TBS pauses a show for a commercial - VIDEO
The relationship between the viewer and the network is one that requires a delicate balance. As the numbers for DVR penetration continue to climb, it's pretty clear that a great many of us are successfully dodging more and more commercial breaks. And the networks continue to push back, trying different things to get eyeballs on ads. Some are merely annoying. For instance, as much as I like both Kyra Sedgwick and The Closer, I'm annoyed every time Brenda walks out of the corner of my screen while I'm watching another show on TNT.
While that one is annoying, this latest adventure from TBS crosses a line. During an episode of Family Guy (video after the jump), Bill Engvall walks out on the screen, much like the Brenda spots for The Closer. The difference is that Bill holds up a remote and actually pauses the episode before heading into his pitch for his show. When he finishes, he unpauses the show, which runs for two more seconds before going to the regular commercial break. Please, if it's not too much trouble, strap on your sturdiest combat boots and join me in sending a theoretical kick to the crotch of anyone at TBS that didn't think this was the dumbest idea since starting everything at five minutes past the hour.
Seriously, what are they hoping to gain from this? That ad is not going to get me to watch The Bill Engvall Show. In fact, it's more likely to do just the opposite. I'll now go out of my way to not watch TBS out of spite. This spot is at the precipice of a very slippery slope. It's just a Family Guy rerun, and it was just two seconds before going to commercial anyway. But that leads to the middle of a first run My Boys segment. And before you know it we have NBA games getting paused mid play so Tom Arnold can sell us toasted subs.
I know, that sounds crazy. But did you ever think that a network would have the nuts to pause an episode for a commercial? Screw that. There needs to be a backlash for this to define the line. Link the video on your blog, your livejournal, myspace, facebook, and whatever other web 2.0 social site that I'm too square to have heard of yet. With any luck, the stank of all the bad press will send the appropriate message. And yes, TBS and TV Squad share corporate overlords, for what it's worth.
[ via kottke, thanks Adam and Wil ]