FOX Reduces Commercial Breaks, Do You Care?

At Thursday’s FOX upfront presentation, 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.”

And while this TV Addict applauds Liguori’s attempt to ‘redefine the viewing experience’ for FOX viewers, there’s just one problem. The TV Addict, for the most part, doesn’t watch commercials.

Yet I’m a realist, and in the interest of ensuring the television industry’s survival, I thought I’d offer up three easy tips for advertisers hoping to keep my hand off the fast forward button.

Tip #1: Spend the money to make commercials in HD. Nothing gets me reaching for the clicker fast enough than an advertiser who’s cheaped out and decided to ruin the beauty of my HD experience with a [gasp!] standard definition commercial.

Tip #2: Take a page from the Apple playbook. Creativity and originality keep me watching. A must-have product doesn’t hurt either!

Tip #3: Television is a story-tellers medium. So why not take take the time to craft interesting stories like Ellen and Tina Fey have for American Express. Amex spots never fail to entertain and aside from the occasional movie spot are the only commercials I’ll rewind to watch again.

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  • KaeDee

    I care. Commercials are getting longer and the shows themselves getting shorter and shorter. Pretty soon there’ll be more commercials than show! Though I would have tuned in for Dollhouse anyway – go Whedon! – I will probably tune in to check out Fringe as well, and it wasn’t on my initial to-watch list.

  • Tarn

    I care too. Here in the UK we are going more towards the US way of inserting commercials – show teaser, show titles, commercial. Five minutes of show – commercial. Ugh! So infuriating. And they wonder why we download!
    Anything which reduces the number of breaks is a good idea. Wih any luck the UK channels will follow suit.

  • Adam

    I guess it’s cool… less commercials I have to fast forward through. And, like someone else said, more of the show.

  • Nuj

    When I read the first part of this post, I was thinking about giving my ideas…and then read them behind the cut! LOL Apple and Amex know what they’re doing (or, well, their ad agencies do, anyway).

  • theTVaddict


    As the old saying goes, “Great minds….”

  • Adam

    i expect to see more of those overlay images on the bottom left… yah you know what I’m taking about… those little ads that really take away from the show.

  • tlcinvt

    We don’t watch commercials at all anymore. Sure it sounds great that there will be more show to watch, but that’s about it. More Joss Whedon is always a plus in my book, and Fringe with Joshua Jackson? I am so there.
    However, We pre-record everything with our DVR and then watch the shows later (at least 15-20 minutes after they start) so we can fast forward through all the commercials. It is really rare that a commercial catches our eyes enough for us to actually watch it.