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Placement

Posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

Dave!Watching television is getting to be a horrible exercise in self-inflicted torture.

Let's face it, most of what's on TV is crap. And once you finally do find something to watch, it's constantly being interrupted by commercials. But even that wasn't enough for dumbass network execs, because they've also started putting advertising ON TOP OF THE SHOW YOU ARE TRYING TO WATCH! It's getting so bad and so distracting that sometimes it is hard to focus on the actual show...

Television ID

You would think that it couldn't get any worse than that.

But you would be wrong.

Now networks are trying to drive traffic to their web sites by offering "exclusive scenes" of their popular shows which are only available online. For example, at the end of the last CSI Miami episode, there was a huge banner telling you to visit CBS.com to see the "extended ending" for the show. Nevermind that a good chunk of their viewers probably don't even have access to the internet... for some reason CBS is just dying to get people to their site.

So off I go.

And what I find there is something that I guess you could call it an extended ending to CSI Miami, but it's kind of hard to tell when the entire segment seems to be nothing more than Hummer beauty shots that happen to take place in front of some actors...

Hummer CSI

Seriously, it's in EVERY SHOT! They didn't even attempt to make it subtle... it's a Hummer ad.

Now we know. Apparently it's not enough that networks are whoring out their shows for product placement (accepting money to feature products IN the show)... now they are BUILDING SHOWS AROUND THE ADVERTISING! And what's so totally lame here is that they actually worked that gas-guzzling Hummer into the dialogue!! So now we have the entire cast of CSI Miami driving around in Hummers. As if David Caruso's pathetic "acting" wasn't enough to make me gag, now the show has turned into an advertisement that's interrupted with more advertising with advertising in the advertising.

Next week it will be a new CSI Miami "extended ending" sponsored by Massengil feminine hygiene products...

Det. Horatio Cane: Calleigh, do you ever have those moments where you just aren't feeling fresh?
   
Calleigh Dusquesne: Excuse me?
   
Det. Horatio Cane: You know... down there...
   
Calleigh Dusquesne: OH! Of course I do! There's no need to be embarrassed, everybody does! But freshness isn't a problem since I discovered Massengil's NEW Herbal Douche!
   
Det. Horatio Cane: Really? Calleigh, you are a life-saver! Ha ha!
   
Calleigh Dusquesne: Ha ha! No problem! Now go douche yourself and then we'll try to figure out how our murderer managed to feed this dead body into a food processor.
   
Det. Horatio Cane: Will do! Oh... and Calleigh... that's no ordinary food processor, that's a NEW Cuisinart Model 6000, with titanium blades that are able to make short work of even the toughest foods... and even tough body parts like bones!
   
Calleigh Dusquesne: Wow! I need one of those for my kitchen! Now hurry up with that NEW Massengil Herbal Douche, Horatio... you're not getting any fresher by just standing there!

I'm sure networks will defend themselves over this kind of blatant forced-advertising by claiming they have no choice... people with TiVo and VCRs are forcing them to work ads INTO the shows, because people aren't watching them OUTSIDE of the show. Well, whatever. All it's doing is making me not want to watch television AT ALL.

   

Except, of course, for the most excellent VERONICA MARS airing tonight at 9:00 on UPN!


Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Nez says:

    They (especially Fox) is getting the best of us TiVo users by superimposing those bloody promos. Bastids!

  2. Rob says:

    CSI Miami is such a joke.

    Have you ever notice that David Caruso stands like he’s superman? Hands on his hips, as if he’s using his super chest to stop bullets.

    And have you ever seen a police department use Hummers as a fleet car? Such bullcrap on that show.

    But I’m hooked on that Veronica Mars alright.

  3. kilax says:

    Ugh, I usually don’t watch TV, but yesterday I was watching some Talk Shows ( I know – TRASH) and it was seriously 3 minutes of show then 4 or 5 minutes of commercials. What is happening to television?!

  4. Kevin says:

    I will admit that there actually was a time that Katie and I enjoyed CSI: Miami (sorry, Dave!), but that time has passed. I can’t think of a single character on that show that doesn’t annoy the hell out of me these days. Even Calleigh is bad. Her looks can’t even make up for it.

    But I do agree on the advertising in shows. Even weirder than networks’ obsession with product placement are those ad execs that intentionally tie in their ads with the shows. There is one carmaker and I can’t remember who offhand that has a commercial in which they show an SUV of theirs being adapted on an assembly line for any possible need. At the very end, it comes off the line with a “Crime Lab” logo on the door and a lightbar on the top. Of course, this ad airs primarily during showings of all three CSI’s. Go fig.

  5. Chaz says:

    I hate shows with spin off shows that are more of the same show but in a different location with a different cast. I like the original CSI, but I don’t need 50 thousand more of the same things (all of which are never as good as the original). It almost feels like Law & Order which has a new spin-off everytime I turn around. At least, that’s what it seems like to me. Of course, those shows are even worse since I can’t stand the original Law & Order!

  6. Patrick says:

    The excruciatingly lame ending was just pathetic. I told myself I’d stop watching the damn show but still I’ve somehow stuck around. It must have been the double special feature with CSI:NY.

    What I don’t understand is how CSI:Miami have higher ratings than CSI:NY.

  7. Dave2 says:

    Especially when you consider that CSI: Miami is stuck with a total tool for a lead actor, when CSI: NY has such a capable lead… it’s Gary frickin’ Sinese for crying out loud! Lieutenant Dan!!

    David Caruso went to the William Shatner school of Star Trek acting, but he just can’t pull it off like The Shat. The whole tough-guy image and tough-guy talk and tough-guy actions simply don’t fit somebody who is such a lamer. I keep hoping that they’ll kill him off and bring in a REAL badass… but it just doesn’t seem to happen. I can’t stop laughing as he fumbles through his trash-talking dialogue, and wonder how ANYBODY could possibly like him on the show.

  8. Liz says:

    Sounds an awful lot like The Truman Show

  9. claire says:

    I’ve given up on CSI: Miami. The writing is so poor that the mysteries and their actions solving them don’t make much sense. Horatio is tiresome as the martyr always taking care of everyone else, standing with his leg up on something, looking into the sunset every week.

    Desperate Housewives does the same extra/extended scene gimmick but they show it on one of the morning shows. I don’t know if it’s ad focused but wouldn’t be surprised if it is.

  10. nicole says:

    That’s why they created the DVR. So far no super-imposed advertising and I skip over all the commercials. Makes watching tv actually enjoyable. Imagine that!

    “Hey, Ike, do your impression of David Caruso’s career,” says Kyle to his little brother, who then nose- dives from a rooftop into a snowdrift and disappears.

  11. James says:

    There are those of us who haven’t watched t.v. in about a year. I haven’t missed it much.

  12. loopy says:

    I guess you weren’t too pleased that next week’s Veronica Mars will contain an “exclusive” second ending on the web!

  13. Dave2 says:

    Actually, that doesn’t bother me so much because it is “alternate” footage that is not a part of the “real” Veronica Mars story. Airing it after the show might actually confuse a lot of people, but sending them to the web for “the ending that wasn’t” seems like a logical leap (so long as it isn’t sponsored by Massengil).

    The CSI Miami footage, on the other hand, revealed that there was a mole in their operation, which was pretty important to that story.

  14. Pauly D says:

    I will say that the Apprentice shows are even worse — every single episode now centers around a shameless product placement / mission. It makes me sick. SICK SICK SICK.

    On the other hand, I loved Veronica Mars last season — but is it that much better this season? I have each episode saved on my TiVo for a big weekend screening, but just haven’t made it happen yet.

  15. Dave2 says:

    Better? I’m not sure. It would be almost impossible to top the first season of “Veronica Mars.” To their credit, the writers could have easily just recycled the first season into the second (ala “Lost”), but decided to go a different direction.

    If I had to sum up the new season in a word, it would have to be “complexity.” They seem intent on building a spider-web of relationships between the characters that hinges on secrets and lies. Yes, there is an overall mystery like the Lily Kane murder involving a bus crash… but it’s the intertwining mysteries that come out of that event which are really driving the show this time.

    Better? Probably not. But it’s still the best thing on television… that much hasn’t changed.

  16. Yep, sometimes I’m embarrassed to be in Marketing.
    PS: Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. victor hugo says:

    I guess the networks fill the screen with crap to ruin it for those who want to record the episodes and make his/her own DVD’s… so they have to buy it legally… since I’ve never bought a DVD of any TV series I ask you: Are there anything soiling the screen in DVD’s…?

  18. Dave2 says:

    Nope. Some DVDs make you sit through ads before the menu comes up, but all the shows are blissfully ad-free… so far.

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