First of all I want to make this clear that this post is not written to spite any specific television series out there, they all have been awesome in their own rights but this article is born out of a general observation of the trends in which majority of Nigerian TV Series tread.
This past Friday African Magic celebrated its 100th episodic milestone of airing their flagship series “Battleground”. At first when I saw the news I was shocked, 100 episodes? From when to when? Like even “probably” the world’s most popular TV series “Game of Thrones” has just 67 episodes under its belt and here Battleground is celebrating its 100th.
Battleground has been awesome, the reception it has enjoyed from viewers since its inaugural episode has be unexpected and exciting to watch. Nigerians are a very difficult set of individuals to impress and please and to have so much high praise and support for an all Nigerian cast show is really overwhelming.
But the main question remains for how long can Battleground continue to thrive at this standard it has set for itself? It’s one thing to start the race well, it’s another to keep the steam going and thrive on the momentum and it’s a different ball game to be able to finish the race at top.
There’s a reason why foreign TV series are split into seasons, take Game of Thrones for instance which just concluded its seventh season after a seven year journey with just 10 episodes per season. This break between seasons helps to keep the series fresh and new to the fans whenever it comes around again therefore not loosing its taste.
It gives the producers and writers more and enough time to write better and more compelling stories, they don’t fall under the duress if having to come up with new plot twists and all that and it also gives the actors themselves time to reinvent, re brand and stay relevant to the fans (too much if everything they say is not good).
Besides these, the wait also helps to increase the anticipation, interest and appreciation from the fans but no, in Nigeria we prefer to run a TV series continually for a thousand episodes at a stretch until the excitement has been drained from the movie and little to nobody cares about the show again.
Take Super Story for example, it was the show of shows, churning out compelling television content week after week for years at a go. The atmosphere every Thursday evening can be compelled to that of HBO’s Game of Thrones during when the seasons are in but where is the Wálé Adenuga production now? It lost its taste went sour and got milked for its worth. Why you may ask because it wasn’t given enough breathing space to evolve.
Even a machine that keeps running continually non stop will sooner or later break down due to some wear and tears.
The profitability of running this shows might be a reason why producers keep this shows running on a weekly basis but why not create multiple compelling series instead of milking and making all your revenue from one, take HBO for example, Game of Thrones is their flagship TV series but not their only one. They have loads of other thriving series stargecally spaced out across the year. So that when a series is not airing they are not really loosing any revenue.
Other honorable mentions of TV series that kept running continually are Clinic Matters, So right So wrong, Pápá Ajasco, Jẹni fà Dairies that seems to be toiling the same path and Tinsel which just recently celebrated its thousandth episodic show.
The question isn’t whether this series are any good as they are but it is if they will be any good in the nearest months and years to come, if they will be able to stand the test if time?