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A revolution, or at least a serious shift in what was thought to be a hardline stance, has just happened without much fanfare. Over the past couple of weeks, Fox has been promoting its new show The Following with commercials that all included the injunction "Set Your DVR Now!"
This is a groundbreaking change as networks typically want you to watch their shows live, so that you can watch the advertisements and stick around for the following program and its own advertisements, and possibly stay put for ... you get the idea. All that is why although the networks still get paid by the announcer if the ad is watched within 72 hours of its original airing, they still prefer live viewing. And of course, there is also the fact that, let's face it, they know you might be tempted to use the fast-forward button.
Vulture.com reports that Fox's decision is the result of a careful study taking into account the above, but also the fact that some of the network's new fall shows seem to have ratings issues because they have no chance to develop a following as they don't even make it to DVR. Fox seems to also acknowledge that for a serialized show like The Following, which is premiering midseason, some sacrifices could be made for the series to build a sizable viewer base.
The Following centers on "ex-FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) who leads the search to catch diabolical serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) who has created a cult of serial killers."
The series premieres today, January 21, 2013 at 9 p.m. EST on Fox.