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Encyclopedia > Miniseries

A miniseries (sometimes mini-series), in a serial storytelling medium, is a production which tells a story in a limited number of episodes. For the 2001 film, see Storytelling (film) Storytelling is the ancient art of conveying events in words, images, and sounds. ...

Contents

Television

Although no strict rule exists which differentiate a miniseries from a "regular" series or serial there are some suggestions. Leslie Halliwell and Philip Purser argue in Halliwell's Television Companion that miniseries tend to "appear in four to six episodes of various lengths." whilst Stuart Cunningham defines them as, "a limited run program of more than two and less than the thirteen part season or half season block associated with serial or series programming."[1]


One other important aspect, as Francis Wheen argues is that, "Both soap operas and primetime series cannot afford to allow their leading characters to develop, since the shows are made with the intention of running indefinitely. In a miniseries on the other hand, there is a clearly defined beginning, a middle and an end, (as in a conventional play or novel) enabling characters to change, mature or die as the serial proceeds.."[1]. Thus a series that is cancelled, or not renewed, after only a few episodes would not fall into the category of a miniseries.


In television, the format dates back to at least a 1966 ABC broadcast of an adaptation of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, produced by David L. Wolper. The term became well-established in the mid 1970s, particularly with the success of Rich Man, Poor Man, based on the novel of Irwin Shaw, in 1976. The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... A biological adaptation is an anatomical structure, physiological process or behavioral trait of an organism that has evolved over a period of time by the process of natural selection such that it increases the expected long-term reproductive success of the organism. ... The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by journalist William L. Shirer was the first definitive history of Nazi Germany in English. ... Rich Man, Poor Man is a 1969 novel written by Irwin Shaw. ...


Alex Haley's Roots in 1977 can fairly be called the first blockbuster success of the format. Its success in the USA was partly due to its schedule: the twelve hours were split into eight episodes broadcast on consecutive nights, resulting in a finale with a 71 percent share of the audience and 130 million viewers, which at the time was the highest rated TV program of all-time. TV Guide (April 11-April 17, 1987) called Jesus of Nazareth "the best miniseries of all time" and "unparalleled television." Alexander Palmer Haley (August 11, 1921 – February 10, 1992) was an American writer. ... Roots was a 1977 American television miniseries based on Alex Haleys work Roots: The Saga of an American Family, his critically-acclaimed genealogical novel. ... Blockbuster, as applied to film or theater, denotes a very popular and/or successful production. ... TV Guide is the name of two North American weekly magazines about television programming, one in the United States and one in Canada. ... is the 101st day of the year (102nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar). ... Picture of Robert Powell playing Jesus of Nazareth. ...


In British television, the term 'miniseries' is almost never used, except in reference to American imports. The term serial is preferred for short-run British television drama, which has been a staple of UK schedules since the early 1950s when serials such as The Quatermass Experiment (1953) established the popularity of the form. 'Miniseries' is, however, used as a kind of exonym for non-miniseries British TV series in the United States, where the typical season length of six to thirteen episodes is considered short. British television broadcasting has a range of different broadcasters, broadcasting multiple channels over a variety of distribution media. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... The Quatermass Experiment is a British television science-fiction serial, transmitted by BBC Television in the summer of 1953. ... An exonym is a name for a place or people that is created by people outside of that place and is different from the name used in the native language. ...


Very rarely, a multi-part episode within a longer running TV show may also be called a "miniseries", and with a few shows, a miniseries became the effective pilot episode of a longer production run.


Comic books

Main article: Limited series

A miniseries or limited series is a common format for comic books, as it allows creators to tell a single specific story focusing on a character or set of characters, whether that story stands alone (Watchmen), or is heavily interlinked with other events in the same fictional universe (Civil War). Two to twelve issues is the usual length for a comic book miniseries (a story contained in a single issue is termed a one-shot). 52 is arguably the longest comic book miniseries to have been planned, as it was intended to last for fifty-two weekly issues. The alternative is an ongoing series. The limited series is a term referring to a comic book series with a set finite number of issues. ... The limited series is a term referring to a comic book series with a set finite number of issues. ... A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... For the 2009 film based on the comic book, see Watchmen (film). ... Civil War is a Marvel Comics summer 2006 crossover event, based around a core limited series of the same name written by Mark Millar and penciled by Steve McNiven. ... In the American comic book industry, the term one-shot is used to denote a pilot comic or a stand-alone story created to last as one issue. ... 52 is the title of a comic book limited series published by DC Comics, which debuted on May 10, 2006, one week after the conclusion of the seven-issue Infinite Crisis. ... Ongoing series, sometimes shortened as the noun ongoing, is a term referring to a comic book series that is intended to continue indefinitely. ...


Comic book series intended from the beginning to tell a complete story can become longer still, for example Sandman, which lasted 75 issues; these are not considered miniseries, partly because of their size and partly because no fixed number of issues is announced at the beginning. Similar to a canceled television series, a series intended to be ongoing, but which is discontinued after a dozen or fewer issues (usually due to poor sales), is not considered a miniseries, though they are sometimes described as such by the publisher after the cancellation is announced. The Sandman is a comic book series written by Neil Gaiman and published in the United States by DC Comics for 75 issues from 1988 until 1996. ...


See also

Television series redirects here. ... Rodrigues & Blackthorne aboard Toranagas galley Lord Ishido Toranaga sits in audience, shortly after the earthquake. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... North and South was a TV miniseries set before, during, and immediately after the American Civil War. ... The Winds of War was best-selling novellist Herman Wouks second book about World War II, the first being The Caine Mutiny (1951). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Lonesome Dove, written by Larry McMurtry, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning western novel and the first published book of the Lonesome Dove series. ... This article is about the novel. ... Roots is a 1977 American television miniseries based on Alex Haleys work Roots: The Saga of an American Family, his critically acclaimed genealogical novel. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Stand is a 1994 television miniseries based on the novel The Stand by Stephen King. ... It (also referred to as Stephen Kings It) is a 1990 horror miniseries based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. ... A metaseries includes series of stories which include references to each other and some overall similar chronological or cast backdrop, but are not similar enough to be considered direct sequels. ...

References

  1. ^ a b Miniseries

One of the most successful and influential producers in the entertainment industry-responsible for classics such as Roots (TV miniseries), The Thorn Birds, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Miniseries - definition of Miniseries in Encyclopedia (373 words)
Its success in the USA was due to its schedule: the twelve hours were split into eight episodes broadcast on consecutive nights, resulting in a finale with a 71 percent share of the audience and 130 million viewers.
In British television, the term 'miniseries' is almost never used, except in reference to American imports.
Early miniseries were 3 or 4 issues in length, with longer series sometimes being termed "maxi-series".
Miniseries (1245 words)
In a miniseries on the other hand, there is a clearly defined beginning, a middle and an end, (as in a conventional play or novel) enabling characters to change, mature or die as the serial proceeds.
This scheduling is important because the high production costs of miniseries can only be recovered through exposure to the largest, most lucrative, and attentive audiences and the material dealt with is often of either difficult and potentially upsetting, or of a sexually explicit nature not deemed suitable for children.
The miniseries is invariably based upon the work of an established writer, whether this is a classic literary source (the BBC's 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice), a popular blockbuster, (Shirley Conran's Lace II, 1985), or a renowned television writer (Lynda LaPlante's Prime Suspect, 1991).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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