Monday, July 16, 2007

The Show Court TV Doesn't Want You to Actively Seek

A co-worker (who is traveling) asked me to record the Court TV show "Saturday Night Solutions" for him at 8pm Saturday night.

Except he called it "Saturday Night Technology Expo."

But the Court TV website wasn't any help; it says that "Forensic Files" airs at that time.

(And I'm not even going to get into the part about Dish Network providing the east coast feed to west coast viewers, which meant that I had to tape the show at 5pm.)

Unfortunately, the 8pm showing of "Saturday Night Solutions" (actually an insert within "Forensic Files") did not include the material that my co-worker wanted to see. It turns out that the stuff he wanted to see probably aired at 9pm, or 9:30pm, or perhaps 10pm. Who knows?

And it appears that people at the Los Alamos National Laboratory had the same problem this weekend.

A novel Laboratory technology known as the "Hands-Off Sampler Gun" is featured in a special show on high-tech forensic gadgets between 8 and 11 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time on Saturday (July 14) on Court TV's series called Saturday Night Solutions.

The show, which currently is not listed on Court TV's program schedule, is supposed to air in between the Court TV episodes of Forensic Files and Body of Evidence.

Think of all these laboratory men and women - people who are used to very precise measurements - and all that they know is that their technology will appear on TV some time within a three hour period.

This is one case in which the government is more efficient than business. Can you imagine if a nuclear device were designed to go off at some point within a three hour period?

Back to the "Saturday Night Solutions" show. It's not mentioned on Court TV's website, and no one's even bothered to list it in Wikipedia (I won't; Andy Jones and Tracy Simers are much more newsworthy), and there are apparently less than 200 mentions of the show on the Internet. (By way of contrast, I am mentioned thousands of times on the 'Net, which shows you how unknown "Saturday Night Solutions" really is.)

Turns out that "Saturday Night Solutions" is discussed primarily in the industry.

No, not the forensics industry or the technology industry. The marketing industry:

In a throwback to old-style TV, the hosts of Court TV's "Saturday Night Solution" block aren't shy about stopping in the middle of the program to turn to the camera and hold up a box of the allergy medicine Alavert and products from other advertisers.

Over on Fox Sports Net, former baseball player John Kruk once devoured a plate of KFC chicken on camera, pleasing one of several Best Damn Sports Show Period advertisers that have their products prominently featured on the show....

With a mounting number of programming choices and advertiser unfriendly technology such as digital video recorders making it more difficult to keep viewers hooked, product placements are becoming more overt.

Networks are also beginning to generate a significant portion of their ad revenue from product-placement deals.

Fox Sports Net says 20% to 30% of its ad revenue is derived from product placements, while Game Show Network senior vice president of advertising sales Michael Sakin estimates that up to 15% of GSN's ad revenue comes from the tactic....

While Court TV is up front about plugging the sponsors of its "Saturday Night Solutions" block, the placements in other programs are subtle.

The Chase, a reality show that will premiere during the first quarter and track contestants across the globe, will feature contestants drinking Aquafina water.

Court TV executive vice president of ad sales Charlie Collier said all of the network's product placements are part of broader deals with advertisers. "It's a large commitment, but no dollars per se to come and put a water bottle on the set," Collier said of Aquafina's deal for The Chase....

Collier also said Court TV offers advertisers "in-program product sponsorships," in which the network shrinks the screen in the middle of a program to run a silent billboard from an advertiser. The network has also worked with General Motors Corp. to sponsor "docuspots," or short behind-the-scenes segments about Court TV's original movies.


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exile said...

"yeah, definately gotta watch People's Court. People's Court is on at three o'clock..."

Ontario Emperor said...

Don't get me started on Harvey Levin again...