today, smoking is going to save lives. [clip of the week. 2.4.09]

For the most part, I hate CBS. It’s the most watched network on television, and that depresses me.

I was hoping that, while it has plenty of crappy programming as well (this is still network television), NBC would use the recent Super Bowl opportunity to bring back some viewership. I was hoping they would do a good job pointing out what some of their stronger programming is so that they might steal some of that CBS thunder. NBC has some really great shows, like The Office and 30 Rock among others, so it should be fairly easy to make those shows look good. Yet, somehow, NBC failed. With the exception of their Conan ads, most of their advertising wasn’t just uninteresting, it was downright painful to watch.

If there was a saving grace for NBC, it was that they employ the writers for The Office, who offered them a “cold open” that, if there is any justice in this sad world, should give those uninspired CBS hits like Two and a Half Men a run for their money.

Granted, NBC worked pretty hard to nullify the benefits of said cold open by spending too long in their post-game coverage. However, the strength of this wonderful four and a half minutes of television gave NBC the option of simply showing clips during the game to advertise this episode of The Office which was aimed at drawing in new viewers who’d been around for the Super Bowl. It worked at our house, where (with the exception of three people who needed to leave during the game) everyone, all 14 remaining people, stayed and watched the hour long episode, and I think it had everything to do with the strength of the opening segment.

So, in case you missed it, here is the clip of the week.

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