Amount of TV commercials

I was just reading that the upcoming two new big TV series for the Fall, Fringe and Dollhouse, will feature fewer commercials, in order to hook audiences.

This just reminded me a few weeks ago when I was browsing Hulu, NBC’s online video site. It interested me, as an hobbyist filmmaker, to see how much the runtime of TV shows eroded over the years. This is what I found, on average:

1960s: 52 minutes of runtime for an 1 hour show.
1970s: 50 minutes.
1980s: 48 minutes.
1990s: 46 minutes.
2000s: 44 minutes.

“Lost” is 43 minutes, sometimes even a bit less than that.

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