TV network promos are the miniature trailers, if you will, that air on major TV networks to promote their top shows. Network promos are usually 15 or 30 seconds, but can also be short bumper segments of about 5 seconds or extended promos of 1 of 2 minutes.
Usually, you can identify network promos by certain key trigger phrases the voiceover talent will say to hype or grab attention.
- “Tonight on Fox…”
- “Tuesdays on NBC…”
- “Coming in August…”
- “This Friday, don’t miss…”
Network promos are usually recorded with an ISDN or phone patch link between the talent’s studio and the promo department of the network. The session director walks the actor through the spot and its timing for each line with dialog breaks and sound effects. After listening to the raw audio for the already completed spot without the voiceover, the talent has a sense of pacing and will usually complete the spot with just a few reads, all the while, hearing the sound effects and music bed in his headphones.
Here’s an example of a network promo I voiced for the PBS show “Sid the Science Kid”.