We've Got Hollywood Covered

ABC Trying to Tivo-Proof Its On-Air Promos

Taking a cue from movie studios, Alphabet wants to make sure its ads work even when you skip them.

ABC may be trying to Tivo-proof its on-air promos.


In recent days, the network has started using a strategy a number of movie studios now regularly utilize to hype their films: Putting an on-air chyron at the top of the screen which identifies the project and its opening date.


Ads for shows such as "Desperate Housewives," "Grey’s Anatomy" and "FlashForward" now feature the ABC logo, the name of the show and the premiere date and time at the very top of the screen. The text stays up throughout most of the length of the ad.


It’s not hard to figure out the reason for the static text. ABC, like movie execs, wants to make sure that viewers watching a show via digital video recorder — and skipping through ads at least soak up some information about the show while fast-forwarding.


Because the promo text appears over a solid black bar at the top of the screen, viewers can still clearly read the name of the show and premiere info, even if the video images below it are whizzing by at 8 times normal speed.


Movie studios have use this method on and off for at least a year. During one recent commercial pod on ABC, for example, an ad for the DVD release of "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" featured a top-of-screen chyron with the movie’s in-store date.


While ABC’s Tivo-friendly promos seem to be a smart idea, not everything the Alphabet is doing these days makes sense to us.


The network, for example, is using Shakira’s current single "She Wolf" to promote the premiere of "Desperate Housewives."


Somebody forgot to tell ABC that "She Wolf" is quickly becoming known as the worst song in the history of pop music. No, really, Google it.


Or just read this story here that notes the song contains one of the most jaw-droppingly dumb lyrics ever to hit pop radio:


I’m starting to feel just a little abused like a coffee machine in an office.


We had just forgiven ABC for making the world safe for the Fray. This, however, we may never be able to forget.