September 5, 2008
Commercials Eat Up 18 Minutes Per Hour
By Rich Heldenfels Akron Beacon Journal
Question: How many minutes of advertising in one hour of TV?
Answer: If you are talking about prime-time, commercial broadcast television, an hour usually includes about 42 minutes of program and 18 minutes of commercials and promotional items. The number can vary in other parts of the day and on other program services; I've seen cable shows with about 20 minutes of commercials in an hour.
And I am not counting a couple of other forms of advertising: graphics promoting other shows that fill part of the screen while you're watching a program, and product placement, in which items are included in a program itself in exchange for a fee.
Question: I remember a version of "Cinderella" coming on television when I was young (probably around the early 1970s). It seems like it came on once a year, and I'd like to find out which version of "Cinderella" that was. I looked online but I don't remember who starred in it -- there is one with Lesley Ann Warren and another with Julie Andrews and I don't know if it was either of these.
Answer: There have been many versions of "Cinderella," including three based on the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical: a 1957 production with Julie Andrews, a 1965 one with Lesley Ann Warren and a 1997 telecast with Brandy. The Warren one was often repeated, so I suspect that is the one you saw. And it's on DVD, if you want to see it again.
Question: I recall a sitcom called "Mother & Sons." I believe it was on TV about 1978-80. The mother was supposedly senile but not. She had two sons. One was a dentist and her favorite. The other son lived with her and took care of her. It seems they had an English accent. Is it available on DVD or VHS? It was a riot.
Answer: "Mother & Son" was an Australian comedy starring Garry McDonald as a 40-something man taking care of his aging mother (Ruth Cracknell) while his brother (Henri Szeps) only cares about her money. According to the Internet Movie Database, 42 episodes were made between 1984 and 1994. The seven-episode first season has been released on a U.S. DVD; if your local retailer cannot get it, it is on sale on Amazon.com.
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