Abnormal programming will resume shortly.
Product placement is to be allowed on British TV shows, in a move due to be announced next week.
Independent broadcasters will be allowed to take payments for displaying commercial products during shows.
Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw is expected to announce a three-month consultation on the changes in a speech to the Royal Television Society next week.
Call me a cynic, but the scope for advertising on commercial TV is already a very simple matter. Should you wish to advertise on TV, you pay for the advert and run it. In fact, it would seem that it has never been easier and/or, if the laws of supply and demand still function, more inexpensive in real terms.
It is believed that ministers want to help struggling broadcasters such as ITV, which have been hit hard by the recession.
Not hard to see why. When a business is struggling, advertising budgets are cut, leading to a shortfall in demand on advertising space. TV companies can only respond by lowering charges to attract interest or their ad breaks will be lightly populated. Either way they lose revenue.
The change is intended to bring in extra funds for commercial broadcasters. Experts believe it could raise up to £100m a year.
If conventional advertising is struggling, how is product placement going to help? What can it offer which isn't readily, and relatively cheaply, available already?
No doubt the TV companies are hoping that the scope for placing their message within the programme itself, rather than during breaks which can be ignored or whizzed through with gadgets like Sky+, is something that advert placers would find very attractive. Imagine it. Instead of avoiding that product, ad, or message that you really can't stand, you'd have to watch it or miss part of your fave telly show.
So what bearing could this have on our future programming? What messages would we be likely to see?
To give us a clue let's, just by way of example, take the case of the country's biggest advertiser.
Government becomes UK's biggest advertiser
LONDON - The Central Office of Information (COI) has become the UK's biggest advertiser, spending £211m for its financial year 2008/09, an increase of 35%.
Over the same period Procter & Gamble spent £176.2m, according to The Nielsen Company. The COI, which serves government departments and public sector bodies, also revealed it has spent £540m on marketing and communications, up 43% on the previous year. Spend on digital marketing also rose 84% to £40m.
So, expect Rovers Return bar staff to dole out recommended daily alcohol unit limits along with the banter when Kevin and Sally pop in for a pint and a hotpot; The Sugdens waxing lyrical about wind turbines on the Yorkshire dales; PC Stamp declaring that he is ditching bacon sarnies in favour of a healthy, fat and salt-free aubergine soup; and Nicorette gum-laden smoking cessation officers being welcomed as heroic spiritual savours by the cast of Shameless.
Don't worry, you won't even notice it.