'Under the Dome': Which Shows Would Have Been Better as a Miniseries?

Some things we always want more of — M&Ms, days in the weekend, photos of Channing Tatum holding tiny dogs — but TV episodes? Not always. While we're always saddened when our favorite television series gets axed — still not over ABC canceling Happy Endings — it's almost more depressing when a great concept fizzles out due to an overextended TV run. With the premiere of CBS's new hit miniseries Under the Dome, it seems that networks are taking tabs from cable, which specializes in shorter season runs. Here are some shows that we loved — but couldn't quite hold our interest over the long haul — that would have been better shorter.

Is Bigger Always Better? We Say No.

Some things we always want more of — M&Ms, days in the weekend, photos of Channing Tatum holding tiny dogs — but TV episodes? Not always. While we're always saddened when our favorite television series gets axed — still not over ABC canceling Happy Endings — it's almost more depressing when a great concept fizzles out due to an overextended TV run. With the premiere of CBS's new hit miniseries Under the Dome, it seems that networks are taking tabs from cable, which specializes in shorter season runs. Here are some shows that we loved — but couldn't quite hold our interest over the long haul — that would have been better shorter.

'Bates Motel' (2013-Present)

This modern day prequel to Hitchcock's Psycho had a brilliant pilot and a cool concept. We know that Norman (Freddie Highmore) will eventually murder his overbearing mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) and that the story will move right into Psycho... but, at the moment, Norman's just a normal(ish) kid trying to survive high school. Unfortunately for Bates Motel, knowing what will happen — and not until after the series is over — doesn't make for a super exciting week-to-week TV series. But a miniseries that ended with Norman finally fulfilling his psychotic expectations? We'd be hooked. [Image: A&E]

'Prison Break' (2005-2009)

Another show that had a short-lived concept. In the show, Michael (Wentworth Miller) — a brilliant engineer — attempts to rescue his brother Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) from prison when he is wrongfully incarcerated... by entering the prison and breaking him out. Unfortunately, once the brothers — and their other fugitive friends — escape the prison, the story gets a tad dull. Running from the law for three seasons? Not as much fun as one would think. A better idea would have been to shorten the lifespan of the series and have it end with the great escape. [Image: Fox]

'Deception' (2013)

This show — which was basically NBC's attempt to cash in on all of the buzz surrounding ABC's Revenge — was a murder-mystery set in the world of high society. The show's pilot got fairly good reviews, but when the ratings plummeted, the show got canceled after a mere 10 episodes. That meant that we were left with a series finale that revealed the murderer... but not the motive. Turning the show into a miniseries event could have given this soapy wannabe higher stakes turned it into the Harper's Island of the year. [Image: NBC]

'The River' (2012)

From the people who brought you Paranormal Activity, this found-footage TV show was sort of doomed from the start — after all, how much footage could a character on a horror series really shoot? While the characters were looking for secrets in the Amazon, we were wondering just how long the show could keep this concept up. Eight episodes was the answer, but we would have taken a slick six-episode miniseries that ended with the crew dropping their cameras into the Amazon, never to be used again. [Image: ABC]

'My Generation' (2010)

This mockumentary featured six classmates who were filmed during their high school careers and then again 10 years later. What changed? Who changed? What happened during those ten years to get the classmates where they are today? It was a great premise for a show and featured plenty of likable characters, but it couldn't sustain itself for very long — like The River, the question would always be "Why are the cameras still filming?" The show lasted for one season, but we would have preferred a miniseries event that could have tied up all of the loose-ends that the finale left us with... namely, who ended up together. [Image: ABC]

'Smash' (2012-2013)

Oh, Smash. Your first five episodes were pretty spectacular. But the whole "Karen vs. Ivy" rivalry was unbelievably played out (as was the song "Let Me Be Your Star") by halfway through the first season that it was hard to keep watching. It wasn't a surprise that the second season of Smash was a total re-vamp — instead of focusing on who would play Marilyn Monroe, the series went on to explore a broader world of Broadway. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to save it. Sorry, we'd have loved a miniseries on the fierce competition between two Broadway divas, with the conclusion being the opening of the Broadway show they both strived to be in. [Image: NBC]