The New Advertising Industry

Column: Why are TV’s two big fantasy shows so epically humorless?

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It isn’t hard to imagine that the world would be better off with no Big Brother, no Survivor, no The Voice.

But to make a case for their return or their demise, it also may be necessary to explain just why they are so dead.

From an artistic point of view, nothing has changed in the show business landscape, no matter how many “dramas” have been made by television writers and producers since the heyday of the hit television series, The Dick Van Dyke Show.

There are no fewer than 23 shows on the air airing their second or third or fourth seasons. And as anyone familiar with Broadway productions knows, every production is a work in progress.

What has changed is the nature of advertising, of which the television industry is the primary vehicle.

When it comes to television programming (and the shows that air on it), there is now a whole new universe of advertising messages to convey.

Just think of all the ads that can be delivered directly to consumers via TV.

A typical commercial may be up to 60 seconds long, but there is a new and sophisticated technology that is now available to give each ad a longer life.

The result is that the typical 30-second spot, the ad space of which is considered a minimum, can now be stretched to almost an hour or more.

So what does this mean?

That this increased length can no longer be handled with a single announcer.

Instead, these ad spots are now split into three 30-second spots that run simultaneously.

So you have three ad spots that run in rapid sequence.

If you are tuned in, you see the first spot go up on the screen as the commercial wraps up. You know that it is up to 30 seconds by that point, and you know

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