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The Incredibly Shrinking Credits

by Neena Louise

I read TV show and movie credits. Always have. How annoying, then, that credits are now so often squished or delegated to the bottom quarter of the TV screen, making them almost impossible to read.

I suspect the networks/local stations just want to squeeze one more ad in during the closing credits, but I find it an extremely annoying and outrageous ad space grab. It's hard enough to read credits that zoom by at full speed, full size; it's impossible when they're squished as well, with an announcer blathering on about upcoming shows.

I fail to understand how the few seconds taken up by credits is deemed so important to stations that they feel they must use it to advertise themselves. The only people still watching, after all, are those that are interested in reading the credits; not people interested in watching a split screen showing something totally irrelevant. If I wanted picture-in-a-picture, I'd buy a TV that's capable of it - I don't need the stations to do it for me when I'm trying to read credits. Why bother even having credits if they're only going to be made illegible?

Especially irritating is the practice of splitting, shrinking, skewing, or dispensing with outtakes and extra scenes from the show just ending. The credits silently roll over the scene, but a loud, obnoxious announcer ruins it by blabbing on and on - over the now-tiny scene - about whatever's coming up. You can't possibly hear what's going on under the announcement, never mind follow the credits.

This is a a totally disrespectful practice - both to the cast and crew that toil to make a show happen, and to the viewers that are interested in who it is that makes a show happen. If the stations feel they absolutely MUST advertise in this space, why don't they shrink the promo, not the credits? And shut those announcers up! This way, they'd still get their ads in, while giving the behind-the-scenes crew their due. It's only fair.  
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