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The Union of TV and DVD Has Been Fruitful

16 Jun, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

For TV addicts like myself, summer can be a very long dry spell of limited new programming. Don't get me wrong, I like reruns, they just don't yield the same level of excitement as the regular season.

On one hand, it's good — it kind of forces you to do other stuff. On the other hand, now there's DVD to fill the gap. I've been thinking about filling the new programming holes with some TV on DVD product I have for shows I've yet to get into, like “Monk” and “Nip/Tuck.” I'm just afraid that come fall, I'll have added a few new TV obsessions to my already long list.

I was watching network TV the other day (I have to, it's all I allow myself to have) and saw a couple of commercials for cable programming that I think could have an effect on TV lovers like myself.

The first was a really ingenious ad in which Tony Shalhoub, who plays the titular germphopic, obsessive-compulsive cop from “Monk,” and Anthony Michael Hall, “The Dead Zone's” hunky psychic who can read people's futures by touching their heads (from what I gather).

Both shows air on the USA Network, and in the commercial, “Monk” is chatting to the hunky psychic and says something to the effect of “Well, do you really have to touch them to do it?” kind of squeamishly.

It's funny, and it kind of made me want to order cable so I could watch these two. It certainly made me want to rip open the DVD sets I own for both of these shows. Incidentally, Monk: The Complete First Season and The Dead Zone Complete Second Season recently hit DVD — and although the commercial didn't mention the releases, I'm willing to bet more than a few shoppers who saw it will notice these two releases the next time their browsing through DVD shelves.

The same goes for the recent TV ad I saw for “Sex and the City” on TBS. Apparently, the network is really concerned that people know the show is still going to be steamy even with toned-down content for non-HBO language and nudity standards. Hmm. To me, that commercial kind of highlighted the difference even more and could potentially steer “Sex and the City” newbies to DVD instead. After all, pretty much anyone knows that in the time it takes to say Manolo Blahnik they can see and hear the “City” girls bare it all in any number of HBO's complete-season Sex and the City DVD sets.

It's all about choice, and the TV programming format and DVD have been building a very close relationship lately, one that consumers will get the most choice out of.

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