We’ve had a few questions on this so we thought it might be worth explaining the timings used when it comes to the duration of shows that we write about or are included in the encyclopedia. Basically if a show is on a commercial channel or network (say CBS or ITV or Channel 10) then the duration we list doesn’t take into account the advertisements.
For example if you were watching Modern Family on TV as it aired it would run for 30 minutes or an episode of CSI would run for 60 minutes. If you watch the same episode on catch up, streaming or dvd etc then it would quite a bit shorter, most 30 minute shows will run for 21 or 22 minutes and most hour long shows will run for between 41 and 43 minutes.
Back in the day when we had less advertisements allowed per hour then hour long shows would be fifty minutes long and half shows would be 25 minutes long. It’s a complicated business that is only to get more complicated as the powers that be allow more and more commercial time. Once upon a time the ads were there to enable the shows to get made these days all too often it seems that the programmes are only made to bring in the ad dollars.
Meanwhile on stations that do not feature ads, like the BBC or ABC Australia, then it is a much simpler affair. The duration of the show is the whole show and no ads.
The reason we choose to use the duration without commercial time included is for clarity across the board. It’s a fluid situation and it is something we will continue to monitor over the coming years.