THE FAMILY SHOW
There used to be shows for the "whole family" e.g. The Waltons
, with kid story lines and parent story lines. I guess the kids are all off in their room playing GameBoy Advance or on their own TV watching Mighty Morphin Dino Thunder
or whatever it is that 9 year old girls watch. (I only know from 9 year old boys. Ask me what 9 year old girls watch in 8 years.)
I'm noticing a slew of shows with teenage characters pursuing teenage plots and adult characters pursuing adult plots, with some parent/child plots to knit it all together. For example, in last night's Everwood
, Ephraim pissed off his touchy piano instructor, composer Will Cleveland, by offering to improve a piece of music he wrote; while Amanda Hayes sort-of-almost made a pass at Ephraim's dad in front of her permanently-comatose husband. And there was a father/son thing between unmercifully demanding Harold and his slacker son Bright.
So is this the new family template? In Gilmore Girls
you've got Lorelai stories and Rory stories. In The OC
you've got Seth stories and Sandy stories and Seth/Sandy stories.
Which makes me think that the 8 pm version of my pitch Exposure
needs to have more adult stuff for balance and for viewership...
Depends on the show. If you look at shows like Buffy and Smallville, neither have (or had) a significant adult presence. Dawson's Creek was also primarilly for young people. You just gotta know who the audience you're writing for is.
There seem to be three types of family shows:
1. Shows that focus on the parents
2. Shows that focus on the kids
3. Shows that focus on the family
The shows you're mentioning are the ones that showcase the family. A lot of other shows just focus on the kids. The ones that seem to focus solely on the adults don't seem to do as well when it comes to family drama (it also depends on the network your on, I believe).
If the story you're telling is conducive to the family focus, then go for it. If it's better suited for the kids, stick with that.
The Bedford Falls shows (especially Once and Again) were similar to what you're describing. O&A really was divided between plotlines about adults and about teenagers. Since the main adults and main teenagers were part of the same extended step-family, they could mix them up too. I always thought their teenage storylines were better (although I was perfectly happy with the adult ones too; I think a lot of people found them somewhat boring, particularly on My So-Called Life).
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