The time of full-screen, slow-moving end credits on TV shows is long gone and forgotten as TV networks, in face of increased competition, are constantly looking for new ways to keep viewers from flipping the channel at the end of a program. Today, end credits roll at light speed while a teaser for the series’ next episode or the network’s show that is coming up plays. Now MTV is taking aim at production companies’ logo cards that normally run after the end credits, visually separating one show from the next. The cable network is moving all logo cards from end of show to the third break where they will appear before the episode’s fourth act.
The new policy has already been implemented on Teen Mom 2 and last week’s Real World special and is being enforced for all upcoming series, including the fifth season of Jersey Shore and new docu-series Caged. The first scripted series to comply with the new rules is new comedy I Just Want My Pants Back, which premieres on Feb. 2. Because the spots for the producers’ logo cards are specified in their contracts, MTV technically has to have their blessing for the move. There had been speculation that not all producers are happy about the new initiative, with rumors that Pants executive producers Doug Liman and Dave Bartis have opted to pull the card for their Hypnotic banner over the proposed relocation. Sources close to the series confirm that all logo cards for Pants: of MTV, Universal Cable Prods. and Hypnotic, will indeed be dropped but stress that that was the result of a mutual agreement between MTV and the producers to eliminate viewer distraction, especially for the first 2 episodes of the series, which are airing back-to-back.
But while taking the logo cards out of end credits would indeed provide a more seamless transition between two shows, it may create confusion in the new place they’re put in. The logic is that viewers instinctively flip the channel or get up to go to the bathroom or the kitchen when they see the production companies logo cards, a subconscious sign that their show is over. Wouldn’t seeing those cards earlier trigger a similar reaction, resulting in some viewers quitting the show before the final act or leave viewers wondering whether the program they’re watching is over or not? If MTV’s new policy sticks, look for other networks to adopt it for competitive reasons. And, because of the awkwardness of placing the logo cards 3/4 into the show, more producers may opt to drop them, which begs the question, has MTV found a stealth way of eliminating TV production companies logo cards altogether?