Next On NBC: "Just Do It"?

One TV niche that remains unaffected by the writer’s strike is the infomercial business: Barry Diller’s Home Shopping Network doesn’t have to worry about going into repeats, and neither does QVC. And the strike certainly isn’t slowing down Guthy-Renker, the mad geniuses behind slightly high-end ads for acne cream, pilates tapes and Dean Martin roasts. So NYT columnist Rob Walker, writing in his Murketing blog, wonders why the networks haven’t reached out to infomercial makers to fill programming holes.

I’ve been wondering why the networks don’t respond to the writer’s strike by simply running high-end infomercials. That is: Just let Nike or whoever buy an hour of prime time, and let them do what they want. Probably they’d go all out, and win an Emmy.

I’m not endorsing this. And I would personally find it depressing. I would find it depressing as an entertainment consumer, and as a professional writer who worries about the future of the market for writing. But that’s probably part of why I’m surprised it hasn’t happened. Murketing

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