Sunday, November 19, 2006

Why don't networks do this anymore?

The all-network promo -- a commercial where the stars of the network in question cavort to a peppy song -- is mostly a thing of the past. The networks aren't as powerful as they once were, and a celebration of their ability to unite America (as these inevitably turned in to) just feels stupider and stupider. For that matter, they were always really cheesy.

As a kid, though, I loved these. While I rarely, if ever, knew who all of the stars were, I liked the idea that Hollywood was one, giant unending party where people danced dorkily with balloons. Never mind that the stars probably had to be plied contractually and dragged on to set. I thought it looked like the best time in the world.

Here are a few of these promos. Be warned. These songs have been stuck in my head since the '80s, and they'll be stuck in yours now.

NBC 1988:

NBC 1989:

ABC 1990:

Perhaps most annoying of all, CBS 1981:

These are completely awful, but there's a certain cheesy faith in television's power to bring people together that's nice to see in this age of fragmented audiences.

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