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Quarter Hour Short

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A type of Format, popular for animated shows (though there are examples for Live-Action TV).

The Quarter Hour Short was popular in the early days of television. It has occasionally fallen out of favor and been revived. There are both advantages and challenges with the format.

  • The shows may be quicker/cheaper to produce, since a Quarter Hour Short is generally producing only 11 minutes of showtime (to allow for commercials). Might not need as many viewers to be renewed as a more expensive Half-Hour Comedy.
  • Viewers will often appreciate a Quarter Hour Short for its lack of Filler. The writers only have 11 minutes, so they need to get right to the good stuff.
  • Maybe it's a Gag Series so over the top that it's funny, but not palatable for more than 11 -15 minutes at a time.
  • The Quarter Hour Short allows networks unique flexibility in their schedule (provided they have an even number of these shows at their disposal).
  • It allows for a more time-consuming type of animation to hit the airwaves faster (Claymation and CGI).
  • Conversely, it allows for a less time-consuming and cheaper type of animation to be more acceptable to the audience, probably for the same reason why a Gag Series is considered more palatable in such a short run-time.

The Quarter Hour Short is at least as Old as Television, but is currently experiencing a revival in Western Animation, where shows of this length are shown on animated-specific networks, the biggest one being [adult swim]. About one-third to half of Adult Swim's schedule on any given night will be Quarter Hour Shorts. But this format has been around in both Anime and Western Animation since the beginning.

Compare the Three Shorts format, where multiple shorts are packaged into a 30-minute block for television, whereas a Quarter Hour Short is supporting one plot, concept or progression of sketches for the entire 15 minutes and isn't intended to air with a companion short like it would in that or a Two Shorts format.


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    Asian Animation 
  • The standard Boonie Bears episode is somewhere around 10 to 13 minutes long.
  • Including the theme song and end credits, Bread Barbershop episodes are about 10-11 minutes long.
  • Crazy Candies episodes started out as being somewhere around 10 minutes long, before being shortened to 7-8 minutes starting in Season 3.
  • Flower Fairy has episodes that are 13 to 14 minutes long.
  • The standard episode length for GG Bond is 12-15 minutes or somewhere thereabouts. Originally, in Seasons 1 and 2, episodes were 20 minutes long.
  • Every episode of Happy Heroes is about 10 to 12 minutes long.
  • Episodes of King Shakir are about 10-13 minutes long.
  • The Mole's World animated series has 12-minute-long episodes.
  • Episodes of Planet of 7 Colors are usually around 14 minutes long.
  • A vast majority of episodes of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf are around 11 to 15 minutes long, with a few exceptions:
    • The season Around the World in 20 Days has episodes that are five minutes long.
    • Paddi the Amazing Chef extends the length of the episodes to 25 minutes.
    • Episodes of the Pleasant Goat Fun Class series are eight minutes long.
  • All episodes of Simple Samosa are about 11 minutes long. None of them are paired with each other as in the Two Shorts format; Disney Channel India's official YouTube uploads of a few of the episodes do pair "Sumo Momo" with "Chutney Dam" and "Makkhi Makkhi!" with "Jalebi's Birthday", however.
  • All episodes of Yamucha's-Kung Fu Academy are about 10 to 11 minutes long.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Look Around You in the first season.
  • Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. Thank goodness.
  • Childrens Hospital
  • Dream Corp LLC
  • Season 1 of Punky Brewster did this with shows 2, 3 and 4.
  • The Television Ghost
  • Overseas of airings of the 10th, 11th and 14th seasons of Barney & Friends use this format.
  • Emilys Wonder Lab runs 15 minutes per episode.
  • The 1981 Canadian Edutainment Show Music Box, which taught principles of music.
  • Many children's shows broadcast on NHK utilize this format:
    • Chatty Jay's Sundry Shop is a 10-minute show.
    • Design Ah is 10 minutes long per episode.
    • Eigo de Asobou and its' spinoff Nihongo de Asobou both run for 15 minutes.
    • With the brief exception of a period from 1997 to 1999 where the show was 10 minutes and the Wan Wan Wonderland specials that run for 30 minutes, Inai Inai Baa! has always run for 15 minutes.
    • Kitchen Sentai Cookrun runs for 10 minutes per episode.
    • Miitsuketa! runs for 15 minutes per episode. However, there is a Sunday edition of the program that runs for 30 minutes.
    • Pythagora Switch runs for 10 minutes.
  • Gather Round, a 1978 educational show for PBS hosted by Paul Lally featuring a story told by Lally while artist Rae Owings would illustrate scenes from said story in charcoal pencil.
  • Another PBS show Cover to Cover and its many incarnations (The Book Bird, Readit, etc) ran this length. Similar to Gather Round, this program featured illustrator John Robbins featuring a book which he'd illustrate scenes from as a narrator read an excerpt to viewers.

    Puppet Shows 

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation