10 February 2013 5:04 AM, PST | Huffington Post | See recent Huffington Post news »

Special From Next Avenue

By John Stark

The golden era of the TV miniseries lasted from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s. They couldn’t go on much longer. They required attention spans (you remember those).

Even "Downton Abbey," which is kind of like a miniseries, moves faster than the winner of the Ascot Derby. You’re constantly being yanked from one plot line to another. Blink and you’ve missed a death, birth, murder, marriage, poisoning, bankruptcy, bombing, jilting at the altar, you name it. A lot goes on in that castle in an hour.

In contrast, a miniseries took its time. Stories unfolded slowly. There was real character development. Most miniseries were adapted from sprawling novels. They were huge in scope. Multigenerational. Thanks to advances in makeup, you saw actors realistically age in their parts, from young to middle age to old.

The miniseries required serious viewer commitment. »

- Next Avenue

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