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(TV By the Numbers)   Former chief of NBC Entertainment discovers that having to watch TV with the 20+ minutes of commercials the networks foist on us per hour really, really sucks   (tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com) divider line 99
    More: Obvious, NBC Entertainment, Jeff Gaspin, NBC, The Tudors, broadcast tv, Bill Gorman, advertisements, iPhone 4S  
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5680 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 24 Apr 2012 at 9:41 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-24 04:14:31 AM
People watch TV with commercials?
 
2012-04-24 05:22:31 AM

SnarfVader: People watch TV with commercials?

 
2012-04-24 06:38:05 AM

Sir Cumference the Flatulent: SnarfVader: People watch TV with commercials?


My wife does. I could just as soon do without.
 
2012-04-24 07:39:59 AM
three letters: D V R
 
2012-04-24 07:52:21 AM
one word: torrent
 
2012-04-24 07:58:16 AM
You know that's stealing, right, to watch TV without watching the commercials? And really, you're stealing from yourselves. Maybe CBS could make 2.5 Men without paying 6 zillion dollars to its stars; maybe they could make it for just whatever your cable company pays to CBS. But then what? You go to LA, and you take one of those bus tours of the stars' houses, so you can imagine the glamour and splendor of Hollywood and all you see are walkup apartments in Gardena. And you realize the stars' lives are just as pathetic as your own. Those are your own dreams you're stealing when you don't watch commercials.
 
2012-04-24 08:00:10 AM
I don't mind commercials, because it's a planned time I can let the dogs go outside.
 
2012-04-24 08:23:42 AM
Three words: Bisquick lamb anus.
 
2012-04-24 09:50:33 AM
Just wait until those DVRs don't let you skip over commercials.
 
2012-04-24 09:50:44 AM
when I lived in Germany many years ago they had the commercials all at once. at first it was weird, but I came to like it.
 
2012-04-24 09:50:49 AM

Cake Hunter: Three words: Bisquick lamb anus.


is that recipe on the back of the box? All I ever can find is coffee cake and pancake mix instructions
 
2012-04-24 09:52:31 AM
In the old days, sitcoms used to be 26 minutes, dramas were 52 minutes. No "bug" on the screen, stations were required by law to give station identification announcements every 15 minutes.
 
2012-04-24 09:55:39 AM
This might why I don't watch TV. (well, very little and I always skip commercials.
 
2012-04-24 09:59:01 AM

ihatedumbpeople: Just wait until those DVRs don't let you skip over commercials.


That will be the day I cancel cable and torrent everything.
 
2012-04-24 10:02:40 AM
DVR or GTFO

ihatedumbpeople: Just wait until those DVRs don't let you skip over commercials.


4.bp.blogspot.com
STOP SCARING ME!

charlottesiems.combrought to you by upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-04-24 10:03:36 AM

Strik3r: This might why I don't watch TV. (well, very little and I always skip commercials.


lots of on-demand does this now. I think taking this function away from a DVR would be a death-knell for the companies
 
2012-04-24 10:04:24 AM

hazeleyedwolff: ihatedumbpeople: Just wait until those DVRs don't let you skip over commercials.

That will be the day I cancel cable and torrent everything.


I'm sure it's coming...it's been brought up repeatedly over the years 'in the industry' and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the hardware and software the providers use flag the commercials and prevent it...gotta justify those high priced ads somehow, can't ask top dollar when people skip 'em anyway.
 
2012-04-24 10:06:26 AM
Wow, welcome to always. It would have been nice if he'd figure this out when he had the power to do something about it.
 
2012-04-24 10:11:51 AM
My OnDemand already has this- the latest episodes for Fox and NBC disable the fast forward function and have the regular length of commercial breaks. Very frustrating, and kind of lazy by the channels, as they basically just use their regular commercials, including the promotions for other shows coming later in the evening they were originally aired. So you get the commercial for whatever wackiness ensuing for Whitney or whatever "coming up next!" NBC usually removes that FF block after a newer show is added, sometimes even removing most of the commercials as well, but Fox does not.
 
2012-04-24 10:11:54 AM

Cake Hunter: Three words: Bisquick lamb anus.


Now with MORE anus!
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-04-24 10:12:56 AM
I don't understand why they haven't fully embraced internet ads. They are *more* valuable than TV ads, because you can't skip them! I mean, christ people. It's not that complicated.
 
2012-04-24 10:15:46 AM
Haven't seen a TV commercial in decades and anything on the net that starts with a commercial I can't skip gets nuked.
 
2012-04-24 10:16:49 AM

rumpelstiltskin: You know that's stealing, right, to watch TV without watching the commercials? And really, you're stealing from yourselves. ... Those are your own dreams you're stealing when you don't watch commercials.


I don't know what that was, but I enjoyed it anyway.
 
2012-04-24 10:22:55 AM
I don't mind supporting things by watching adds.

I don't like adds that require me to be a kardashian to find them amusing. I don't like most of the 'witty' or heavy handed adds. They just make me sneer and channel hop.

American media seems to be at war with consumers. Constantly finding new ways to shove adds down our throats in new and bizarre ways, without ever just trying to figure out how to work with people.

I used to use Hulu. Watch a few adds, cool. Now it's multiple 2-5 minute adds before a 20 minute show even loads, if it does. Screw that. I'm not going to spend more time on the adds than I do on the content I want. I'm just going to torrent that biatch and you're going to get nothing at all.
 
2012-04-24 10:30:46 AM

natazha: Haven't seen a TV commercial in decades and anything on the net that starts with a commercial I can't skip gets nuked.


Seriously. Why should I have to watch a minute long ad to see a 30 second clip?
 
2012-04-24 10:39:55 AM
It's not the commercials I hate so much, it's the fact that all 600 hundred cable channels have figured out how to air them at the exact same time. It's evil genius level type shiat, if you ask me.

/though I still hate commercials.
 
2012-04-24 10:41:51 AM
The last time I watched a full-length commercial break on TV I honestly forgot what I was watching.

/may have been a little drunk at the time
//did get to say "hey! Futurama's on!" twice
 
2012-04-24 10:43:59 AM
I recently caught an episode of M*A*S*H on TVLand, and noticed that they expanded the time slot to 40 minutes to accommodate all the ads.

So now an episode is about 50% ads, 50% show.
 
2012-04-24 10:50:40 AM

rumpelstiltskin: You know that's stealing, right, to watch TV without watching the commercials? And really, you're stealing from yourselves. Maybe CBS could make 2.5 Men without paying 6 zillion dollars to its stars; maybe they could make it for just whatever your cable company pays to CBS. But then what? You go to LA, and you take one of those bus tours of the stars' houses, so you can imagine the glamour and splendor of Hollywood and all you see are walkup apartments in Gardena. And you realize the stars' lives are just as pathetic as your own. Those are your own dreams you're stealing when you don't watch commercials.


I know this is satire, but advertising is what pays for everything. "Stardom" comes with a large price tag not just a large paycheck and without the promise of financial and not merely artistic success, it will be very difficult to keep good writers, actors, and other talent in the business. It will be impossible to keep productions going without an income stream.

So they've got to make their money somehow... and yes I skip commercials on my DVR and use AdBlock Plus.
 
2012-04-24 10:51:54 AM

Midnight Rambler: I recently caught an episode of M*A*S*H on TVLand, and noticed that they expanded the time slot to 40 minutes to accommodate all the ads.

So now an episode is about 50% ads, 50% show.


this must explain why Comedy Centrals 3pm - 5pm schedule is all off-kilter...
 
2012-04-24 10:52:37 AM
I hate commercials. Hate hate hate hate them! Part of it is because I have a kid and so I get a request for a new toy or movie or whatever just about every commercial break when he's watching TV which is thankfully not that often now that spring is here.

Another part is because I'm tired of commercials that assume the viewer is an idiot, or that their product is amazing and you just can't do without it buy it now! I know what kind of stuff I need in my daily life, I don't need some schmuck to tell me. I'll do my own research on what works better thank you very much.

The last part is the break in the narrative of whatever you're watching. That shiat gets old after a while.

Here's an idea. For a 30 minute program put 2 minutes of ads just before the show and 2 minutes of ads right afterwards. Hour long programs, 2-3 before, 2-3 at about the half hour mark and 2-3 afterwards. Seeing the same farking commercials every 7-10 minutes while watching the very few shows I do watch on TV gets old real fast.
 
2012-04-24 10:55:36 AM

rumpelstiltskin: You know that's stealing, right, to watch TV without watching the commercials? And really, you're stealing from yourselves. Maybe CBS could make 2.5 Men without paying 6 zillion dollars to its stars; maybe they could make it for just whatever your cable company pays to CBS. But then what? You go to LA, and you take one of those bus tours of the stars' houses, so you can imagine the glamour and splendor of Hollywood and all you see are walkup apartments in Gardena. And you realize the stars' lives are just as pathetic as your own. Those are your own dreams you're stealing when you don't watch commercials.


Thread is over.
 
2012-04-24 10:57:12 AM

rumpelstiltskin: You know that's stealing, right, to watch TV without watching the commercials?


I read your entire post, so I calmed down and got the sense of what you were saying.

But if I can respond, they push that stuff out when they broadcast, if I have free will, I can choose to watch or not watch what they're pushing out. They hope that I watch the advertisement, they can't actually guarantee that I will watch it. So I decide to record they product they're giving away for free. And I cut out all the commercials with a SKIP 30, SKIP 60, SKIP 90 command, I can't believe that this is stealing.
 
2012-04-24 10:58:30 AM

ihatedumbpeople: Just wait until those DVRs don't let you skip over commercials.


I have thought about this actually. When this day comes, I cut the cable and go 100% streaming.

I haven't watched a TV show with commercials (in real time) in almost a decade. I do not watch commercials other than watching them fly by at 4x speed.
 
2012-04-24 11:02:31 AM
I honestly do not mind watching an ad or two to support the programming I want to watch... but the problem is the channels have gotten so greedy that they clog up the show with so many ads that it turns me off of watching TV in general. If they seriously cut back on the amount of ads then I might watch broadcast TV again, but as of now I refuse.

I currently have cable TV service just for my wife. She still flips through the channels, and since she watches football sometimes (I don't) we still have TV for now. But even she is watching less and less TV every month as she's finally discovered the joys of watching media from my media server. She started by watching Family Guy and American Dad on her laptop while cooking, and now she's watching all sorts of shows, and not only while busy in the kitchen. I'm sure eventually she'll be as turned off by the egregious number of commercials in TV programming as I am, now that she's had a taste of the good stuff.

When she's ready I'll be happy to cancel my cable service and stream all of our media through the internet from services like Netflix and Hulu, or directly from my media server.
 
2012-04-24 11:05:11 AM
FTFA: The commercials broke the tension.

That's just bad production. If you read old "how to write for TV" handbook, one of the most basic rules is to write a rhythm that incorporates the ad breaks, setting up tension just before the break and resolving it as you return. If you watch older TV shows on Netflix (etc.) you can recognize this pattern very easily: the point where breaks were excised have a brief cut-to-black interstitial.
 
2012-04-24 11:10:15 AM

ihatedumbpeople: Just wait until those DVRs don't let you skip over commercials.


As far back as a decade ago, when TIVO was young and DVRs weren't almost standard equipment on cable boxes, there was a Jerkoff Time-Warner executive named Jamie Kellner who came out and said that use of a DVR was stealing from the networks, and shouldn't be allowed.

So, the idiots in charge have always wanted to make the commercials unskippable. Why they haven't yet, I can't say. Must be the internet. If that whole problem hadn't popped up, I'd bet that DVR commercials would have been a more pressing matter.
 
2012-04-24 11:11:07 AM
Watching the first half of The Walking Dead was bad enough this season, with or without commercials.
 
2012-04-24 11:13:27 AM

czetie: FTFA: The commercials broke the tension.

That's just bad production. If you read old "how to write for TV" handbook, one of the most basic rules is to write a rhythm that incorporates the ad breaks, setting up tension just before the break and resolving it as you return. If you watch older TV shows on Netflix (etc.) you can recognize this pattern very easily: the point where breaks were excised have a brief cut-to-black interstitial.


And the dramatic music, and then repeating or re-enacting what you saw just before the commercial break.
 
2012-04-24 11:16:59 AM
I'm in advertising and i farking hate commercials.

There's just something about a :30 spot that will produce 1 of 2 results, rage or indifference. No Commercial nowadays gets the same comedic ring, they go viral and become a video in and of themselves. Commercials nowadays feel like shiatty :30 sponsored youtube videos, rather than actual good creative.

and

czetie: FTFA: The commercials broke the tension.

That's just bad production. If you read old "how to write for TV" handbook, one of the most basic rules is to write a rhythm that incorporates the ad breaks, setting up tension just before the break and resolving it as you return. If you watch older TV shows on Netflix (etc.) you can recognize this pattern very easily: the point where breaks were excised have a brief cut-to-black interstitial.


I agree, the pacing can get awkward but i think they didn't give a crap about commercials, they aren't playing to the live TV crowd. Yeah they have some shiat for the live TV group but The Walking Dead has become a digital success far beyond the airwaves.
 
2012-04-24 11:44:20 AM

Midnight Rambler: I recently caught an episode of M*A*S*H on TVLand, and noticed that they expanded the time slot to 40 minutes to accommodate all the ads.

So now an episode is about 50% ads, 50% show.


TV Land is notorious for this practice. This 'in your face' commercial crap is everywhere. Especially on the net.
 
2012-04-24 11:46:43 AM
Wife and I don't watch a ton of TV, so the commercials don't annoy me too much. The worst I've seen lately is The Walking Dead. Maybe 7 minutes of show followed by 5+ minutes of commercials, it was really ridiculous. That almost made it worth getting DVR.
 
2012-04-24 11:47:03 AM

factoryconnection: I know this is satire, but advertising is what pays for everything. "Stardom" comes with a large price tag not just a large paycheck and without the promise of financial and not merely artistic success, it will be very difficult to keep good writers, actors, and other talent in the business. It will be impossible to keep productions going without an income stream.


I don't know if this is satire, but it's really not true.

If actors were paid modestly rather than millions or -- in the case of the top of the pile, tens of millions -- most of them would still do the job, either because they enjoy it or because it still pays way better than anything else they are qualified to do. If he wasn't a movie star, Harrison Ford would be a jobbing carpenter. George Clooney would probably be a catalog model. Johnny Depp would be that weird bartender guy in a reality show. Between gigs, out-of-work actors go back to waiting tables, not practicing law. Most actors don't make much money -- and yet many of them persist in their careers long after the point where it's obvious they are never going to be an A List movie star.

The same is true of writers. Very few writers make lots of money, or ever expect to. Even the writers of top screenplays rarely get rich -- and by the way, Hollywood functioned perfectly well in the old days when most writers worked on contract, not on spec.

As for the whole "stardom" argument and the price of fame: celebrity in its modern form is something that the mass media largely invented because it's an artifact of their business model. If your business model is based on selling millions of copies of one thing -- a ticket to a movie, a record, a magazine -- you need celebrities, i.e. individuals that millions of people can be persuaded to agree to buy. And mass media needed that business model because of their analog/physical reproduction and distribution model: if you can't profitably print and distribute and market 1,000 different editions of People magazine with 1,000 different minor celebrities on the cover, then you need a major celebrity. If it costs a lot of money to build a record pressing factory and more money to master an album, you need to sell as many copies of that master as you can. And so on.

And of course, the premise of that business model is suddenly irrelevant in an era of digital media, although it will take a while before the world catches up.

And the fact is, "celebrity" can be entirely manufactured on demand. Some people have known this for a long time -- do you think that the half dozen young actors who were cast in Friends were magically more talented than the hundreds of others who auditioned and deserved fame and riches? Or that the casting director presciently spotted what they would become? Of course not. Throw enough actors at enough sitcoms and eventually one of the shows will become a breakout hit, at which point the actors involved have the leverage to demand a bigger share of the money fountain. Disney TV has mastered the business of manufacturing celebrities out of generically attractive child actors. Some of them get rich, all of them are substitutable.

Unfortunately for the mass media industries, they have given the game away themselves with reality TV. It's obvious to everybody that people like the Kardashians, Snooki, various bachelors/bachelorettes, and the Housewives of Anywhere have no talent for anything other than self-promotion. And although people still watch for now, the system is decaying: the clearest evidence is that the duration of celebrity status is getting shorter and shorter. Even the winners of alleged talent shows such as American Idol or Next Food Network Star are often "one and done".

The demise of the celebrity system may not be obvious to everybody yet, but once the facade crumbles, the rotten core will be obvious in hindsight.
 
2012-04-24 11:49:29 AM

Jake Havechek: In the old days, sitcoms used to be 26 minutes, dramas were 52 minutes. No "bug" on the screen, stations were required by law to give station identification announcements every 15 minutes.



It's a shame trying to watch an old, classic tv show that you know has been hacked to bits to make room for all the commercials.

/remember Alfred Hitchcock poking fun at the commercial breaks (what were there, 2 in the hour long show)
 
2012-04-24 11:51:56 AM
TV is advertising based, because that was the only way to work it when it evolved.

Now, we have the internet. Things are different. Every cable company on earth should:

-keep a spreadsheet on their website of every show, and every episode
-let you download it for a fee

Boom. Business model updated. Let the traditional TV generations die out, and move into this fully. Of course you'd need to have cooperation with the internet providers to remove bandwidth caps.

I would move into this in a heartbeat. Until then, it's DVR and t-o-r-r-e-n-t-s.

Same goes for you, movie companies. Imagine you could just go to Sony Pictures' website and pay them $5 bucks to download a flick. No fuss, no muss.
 
2012-04-24 11:53:39 AM
By the way, a few posters in this thread seem to have missed one obvious point: You're not supporting the show if you're watching the commercials. You're only supporting the show if you actually buy the product in the commercials.

Advertisers -- both on TV and online -- seem to be losing sight of that too: they don't gain anything from forcing a commercial in front of us if the commercial is still annoying and unpersuasive.

/My wife hates it when I go "look honey! the husband in that commercial is an idiot! never seen that before!"
//Also when I go "look honey! it's this week's Awkward Product Placement Moment!" (and yes, I can actually capitalize in speech)
///Actually, come to think of it she rarely watches TV with me anymore...
 
2012-04-24 11:59:50 AM
Wait till he hears about football games.
 
2012-04-24 11:59:53 AM

ihatedumbpeople: Just wait until those DVRs don't let you skip over commercials.


Probably won't happen... Since they've just started inserting commercials directly into the scripts of most broadcast shows.

/Thanks TiVo!
 
2012-04-24 12:02:37 PM

Desquamation: ihatedumbpeople: Just wait until those DVRs don't let you skip over commercials.

Probably won't happen... Since they've just started inserting commercials directly into the scripts of most broadcast shows.

/Thanks TiVo!


This last season of House is horrible at doing that.
 
2012-04-24 12:02:53 PM

Expolaris: I'm in advertising and i farking hate commercials.


You must work in traffic. :D
 
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