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Posts tagged: watching television

Facing TV’s equivalent of the change-up

You know how, in baseball, pitchers try to keep batters off balance by varying the speed of their offerings? Sure.

Well, I'm convinced that the people who fit commercials into TV shows do something similar.

Sometimes the commercial interruption lasts seemingly just a few seconds. Other times, it goes on for minutes and minutes.

The aim of this tactic is pretty obvious. Broadcasters know we record shows and watch them later. Then viewers fast-forward through the commercials.

But when you aren't sure how long the commercial break will last, you tend to be tentative about your fast-forwarding. You might resume normal speed too soon and end up accidentally watching a little of some of the commercials.

Or you might zoom past the point where the show resumes and then back up too far.

In any event, successful commercials-avoidance requires a steady hand on the remote.

How would you rearrange this living room?

What's with that chair back over by the door?

If you watched 50% less TV in 2014

A) I would have time to take continuing education courses. B) What's 50 percent of zero? C) I would spend hours making salads while listening to NPR. D) I would suddenly spend more time online. E) I resent the implication that my TV time is mindless. I do not watch reality shows and sports. There is such a thing as quality programming, you know. Since when is reading some trashy novel a more exalted way to spend time than watching “American Experience” or “Homeland”? F) I would have even less likelihood of knowing what my co-workers are talking about first thing in the morning. G) Other.

Crossover audience

I know I have alluded to this before. But it always amuses me to imagine the segment of the TV audience that watches both “The Walking Dead” and “Downton Abbey.”

I'm guessing this is not a tiny group. 

How many will watch both shows?

You might not assume that there is a significant crossover audience.

But there have to be at least a few TV watchers who will check out both “The Walking Dead” and “Downton Abbey” tonight.

Guessing about crossover viewership

You might have noticed that most people have multiple facets.

It complicates dealing with the others, but also makes it interesting.

So I'm thinking there is a significant audience that watches both “The Walking Dead” and “Downton Abbey.”

And I'd bet a fair number of those people also record and speed through the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

Five pictures of families watching TV

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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