Somewhere along the way many network and boutique publicists got the idea that the traditional elements of program promotion – press kits, DVD screeners, press conferences and other events – could be replaced by e-mails with links to online information and private streaming sites that would generate the same results. As a result, a growing number of critics are passing right by many new and returning shows, either by choice (because the shows are known to be terrible) or understandable oversight (the inevitable result of receiving hundreds of e-mails every day). This seems to be less of an issue for the bloggers and episode re-cappers (who tend to obsessively focus on a handful of shows) than it is for critics who make a Herculean effort to at least remain aware of everything that is happening on television and share that information with their readers. Within that context, let us praise the National Geographic Channels and the tireless work of their publicity and marketing teams in getting the word out – especially about important programming that people really should be encouraged to watch. They go as far beyond e-mails and links as it is possible to do.
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