The Office – Why 44 Minutes?


NBC's trick worked well tonight. When I sat down to watch "The Office," it wasn't on. Each show on NBC tonight ran a little longer than usual. What's the catch? I think I know.

The consumption habits of television audiences tend to have less relevance to quality of programming and really instead depend on when the consumer decides to be available. What that means is most of the people, most of the time, will find *something* to watch, even if it isn't what they really wanted. Most people saw clips of shows tonight that they wouldn't normally watch, because they were available at a certain time and, when their desired show wasn't on, they just watched and waited. It was a great trick to get viewers to check out new shows.

While I'm at it, let me just say that the Staples shredder product placement was a little too blatant. Tone it down next time.

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  • Jeff

    I love the office but I agree about the staples shredder. In addition, there was a staples add for that same shredder during the commercial break.

    However, in the age of TiVo where TV viewer can skip over commercials, advertiser are forced to create new ways to push their products. I’m certain that we’ll be seeing alot more product placements in The Office and other shows.

  • Jim

    I think this was intentionally blatant. NBC followed up with a similarly blatant but much funnier placement of Snapple in 30 Rock.

  • I’m not so upset with the imbedded ad. In fact, I think that all too often advertisers try too hard to be cute and in doing so the message gets lost. The point is that ads should be blatant and easy to recognize and understand.

    As for television viewing, you got it. Most of us know we are watching crap; we just happen to watch the best crap available at any given time.

  • Jim

    Interesting that you don’t have a problem with the also-not-subtle references to Hooters and Chili’s.

    Also what do you think about start/end times for shows that screw up Tivo watching — e.g., ending a show at 9:03?

  • LT

    Also note that the shows ran long into the next hour. When shows bleed over like that, the audience bleeds too, giving NBC a better chance of winning each timeslot in terms of ratings. To me, that was probably the biggest motivator of those extra long episodes. November is a key sweeps month, after all.