Do you remember the days when you could almost set your clock by the premiere and end dates of television shows? May sweeps brought the big finales and cliffhangers, and we all had to wait several months while they replayed the season before starting it up again.
These days the old network standard of 23 episodes is somewhat dated, especially for basic cable shows. The problem is the return on investment. Shows like Warehouse 13, True Blood, etc. are expensive to produce, so rather than order 23 episodes and try to space things out, they cram everything into 13 and then put on a different television show altogether.
Sometimes you can wait a year for a new season to start and in the meantime, two other shows have premiered and concluded. Networks are changing their seasons around as well. Things aren't starting at the same time as they used to as networks try to outdo each other in the ratings.
Maybe they think premiering a show a few weeks early will end up making it a bigger hit. It's nothing to see premieres spread over several weeks with odd breaks in the middle. The entertainment world has changed for networks as streaming and DVR have put whammies on how advertising revenues are calculated.
Who knows if this will become the norm or if the industry will shift and change over the coming years as this technology becomes more mainstream? In the meantime, we're stuck watching 13 episode seasons and praying for the year between seasons to fly by.