Continuing their apparent novel urge to support new genre shows, Fox announced yesterday that we'll be seeing more of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse and JJ Abrams' Fringe than we thought next season... six minutes more per episode, in fact. Welcome to the dawn of something called "Remote-Free TV".
Seemingly underestimating the power of the TiVo, Fox are attempting to free their viewers from their remote controls for both new shows next season with the announcement that the entire season of each series will run "with limited commercial interruption." What this means in practice is that the shows will gain an extra six minutes each week due to reduced ads, and the ads that do run will do so in three-advert bursts. Fox Entertainment chairman Peter Liguori is fairly open about the reasons behind the change:
[We're giving viewers] less reason... to grab the remote and change the channel... We need to give viewers new reasons to come to network TV. [Also, it] gives extra attention to the show, and helps series when they go to DVD, foreign and syndication.
Being the cynic that I am, I can't imagine that this is quite as straight forward as it seems. I give it three episodes maximum before we start seeing Elisa Dushku telling her fellow dolls how awesome the new Pontiac handles during even the most intense chase sequence.
New Fox dramas to limit commercials [Variety]