the idea (long assumed since the ascension of DVDs and streaming) that easy on-demand access to "bulk orders" of re-runs had spoiled audiences' appetite for binging via broadcast.

Now, VH1 (wow - speaking of things you likely forgot existed, amirite??) is looking to score a similar "moment" with a reverse-chronological, nearly-complete marathon run of Saturday Night Live. Will it be a phenom to match Every Simpsons Ever? Nobody can say - Except me. I can. I can say. It won't be - but while we wait to find out here are a few other series that could benefit* from the marathon treatment.

Sure, there's been plenty of block-booking for Trek over the years, but never a complete start-to-finish broadcast of the entire franchise from The Original Series to Enterprise. There'd probably be some logistical kinks to work out - you don't want the Animated Series, which effectively comprises a fourth season of TOS, to be slated into overnights where it can be overlooked again, or for Next Generation to overstay its welcome in prime hours where everyone can realize how underwhelming so much of it actually is. Whatever is going on with the reboot movies, Trek's home has always been on TV - and it's high time to reestablish its place in broadcast history.

The Flintstones was TV's first animated sitcom, and as I've mentioned before watching its evolution as it transitioned from a mostly adult-targeted series to an unending succession of children's animated anthologies and specials is a single-show history of American television animation. Efforts at relaunching the First Family of cartoon sitcoms for the new millennium have stalled over the years, so maybe an eye-catching extended revisiting of the franchise could refocus peoples' interest.

This feels like a no-brainer: Doctor Who has been running for so long and so much of its modern existence is infused with that sense of legacy and history that running as much of it has survived over the years (yeah, it's that old) start-to-finish would probably be a ratings bonanza for whenever BBC America doesn't have anything but reruns to show anyway (so, most of the time then). In all seriousness, Whovians are one of the most enthusiastically-generational of fandoms, with whole families of adherents a common sight on the convention circuit. An every-episode (televised) marathon in which older fans could share the chronological classics with the younger would be a major event.

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