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Nov 2nd 2016 at 12:53:18 AM

Back in August, I launched a new trope titled Zero-Episode Wonder, which was for TV shows that were ordered to series but then cancelled without even airing any of its episodes.

Unfortunately, as of now, it's not thriving that well. In fact, the trope doesn't have many wicks, which is why its listed on Pages Needing Wicks.

Other problems with this trope (and how I would fix up this page) include:

  • The trope name itself is pretty ambiguous. While it was still going through the Trope Launch Pad, Dravencour suggested that should be called "Stillborn Series" instead.
  • The description is very short and quite unclear. It just shows a list of reasons on why it was cancelled before airing an episode, and just three sentences, with the last comparing it with two other entries. I guess this should be at least three paragraphs long, barring any sentences mentioning other tropes and lists.
  • The examples look poorly written at most. They should be more detailed and be longer if they can.
  • There are not much examples as far as I can tell. If I were to add more, I would look up this article.

However, I do not, I repeat, do NOT recommend cutlisting this page, given that it's only several months old, and there's not much complaining/flame bait going on.

In order to qualify as an example on this page, a work must first shoot a pilot, pitch it to a network, then the network must order it to series, and finally cancel it before airing any episodes of that series. In addition, examples are to be limited to the following:

  • Anime and Manga—U.S. and foreign dubs are excluded.
  • Live-Action TV, which includes sitcoms, dramas and reality/game shows.
  • Western Animation—can be either cartoons aimed at kids or primetime adult cartoons, broadcast TV or cable.

If by chance this trope is renamed, I feel that the Laconic needs a complete rewrite as well.

edited 9th Jan '17 7:28:22 PM by AmourMitts

Dec 20th 2016 at 8:56:59 PM

Nobody commenting on this post? If you see this on the TRS, discuss on this right away!

Xtifr World's Toughest Milkman Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
Dec 20th 2016 at 9:11:19 PM

The name's rather misleading, and surely isn't helping, but I think the biggest problem is that this just isn't the kind of thing your average troper is going to have much interest in. I don't quite know what you expected to happen...

If you want a vote for a rename, I can contribute that, but my interest and motivation pretty much ends there.

Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
Karxrida Ice Cream Lover from Darkness within Darkness Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Ice Cream Lover
Dec 20th 2016 at 9:21:59 PM

Yeah, I think the issue is that the trope is inherently about obscure stuff, hence the lack of wicks. I don't think this is something we can really fix even if the page is cleaned up.

I agree that the name is also misleading, but that's a lesser issue.

edited 20th Dec '16 9:23:09 PM by Karxrida

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody remembers it, who else will you have ice cream with?
SeptimusHeap from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Dec 21st 2016 at 12:16:18 AM

I think this trope needs better Crosswicking. People won't notice it if the page is not linked from anywhere else.

Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Dec 21st 2016 at 7:11:38 AM

The very premise of this means that the only examples will be works that don't really exist; they were never made. So there probably won't be a works page to wick to.

It's difficult to wick to something that didn't happen.

I also think that it's Trivia, not a trope. It's not a technique or convention the author chooses to use, it's something external to the work that happened (or in this case, didn't happen)

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Dec 21st 2016 at 12:42:05 PM

The page already has the trivia banner.

The number of examples on the page seems healthy. That would normally suggest a lack of crosswicking, as Septimus suggests; the problem in this case is that the vast majority of "works" mentioned on this page aren't going to have work pages for obvious reasons, so there's nowhere to crosswick from.

(Side note on problems only TV tropers have: my tablet wants to correct "crosswicking" to "frolicking".)

Dec 23rd 2016 at 9:29:41 PM

~Xtifr: Yeah, I agree with you—this entry might need a rename.

~Septimus Heap: Of course, it needs some crosswicks.

~Madrugada: If many examples on this page don't have works pages of their own, then how are we going to fix this without cutting it?

Dec 29th 2016 at 6:17:05 PM

~Karxrida: I agree with you; this trope is about works that don't even have a place here on TV Tropes. But as for the trope's name, it really needs a change.

~tbarrie: Yes, I will admit that this is a Trivia entry. We also need to work on getting crosswicks on this page, as well.

pokedude10 Not Holier than Thou from Texas ya'll.
Not Holier than Thou
Dec 29th 2016 at 8:31:23 PM

Hi Amour Mitts, your main concern about wicks will be tough to fix. Like it was said earlier, it's difficult to talk about shows that don't exist. Wicks are internal links which point to this page. Since these shows and examples don't exist (ie: publicly released), they won't, and shouldn't, have a corresponding works page which points to this page.

I see its on four indices. That's good. Is it naturally linked to in descriptions in relevant tropes?

I agree, a rename might help. Being a snowclone of another trope isn't good. I would +1 for Stillborn Series or Stillborn Work.

Generally, my best advice is just to let it grow naturally. New tropes, especially trivia pages, grow slowly. Make sure it's set right, then just step back. You cannot force growth.

As for your other concerns, it seems alright. Not great, just alright. Like you said, the description could be clarified and the list shortened. But not all pages need a long description. The examples seem ok. I noticed the description was the same as it was in the ykttw draft. The laconic seems great though. Is it still accurate?

Also, if others do recommended cutting it (we might), it would probably be just to send it back to Ykttw to hammer out issues. That's what we do for young tropes.

edited 29th Dec '16 9:04:29 PM by pokedude10

Generosity is one of the greatest business secrets of all time.
Jan 2nd 2017 at 6:33:49 PM

We need more posts on this discussion; also, is there any way I can change my reason for this?

everlasting First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the And
First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the And
Jan 3rd 2017 at 8:32:46 PM

Based on the description, I thought of the so-called "Saban Moon", the American tokenized Sailor Moon that almost existed. I think it can thrive if fans of an existing franchise know about a spinoff or reboot or anything that was planned but just didn't make it in the end. But yeah, it's definitely trivia not a trope.

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Jan 5th 2017 at 7:33:46 AM

What exactly are the requirements to count? A failed pitch? A failed manuscript (which would've required editing/revision)? A Pilot Episode that was scrapped? Full production of the work and cancellation before the first episode aired?

edited 5th Jan '17 7:34:19 AM by crazysamaritan

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
Ghilz Fight It Out! from The Moon, Or Canada Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Fight It Out!
Jan 5th 2017 at 7:57:33 AM

Does having an unaired pilot make one a Zero-Episode Wonder or a One-Episode Wonder?

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Jan 5th 2017 at 8:04:44 AM

And that leads me to Stillborn Serial, which is also something to consider as part of this group.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
Ghilz Fight It Out! from The Moon, Or Canada Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Fight It Out!
Jan 5th 2017 at 8:36:24 AM

Does a Poorly Disguised Pilot that never becomes a new series count?

Jan 5th 2017 at 10:37:24 PM

~everlasting: No, Saban Moon doesn't qualify because no pilot was ever shot; it may also fall under Unproduced Scripts.

~crazysamaritan: To qualify as a Zero-Episode Wonder, a TV show must first be pitched to a TV network, shoot a pilot, and get picked up by the network. Then, said network has to cancel that series before airing any of the episodes it shot. Therefore, your fourth answer (full production of the work and cancellation before the first episode aired) must be correct.

~Ghilz: An unaired pilot would qualify as a Zero-Episode Wonder (as a One-Episode Wonder is a TV show that gets cancelled after only one episode of it was aired), but not a Poorly Disguised Pilot, which is a pilot episode of a new TV series that takes place in another show. Also, Vaporware does not count as that's the video game equivalent to Development Hell.

Xtifr World's Toughest Milkman Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
Jan 6th 2017 at 1:13:53 AM

So this is a specific, very narrow category instead of the Missing Supertrope we probably actually needed. Yeah, I'm not seeing a lot of hope of this developing into much of anything. I mean, it's fine (except for the name). I just wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to grow.

I mean, you could try using the Repair Shop to turn it into that missing supertrope. Redefining and broadening tropes is one of the things we do here. But that is also probably a lot more work. Not sure it's worth it. I mean, what you have is pretty reasonable as it stands. Aside from the lack of potential for much growth. Which really isn't that terrible a thing.

I still think it Needs A Better Name no matter what, though. This isn't the name I'd look for if I wanted to post about an unaired pilot.

Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
Jan 8th 2017 at 1:47:54 PM

I will agree with you, Xtifr; this trope should definitely be renamed.

Which one is better—Stillborn Series or Stillborn Work?

Jan 8th 2017 at 2:31:56 PM

[up]Neither, I think. It depends on how loosely we're going to define this.

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Jan 8th 2017 at 3:39:47 PM

Post Production Cancellation, then; customized to Post-Production Cancellation. We'd actually get the most tropes out of this stillborn work, except that it's the rarest to occur.

For books, it'd be a novel that was sent back from the bookstores. Movies that were canned at the theater. Theatre shows cancelled on opening night.

Underperforming is the word of the century for this trope; it's far too rare to expect works to be cancelled after the entire production has been completed. (I'm not saying Not A Trope, I'm saying misuse is present because many examples were cancelled well before this point)

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
Jan 8th 2017 at 5:31:41 PM

Nah I think it would be a better fit as something like Not Picked Up Pilot Episode.

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Jan 8th 2017 at 5:36:00 PM

Post #17 says that "not picked up pilot episode" does not count for Zero-Episode Wonder. I had asked that already.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
Xtifr World's Toughest Milkman Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
Jan 8th 2017 at 5:59:29 PM

Before we choose a new name, we should decide if this is as narrow as the originator intended, or whether it might not work better as a broader supertrope. Once we settle that, then we'll have a better idea what would make a good name.

Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
Jan 8th 2017 at 6:08:10 PM

What exactly does count for this because with everyone saying x doesn't count I am hard pressed to find anything that does.


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