Television Preview - Is this for real, or is it a marketing gimmick?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt Kasprzak, Jul 24, 2001.

  1. Matt Kasprzak

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    I received a letter and four tickets to "participate in a survey whose findings will directly influence what you see on television in the future". This came from:
    Television Preview
    Audience Selection Staff
    P.O. Box 710
    Hollywood, CA 90078
    Is this legit? Or is it a way to get unsuspecting people captive in a room so a pitch can be made? Their letter says they sell no products or services, but who knows.
    They are asking for people to watch screenings of 1/2 hour television segments (programs and commercials) and evaluate what they see. This is being held on July 28th at:
    Sheraton Arlington Park Hotel
    3400 W. Euclid Ave. (Euclid & Rolwing)
    Arlington Heights, IL 60005
    If this is legit and someone in my area is interested in attending, let me know. I'll mail you the four tickets.
    Matt
     
  2. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    It sounds legit. I've heard of TV pilots screened in that manner before.
    Jason
    ------------------
    My DVD Collection
     
  3. Micah Lloyd

    Micah Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    Matt,
    I went to something exactly like that once, a long time ago. There were a couple dozen of us in a room where they showed us a couple of episodes of two separate sitcoms (both of which sucked). Afterwards a rather lengthy questionnaire and a thank-you gift of the forgettable variety (I forget what it was).
    I never saw those sitcoms again...
     
  4. AndrewD

    AndrewD Stunt Coordinator

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    This is a common scenario to gauge reactions to the commercials, as opposed to the shows themselves.
    I'm ashamed to say I've been involved in putting together a few of these pseudo-screenings myself. They get unused pilot episodes, ones the networks have passed over, and show them to people under the guise of "Hey - come see tv shows no one else has seen!" Then they show you the programs, along with commercials, then ask you questions at the end about what you saw. It's a shady and despicable practice to trick common folks into thinking they're seeing a glimpse into the inner workings of Hollywood, when in fact they're simply being bombarded with still more advertising (and terrible sitcoms, too). The ad business is a shameful business, but quite lucrative.
    I'd still go for the prize / money. We used to pay participants $100 to attend.
     
  5. Rey L

    Rey L Stunt Coordinator

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    I went to one of these a few years ago. From my experience, what Andrew said is completely true. The one exception with our screening though, was that we didn't even get to see a new sitcom or even an unused pilot. Instead, we were treated to two episodes of "Cheers". This was, I might add, after "Cheers" had finished it's network run. I had already seen them both a few times before. All of the survey questions were about the commercials that aired during the show. We weren't even offered any "prize" for going. [​IMG]
    Complete and total waste of time.
     
  6. Paul Wu

    Paul Wu Stunt Coordinator

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    I've attended one up in the Great White North, except we didn't get paid to attend. Just the lure of a prize pack.
    First off the layout can be questionable. I was in a largish hotel dinning room, they had 4 TV's setup in the center, and it was on VHS. The sound was just horrible.
    One program was a drama pilot, looked to be half shot, and looked recent as the star was the lady paramedic from Third Watch. Yes there are commercials, and yes there are segments where you just watch commercials. I had fun trashing all the commercials. [​IMG]
    The second program was actually better, a sit com pilot that never worked out, but 'we're testing to see if the acress has staying power' I think it was Mary Tyler More, but I can't be certain. Basically it was a poor version of Spin City.
    More commercials inserted. In the end I didn't win anything. And I don't know if I'd ever go again. Seeing something new is cool for me, but to watch it on a TV without a sound system is just painful.
    ------------------
    Paul Wu
    "There are three kinds of people in this world; those that can count and those that can't."
    Good day, eh, for those that would like to see Strange Brew released on dvd, please click here, and add your name, eh.
     
  7. Matt Kasprzak

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    Thanks for the replies, guys - it is as I suspected. The letter mentions "approximately $250 in attendance prizes will be awarded", which sounds to me like 250 $1 trinkets await the attendees.
     
  8. Chris Lock

    Chris Lock Second Unit

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    I saw one of these in Vegas last year- it was a family drama starring Tony Danza, & wasn't that bad.
     
  9. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    I saw one of these as well, one with a pilot with one of the Duke's of Hazzard boys and the other totally forgettable.
    As stated above, I think the goal is really for you to watch the commercials rather than the shows.
    I don't think I won anything, but one of the prizes was ok, and the rest were just trash.
     

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