Oh no they didn’t! An “interstitial ad” for the unfunny The Bill Engvall Show on TBS popped up during a Family Guy episode on Monday night. Engvall simply walked up to the screen, paused it, and plugged his useless sitcom – then unpaused it and was back to Family Guy. Three seconds later, a real commercial popped up (and in the middle of the act, no less.)
And those viewing weren’t very happy about it.
TBS and Time Warner officials defended the act, saying they used similar tactics to launch Envgall last year, during episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, and claimed they had no complaints (but they didn’t read this thread at Radio-Info.)
Yours truly never watches off-network sitcoms on cable TV – it’s a chopfest with end credits retyped and squeezed onto the bottom of the screen and closing theme songs eliminated so they can plug whatever crappy new show they are pushing. Recently, Jim Shea of WWYW-FM (103.9 FM) in Dundee complained about this practice regarding TV Land and the end credits of The Andy Griffith Show (scroll down), in which the closing theme is cut for TV Land promos – and got support from none other than Andy Griffith himself (you can listen to the interview here and sign a petition to reinstate the full closing credits – with the theme song here.)
The best way to watch off-network fare? Though DVDs and if possible, your local TV station (they may chop the show up for more commercials, but at least you won’t have anyone coming on to your screen and pausing just to promote the latest episode of The Bachelor.)
As for The Bill Engvall Show, My Boys, and Frank TV, these programs are no different from the lame first-run comedy fare TBS served up in the 1980’s – remember Safe At Home, Down to Earth, and The New Leave It to Beaver? Neither do I. And no one will remember these wastes of time, either.
Instead of Very Funny, TBS’ new tagline should be We Pause Your Quality Shows to Promote Our New Inferior Crap Because Its Not Very Funny And If You Don’t Like It, Then Screw Off.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress.