What we’re talking about here is a sudden impulse on the part of the network to not reveal anything about some of their shows in their recent promos, and instead seem more than fine to just re-air the same one over and over again. Take, for example, Hawaii Five-0 repeatedly showing the couples-retreat episode, or us repeatedly getting the same footage of Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds out of context with what is actually going on with him. (It’s very different, especially as of late.)
Why is the network not bothering to include new footage in any of these? It’s clearly a very good question, but the only answer that we can offer up at the moment is that this is very much a product of the network seeming to think that these generic promos are the best way to recruit casual viewers who may not know the show very well. Admittedly, they do a great job of giving you a sense of what the shows are about — Blue Bloods, for example, take on complicated issues for the NYPD. We don’t think it’s a budget issue since there are networks with much smaller ratings and budgets that release promos that are more specific.
Yet, we’d argue that if people are paying attention during promos at this point, they have a certain degree of investment in these shows and they’ve seen them before. That’s why we think it’s always the better move to actually give viewers a sense of what is specifically coming, whether it be a big story or a guest star. In not hyping up your individual episodes, you’re not giving them a chance to stand out in the eyes of the viewers, and we would argue it’s a detriment to the show’s ratings. Given that many CBS shows are down by a good margin in 18-49 ratings as of late, that only further aids that argument. If you’ve got a great product, why not show it off?
Ultimately, we do think that there is a reason that many other networks out there are being a little bit more liberal in the information that they’re giving out about their shows — they realize that there is something more worthy of highlighting, and they’re not afraid to present that to you. We just hope that at some point down the road, CBS considers doing more of that again. (We should note that this is not the first time that the network has shown off super-generic promos for its shows, but it’s been an epidemic as of late. These shows listed here are just a few examples.)
Have you bee frustrated with the CBS promo mystery as of late? Share in the attached comments! (Photo: CBS.)