In Depth

Fox Promises Half the Ads in 2 New Dramas

Fox today said it planned to cut in half the commercial load in two of its new dramas next year.

At the network's upfront presentation Thursday, Fox Chairman Peter Liguori said the concept was called "remote-free TV" and would kick off in the fall with "Fringe." It will continue with "Dollhouse" in January.

"The broadcast business needs a jolt," he said. "This gives viewers one less reason to change the channel."

Jon Nesvig, president for ad sales at Fox, said the shows would carry just five minutes of national commercials in very short pods.

He said discussions with advertisers would determine if the economic proposition is "economically viable."

Presumably Fox will seek higher ad rates for these shows because, Mr. Nesvig said, they will provide "more entertainment for viewers and more impact for advertisers."

Advertisers have long complained about the clutter caused by the increasing number of commercials in shows; they are concerned that viewers fast-forward through commercials or that channel-surfers avoid them.