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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 three completely unrelated theatrical 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.

Examples of Quarter Hour Short include:


Live Action TV

Western Animation

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