Vanity, thy name may no longer be ABC.
Most broadcast network shows end by flashing the logos of whichever studios and production companies are behind a series — the so-called vanity cards. Since the start of the new season, however, the Alphabet network has been playing around with new ways of identifying a show’s studio origins.
Editions of "Dancing with the Stars," for example, now regularly start with the BBC Worldwide America animated logo popping up at the very beginning of each episode, rather than at the end.
And for several ABC Studios-produced series, the network is now inserting a chyron at the top of the hour labeling the series "An ABC Studios Production," much the same way major motion pictures begin with a mention of the studio or production banner.
ABC’s top-of-show production mentions are also similar to the way premium cable networks HBO and Showtime have long introduced their series.
A person familiar with ABC’s plans said the network’s goal is to try to eliminate end of show vanity cards wherever possible. The reason, no doubt, is to create a more seamless flow between series.
"We’ve made some changes to accommodate timing," an Alphabet insider told the Wrap.
Not every series is losing vanity cards. "Eastwick," for example, aired without a top-of-show vanity card. That series is produced by Warner Bros. TV rather than ABC Studios, so it’s possible WBTV doesn’t want (or hasn’t yet been asked) to lose its end-of-show cards.
ABC has been trying various scenarios for vanity cards for some time now. The network has, on a week-to-week basis, asked some comedy producers to simply go without vanity cards some weeks.
It all fits in to the network’s desire to keep viewers watching and stop between-show channel surfing. ABC has also experimented with different types of commerical pods and loads in order to keep audiences from changing channels.
"We’re looking at everything," one insider said.