Trends We’d Like to See More of: FRINGE’s Shortened Commercial Breaks

Since this TV Addict is always quick to criticize the Network suits when they make decisions I think for, lack of a better word, are boneheaded. I thought it would only be fair to take a moment and applaud the Proverbial Powers that Be when they do something right.

Say what you will about FOX’s FRINGE, but I think the one thing we can all agree on is how much we’re loving their shortened commercial breaks. Not only does the brief message touting that FRINGE will return in 60 and/or 90 seconds keep this TV Addict from pressing fast-forward on my PVR. I actually find myself watching the high definition movie trailers and incredibly unfunny yet oddly enthralling Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates Microsoft ads that follow.

Here’s hoping ABC, CBS, NBC and the CW are taking notes. Because FOX’s ingenious marketing gimmick actually has this TV Addict doing something I haven’t done in quite a long time — putting down my remote.

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  • Hil

    What is with those Microsoft ads? I try to figure them out and I fail. Are they trying to imitate their operating system?

    I did actually watch all the commercials for Fringe. My only issue — 90 second bathroom break? I am so used to getting up and doing other things during long ad breaks that the count down left me a bit rushed.

  • Nel

    When I first heard of this limited commercial breaks thing, I loved the idea. (I believe Dollhouse is going to do the same thing?) But not having a digital recorder myself…it’s definitely done the job of keeping me in the room. lol I’d gotten so used to knowing that I’d always have a few minutes worth of commercials during which I could go grab a snack, use the restroom, or run any other short random errand I wanted to squeeze in. But now I know that if I leave or change the channel I risk missing out some stuff. lol So like you, I just put down the remote and watch. At least it’ll help me cut down on those bad snacks I’d often go grab between the commercials. lol I’m on the FRINGE diet. :)

  • Jenny

    I love the short commercial breaks! Has anyone else noticed that there are symbols hidden in the different objects? An example is the apple which has little fetus’ where the seeds should be. The leaf last night had a triangle or pyramid, and the frog has some sort of symbol also.

  • theTVaddict


    I’ve definitely noticed symbols hidden in different objects. Specifically a one way sign as the show returned from commercial – in front of Massive Dynamic. Unfortunately, I’m far too lazy to grab a screen cap! Hopefully someone out there will take the initiative.

  • James


    They get annoying as the episode progresses. Just flash a simple 90 second thing. I hate seeing the symbol over and over and the announcer say FRINGE WILL BE BACK IN

    plus the commercials are so short i always miss the episode a couple of seconds when i fast forward. lolz

  • Chris Pietschmann

    I don’t know why they haven’t started doing this sooner!

  • Moni

    the short commercial breaks are fine… they warn us most of the time… “fringe will be back in 90 seconds” … you know how long you have, its not a surprise!!

  • Matt

    It may just be me, but there seem to be just as many commercials throughout the hour. By shortening the commercial breaks, have they just added additional breaks to recoup the time and money? I for one would rather have fewer and longer breaks so that I can get up for a bathroom break.

  • David

    What is the actual point of having a break that lasts for less than 2 minutes – it annoyes me when they have short breaks on tv! PS – American tv has far too many breaks.