What is the Best Way to Release a TV Show?


With so many different streaming services creating hit TV series, there is a split between the best way to release them.

In the age of streaming services, TV shows have changed dramatically. Some TV Shows are written as ten-hour movies, while others tell different stories every episode without an overarching plot. Another big split between TV shows is how they are released; some series are released all at once, while others maintain the traditional one-episode-per-week format. 

Netflix popularized the all-at-once format that became popular for years. When shows like Stranger Things release a new season, they would release the entire new season at once. This gives people the opportunity to binge-watch the entire season just days after it comes out. Many prefer this route, due to the option to binge all at once. “It’s just easier to binge shows, and I’m very impatient, so I prefer to watch all of it at once,” says sophomore Abby Marquez.

Weekly releases, however, seem to have made a comeback in recent years. Many Disney+ series, such as The Mandalorian, release one episode per week until the season is over. Other services that have their own TV channel, such as HBO (HBO Max) and ABC (Hulu), release shows like The Last of Us and Abbott Elementary at a designated time on TV before releasing the episode on their streaming services. 

The weekly format brings the show an extended period of popularity that will not happen for a full-season release. “I think when it comes out once a week, I am thinking about what’s coming next, what’s gonna happen, but when it comes out all at once, I just like sharing my opinion about it,” says Emma Eppolito. “I feel like if it comes out once a week, I talk about it more, because I’m reminded of it,” says junior Ceci O’Grady. 

Once-a-week releases can also be seen as a weekly event, as it is something to do with friends and family. “For most shows, I prefer all at once, cause I like to watch at my own pace, but if it’s with my family, it’s nice to come out once a week, because it’s something we can all watch as a family,” says sophomore Aleesha Askari.

However, for older TV shows, binging is the only option, and does not seem to make too much of a difference in the quality of the show. Shows like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad were week-to-week releases, but, in the age of streaming, many binge-watch multiple episodes at a time. “I do think that there is a difference in the experiences, back then they didn’t have streaming services… you would watch an episode a week,” says senior Homira Koraganie. “You have a whole rest of the week to discuss with everyone and try to theorize what’s gonna happen next, so I think it was more of a collective watching experience.”

Ultimately, however, it seems that different genres work best with different release formats. “It depends on the mood of the show, cause if the mood is something darker or more suspenseful, it can be hard to wait a week, so binging TV is a fun experience depending on the show, it’s also good if you want to watch it alone, but if it’s a lighter type of show, like a comedy,” says sophomore Grace Chandler. “It’s nice to have those shows to look forward to. You don’t have to watch it all at once.”

No matter the way a series is released, a virtually infinite amount of content is able to be streamed, new and old, to keep people busy for a long, long time.