ABC changing the running time of several shows

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Eddy-C, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. Eddy-C

    Eddy-C Supporting Actor

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    http://www.thefutoncritic.com/cgi/go...gi?action=home

    'desperate housewives' to run 61 minutes

    'boston legal' to run 59 minutes

    'lost' to run 61 minutes

    'the bachelor' to run 61 minutes

    'wife swap' to run 58 minutes

    This is probably why my DVR missed the last minute of Lost a few weeks ago.
     
  2. Scott_J

    Scott_J Cinematographer

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    This is the latest network trend to combat TiVo and other DVR's. NBC has been doing this for a while now with some of their more popular shows, I believe.
     
  3. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    After everyone telling me how great they are, I finally broke down and added another 5 bucks to my cable bill and got the DVR.

    I noticed this little problem at first with "Lost". Now I am manually resetting the times but I have to do it every week.

    Good ol' networks. Always finding new ways to screw with us.

    Ric
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I'm the last guy in the world to remember what commercials played while these were on - but the best thing to do is to write a really, really nasty email, and send it off to their advertisers. The best thing to say is that you'll stop watching it altogether, of course.

    Glenn
     
  5. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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    Can't you just set the TiVO and whatever for 5 mins before the hour and five mins after - so for Lost, just set it at 7:55 every week and have it stop at 9:05? I don't even have cable, so I'm fairly technology ignorant about all y'all's new fangled devices.

    Funny if you can't - because I can still do that with my VHS VCR, and I can skip commercials with a touch of the button. [​IMG]
     
  6. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Well, the issue then becomes using the Replay to record Kevin Hill immediately afterward, for example. Obviously, that's not what ABC wants you to do, but by making it difficult to use the spiffy piece of equipment we've paid for, networks that do this certainly find their shows becoming a lower priority.
     
  7. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

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    You can do that, but that kills your ability to record another show up until 8 PM and after 9 PM on the single tuner models.

    NBC did start this last year. They had always been starting ER a few minutes early, but the TiVo guide still carried a start time of 9 PM. Early last year the TiVo guide started saying the start time was 8:59, which was true. So now the TiVo's had to make a choice on whether to record CSI (8-9) or ER (8:59-10). Most of us just chose to switch to a manual repeating recording of ER from 9 to 10 and still lose the first minute, but this doesn't allow the TiVo to skip over repeats or crappy specials that we don't want to record in the way that a season pass does.

    Frankly, I wish all network shows would start on the hour and finish on the hour. I understand that they can charge more for an extra minute of commercials if they make a more popular show run longer, but I don't really care about that. In all the years I had TiVo, I never once saw the pre-credits gag on Friends or Everybody Loves Raymond, the body is always dead and found on both CSI and Law and Order, and more recently the Simpsons credit gag has been getting aired prior to the top of the hour. It's not just a problem with TiVo users. Anyone tuning in to watch the show live has the same disagreement between their clocks and the networks.

    Sad to see that ABC is following the same annoying advertising model.

    Brad
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I am sort of puzzled as to why NBC & ABC think it is a good idea to make it harder to watch their shows.

    It seems like very short-term thinking to me.
     
  9. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    The purpose is not to kill TiVo. If TiVo finds out about the change soon enough, they will update their schedule data to be accurate and TiVo users won't miss the end of the show. Otherwise TiVo does make an effort to notify customers when a network makes a last minute change to their schedule. I don't know about other DVRs, they probably don't, but it's like I keep saying, other DVRs ain't TiVo.

    The purpose is to make it less convenient for you to switch channels at the end of a show on ABC to watch the start of another show on another network. If you're going to change channels then at least on your way out the network can cause you the discomfort of missing the start of the show on the other channel. A few years ago the networks rearranged their commercial breaks so that there is no longer a commercial break after the end credits, instead they go directly into the start of the next show. And sitcoms no longer have full opening credits with a song and all that, instead they dive right into the first act during the opening credits, and likewise the comedy continues through the ending credits. They want to keep you watching a show to the very end and then their hope is to hook you on the next show before you change the channel. The networks pay a lot of attention to the concept of retaining viewers from one show to the next throughout the evening. They seem to be entirely stuck upon the long-since-invalid principle that there exists some resistance to changing the channel. It no longer requires someone to get their ass off the couch and walk to the TV to turn the knob, these days there are seven remotes in the living room and at least three of them know how to control the TV or whatever device is tuning the channel.

    It was NBC that started screwing with the times, and their shows are big ratings successes, which in all the network executives' screwed-up cocaine-stoked peabrains equates to explicit audience approval of the practice, so of course the other networks are going to do the same thing.

    Nevertheless, screwing with the start times of TV shows is a slippery slope. It would be chaos if every network started and ended shows at random. Indeed it would be the kind of thing that you could only sort out with a TiVo, preferably one of the DirecTV models that have dual tuners. So if they had in mind a purpose to kill TiVo, in that respect it would backfire.
     
  10. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Wayne, two things I have to disagree on. First, since NBC started making 40 minute episodes of 'Friends', I kissed the whole thing goodbye and didn't watch it all the way up through their ending. I wanted to change the channel at 8:30, and couldn't (have my cake and eat it too). Besides, I didn't like 'Scrubs' all that much.

    Second, and this does affect Tivo, if you have another show scheduled to start at 9 PM on another channel, and Tivo knows that the show is going to run 2 minutes over an hour, you can't record both of them! Something has to give. Now, should I watch the last two minutes of the ABC show and possibly miss the opening plotline of the next show? Oh, and the 2nd show can be an ass too, and start their show at 2 minutes before there were supposed to. With something like CSI or L&O, you're pretty much screwed.

    Wasn't it TBS that used to start their shows 5 minutes late? It really ticked me off at first, but then I realized that if my regular show was a rerun, I could switch it to TBS and catch the beginning. The shows always ended on the hour or half-hour too, making it easy to switch back. Ok, maybe they were all reruns, but that did work out.

    But here we are talking about new shows. We have no idea what is going to happen, and they jerk in extra commercials and expect us to stick around and miss the beginning of a show on another channel? Sorry Charlie! No Way!

    Glenn
     
  11. Eddy-C

    Eddy-C Supporting Actor

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    TNT does that "start the 1st act right after the credits" crap too, but its even more annoying since they add in NEW commercial breaks breaking up the flow of the episodes(angel, charmed, and other shows TNT airs.)
     
  12. Judy Y

    Judy Y Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, I was wondering about this. My LST-3410a with the gemstar vcr plus, FREE program guide has actually been doing quite well with this. It has been recording shows that were 61 minutes long. I thought it was a glitch!
     
  13. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    Wayne has it exactly right (good explanation Wayne). This is all about viewer retention across time slots, not Tivo. The total number of viewers using a DVR is still relatively small. It just doesn't seem that way to HTF members because we are much more likely to own a DVR. Can't you set a manual recording? I have the same problem with CSI (9-10pm) and ER (959-1100pm). With Replay, I simply set it to record NBC from 10-11pm. Problem solved.
     
  14. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    But then you're missing the 1st minute of ER! I can hear people whinning, but that is not the point. Whatever was on the hour before you might miss something too. Ok, that is doubtful, but again, we are picking nits here and we all know it.

    Look, if this doesn't stop now they'll just let it float, and it will get worse. They won't have any reason not to add 5, 10, or even fifteen minutes to their shows, thus cutting the running time of the next one. (This might not be a bad idea for the news)!

    ...and ok, just to show you how insane this could get, let's say a show runs over 3 minutes. What is to stop a show that comes on after it on another channel, to just show a blank screen with the show name at the the top of the hour, and then run five minutes of commercials, (or at least enough of them so that the show won't start until the commercials are over on the other offending show?

    They could even run a ticker at the bottom explaining what they are doing!

    Glenn
     
  15. Tarkin The Ewok

    Tarkin The Ewok Supporting Actor

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    I see a simple solution to this problem. Each network should put on better programming in each time slot than its competitors, and all the shows should fit within the 30 or 60 minute standard interval. I know I'm living in a dream world, but seeing a better show is more important to me than seeing the last or first two minutes of a lesser show.
     
  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Most of these problems go away if you have 3 ReplayTVs. [​IMG]
     
  17. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    It's been years since there's been two shows on at the same time that I wanted to watch.
     
  18. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    It is very easy to pad the time with Tivo, and as long as you have two tuners (which they do), you don't have to worry about the little bit of overlap if you want to record a show on another channel. Now that I can Tivo in full HD, I never worry about watching live or transitions from one show to another.

    Chris
     
  19. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    The problem to me isn't just that the networks run a show from, say 8:00 to 8:40. That can be worked around, and one simply has to prioritize the viewing, or get a second recording device or something.

    No, the main problem is that they want to run the shows off of the schedule they've given. This is a just a big "fuck you" to the viewers.

    I think I'm simply gonna stick to Bittorrent when watching "Lost" instead. I get the HD rip, in 16x9, without commercials. Why should I even want to watch it in 4x3, with commercials, possibly missing the end if ABC decides to screw me over, like they decided to do last week? I'll just screw them over instead.

    /Mike
     
  20. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    The networks don't give a toss about TIVO users since they know you're all skipping the commercials anyway. If you're not watching their ads, they couldn't care less whether you're watching their shows or not. As Wayne said, it's about retaining viewers who are watching the live feed.

    Pissing off TIVO users is just icing on their cake.
     

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