Discovery Communications plans to cut back the production credit roll on all of its programs to five seconds from 30 seconds, a company spokesperson confirmed. The plan is to implement the change immediately for all upcoming programs on all DCI channels, including Animal Planet and TLC.
The five-second end card will include the Discovery logo, the name of the production company and a website address (Discovery.com). Full credit info will be available only on the website.
Over the past three weeks, the Bethesda-based company has been conducting a series of closed-door meetings with selected producers in the U.S. and U.K. to discuss the credits issue. According to one producer,however, the roll-back was presented more as a fait accompli than a proposal. ‘It’s like a three-week tour of bad news,’ she said. Discovery argues that it has conducted extensive research that shows viewers tend to switch away when the credits come up. In the fight to keep eyeballs, this is DCI’s chosen strategy.
In reaction to Discovery’s announcement, the non-fiction branch of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will convene an emergency meeting of its peer group executive committee on April 4. Sheila Nevins, executive VP of original programming at HBO, Nancy DuBuc, director of history programming for A&E, and Susan Lacy, executive producer of ‘American Masters’ at Thirteen/WNET, are among the board members.
For more on this story, check out the May 2002 issue of RealScreen.