HERE'S some comfort for all you computer illiterates:As...

salmagundi

January 25, 1994

HERE'S some comfort for all you computer illiterates:

As the "Farmer's Almanac" notes, "To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer."

...* * *

ANY NIGHT owl flipping through TV channels is bound to encounter a few "infomercials," those annoying program-length

advertisements for anything from ginsu knives to miracle diet plans to celebrated "cures" for baldness.

But until Sunday night, when NBC aired "Treasure Island: The Adventure Begins . . .," no such advertisement has been a prime-time show on a major network.

"Treasure Island" followed the adventures of a boy and his father on vacation at the Las Vegas resort of the same name, owned by Mirage Resorts. Mirage paid NBC an estimated $1.7 million for the one-hour time slot, just as if it had been buying commercial time.

Which, in a sense, it was.

"Treasure Island" brought TV one step closer to making advertisements and programming one and the same.

The new NBC series "Viper," which features the Dodge Viper sports car, is another manifestation of this trend.

The days of 30-second commercials interrupting TV sitcoms and dramas are slipping away. Who would have thought we'd miss them?

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