NBC did something interesting last night, as they premiered their much-ballyhooed The Black Donnellys.
They ran an entire 29 minutes without commercial interruption. It's a smart move -- a way to get viewers hooked into the story and not hand them a reason to go channel surfing. CK tells me they've done something similar for the season premiere of Nip/Tuck.
Last night, by the time they went to a commercial break that ran about 4 minutes, I was hooked. So even though I did my usual channel surfing during the ads, I came back for the rest of the show.
(By the way, I thought the show was well-done, despite the negative review in yesterday's New York Times.)
Now I only hope NBC will do another smart thing and give the program a chance to build an audience. I haven't seen the overnights, but hopefully it drew a good number of eyeballs. The nets will lose viewers for new shows if they keep dropping programs for low ratings after only a few episodes. It's disrespectful to viewers (the networks' customers) who invest time in a series, only to have it disappear suddenly. And look at some shows that started out weak and eventually became blockbusters -- most notably Seinfeld.
I'm tempted to put The Black Donnellys on my DVR list and then, if it does survive, watch all the episodes in a few months. Of course, you know I'll zip past the commercials.
If you missed The Black Donnellys, it repreats on NBC at 10 pm Eastern on March 1.