There are few things we find as controversial as extended episodes of cable shows. In theory, the idea is great since you’re giving viewers more of something that they (hopefully) love, and giving them longer stories helps to bridge the gap with Netflix shows, which often run 55 minutes or more without commercials include.
Yet, here’s the issue: If you want viewers to watch you live, it’s difficult to ask them for more of an hour of their time on a regular basis. “American Horror Story” went into complete overkill with this last year with “Hotel”; the only reason “Sons of Anarchy” was able to do it during its final seasons was because it was an awesome show and there were enough characters to justify it — at least the majority of the time. With that said, “The Walking Dead” should also be able to make a similar move without shedding viewers — but we’re still worried about it, since as we’ll explain in just a moment, so much of this is circumstance and individual story-based.
It’s been known for a good week or so that the “Walking Dead” premiere next week (which will be followed by a 90-minute “Talking Dead” from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery) will run longer than an hour. Meanwhile, Screen Rant reports this weekend that the second episode entitled “The Well” will run for a whopping 76 minutes including commercial. Make sure you set your DVR for whatever 10:00 p.m. show you’re watching, since this is running significantly over!
It’s too early to know whether or not this is a smart move; if there is enough story for Scott M. Gimple and company to make this particular episode work, more power to ’em. Otherwise, this may be bloated for bloated’s sake and that’s not nearly fun.
For those who missed it, be sure to check out the new scene from the “Walking Dead” premiere, released last week at New York Comic-Con. (Photo: AMC.)