Fox's "Remote Free TV" - cutting back ads for two new series
I hope this experiment proves successful and spreads to other channels that have 3 minute ad breaks every 8 minutes or so.
At its upfront presentation Thursday, the network announced it will air two new drama series, J.J. Abrams' Fringe
and Joss Whedon's Dollhouse
, with dramatically reduced commercial breaks.
"It's a simple concept and potentially revolutionary," Fox Entertainment chairman Peter Liguori said. "We're going to have less commercials, less promotional time, and less reason for viewers to use the remote. We're going to redefine the viewing experience."
Both shows would have network commercial loads of about five minutes per hour, about half the usual. The commercial pods would also be shorter and they would have about half the promo load as well.
I'd rather see them cut back the number of breaks while keeping the length of said breaks the same, but I can see why they wouldn't want to structure the episodes with fewer breaks for the purpose of reruns that don't use this limited-break structure.
Sounds like a great idea in certain respects, and a bad idea in others. If the shows' ratings aren't as good as expected, FOX might be even faster to pull the trigger on them.
Additionally, just as I mentioned in the first paragraph, I can think of a number of things I'd rather see than shorter commercial breaks:
- Full-screen credits with no promotional voice-over
- No network logo
- No affiliate station logo
- No advertising bugs during the episode
- No rating boxes (this one's moot, as it will never go away)
Naturally, with the advance of DVDs and, more recently, streaming episodes on the network's website, there is little incentive for FOX to unclutter their screen while the episode is airing, so the only thing they have to fall back on is the commercial time itself. I'm glad they're at least trying something, though. I was looking forward to these shows already, and now this is one more reason to check them out on-air. (At least, it would be were I a Nielsen family.)
What I really can't stand is the recent trend of some networks putting a plug for another show permanently next to their logo, so it's there during every single minute. If I decided not to watch it the first time, I probably won't change my mind the 1,500 other times you mention it.
Originally Posted by Temple Fugate
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The network logos won't be going away anytime soon, as execs find them to be quite necessary. It's annoying for them when viewers are enjoying a TV show and then identify it by the wrong network. I don't have a problem with the network logos as long as they're clear and are not so big that they are a distraction.
Originally Posted by Temple Fugate
I agree with this one whole-heartedly. It's so annoying when you're trying to watch something and then some annoying blurb for a new episode or the premiere of another show takes up about a third of the screen. It's even worse when sound effects are added to it. If I didn't care about it before, seeing a bug for it during a show that I like isn't going to increase my enthusiasm for it any.
Would this mean that the shows could (possibly) end up being longer? Even by a minute or two...
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Personally, I would like the broadcast/cable networks to have their logo bug appear for 10 seconds, just to let people know that particular show is on that channel, or to just let people know that they're watching that particular network, if confused. Just like in the early 1990s.
Originally Posted by Blackstar
Nothing to say.
Me too. 10 seconds after each break is enough.
Originally Posted by John Dorian
Also, squished credits have got to go. They're basically flipping the bird to the relative unknowns that worked behind the scenes. It's always about the guys in front of the camera. To the big soulless corporations, the people who are behind the scenes don't matter. I'm fine with promotional V/Os, even though they drown out a portion of the end theme, I usually don't care much for the end theme.
I like the idea, but bugs are soon to be obsolete in the age of the EPG and in the EU, there's a limit of 12 minutes of advertising per half hour. Normally in one break for a 30 min, programme or two for an hour long, with breaks between programmes as well. There's also far stricter limits n in-show advertising. In Big Brother UK, all the groceries have white labels over the items.
To be honest, I don't even pay attention to ads any more. I don't need people telling me I need something when I really don't.