Global's Great Television Tradition - Macleans.ca
 

Global’s Great Television Tradition


 

Last night’s episode of The Simpsons, where they go to Vancouver, was not a bad episode but didn’t provide a lot to comment on. (It did demonstrate that Skinner’s origins have been completely whitewashed from the show, as the episode had him talk as if Agnes actually gave birth to him. Though you could argue that when Armin Tanzarian replaced the real Seymour Skinner, he agreed to take the blame for everything Skinner did, including his difficult birth.) It did continue my favourite Canadian TV tradition, the tradition of inept Global Television promos.

In this case, Global had not over-hyped the episode quite as badly as they did in 2002 when the Simpsons went to Toronto, and Global ran “THE SIMPSONS GO TO TORONTO!!!!1!” clips every five seconds. (Then the episode aired, the Toronto trip lasted about two minutes in the third act, and everyone in the country was P.O.’d.) The promo itself was fairly decent. But they continued to run the promo even after the episode was already in progress. And then, when the episode was over and they’d moved onto that show that rips off Family Guy and The Simpsons at the same time, Global ran the same promo, telling us to watch for the Simpsons’ trip to the Olympics, “tonight at 8 p.m. eastern!”

Now, I could make an argument that by telling us to watch out for 8 p.m. eastern after 8 p.m. eastern is already over, they’re making some broad point about the nature of time itself. But I don’t think the argument would stick.

As I said, Global’s bad promos — or in this case, badly-placed promos — are a tradition; any time they make their own promos instead of getting them from the U.S. parent network, they seem to come up with something just a little off. Ever since I was a child, I would see these Global promos where the creator either had never watched the show or didn’t have access to enough episodes to make up a good segment, so they’d take random clips from one episode (two at most) and let the voice-over guy try to make sense of it.

My favourite Global promo of all time, which I have never been able to find online (I know it was real; I saw it at least twice), was a King of the Hill promo consisting of one clip from the show and a voice-over announcement that was (exact quote) as follows:

Someone’s doing something on King of the Hill! Find out what! Tonight on Global!

Now that’s a promo.


 
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Global’s Great Television Tradition

  1. I think you may have mentioned it at some point in the past, but the bad promos remind me of the edited title cards Global used to do, where they'd (very badly) try to match the font for a tiny little "ON GLOBAL" tag beneath the show's name in every sitcom and drama intro sequence.

    • Oh, yes, and they also did it on Prime (before it became TVTropolis and stopped showing most of Prime's entertaining reruns). One of many examples.

  2. Hey look! It's Bart! And he's doing stuff!

  3. At the other extreme you have CTV, whose promos for US shows (during NFL games at least) show the same shots of characters looking thoughtfully at each other, without dialogue and with the same music (or so it seems) for each show.

  4. I'm convinced Global's inept promos destroyed The Mike Bullard Show. I supposed it never occurred to them to include actual comedy in a promo for a comedy show.

    • To be fair, Mike Bullard wasn't that funny. The fratboy-Letterman act got old fast.

  5. I remember Global being fond of airing promos with a clip of Dale Gribble ominously saying "Glooo-baaaal" from the King Of The Hill pilot.

    Global's inept promos are the natural extension of an inept network. This is a network that had repeatedly mistaken commercial parodies and Robert Smigel cartoons during SNL as real commercial breaks.

  6. The worst current Global ones are the "Did you know?" ones that always end with "Huh."

    Regarding the King of the Hill promo you mentioned, it kind of makes me think there's some great campaign hidden inside where every promo is actually satirical commentary on the formula of the show. "Tonight on The Simpsons, Bart does something bad, Homer drinks beer, and Lisa's intelligence gets her in over her head. You've never seen anything like it!"