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Interesting article on the state of TV shows' running times, commercials, DVD, etc.

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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   MattHR



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Posted October 12 2005 - 06:47 AM

USA Today (10/12/05) has an article on the current state of TV shows' commercial programming. They note the continuing increase in the amount of commercials over the years. The networks and advertisers have pressured most studios to conform to a format that forces hour-long shows into six "acts", for a more "advertiser friendly" format, or simply put, more commercial-break points. A producer is quoted as "longing for the day everything comes out in DVD sets to enjoy" (to avoid all the intrusions).

A very interesting, albeit disturbing, read. The full article is at:

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted October 12 2005 - 09:22 AM

They must REALLY want more people to quit watching altogether. I gave up when the logo nonsense spread to all the networks 7 years ago. I recently got some "Bionic Woman" episodes taped off the air in 1976-77, and they were practically commercial-free compared to shows aired later. There were only 4 commercial breaks, most only ONE minute long- you could watch the commercial and actually remember where the show left off when it came back! And NOTHING came onscreen during the show either, the worst offense was voice-overs during the end credits (one saying to tune in tomorrow for President Carter's inauguration!) Is it just a coincidence that more shows are available for purchase now, as they get increasingly more difficult to watch on TV?
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#3 of 17 OFFLINE   peggy


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Posted October 12 2005 - 09:51 AM

Thanks for the article. I have been saying that for a while now since I watch a lot of things taped in the 70's. It makes you really mad when you see the difference in how few commericals there are compared to these days. I think LOST has to be the worst.

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Adam_A



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Posted October 13 2005 - 04:56 AM

What really got to me was two weeks ago, (I didn't notice it this week but perhaps I wasn't looking) when NBC ran the teaser for The Office at the same time as the end credits of My Name Is Earl. I can understand running the shows back to back so viewers don't change the channel, but starting one show before the previous show has ended really made me think that these people are more nuts than I previously thought. And is it me or has NBC's promos at the bottom of the screen gotten bigger this season? While I'm ranting...I wish NBC would get rid of the "Presented in Widescreen" banner at the bottom. I'm not blind; I can see what aspect ratio the show is in.

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   John*D


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Posted October 13 2005 - 06:44 AM

This is why having a DVR is so great, especially a TIVO based one. Just skip all the crap...

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted October 13 2005 - 07:08 AM

But how do you get rid of the crap that's onscreen DURING the show?
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#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Ethan Riley

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Posted October 13 2005 - 07:42 PM

You don't! I think the worst one I ever saw was when Andy Richter had his own (trash) sitcom and on the bottom of the screen, of other shows, Andy's little head would pop up and beg you to watch his stupid show. I think that's why his sitcom got cancelled, because everyone was already sick of seeing his fat little head bobbing around. Nowadays, they're doing the same thing with "My Name is Earl."


#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Lynda-Marie


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Posted October 14 2005 - 06:31 AM

There are also animated, with full sound, ad blips on the screen WHILE the show is playing! Posted Image

I realize these guys need money to keep the shows on the air, but please! Is it going to get to the point that there will be some sort of sensor built into our TV sets from this point forward, to detect when we leave our seats for the bathroom or the fridge that will project ads into those places too? Posted Image

The point about channel surfing is rather moot, too, because I recently experimented, and found that most of the other channels I like that I checked were also running commercial marathons.

Maybe another thing viewers are getting so miffed about is not only the glut of the same commercials over and over and over again, but also that some of these things are so incredibly stupid. It's bad enough we're being held hostage to advertising, but does it have to be so repetitive AND insulting to our intelligence?

If I HAVE to watch commercials, I like watching the very few that are clever, and presumes the consumer is intelligent enough to buy the product without resorting to tactics that patronize and insult the potential consumer's intelligence.

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#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Jeff Jacobson

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Posted October 14 2005 - 12:25 PM

Another annoying thing is the VOLUME of the commercials. They seem to be at least twice as loud as the actual programming.

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Ravi K

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Posted October 14 2005 - 06:35 PM

I usually change the channel when the commercials start. Normally I get back to the program about 30 seconds before or after the end of the commercial break.

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted October 15 2005 - 12:08 AM

Some countries (I know France is one) require that commercials be broadcast at the same volume as the programming. Sadly, the U.S. doesn't require this. Yet another reason why people are irritated by commercials and do what they can to skip them.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   JohnAP


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Posted October 15 2005 - 06:47 AM

that is an interesting article. I guess I agree that one of the reasons Lost seems to have so many commercials is because it is so gripping and maybe you're not as annoyed when even a good family sitcom cuts to commercial. Still, nobody likes that the ammount of commercial time is steadily increasing. And I'd much rather have fewer, but longer commercial breaks than six shorter ones. Then I can get up an get a snack or whatever and not miss anything. I suppose that's one of the reasons they changed the format though. The logo bs that started a couple years ago has got to go. Whichever network started that should apologize to us all. The worst is the ads for other shows that scroll across the bottom during the show. FX seems to be the biggest offender with that. Remember those Nip/Tuck ads that would pop out from the side of the screen and make a loud sound affect while you were trying to watch something else? Anyway, thank god for tv on dvd. And HBO original programming.

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   seanOhara


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Posted October 15 2005 - 07:28 AM

Of course the networks are nowhere near as annoying as syndication. I watched an episode of Deep Space Nine on Spike the other day, and it's been sped up so much that quick movements seem to stutter. If they chopped any more frames out, they'd have to speed the dialogue up to the point that Sisko would sound like a girl.
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#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Blu



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Posted October 15 2005 - 12:18 PM

I almost feel that commercials are a necessary evil. Someone has to pay the actor's, director's, writer's, salaries. Quality programming cost money to produce and no studio is going to kick in the bucks unless they make a profit. Now I do say that about quality shows only like Lost. Not 90% of the idiotic trash that they kick out today. I'm a free market guy and I say vote with your dollars. If a show is good I support the sponsers, if not well....

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted October 15 2005 - 03:09 PM

John, IIRC, CNN started that logo BS after NBC aired some of CNN's footage without giving them the proper credit for it. Glenn

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Katherine_K


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Posted October 15 2005 - 04:27 PM

I'm not sure I would blame CNN for the logo nonsense, since putting a logo on news footage is very different than putting one on entertainment.

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted October 15 2005 - 07:28 PM

FOX was the first US network to start using a logo, though it had been going on in Europe for a while before that.
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