Six weeks after ripping reality television a new one with a set of subway ads for fake shows like Married to a Mime and Bayou Eskimos, New York PBS station WNET is at it again, this time putting out trailers for made-up shows titled Meet the Tanners, Clam Kings, and Long Island Landscapers. The Wrap has the details:
Each ad, created by the agency CHI & Partners, contains the message, “The fact that you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV.” [WNET] is trying to make the point that it is one of the last outlets left for quality, educational television. And since they’re public television ads, they also include a link for viewers to donate.
“We’ve been experimenting with humor as a way to cultivate new viewers and donors,” said WNET president Neal Shapiro. “And these spots are really fun.”
Well, between the subway ads and these trailers, I think we can safely say that PBS has won the battle here. I mean, except in the ratings. Because they have definitely lost that battle. By so much. So very, very much. And they would probably lose to these fake shows, too, if a cable network decides to call their bluff and go ahead and make them, intellectual property rights be damned. God, that would be depressing.