“We’re not fooling anybody that we’ve got another story coming up”

Way back in 2008 I once asked Tracy Grimshaw why A Current Affair teases viewers near the end of the show that a story was “coming up” when it was really just a promo for the following night?

“You know what, if I was sitting home I’d throw something at the telly! I don’t get everything I want on the show!” she laughed.

“We’re not fooling anybody that we’ve got another story coming up. In truth we should re-word that. But it’s been done that way for a while. I just have to trust that our viewers are smart enough to know what we mean when I say ‘coming up’, I mean ‘not really coming up, tune in tomorrow!’”

Points for honesty. Years later it’s still part of the nightly rundown.

So I recently posed the same question to a somewhat surprised ACA Executive Producer Fiona Dear.

“It’s interesting she’s never raised it with me, but I’ll chat to her,” she explained.

“There probably is a smarter way to do it and we are always trying to come up with different ways of selling something. I want to keep (viewers) going into the next show. That’s all of our jobs …to serve the next show coming up.

“The other thing you have to understand is that promo also serves so many purposes. It’s a timing issue. We are a half hour show and have timing constraints. So there are technical reasons why we have it in there.”

So over to readers…. is there a more transparent way for ACA to keep its viewers watching without that little white lie that a story is coming “up next”, when it isn’t really?

20 Comments:

  1. The language American shows and promos use when playing promos in show to promote the next days Episode, but they kinda want you to think it’s actually coming up after the commercial break is

    “Next Inside Edition” or “Next ET”

    So it would be “Next ACA” in this case.

    It’s truthful but also deceptive 😀

  2. Bless…Tracey’s comment below tells me she’s overestimating the intelligence of an audience that have just sat through 25 minutes of stories about how to save money at the supermarket and little old ladies being ripped off by dodgy tradesmen.

    ” I just have to trust that our viewers are smart enough to know what we mean when I say ‘coming up’, I mean ‘not really coming up, tune in tomorrow!’”

  3. … it’s not just ACA … promos take all kinds of shapes and forms … at the ABC, the news department on a Monday will run a “news story” during the 7pm bulletin that’s not “news” at all and at the end of it back-announce with “… and you can see more on that story in 4 Corners tonight at 8.30 on ABC television” …

    • That is a more recent development on ABC news over the last few years, more common for promoting 7.30 Report stories that immediately follow the news but still an annoying thing to do.

  4. What they don’t realise is pushing that last break to within a minute of the show ending actually takes away from the next show because once viewers know it’s the end of the show at 7.26 they won’t stick around for the next show. Back on the Today Show we were pushing breaks around all the time but they eventually catch up with you and somewhere you get an unwatchable 3 or 4 minutes where things are butted up together. They are just messing with the appeal of the next show if viewers are forced to endure 4 minutes of no content before 7.30. it’s more selfish than smart.

    • Exactly, if you are watching you know come 7.25 you can tune off as nothing new that night so really they are costing themselves viewers by trying to play games like this…

  5. I understand the EP’s role to keep as many viewers as possible for the next program but if we did a Family Feud question and asked ‘when would ‘coming up’ occur?’, not many would say 24 hours!
    How about ‘on the next ACA’ or ‘yep … another neighbour from hell’

  6. I know this is a 1st world problem, but it is a thing. Irrespective of the time they come back from the final ad break, sometimes they do run the over run story. From what I have noticed, Its normally during the footy season and particularly on a night where 9 are showing a game…

  7. Technically speaking, it really is “coming up”, it just so happens that the next episode is the following day. It’s no different to advertising films as “coming soon”. Viewers should be smart enough to know that as Madam Tracy has quipped.

  8. Just do what other shows do ‘Tomorrow night’ or ‘On next week’s show’.

    What ACA do is incorrect and they should opt for different language. Having said that I hate the show so do not watch regardless!

  9. In the rundown, allow 0:45 for an additional “and finally” or a short LVO “good news” piece item that can be trimmed on the fly. They usually also have tomorrow’s national weather commencing the segment and the promo. This allows several items to drop for timing and a better promo before the break.

  10. I found it annoying when they do that. It looks like a sneaky way to get viewers to stay on the channel for the show following ACA. “coming up” when used on television usually means something coming up later in the same program, or the immediately following program. A simple “tomorrow” promo would suffice.

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