This story first appeared in the March 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
TV’s New Buzzwords: Anything That Makes a Show Special. NBC on February 22 announced a Hero “mini-series” with 13 episodes. FX debuts in April Fargo is called a “limited” series, like CBS’ under the dome last summer—until it was renewed. And Fox’s 24: Live Another Day is an “event” series. Is there a difference?
PHOTOS: New broadcast and cable TV shows of 2014
? Michael Lombardo, HBO: It depends on which Emmy category you can compete in. (Laughs.)
? David Nevins, Showtime: You forgot the other key [category]: “It’s a mini-series – oh wait, now it’s a series.”
? John Landgraf, FX: The “miniseries” is tainted. It became synonymous with that big corny melodrama that would galvanize people back when networks were in this business.
? Charlie Collier, AMC: Whatever Landgraf says.
? Eileen O’Neill, discovery: “Limited” can be three to eight episodes; that means it won’t come back. A miniseries usually lasts three hours or three nights.
HISTORY: Complete guide to 2014 TV premiere dates
? Paul Lee, ABC: We all use different terms for what’s going on, namely the disruption of the established 22-24 episode series.
? Chris Albrecht, Starz: Shouldn’t you ask the TV Academy? We would like to know.
? Nina Tassler, CBS: It is a new incarnation; it can take anywhere from four to eight hours. It can be under the dome, which is a limited series of events. It gives us a bigger canvas to play on.
? Mark Pedowitz, The CW: There is no difference. We just haven’t set a term. I think one of the reasons I like using limited series is that I think the miniseries is tainted.
? Susanne Daniels, MTV: Do we really think there is a difference?! There is no difference. Maybe the difference is the amount of money the network spends marketing it.