How TV's Trying to Woo You Back

...and back on the couch where you belong
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2009 11:36 AM CDT
How TV's Trying to Woo You Back
Viewers will see nearly 18 minutes of "FlashForward" before they see a commercial break.   (AP Photo/ABC, Craig Sjodin)

Networks know we’re watching our favorite shows online instead of on TV, but they’re not taking it sitting down. Here’s what they’re doing, smart or otherwise, to bring us back, writes Stephanie Schomer for Fast Company:

  • Cutting commercials: ABC is going to do without the first commercial break on its new shows, tacking on 3 to 5 minutes onto its shows in a bid to hook viewers.
  • Using Twitter (poorly): Fox tried integrating live Twitter feeds with Fringe and Glee episodes, but it proved annoying. Viewers changed the channel.

  • Hawking free stuff: Click on the commercial using your remote, get a free sample or coupon. Cablevision hopes (probably in vain) that this will make us watch the breaks.
  • Giving us more Neil Patrick Harris: He’s been credited with reviving the Emmys, adding more jokes, skits, music, and other things you might actually want to watch.
  • Being more like...the Internet: The BBC and other European broadcasters are creating TV/Internet hybrid services that try to marry the best of both worlds—though the BBC's service won't be ready til 2012.
(More television stories.)

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