Life After (Character) Death?

The death of popular characters on TV shows often leads to the fandom being outraged by their death and many fans claiming they’re going to quit watching the show now that the character has died. But many don’t actually leave. Does their behavior, in staying even after characters are killed, encourage the showrunners?

  • Interesting topic. You could very well go into different character deaths, provide examples of when it was necessary vs. when it isn't. – Nayr1230 8 years ago
  • A cool thing to do would be to analyze the ratings before and after big character deaths. Oftentimes the news of the death gets spread like wildfire on social media and brings more attention to the show, potentially leading to an increased audience and definitely encouraging showrunners – Dominique Kollie 8 years ago
  • I agree with Kollie...Analyzing the rating while the character is still on the show, and then once the character is killed off, would provide the best definitive evidence. "Die-hard" fans will likely stick with a series, as they have invested their time in it and desire to see how the series will wrap-up. I do know of people who began watching a series, let's say on Netflix, a few seasons behind, and once hearing a spoiler of a character's death, have stopped watching due to the disappointment or questioning, "Why even bother to watch anymore?" Now, a show like Game of Thrones would NOT be good to analyze since everyone dies. Yet, as they say on the show..."What is dead may never die," which sounds like an obvious point, but has been proven numerous times that the dead do tend to return. There have definitely been shows that are affected by huge deaths. One that comes to mind is "Grey's Anatomy." When one of the lead characters was killed off, viewership went down...even the "die hard fans." Another factor is whether or not viewers feel that the death is a pure act of sensationalism or a necessary means of driving the plot forward. This aspect is a very important component to this question. – danielle577 8 years ago
  • You could also take this in the direction of survival or other reality shows that actually rely on the process of eliminating characters to increase popularity. – Jutor 8 years ago

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