The producers of The Walking Dead have been routinely going over their allotted hour-runtime in favor of freewheeling 66-minute and 85-minute episodes. Next Sunday’s “Swear” is clocking in at 70 minutes, and the following week’s episode “Sing Me a Song” will inch them all out with 90 minutes of post apocalyptic shambling. Dead fans are already praying that the sung song won’t be “Easy Street.”
Viewers have vocalized their frustrations that these longer episodes feel like a ploy to cram in more ad time, so we did a little math to see how they measure up. Take for example, November 6th’s episode “The Cell” — a typical hour-long runtime with commercials. But without ads, we spent 41 minutes and 48 seconds watching Daryl, in a dirty sweat suit, eat dog food. That means 69.7% was strictly show, which is standard for most broadcast one-hour dramas. Now, let’s look at November 13’s “Service”: 85 minutes of airtime, 57 minutes and 46 seconds of pure episode, which equals 67.9% show time.
What about last season’s infuriating “He’s Not Here” — the “We’re going to reveal if Glenn died, haha got ya, here’s Morgan’s backstory” episode. Airtime: 90 minutes, episode ran about 62 minutes, total: 68.8%.
Yes, they are sneaking in a few extra seconds of commercial time, but the real issue may come from the fact that audiences are used to Walking Dead’s cold open and five-act structure. “Service” had a cold open and SEVEN acts. That’s a lot of Ariana Grande T-Mobile commercials.
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Tell us what you think! What do you think of Walking Dead’s longer episodes? Should they start trimming them down? Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Khail Anonymous, on Twitter.