Quote: Steve Sunshine @ 5th January 2017, 11:33 AM
What episode are they on?
I can only see 9 available of a season of 18 scheduled
Are they on a mid season break?
Do they do that in the states sometimes, split the series in two?
Yeah, it looks like they're taking a break. They did the same thing last year and returned in March.
It's becoming increasingly common for shows to take a mid-season break; The Walking Dead franchise is an example. There are a few reasons:
1) American networks like to begin their seasons in September and end in May. There aren't enough episodes to show a new one every week, so they'll take a break and fill the space with reruns or a new midseason show.
2) It gives shows with major stars a chance to film a movie, have a baby, etc.
3) It gives popular shows an opportunity for a cliffhanger in the middle and two "premier" episodes.
4) The people at Neilsen who poll a subset of American viewers to obtain ratings information make 4 monthlong "sweeps" each year. Scheduling decisions and, most importantly, advertising rates, are determined by viewership numbers during these sweeps, so it behooves the networks to have new, exciting episodes of their biggest and best shows during that period of time. Sweeps for this season are: October 27 - November 23, 2016, January 26 - February 22, 2017, April 27 - May 24, 2017, and June 29 - July 26, 2017.