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Screentime Total Project: S4

So, S4 is done, totals are all totaled, and the entire season is rewatched.

I know that S4 is generally reviled, but I liked it.  Upon rewatching it, I liked it even more then I remember liking it.  The season was bright and cheery.  Clark smiled all the time.  The season seemed to have some pretty clear focal points.  

I do agree that the tatoo/witch/stones plot was bungled pretty badly.  A lot of it just doesn't make any sense at all.  And Jane Seymour got a chance to chew a lot of scenery, but Genevieve Teague never seems to ever take on any dimension.  She's always a pretty cardboard Cruella DeVille cut out.  

But I'd say for pure entertainment factor, S4 beats S6 and S7 pretty handily.  I can see where S5 might have the edge due to its strength in the early eps.  But unlike S5, S4 feels steady throughout.  Whereas S5 seems to suffer a big drop-off after Reckoning , and even worse one after Cyborg.  I never felt like S4 had that sort of freefall.

Also, for those who have felt that the episodes have gotten shorter, S4's shortest ep was Scare at 40m, 11s.  It had twelve eps at 42m+ (not counting Commencement which was an extended episode at 52m, 8s).  To compare:

S7 had zero episodes of 42+m and six episodes under 40m
S6 had one episode of 42+m, and that was Zod, and included the "previously on SV" stuff, and four episodes under 40m
S5 had six episodes at 42m+, and one episode under 40m

Bottom line, proof is conclusive that the episodes have gotten shorter each season from S4 to S7.

Lots of numbers and stats, so better off
Type your cut contents here.

Clark Kent :
S4 season high:  Blank, 31m, 3s
S4 Season Low:  Forever, 14m, 9s
# of eps in all seasons, 22
Comparing 22 eps (S7 omitted)
S4: 480m, 49s *
S5: 441m, 22s
S6: 377m, 12s
*Total screentime for Tom Welling: 490m, 15s
Comparing through 20 eps:

S4: 445m, 6s *
398m, 50s
S6  345m, 15s
S7: 333m, 39s **
*Total screentime  for Tom Welling: 454m, 32s
**Total sceentime  for Tom Welling: 366m, 52s

Lex Luthor:
S4 Season High:  Onyx, 32m, 34s *
S4 Season Low:  Spirit, 2m, 46s

*Top total for S4, for any character
# of eps in all seasons, 22
Comparing 22 eps (S7 omitted)
S4: 197m, 11s
S5: 205m, 28s
S6: 221m, 47s *
Total screentime  for Michael Rosenbaum: 215m, 34s
Comparing 20 eps : 
S4: 172m, 37s
S5: 176m, 9s
S6:  200m, 16s *
S7: 177m, 17s
Total screentime for Michael Rosenbaum: 194m, 3s

Lana Lang: 
S4 Season High:  Spell, 28m, 32s
S4 Season Low:  Krypto, 2m, 1s
# of eps in S4, 22
# of eps in S5, 20
# of eps in S6, 21
# of eps in S7: 16
Comparing 22 eps (omitting S7)
S4: 204m, 20s
S5: 208m, 8s
S6: 237m, 46s
Comparing 20 eps : 
S4: 182m, 43s
S5:  188m, 54s
S6:  223m, 11s
S7:  106m, 57s

Chloe Sullivan:
S4 Season High:  Blank, 19m, 44s
S4 Season Low:  Crusade,  27s

# of eps in S4, 21
# of eps in S5/S6/S7, 22
Comparing 22 eps (omitting S7)
S4: 171m, 2s
S5: 194m, 50s
S6: 220m, 19s
Comparing 20 eps : 
S4: 149m, 13s
180m, 38s
S6:  208m, 24s
S7:  176m, 52s

Lois Lane:
S4 Season High:  Lucy, 19m, 50s
S4 Season Low:  Forever, 4m, 19s

# of eps in S4/S5/S6, 13
# of eps in S7, 12
Comparing 22 eps (omitting S7)
S4: 167m, 51s
S5: 101m, 20s
S6: 120m, 18s
Comparing 20 eps : 
S4: 155m, 27s
 92m, 28s
S6:  100m, 35s
S7:  96m, 9s
Martha Kent:
S4 Season High:  Crusade, 13m, 30s
S4 Season Low:  Spell, 1m, 11s

# of eps in S4, 21
# of eps in S5, 19
# of eps in S6, 18
Comparing 22 eps -No Data post-S6
S4: 93m, 1s
S5: 124m, 56s
S6: 62m, 20s
Jonathan Kent:
S4 Season High:  Commencement, 10m, 27s
S4 Season Low:  Unsafe, 50s

# of eps in S4, 21
# of eps in S5, 12
Comparing 22 eps – No data from S6 on
S4: 89m, 11s
S5: 117m, 14s*
Total screentime for John Schneider: 123m, 29s
Lionel Luthor:
S4 Season High:  Transference, 23m, 50s
S4 Season High with only John Glover playing Lionel:  Forever, 8m, 49s
S4 Season Low:  Krypto, 1m, 41s

# of eps in S4, 13
# of eps in S5, 15
# of eps in S6/S7, 12

Comparing 22 eps (omitting S7)
S4: 81m, 30s*
S5: 98m, 39s
S6: 71m, 22s
*total screentime for John Glover: 72m, 4s
Comparing 20 eps : 
S4: 68m, 17s
 80m, 19s
S6:  57m, 19s
S7:  67m, 48s
Jason Teague:
S4 Season High:  Devoted, 14m, 30s
S4 Season Low:  Blank, 2m, 1s

# of eps in S4: 20
S4: 118m, 25s

As always, if there's a particular stat you are interested in, or totals for a particular episode, feel free to ask.

Needless to say, complaints that Clark's screentime has gone down significantly is provable wih the numbers.  He lost over 100m from S4 to S6/S7.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
I actually liked S4. And now I appreciate it even more. Wow ... those numbers are crazy. He lost 100 minutes?

The season was bright and cheery. Clark smiled all the time.

YES! YES A MILLION TIMES! I miss Clark's smile. He used to be so happy. This will definitely be a different Superman. This Clark has been through so much more. :(

Plus, the Clark-Lois banter was lots of fun. ;) The witch storyline was a little out there but besides that, it wasn't so bad.
Jun. 17th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, he lost 100 minutes. Can there be any doubt at all that the show has lost focus on Clark? Numbers don't lie.

And I have no idea at all why they decided to take the show so dark and depressing. Its a question I'd love to ask one of TPTB. It really makes no sense to me at all.

S4 really does have the best Clois stuff. They really had it right for the most part, then they backed away from it with a vengeance. I don't know why.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 17th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
I love having the actual figures to prove the diminished focus on Clark. Numbers do not lie.

Who ever thought that a show about a young Superman would need to be so dark, hopeless and depressing? I don't get it.

Edited at 2008-07-08 08:14 pm (UTC)
Jun. 17th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
You're serious? He lost 100 mins? Why? So we could concentrate on the emergance of the Lexana? *gags*
Jun. 17th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
I'm as serious as the grave about this. And yes, certainly part of the shift was to Lexana, but I also think certain guest stars had something to do with it. But overall, I'd say it was some sort of decision made by TPTB,
Jun. 17th, 2008 08:40 am (UTC)
As always, your statistics are fascinating. I especially like the comparisons across all seasons!

It's interesting to me that Lex, Lana, and Chloe all saw increased screentimes in S5/S6 while Clark's went down. I wonder if this was a deliberate effort to relieve Tom a bit of his crushing work schedule, or an indication that the writers had lost interest in Clark, or something else? And then in S7 all of their screentimes went down, I guess because of Kara, and maybe more time for Lois and Jimmy?

Do you suppose the episodes will get even shorter in S8? There's barely enough time to tell a decent story anymore already. *sighs*

Thank you so much for doing this! I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!
Jun. 17th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
I was trying to find the best to compare the numbers. I hope that I managed to do it in a comprehensive way.

Why the screentime went down so drastically for Clark is a mystery. I guess all we can do is speculate. But even with less screentime, he shouldn't have lost the focus of the show.

Lois actually had her highest numbers in S4, by far. I don't think she can be accused of eating up screentime in S5-S7.

As for shorter eps, I can only assume thats due to them wanting to put in more commercials. Probably because SV is one of the few shows on the CW that gets a decent viewership.
Jun. 17th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
Lois actually had her highest numbers in S4, by far. I don't think she can be accused of eating up screentime in S5-S7.

I always manage to miss something that's right in front of my face. *facepalm* And I call myself a numbers person, too. I did notice that S4 was Lois's highest, but I missed the next part, that showed her time went down even further in S7. Sorry!
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 17th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I'd love to see the percentages as well, but thats where my math fails me a bit. Maybe if I can find a partner to help me with that. But I'll see what I can cook up, and see if I can't produce some screentime percentages on average.

Sorry about the text issues :/
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 17th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)
I also think the show has been hurt by making the eps shorter. SV is terrible at time management, and even though losing 1m shoudn't be a big deal, it actually is.

And between you & me, I actually agree with you on the explanation of the diminishing screentime for Clark.
Jun. 17th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
100 minutes less is huge; but it means 5 minutes less average per episode. Given what is left on the editing floor, I don't believe that Tom got a significant additional amount of rest and that tptb wanted to give TW more time off. I just think he spent more time in his trailer or visiting the Supernatural set! I think they just stalled the character and it was badly done. More talented writers could have stalled him and still show Clark in a positive light.
Lana's time has dropped dramatically in S7 but each and every minute felt like a pain to me, compared to S4, where the witch story line was silly but inoffensive.
Jun. 17th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
I agree that stalling the character was a big motivator here. But I don't think you can ever stick your main character in the backseat, and expect the show to be as good. I often make the comparison with Buffy. Can you imagine that show sticking Buffy in the backseat for any significant amount of eps in a season? Because, IMO, they never did. Ditto with Angel. Because the showrunner of those shows was smart enough to know that you can't lose the focal point of your show. And in regards to SV, that doesn't just mean Clark, but extends to Lex, and Clex as well.

I thought the writers did a terrible job with S7 Lana. Her characterization was such a mess.
Jun. 17th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
I thought WitchLana sucked big time (except for "Spell"--I actually liked that for the humor, mainly, not to mention the Clexy piano scene, and I rewatch that ep every now and then), and I'll never forgive the ending of "Spirit", the foreshadowing of Lexana, and the return of the Clana, but other than that, yeah! What you said, and some of my favorite eps are from S4.

Most important, even though the de-Clexification had begun, I could still feel the Clex in S4--especially around "Scare". It hadn't been stomped quite so dead.
Jun. 17th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
Clex is very up and down in S4, but you can still feel the very strong connection. Its like both boys are still seething with each other, but also genuinelly want to keep that bond between them. I actually find S4 Clex to be very fascinating, while clearly strained and dysfunctional.

And I'm actually one of those people that likes the end of Spirit. I like that Clark got to have that moment that he'd dreamed about for so long. It made him really happy, and that was good enough for me.

I think if you compare S4 to S1-S3, its lacking. But if you compare S4 to S5-S7, it comes out ahead.
Jun. 19th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
Needless to say, complaints that Clark's screentime has gone down significantly is provable wih the numbers. He lost over 100m from S4 to S6/S7.

That is depressing. What was his screentime totals in S1-S3? I wonder how they'd compare to season 4.

And I knew Lois had less screentime after season 4, but that's an average of around 50 minutes less.
Jun. 19th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
I don't actually know his screentime totals for S1-S3. I'm working my way backwards. S3 is the next season up for me. I expect to see him posting similar numbers for S3 that he did in S4. At least it didn't feel to me like there was more, or less, of Clark from S3 to S4.

One thing I noticed about Lois in S4 is that she generally had a big part to play in the episodes that she was in. They've gotten away from that with her.
Jun. 21st, 2008 10:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, I like S4, too. It had some really great lighthearted moments, particularly between Clark and Lois. They had wonderful chemistry together in that season, and it was nice to see Tom get the chance to play humour, because most of the time he's pining or brooding. There were problems with storylines, as you mentioned, but there were some really good episodes in there, too. (And it was infinitely better than S6 and S7).
Jun. 21st, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC)
I think what really puts S4 over the top for me is that its so bright and sparkly. There is so much stuff happening outside, and characters are moving around a lot. Lately, it feels like we are always in the same place with this show, and its so dark. Not just in mood, but shot that way too.

And for me, Lois has never been used as well as she was in S4.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )



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