This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.

Marathon Running

This is an event where a network will run multiple episodes of the same show back-to-back for an extended period of time. It can also take the form of running all of the movies in a given franchise back-to-back.

Often done as a promotional event. A popular series will marathon all previous episodes prior to the start of the newest season. The release of a new film in a franchise will be preceded by a marathon showing of all previous films in that franchise. In addition to providing publicity, this gives the audience a chance to get up to speed with events in the show before they jump into the new season. Sometimes, it's also done with really, really popular shows to crank up the overall ratings.

In recent years, this practice has become a lot more common as cable networks try to cater to "binge viewing"; the idea of being able to have your own marathon using video-on-demand services such as Hulu and Netflix.

Sometimes overlaps with Adored by the Network.

Examples:

  • Fox Kids used to love marathon running for Power Rangers and Digimon. In fact, that was how the American premieres of Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Tamers were set up.
  • Cartoon Network has frequently marathoned Naruto. One of the most notable examples was the Naruto Hundo, done to celebrate the milestone of Naruto reaching 100 aired episodes on Toonami.
    • For most of 2007-2008, they ran two-episode blocks back-to-back (sometimes advertised as "mini-marathons") in order to burn through Filler.
    • Note that this is only in the present. Cartoon Network and ESPECIALLY Nickelodeon had frequent marathons, almost every night and every Saturday of shows or shows with a vague similar theme before their Network Decay.
    • The channel used to have 48 hours of nothing but Bugs Bunny cartoons in June - "June Bugs". They brought June Bugs back in 2013, adding episodes of The Looney Tunes Show into the mix.
    • Let's not forget Z Day, a 2-hour marathon of Dragon Ball Z.
      • "DBZ20XL" - Nothing but Dragon Ball Z on Toonami for an entire week.
    • Also the annual Cartoon Cartoon Weekend, a full weekend of original series (with a few new surprises).
    • CN is also fond of Pokémon marathons, the most notable consisting of select episodes of the entire series up to that point as a way to usher in the "Diamond & Pearl" season, with trivia bumpers in between (such as why Meowth learned to talk).
    • Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy got the Best Day Edder, hosted by series' creator Danny Antonucci, which aired every single episode in a row, forgoing [adult swim] much like SpongeBob's similarly-named Best Day Ever, all leading up to the Grand Finale, "A Fistful of Ed". However, CN missed one episode and the Made-for-TV Movie only aired in foreign countries at that point, and had smaller marathons aired to lead up to their premieres.
    • In the mid-90s, Cartoon Network Europe did (at least) a full weekend The Flintstones marathon and upped it to eleven by doing a FULL WEEK MARATHON of Scooby-Doo.
    • Cartoon Network Latin America is fondly of this too, especially before their Network Decay in late 2000s. If you want to talk about New Year's Eve, for example, for three years in a row (during earlier 2000s they went a little step further: 24 hours of Pokémon and one of those years it was 48 hours! Special mention goes to the 2004 New Year's Eve when they not only premiered Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends but also changed their Powerhouse era look into their then-new City look.
    • The BENELUX version of CN had (and maybe still has) a special block on Sundays (that airs every Sunday, not only once a month) called 60. It is a block during which content of one single show would be shown for 5 hours straight (from 8 am to 1 pm), with no pauses in between. As you could guess it became the go to place to see anything that was ever adored by the network. A few shows on that block were Codename: Kids Next Door (which was the most common show to be featured on that block) and George of the Jungle.
    • Similar to the SpongeBob example below, Teen Titans Go! often plays in blocks on the channel that seem like marathons. Heck, they'll even have surprise five-hour blocks on most weekends of the show! They also had some normal marathons of the show as well, with the longest counting down to the 100th episode "And The Award For Sound Design Goes To Rob".
  • [adult swim] usually does marathons around holidays, especially in December.
  • Boomerang ran a 24-hour marathon of The Flintstones in September 2010 in honor of the show's 50th anniversary, with the channel being called "Boomerock" for the occasion.
  • Over the Christmas 2007 holiday Britain's Anime Central broadcast marathons of Cowboy Bebop (26 episodes), Fullmetal Alchemist (51 episodes) and Bleach (the first 52 episodes). Unfortunately this meant that several other shows were cut short before Christmas and not resumed afterward.
  • Prior to the release of Casino Royale (2006), the films of the James Bond franchise were marathoned. In fact, whichever cable channel currently has the rerun rights to the films does this on a fairly regular basis. They were marathoned on TBS and TNT in The '90s to the point that in American Beauty, Lester complains about having to go to the basketball game to watch his daughter in the cheerleading squad because he's missing one of these.
    • There was even a channel on Sky in the United Kingdom called Sky 007 that aired nothing but marathons of James Bond films and documentaries.
  • TNT will often run the same film back-to-back with itself for people that happen upon it part way through.
  • TNT also used to run daily six-hour marathons of Law & Order.
  • Nickelodeon marathoned Avatar: The Last Airbender prior to the premiere of the third season.
    • As a result of scheduling, Spongebob Squarepants will often be played for what would qualify as marathons. Frequently, they show marathons of it for the debut of new episodes. One example was the Best Day Ever marathon, which aired 100 episodes straight (even forgoing Nick At Nite) as voted by the viewers, leading up to the "Best Day Ever" episode and the television premiere of The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie. Then there was an even bigger marathon celebrating the 10th anniversary in 2009 that aired new episodes throughout. They will also show marathons before new episodes, and sometimes for odd reasons-one of these, which happened in 2008 and ran for nine hours, was to promote the finale of All Grown Up!, while another, which lasted all day, was to hype up an Adventures in Babysitting airing.
      • By far, the biggest SpongeBob marathon ever was the "Clash Of The Bottom" marathon on the UK Nickelodeon channel which lasted 20 DAYS. The whole point of the marathon was for a contest where kids had to vote for their favorite character.
    • Nickelodeon had a short marathon block in 1999, with different episodes of Nick shows airing, but with a similar theme. It was known as 101% Whizbang! With Henry & June.
      • It was replaced with U Pick in very late 1999, with Henry and June hosting until the block's demise in 2000. You voted for the show you wanted online, and they'd show a little marathon of it or something. (U Pick returned in `02, but with live action hosts, and every day unlike the Henry and June one, which was Fridays.)
    • Nickelodeon BENELUX aired marathons of Spongebob Squarepants on weekdays, but they now also have given other shows a marathon, such as The Penguins of Madagascar and Fairly OddParents.
  • Nick At Nite and TV Land used to do these a lot, although lately they've fallen by the wayside due to the dreaded Network Decay.
    • Notable N@N marathons included: "The Dick Van Dyke Show Collection", "The Mary-thon" (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), "Better Living Through Bob" (The Bob Newhart Show), "Bob's Bob, Bob Newhart, Newhart Marathon" (featuring all three of Newhart's sitcoms up to that time), and a marathon of all the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes, with a running body count total and contest for the viewer who most closely guesses the final result.
    • Most shows that enter the Nick at Nite scheduled are welcomed with a week-long marathon.
    • When Mister Ed left the channel in 1993, it was given a weekend marathon, entitled "Au Revoir Mister Ed".
    • In 1995, Nick at Nite celebrate its 10-year anniversary with a marathon of shows from its 10-year history, inclduing most of the shows that had previously aired. Each show had a special introduction, including facts about the shows run on Nick at Nite, as well as listing how long the shows had aired on the channel.
  • MTV, before Network Decay fully took hold, used to marathon Beavis And Butthead occasionally, dubbing them "Moron-a-Thons".
  • When The Monkees began airing in reruns on pre-Network Decay MTV in February 1986 (The group's 20th anniversary), it was launched by a weekend marathon featuring every Monkees episode. The marathon proved to be so successful, that the Monkees regained an entirely new generation of fans. Monkeemania was offically reborn. This was followed by several concert tours, a new album ("Pool It!"), a horrible Spin-Off (The New Monkees) and a top 20 hit single ("That Was Then, This Is Now").
  • The Discovery Channel once had an "Explosion Sunday" event. It consisted, naturally, of a marathon of Mythbusters.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 was famous for its "Turkey Day" marathons during the Comedy Central era, run to commemorate the holiday as well as the anniversary of the show's premiere (which was in fact on Thanksgiving.) Made even cooler with the addition of specially-produced host segments and bumpers to tie the shows together.
  • The Sci Fi Channel (now Syfy) typically airs a Twilight Zone marathon around New Year's Day and other holidays.
    • In previous years, they've run weekend-long marathons of various Godzilla films, and at least one weekend of showing every Planet of the Apes film.
    • They also ran a 13-hour marathon of the 1966-67 series The Green Hornet on Jan 11, 2011 to mark the opening of the Green Hornet movie adaption opening later in the week.
    • The first few years of the channel, the time between Christmas and the New Year would be "Sci-Fi Movie Supernova." Possibly the longest televised marathon, it was a week of non-stop movie broadcasts.
    • A Merlin marathon always airs before the start of a new season and as a catch up opportunity the day of the season finale.
  • USA Network airs periodic weekend marathons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, combined with weekday airings that remind one of the event. Then there's its "Back-to-back-to-back NCIS" feature every day. It will also frequently run much longer marathons of the same show.
    • Oh admit it, USA will run marathons of anything... and we love when they do.
  • Each day, Turner Classic Movies organizes its prime time lineup around a particular actor, director, genre, or theme. It often organizes daytime programming around such blocks as well. More specific marathons:
    • The "Star of the Month": Over the course of a calendar month, a certain day of the week gets its prime-time-to-the-wee-hours lineup turned over to the films of a particularly prolific performer, resulting in 3-4 weeks worth of marathons in their honor. Some months add additional marathons on other themes elsewhere in the week — a Studio Ghibli retrospective (with dubbed versions of the films in prime time, followed by the subtitled versions overnight), a look at portrayals of African-Americans on film over the decades with filmmakers and scholars providing analysis, a similar series covering homosexuality on film, blocks of movie spoofs, etc.
    • On the birthdays of famous actors and directors, Turner Classic Movies plays a marathon of their films either during the day or at night — or both. On what would have been Judy Garlands 90th birthday, they dedicated a full 24 hours to showcasing her films plus a documentary about The Wizard of Oz (her most famous movie). August takes this further with "Summer Under the Stars" — 31 different stars each get a full day's worth of movies. Also, when a particularly notable actor passes away, an evening's prime time lineup will be rescheduled at some point (usually within a week) to run a marathon of their best work.
    • The channel's annual "31 Days of Oscar" feature each February is a month-long supermarathon in which every movie shown was at least nominated for an Oscar of some kind. It's 31 days long because the ceremony, and thus the marathon, used to take place in March; when it was moved back, they kept the number of days and let it bleed into the next month.
    • A few times each year Turner Classic Movies airs "Treasures from the Disney Vault", a marathon block of obscure Walt Disney-era movies, cartoon shorts and TV shows/specials.
  • Oh, does the Science Channel ever love to run How It's Made for hours on end. They even ran every episode ever aired at the start of February 2011, which took five days to get through.
  • A&E likes to marathon CSI: Miami - a lot. No, check that, they marathon everything. There's practically a Duck Dynasty marathon every other day. Before then, it was Storage Wars.
    • AMC does four episodes in a row per day on the show also.
    • The other shows aren't immune. Spike runs 4 CSI eps a day and TNT runs 3 or 4 CSI NY eps a day.
  • The TV Guide Channel loved to run Michael Jackson specials a lot after his death, which turned out to be a convenient excuse to throw the network's old management out and launch all-new programming from new owner Lionsgate in the fall.
  • For many years New York station WWOR-TV had a tradition of airing King Kong (1933), The Son Of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young back to back on Thanksgiving Day, followed by several Godzilla films on the day after Thanksgiving (the station's owners, RKO General owned the films from the days RKO was in the movie business, which eventually were passed on to Universal when they bought WWOR).
    • Fellow New York station WPIX used to have their own holiday tradition as well, running 12 to upwards of 25 hours of The Twilight Zone on Independence Day.
  • Several channels have shown New Years Eve marathons of The Three Stooges, most notably AMC, although the occasional local channel may do it too depending on your area.
  • A few days before Christmas 2011, The Hub ran two mini-marathons of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic in a row, one themed about Discord and consisting of The Return Of Harmony, Part 1 and The Return Of Harmony, Part 2, and another themed about Pinkie Pie, and consisting of Feeling Pinkie Keen and Party Of One, to celebrate those characters having won the Naughty Or Nice contest.
  • On Dec 31, 2011/Jan 1, 2012 Antenna TV ran "Night of 2012 Laughs", a 20 hour marathon of episodes of The Burns and Allen Show and The Jack Benny Program.
  • TBS airs Family Guy for three hours solid every Monday night.
  • In another pre-Network Decay example, Bravo used to have occasional "Cirque du Soleil Weekends" featuring the shows that had been filmed for TV/video.
  • In mid-2012, at least one PBS station (North Carolina's UNC-TV) ran the entire second season of Downton Abbey in one day.
  • Every groundhog day, one of the Spanish Canal+ film channels (usually Canal+ Comedia) runs a full-day marathon of (as you may have guessed) Groundhog Day.
  • German-Austrian-Swiss channel ''3Sat'' runs a 24-hour pop-music concert marathon every December 31st and every May 1st.
  • FX did an interesting "compare and contrast" marathon with the entirety of the O.J. Simpson season of their American Crime Story airing in marathon form the day ESPN's ten-hour O.J.: Made in America documentary premiered in mid-June 2016.
  • BBC Parliament occasionally devotes an entire day to rerunning an entire election coverage. The last one being the General election of 1974.
  • In its earlier days, Game Show Network loved this trope,especially for holidays.
  • ABC, Disney Channel, and Toon Disney would often run marathons of Recess; heck, the show had a day-long marathon the day Toon Disney started airing it!
    • Around 2003-2004, Disney Channel and Toon Disney usually used any holiday where kids would be off from school as an excuse to play Recess marathons.
    • Today, Marathon Running is practically the only programming scheduling Disney Channel (and Disney XD) knows. Seriously, look up any given random day (or every day) and it will be 2 hour or more blocks of the same show strung together until primetime hours (which may also have long blocks of the same show strung together especially if it's not a premiere or movie night).
  • To prepare for the release of the third Lord of the Rings film in 2003, Starz ran a 24-hour marathon of the first Lord of the Rings film and the making of featurettes for all three films, capping it off with the television premiere of the second film.
  • ION Television airs eight hours of reruns of Cold Case on Fridays.
  • LOGO plays about 10 episodes of The Golden Girls back-to-back on Friday nights. Hallmark Channel gives 2-hour block (4 consecutive episodes) both early in the morning and late at night with the same 4 episodes being repeated.
  • BBC America ran marathons of classic episodes of the Doctor Who revival, plus making-of documentaries, in the lead up to The Reveal of who would be playing the Twelfth Doctor. Not long afterward, in anticipation of the 50th anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor" more marathons were run, this time including serials from the classic series.
    • The final third of 2015 saw marathon after marathon by way of capitalizing on Series 9. First was a multi-day marathon leading up to the season premiere "The Magician's Apprentice", ending with a complete run through of Series 8 plus "Last Christmas". The next day saw a viewer's choice marathon of favorite episodes. October 31st saw a "Wholloween" marathon of extra-scary episodes; the holiday fell on a Saturday that year and happened to be the day "The Zygon Invasion" premiered. The Season Finale "Hell Bent" was preceded by a marathon of all the previous Series 9 episodes. Then another multi-day marathon led into the premiere of the Christmas Episode "The Husbands of River Song". Finally the madness ended with a "Who Year's Eve" marathon. This was all on top of the daily weekday morning reruns of the show, which were further augmented by additional early morning and late night repeats, a Sunday morning block of Tom Baker-era episodes, and a bonus-content laden retrospective of particularly acclaimed/important episodes that ran on Saturday nights in the weeks leading up to the Series 9 premiere. BBC America suspended reruns of the show in March 2016, which may have been due in part to simple overexposure, and in part because Series 10 was pushed back to Spring 2017, leaving a drought of new content for the channel to hype until the 2016 Christmas Episode arrives.
  • For a time, whenever a new season of Degrassi: The Next Generation was about to premiere, The N (now TeenNick) played every single episode.
  • Toonami's "A Month of Miyazki" in 2006, which had a new movie every week. TCM did something similar a few months earlier.
  • Before every season premiere, AMC would run marathons of Breaking Bad covering the series up to that point to get fans caught up. In the week prior to the series finale of Breaking Bad, AMC ran a marathon of the entire series in order, from the first episode right up to the finale itself, over the course of 5 days.
  • The Science Channel regularly gives marathons of Firefly, playing every episode in the correct order rather than their original airing order.
  • In August 2014, FXX aired a marathon of The Simpsons consisting of all 552 episodes of the series and the movie, within a span of 12 days! It was said to be the longest marathon of a single show in America.
  • Belgian network 2BE airs a marathon block called Fleebitten on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. The one that currently is shown on the marathon is Max Steel 2013.
  • In June 2015, Disney XD ran a 73-hour marathon of every Phineas and Ferb episode leading up to the show's Grand Finale.
  • The local My Network station in New York City loves showing five-hour blocks of the Are We There Yet? TV show.
  • Boy, did Fox Family love Angela Anaconda marathons. One ran on New Year's Day 2000 and another ran on President's Day. They also ran a seven-hour Digimon marathon the same week as the latter one.
    • They also ran an S Club 7 marathon on New Year's Eve in 1999.
  • On September 12, 2015, Disney Junior aired a marathon of all of the Sofia the First episodes and specials that starred the Disney Princesses up to that point, which wrapped up with airings of the Little Einsteins episode "Brothers And Sisters To The Rescue'' and the movie Brave to promote the four-part Secret Library episode, which starred Merida.
  • On local Japanese networks, if the broadcast of an anime program that runs in the entire country is delayed on that station for breaking news or sports, the previous and current episodes will be shown in a marathon when regular programming resumes. Show that were given this treatment have included Danball Senki, Lil Pri, Happiness Charge Pretty Cure! and Yo Kai Watch.
  • Me-TV loves to air marathons of Superman every weekend before a holiday.
  • Similar to the Sky Movies 007 example, Nick Jr. Too will sometimes become Nick Jr Peppa on holidays, running nothing but Peppa Pig for the entire month.
  • On December 5, 2015, Disney XD ran a marathon of every Koma-san episode of Yo-Kai Watch that aired up to that point.
  • In February 2016, Disney XD ran a 68-hour marathon of Gravity Falls leading up to the Grand Finale.
  • The channel Toku HD (formerly known as the FUNimation Channel) almost completely runs off this trope. For example, one day might have the complete series of Yosuga no Sora and Ladies Versus Butlers! broadcast in a row, with a few miscellaneous other anime episodes and live-action films in between these marathons.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MarathonRunning