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And you think Christmas shopping starts too early: Welcome to the fall TV season, in May

After one of the most disastrous TV seasons in history, with viewership plummeting and a strike nearly obliterating four months of advertising revenue, the networks are desperately looking for any way they can to pull eyeballs in to the shows they'll debut this fall. That means heavy promotion has already begun, five months before the first new series actually starts. CBS, for instance, has already posted video clips for six new shows, including one that won't debut until January. My guess is that this will backfire, that viewers will grow heartily sick of these shows before they launch, but the networks work on the opposition assumption, that people are sheep who'll do anything they're told by somebody with a marketing degree. Let's see who's right. Here's a clip from a new CBS sitcom called The Gary Project, starring Jay Mohr and Paula Marshall as battling ex-spouses. Watch it; it's kind of amusing. Then watch it again tomorrow, the next day, seven times next week and 43 times in July. After that, let me know what you think.

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