You know the deal. You are watching a show. Something big is about to happen.


Then they go back 30 secs to a minute in the show after the commercial. Some shows are terrible about this and it is almost like you can watch an hour and half the show was repeated. When did this phenomenon start? Was there a show or a trend that started it? Do networks think users really want to view shows in this way? Do these cuts get included in the box set versions of the shows (so are the "shows" on DVD shorter)?

Also logically wouldn't this type of thing have gone in the opposite direction with people skipping commercials?

Note that a buddy at work has a theory it is because of people skipping. In that you won't see the "thing" after it has happened. He thinks this is a buffer of sorts. However when my wife watches the Bachelor or similar shows I am already in hell and then I have to watch the same stupid scene in previews, before a commercial (coming up), before a commercial (the first real time it plays on show), and then after the commercial. 4 TIMES!!! Serenity now!


1 Answer 1


The earliest example I remember was in the original Star Trek series (1966-69). As @cde mentioned in a comment, it was from different angles. I assume it was used to draw the viewer back into the story after the disruptive commercial break.

  • I recall the 60's Adam West's Batman doing this to excess, as well as 60's Get Smart, but not 50's I Love Lucy. Of course I watch reruns, not original airings.
    – cde
    Oct 12, 2015 at 21:08
  • As I recall these might be lead-ins but they were usually panned from a different angle for just a few brief seconds. I don't think anyone viewed these as annoying - maybe I am wrong though. I am really talking about the complete playback of what you just saw right before the commercial. If I watch shows from the 80s and 90s I don't see this at all.
    – blankip
    Oct 12, 2015 at 21:26
  • @blankip I agree, they weren't annoying ... unless you watch the show without the commercial breaks. Then it just looks weird and take you out of the story. As for the complete playback, I haven't noticed that, and I'm glad! That does sound annoying! Oct 12, 2015 at 22:52

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