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November 28, 2007



I spend my TV viewing time trying to avoid any commercials and some people want to watch a show of nothing but commercials? Wow. I use my DVR exclusively; live TV is out for me and has been for years now. Live sports? Forget it - football has been completely ruined by commercials - sometimes you get 3 and 4 breaks between plays. At least baseball usually gives you one side of the inning without a break. I'd actually pay more for TV without any commercials but, of course, that will never happen. Heck, the NAB has even paid my DVR provider to prevent me from having the 30-second skip button They want to force me to see the ads in FF - I suppose they hope it will at least affect my buying habits a little bit. Disgusting.

A. Buck Short

What scares the hell out of me is that, if you watch broadcast TV, you realize that while China is turning out engineers, we feel the need for a new kind of room air freshener every other week. Has there really been a clamor for this? Open a friggin' window.But, annoying and repetitive as TV commercials can be, they made, free, over the air broadcast TV possible – probably one of the great democratizing forces in the second half of the last century. I was the first in my family to even attend high school. We lived in a federal housing project. Even if VHS, DVDs and cable or DVRs with monthly subscription fees existed at that time, they would have been unaffordable. Our Admiral set was extravagance enough. Everything from the Murrow documentaries and the News with John Cameron Swayze (brought to us by Camel Cigarettes), to Kovas’ Nairobi Trio and the Paar Show gave our family entertainment, information, and occasionally what, for us, passed for sophistication. Never asking anything but our time. That was a pretty fair trade off – especially since a lot of us figured out we didn’t even have to hold up our end of the bargain

another Buck Shorter

Oh. FYI, those of you on the west coast, where it’s only 6 am, may want to check out NPR’s nice Writers Winning Hearts and Minds through Youtube and the Internet” story this morning. It is sort of ironic that the AMPTP may have remained locked into the old technology of newspaper ads, because they didn’t have anybody to write PR videos for them. The reporter speculated the producers' real problem was that the writers didn’t have to have everything go through an endless chain of committees and executive sign-offs just to get something on the Net.Also Ken, in the world of sports, Robert Cade, who invented Gatorade, died Tuesday. Do you think somebody will sneak up and pour a barrel of refreshing green liquid over the coffin as he’s lowered into the ground? Yes, you would have heard this on Leno, if Leno had writers. Back to you, Ken.

Steve from VT

I'm sorry, but I could have sworn that an hour of programming on ANY network or cable channel is ALL commercials already. But from this post, I get the feeling you are implying that there is still an actual show squeezed between all those commercials in an hour of TV? I guess I'll have to pay closer attention next time I tune in.


While watching Saturday morning cartoons one day, my 6 year old daughter suddenly exclaimed; "Oh, I get it. TV shows are like a giant commercial!" "Three years, five days a week, 52 weeks a year LIVE and all on one camera. "Wow, now that's a workout! No wonder you can write comedy...Mich


Anyone else see this hilarious shill job on Battlestar Galactica over the weekend--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAjCLmOMU84


I'm signing in as "anonymouse" so my fellow Mouse Cliguers will know it is me.Thanks Ken for the plug of my show Lloyd Thaxton's Record Shop. Unfortunately it went off the air over 45 years ago. So, you are a little late. Still, you be the man; my favorite blogger. To all the people who are reading this, please check out Ken's unbelievably clever blog (CLICK HERE FOR KEN'S UNBELIEVABLY CLEVER BLOG). Oh .. wait! This IS Ken's blog.How stupid.Lloyd Thaxton, Head Anonymouse


eh .. that Cliquers, with a "q"Lloyd Thaxton


A format where one song is followed by endless commercials? They're still doing that! It's called "the radio."


There was a show -- KHJ or KTTV, as I recall -- gathering commercials from around the world, and airing them in a package as entertainment, Which it was, half an hour, I think, once a week.The name of the show? "Cavalcade of Spots."Then there was the Oscar Levant show, where several of the commercials were delivered, live, by the proprietors of the businesses. There was Eddie from Zachary All, a furrier...can't remember 'em all. Eventually, all those guys got together and had a talk show of their own.That was the golden age of local TV!


we used to have a show called "El show del Clio", where they basically showed commercials that had won awards (Clio, but also others I thin). It did have "regular commercials" inbetween.. not like an 'mtv' thing tho; the hosts wore suits and stuff, and they'd interview people from the local ad agencies about new commercials they created (basically 5 minutes of bullshit about how good their client's product was). Aparently they produce a lot of ads that go on to win big awards like the Clio here (Argentina).. it was pretty interesting (but I was like 10 at the time, so who knows)

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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