Expository Subtitles: The Future of TV

Recently, DirecTV began airing episodes of “Damages” with subtitles that help explain background information viewers might not know if they missed previous episodes of the complex legal drama.

The on-screen subtitles function as a primer of sorts, appearing every few minutes to flesh out a twisty plot turn or reveal a character’s sinister motives…
“It’s a way to say to viewers, ‘It’s not too late to get involved in this show,'” said Paul Guyardo, DirecTV’s chief marketing officer. “And it might keep new viewers from throwing in the towel if they can watch episodes that give them extra background and context.” [LA Times]

As cable networks and scripted series fight harder to retain viewers, it’s likely that these expository subtitles will become widely available across all cable platforms. In a Warming Glow EXCLUSIVE, the following pages reveal how those subtitles will look for some of TV’s most popular shows.