Yet another reason to stop watching commercial TV: The networks’ increasingly brassy and annoying habit of promoting an upcoming show over the end credits of another show — before that show is finished. One evening early last month, Hot Country Nights’ announcer couldn’t be heard reading the list of the following week’s guests because NBC had inserted its own announcer’s voice to plug a Jaclyn Smith TV movie, In the Arms of a Killer. On CBS, otherwise admirable This Morning weatherman Mark McEwen has begun making the network’s Monday — night lineup a trial to sit through by doing things like touting Designing Women over the conclusion of Murphy Brown in the cutsiest way: ”Hey, Murph — got a scoop for ya, and I’ll be the unnamed source watch Designing Women, next!”
On Home Improvement, where Tim Allen is, à la Roseanne, generously trying to insert one final gag into each episode, ABC has had its announcer interrupt to tell us to be sure to watch ”Roseanne — next!” — as if the millions of people who make Roseanne the No. 1 show in the country week after week don’t know that! And let’s not even mention the poor devil on Fox who has to sound enthusiastic plugging Herman’s Head while ruining the final musical number on In Living Color. I mean, those Fly Girls get little enough respect as it is.