Staying PoweR

      38 Comments on Staying PoweR
A publicity shot for the new "Gilmore Girls"

A publicity photo promoting the new “Gilmore Girls”

According to latest estimates, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” rode a wave of nostalgia and promotion last week. More than six million people have watched the four-part Netflix sequel to the popular TV series so far. While not the service’s biggest hit, “Gilmore Girls” is an example of how a show which left the airwaves nine years ago can still draw a sizable audience.

In fact, Netflix’s most-viewed series is “Fuller House,” currently with nearly eight million viewers. “Fuller House” is a spin-off based on ABC’s “Full House,” which ran from 1987-1995. Meanwhile, “Seinfeld,” the massive hit NBC sitcom which ended production 18 years ago, continues to air in every major U.S. city and last year Hulu reportedly paid around $160 million to make it available online. Countless other sitcoms live on and on; popular old shows from “Friends” to “I Love Lucy” can still be seen in syndication and online streaming services.

Kramer as Santa in 1994 on "Seinfeld"

Kramer as Santa in “Seinfeld”

I often wonder: With literally hundreds of viewing choices at our fingertips, what gives these programs such incredible staying power? It’s not just nostalgia which propels them; programs from the ’50s through the ’00s are finding new audiences all the time. It’s highly effective marketing and publicity efforts that keep these classics in the public’s minds; for example, baseball parks host annual “Seinfeld” nights; “Star Trek” finds life in new films, conventions and retail items; and video contests and parodies of “The Office” abound online.

With December here, we also never tire of familiar holiday movies. So many of us will watch “A Christmas Story,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Polar Express,” and “A Christmas Carol,” to name just a few. As long as there’s an audience, these decades-old films and sitcoms will be shown repeatedly, and more and more sequels will be made years after the originals were first viewed. Their staying power is fueled by consistent exposure, calculated publicity campaigns and a need for content. And while new productions are being aired and promoted, Rory and Lorelai, the Tanners, and Jerry and Kramer are likely to live forever. Your favorites? Your thoughts?

38 thoughts on “Staying PoweR

  1. Anwar Ahmad

    Gilmore Girls, Friends, and Full House are shows that I have been watching since I was 10-years-old, and I have seen every episode of each show at least ten times. I believe that these shows have such incredible staying-power because they are extremely relatable, provide humor, and have reliable characters. I don’t believe that luck is the reason that these shows are still being aired on television, despite the fact that production for each show has ended years ago. I believe that word-of-mouth and incredible writing is the reason that these shows have remained so successful and gain new followers every year. These characters live on because audiences (including myself) develop a personal attachment and relationship with these characters no matter the decade or age group.

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  2. A. Murphy

    I think in some ways the shows mentioned have continued to be marketed in a way that keeps them in the public eye, however more than that, these programs and movies connect with an audience in a way that transcends generational divides. These shows connect with audiences and we relate to them so much so that we keep coming back, and encourage others to do the same.

    I do believe that without adequate marketing and public relations efforts, the shows might have fallen off of audiences’ radars, but if the show was crap to begin with, no one would want to watch it anyway.

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  3. ari okonofua

    I love that so many previous shows are making a comeback. TV now is so focused on reality TV that we don’t get positive shows anymore! All my favorite shows are off-air: Seinfeld, Ellen (back when she had a show), TGIF Fridays on ABC (Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Family Matters), the Fresh Prince of Belair and more. In terms of movies, ‘A Christmas Story’ and ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ as well as ‘The Ten Commandments’ are my ultimate favorites. I have an old soul, I like to say and these shows and movies are the ones that I love the most.

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  4. Vanessa

    Many of these shows are timeless and have something that shows on television today lack. Shows that I enjoy watching are still in syndication. I’m not sure if it’s nostalgia or if it’s simply the content of these shows. Whatever it is , obviously the shows provide content audience relate to.

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  5. Adan Engel

    I agree, that all of these have staying power. The enjoy watching Fuller House, and Prison Break on Netflix. the reason why Netflix flues so well is because us humans love to watch TV shows. Well when you have it at the tip of you fingers everywhere, meaning on a mobile app, iPad, laptop, and TV then, you will be able to use it more offend in a more convenient way. Also, the monthly feee is very reasonable.

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  6. Jordyn Miller

    Many of these shows seem timeless. Their jokes continue to hold value, the lessons are still relevant, and they often bring comfort in their familiarity. Some of my favorites are “Saved by the Bell,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Full House,” and “The Nanny.” I think many people find comfort in these shows because they often tend to be mindless, they deal with small and relatable problems, and they help to remind us that the world has not really changed all that much. I find these ideas extremely comforting, as I believe many others do as well.

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  7. caprice oliver

    I absolutely adore the Gilmore Girls and I too participated in watching the reruns. I seem to always find myself watching old shows versus the newer ones. It seems like today’s shows are definitely lacking a content that I find in watching my old shows like, Full House, Gilmore Girls, Mama’s Family and ext. It seems to me that these newer shows can learn a thing or two from the older ones who re-runs are getting more views then them.

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  8. Nikita Hakels

    Firstly I would like to say that I love Gilmore Girls, I watched it previously and just started the new one. I believe staying power also has alot to do with the story line and the cast. Yes publicity and marketing are all important things but what are you going to do with expensive marketing if people did not like the first season or first part of the movie.

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  9. Aisha B

    I agree . These shows that are considered classics does have staying power mainly because of how relatable they are.Because they are relatable , these classics sitcoms become timeless.

    My favorite is Home Alone

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  10. Daniela Gagliano

    To me, this all ties in with how the media controls our lives in more than one way. Millennials are judged for lacking individuality, when society has exposed us to the same familiar outlets that blend us all together.

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  11. Daniella Opabajo

    I believe that shows that go off the air for some years and then come back, remain popular because of the nostalgic feeling the audience gets when watching the show again. It reminds of the time in our lives when the show was on air. For example, I was one of those people who spent the weekend watching the Gilmore Girls revival because I was so invested in their stories for years and it felt good to see where they left off. Even though I was not the biggest fan of the revival, I still sat and watched he whole thing because I almost felt like it was an obligation to. Televisions shows and movies that I watched a lot from my childhood will remain a part of my life, even if I did not like them so much. For example, my siblings and I would also watch all 3 Home Alone movies on Christmas Eve. I loved the first 2 Home Alone movies, but the third one was really bad to me. But no matter what, each year we watch all 3 movies. It goes back to that nostalgic feeling I get when I watch something from my childhood, the movie itself bring back memories and reminds me of my siblings.

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  12. Arthena Sherwood

    I just started watching “Sons of Anarchy” for the first time and I love it, it came off the air three years ago. I probably stream more programs now than I watch live TV. It’s more accessible and there are less commercial interruptions.

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  13. Marielle mccartin

    I think it is amazing that these shows are still airing through streaming networks. I loved watching fuller house and loved all the memories it brought back about full house . I haven’t watched Gilmore girls yet but I definitely will soon! I love watching old shows such as Malcolm in the middle , which is getting a lot of popularity by bringing it back on Netflix

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  14. Jennifer O'Malley

    Marketing definitely keeps these shows at the forefront of our minds. I’m not a fan of “Gilmore Girls” or “Seinfeld.” I was a huge fan of “Full House” as a kid, but personally have no desire to watch “Fuller House” and doubt that I ever will. But, “Friends” is a show that I can watch over and over no matter how many times I have seen the episodes. The only reason I can come up with, especially because I usually hate watching something more than once, is the “feel-good-ness” of the show. I get that warm, nostalgic feeling from “Friends'” every time. I think a lot of people have a show or shows that do that for them. The creators of these shows, and the networks that air them, such as Netflix and Hulu, tap into this desire for familiarity. “Gilmore Girls” was released during Thanksgiving. They chose a long weekend where everyone is thinking about spending time with family and celebrating. Holidays also produce that warm and nostalgic feeling for many.

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  15. Bernie Dennler

    I think there’s an argument to be made that constant or consistent exposure plays a big role in what shows and films become the sort of transcendent cultural works that you’re describing. Some of these works, like Seinfeld, were wildly popular during their original runs so their continued success in syndication is a more straightforward path to trace. However, not all of our cultural classics began with that kind of popularity. Take Miracle on 34th Street, for example. This is a movie which did not fare particularly well upon its initial release. The same was true of Its A Wonderful Life. Yet both of these films have had serious staying power, perhaps because of their repeated exposure on television every holiday season for more than half a century.

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  16. Victoria Conway

    I am personally a TV show fanatic. I love finding new shows that help me escape for a while. Full House and Gilmore Girls just so happen to be two of my favorites. I grew up waking up in the morning and trying to catch reruns of Full House on ABC Family with my brother. During the summer we spent countless mornings falling in love with the Tanners. My mom watched Gilmore Girls religiously. Therefore, I began to watch with her. Seeing Loreali and Rory bond over diner food and coffee just made me feel that much closer to my mom. In high school my friends began to catch up on GG and we would obsess over which team we are. Then, when Netflix announced a revival all of my dreams seemed to be coming true. I exchange polls and articles with my friends. It came out just in time for me to sit down with my mom during the holidays. Both Fuller House and Gilmore Girls the revival aren’t my favorite shows. However, nothing beats the nostalgia I feel when I sit down and see my favorite childhood characters come to life again.

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  17. Josh Solomon

    I totally get the nostalgia effect when it comes to re watching old shows. especially when it comes to holiday times. Aside from the holiday classics, one of my favorite sitcoms that will never grow old to me is Cheers. That show with it’s great writing, acing, and directing will be on the air for years to come.

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  18. Diana Ziskin

    A lot of the return of the 90’s shows are playing on our nostalgia. Us 90’s kids/later millennials are feeling our age in a world we didn’t envision when we were younger, and often begin to feel very lost. Watching shows that we first watch in our childhood, while does bring us enjoyment, also makes us feel better. I almost want to use the word safe, but I feel like it now in connection with millennials has a negative connotation. Shows like Full House, Seinfeld and even Gilmore Girls remind me of really good happy memories. I can remember watching Seinfeld every single week with my Dad, and now when I am stressed out over school, work or relationship woes, I binge watch it and feel like a child again without any serious problems.

    I will also state that a lot of what is on TV today is awful, over processed and unoriginal, but ironically is we find joy in watching reruns over new programs.

    It also connects us to new people who we might have nothing in common with, but can talk about our love of a TV show we both had 20 years ago.

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  19. Stephanie Adomavicius

    I completely agree, all of these have staying power. I, like many others. have enjoyed watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix with friends. The nostalgia and memories associated with the show and how you feel transported back in time are priceless. This goes hand in hand with all the holiday movies linked with this time of year. They are classics and simply become part of traditions that get passed down.

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  20. Stacyann Nathan

    I find today many of these news shows lack substance. They do not resonate with me as Friends, Happy days, Good times, or even That’s so raven. I find shows like Fuller House and Gilmore Girls they remind you of what was and how good life use to be. They made you envy there lives and there was some reliability that you gained by watching them. I just love watching old shows that are no longer have new seasons, its a reminder of my past and how things use to be and great tv shows were… not like now.

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  21. Michael Esposito

    I think that there is something about Full House and the other shows mentioned that make them timeless. Also there’s something about not having constant access to the shows that makes watching them more of an experience. In today’s world we can access the most current television shows so quickly and they are so overexposed that it ruins them.

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  22. Connor Giblin

    My childhood consisted of watching “Seinfeld” on TBS weeknights from 6-7, and ending the day watching “Full House” on Nick @ Nite from 9-10. I think what gives these programs staying power is how they reach both its original audience and that demographic’s children. My father was a huge Seinfeld fan, so he enjoyed watching it with me. It reminded him of when he was younger and the memories he has as a kid. On top of that, I always wanted to enjoy the same things he did. That is one of the reasons why I gravitated to these shows. They connect their original audience with the younger generation, allowing them to last through the years. Now, my 13 year-old sister is an avid fan of “I Love Lucy” and no one in our family loves it as much as her. The reason she discovered it was simply because it was online. The archive of these shows helps create a newer market. Curious youngsters can view these shows on their own time and fall in love with these shows like how my sister did.

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  23. Anna Baxter

    I think that it is really smart of Netflix to reboot these shows and follow up with how the characters are doing now. Oftentimes when I finish a whole show, I am sad because I know that I am going to miss the characters, and that is how a lot of people felt at the end of these. These new, but classic, shows give people a chance to relive what they once loved and revisit characters they have never stopped thinking about.

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  24. Jessica Mohen

    Shows like “Saved By the Bell”, “Full House”, and “Boy Meets World” are timeless yet characteristic of their decade. I believe that shows and movies of this sort have such a cult following because they represent a simpler era. For example, so much has changed in the world technology-wise since “Seinfeld” first surfaced. The jokes are genuine and more importantly, relatable. Once the appealing foundation is constructed and a following is established, fans will watch the sequels and new viewers will join the bandwagon because of the hype. I never watched the original “Gilmore Girls” series, but have started watching the new release. In contrast, “Full House” was one of my favorite shows growing up, but I did not think “Fuller House” was funny at all. The series seems more childish and is not timeless.

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  25. Brianna Beaumont

    Remakes can be tricky. Not everyone likes it when a show or movie is remade or even continued. With a big audience and with enough promotion, a show can live on. Some things never change. For example American teenage dramas are all alike in many ways, and there are several of them. It started with Beverly Hills, 90210, and One Tree Hill , and now there is Degrassi:The Next Generation, The Fosters, and Glee. Content changes a little with time, but the audiences and theme of the show stays the same. My favorites are Full House, Friends, Happy Days, and That ’70s show.

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  26. Jorge Marrero

    Growing up in the 90’s and 00’s there were many shows I watched. My favorite shows are: The Fish Prince of Bel Air, Full House, Rocket Power, and Drake and Josh. My thoughts on why the shows have such popularity is because the sentimental value these shows have on us. We grew up watching these shows and re-running the shows bring back childhood memories for people. Theres nothing better than watching a show and reminiscing on your childhood memories.

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  27. Justin Chupungco

    Every year I look forward to “A Christmas Story”, and other holiday classics. I think such films were so successful and enjoyable when they were first released, and the fact that they have been continuously enjoyed each year by families, generation to generation, is a strong factor in its longevity. They have become associated with the holiday season, and if they weren’t played, it would be abnormal, people would not like it. I will always enjoy and be a fan of sitcoms like “Friends”, and “Full House”. I think that classics like these were more relatable than similar sitcoms and films today. Families enjoy watching the older films and sitcoms together, and passing them down to the next generation, unlike shows and films of the present. I am personally a fan of the classics, and hope they will live forever, and continue to be enjoyed by all in the years to come.

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  28. Michael James

    Often a work is so powerful that it enshrines itself throughout the course of history. We see this in novels, art, motion pictures, television shows ect. Certain TV show become so relatable, evoking a multitude of emotions within the average viewer, that subconsciously these shows become engraved within the viewer. It may be the product of nostalgia, it may be a connection to a character, or it may be the sheer joy and laughter the show brings. But, a good TV show has the ability to impact an audience similarly to that of a good book. There will be many books I show to my children, books given to me years ago by my grandfather. I imagine, especially in this digital age, the same can be said in the future for legendary television shows.

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  29. Anthony Pugliese

    Being a communications student, I am constantly being reminded of the nostalgic audiences. I see the trigger of sentiment coming alive most in entertainment, because that is what majority has leaned on for a lifetime. From Nickelodeon to MTV to ABC and now from Hulu to Netflix, there is always something available for a particular audience. Christmas time tends to reveal ones sentimental or caring nature. Majority choose their favorite Christmas movie from long ago to remind them of the good times. My go to Christmas movies are The Santa Clause trilogy, because it brings me back to my years of innocence and pure joy. The Santa Clause trilogy brings me to remember school breaks, family time, hot chocolate and sleep overs with my friends. The emotional power television and film has on oneself is the reason to why old shows will always stay relevant.

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  30. Khaleik Akerson

    America loves the past and tolerates the present. For myself, I always say I wish I was born in 70’s so I could have experienced the 80’s and 90’s. Movies, shows and even music held more essence and value because thats when people cared more for the craft. Timeless media lacks in the 21st century.

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  31. Katie Spoleti

    I think this relates to a lot of instances in life when I say that people are drawn to familiarity. Whether it’s a television show, film or company product, if what is trying to be sold “hits home” in some way then it has a better chance of attracting an audience and doing well. When people grow up watching something like their favorite t.v. show, it often correlates with a specific memory or time in their lives. I think that’s the very reason why programs like Seinfeld and Gilmore Girls are still relevant today. Even if the new Gilmore Girls reboot isn’t as successful as the original in terms of quality, most of America will still tune in because it brings them back to a show that they loved. When people relate strongly enough to a character it becomes really hard to break that bond. Personally, it’s a tradition in my household to watch “A Christmas Story” every year on Christmas day. Even though we’ve seen in hundreds of times, my whole family recognizes that it doesn’t feel like the holiday without it. I guess that even with fictional characters, it’s still hard to let go.

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  32. Tai Davis

    My favorite sitcom is “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Not only is it always funny to me and relatable but I now enjoy knowing that one of the writers and creators of the show went to Hofstra. During watching some of the episodes I see the main character wearing a Hofstra sweatshirt or a Hofstra hat. It made a show that I already loved an even better viewing experience.
    There are a lot of aspects that older sitcoms have that the newer ones lack. For one many people have grown up with these sitcoms so there is a relationship or sentimental experience while watching the show. The older sitcoms are usually the original of a situational idea. There are not many new ideas when watching shows unless they take a provocative stand. I personally would like to watch the original to many of the ideas instead of watching a new cast repeat things I’ve seen before in a slightly new way. Because either way I would be comparing the two shows.

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  33. Adam Palasciano

    One of my all time favorite shows is Friends, which is still aired today on many channels and is also available to watch on online streaming services. Shows like Friends have incredible staying power because of their once massive popularity that lives on and for their genius, original ideas which are often copied by other shows and movies.

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  34. Arianna du Manoir

    I’m the kind of person that loves watching shows that I grew up with, especially during the holiday season. Nightmare Before Christmas, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, The Polar Express, A Very Merry Pooh Year (excluding one of my favorites in this list, is it obvious that I am a Disney fan?). Thinking about it, I think those films feel so heartwarming and special to me because I have fond memories connected to them such as watching Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas with my family every year, and it just brings back the nostalgia of being a kid again. Of course I love discovering new shows and always get excited for new programs or films, but they just can’t replace my favorites because those are more than just a film to me.

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  35. Maria Zaldivar

    I believe that as a society we are always reminiscent and excited when finding familiar faces and stories even in television. I am constantly re-watching shows and looking for references within the story lines. My personal favorite is Friends and That 70’s Show which is also interesting since it is set in a different time.

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  36. Emily DiLaura

    Such funny timing with this post, as I have actually just started to watch Friends for the first time. Over the summer while on vacation with my boyfriend, his siblings and in-laws, who are all in their 30s, were shocked to learn I had never seen Friends. Of course, they had me immediately watch a few episodes. To be honest, I at first didn’t understand the huge hype over it. Then I started binging it while at school before Thanksgiving and I am already on season 3. What keeps these shows alive, I think, is how relatable and light they are. Nothing too terrible happens. They’re happy, upbeat, and focus on issues that their target audience either faces or fantasizes about.
    These shows are unbelievably well thought out and keep people watching for years and year through boredom, fun nights, and friends.

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  37. Rian-Ashlei

    I really enjoyed this post. I never gave thought to why these shows have withstood the test of time independent of the idea that they were just better shows (an idea I’m sure was cultivated through a successful pr campaign). My favorite shows are still in syndication: Martin, Living Single, All in the Family, Mama’s Family and to this day, I still laugh and still have all the same emotional experiences they created for me in these shows. There’s much to be said about the desire to relive these feelings of your past and I think it’s up to us as pr people to know what kinds of things trigger people to act a certain way. This was a great example of one of those fundamentally human desires that can lead to big success for a brand or client.

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  38. Amina

    I feel that what makes some of these shows still popular are that they are relatable. Gilmore Girls, Full House and Seinfeld are all shows that views completely relate too. They tell the stories that we experience and live throughout our daily lives. This in itself completely resonates with viewers.

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