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'Seinfeld' Reruns Are Played Back At Faster Speeds: What's The Deal With That?

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Seinfeld was arguably the best show ever on television, and that's probably why it's still airing on TV today. It's a great show (some parts haven't aged that well, but it was the '90s) about four friends doing nothing - it speaks to a part of us that simply wants to hang around with our buddies and do...well, nothing.

Then again, it's been nearly 20 years since the show ended, and TV has changed quite a bit. It's only inevitable that Seinfeld would have to go through some changes to stay relevant: no, not the show's content, but the show's running time would have to change.

It may come as a surprise, but Seinfeld reruns are actually played much faster than the original broadcast versions. That might sound crazy, but all you need are modern and original versions of the same episode playing side-by-side to see how big of a difference there is:

One of the videos you're seeing (courtesy of Reddit) is the original broadcast version of Seinfeld playing at a normal speed. The other video is a modern rerun of Seinfeld, playing 7.5% faster than the original version. At first, there's not much of a difference, but as the clip goes on, the two versions start to de-sync - it's not long before the newer version is much farther ahead than its older counterpart.

So, why are the older episodes being sped up? That's easy: advertising, apparently.

Back when Seinfeld was originally airing, the average run-time for a sitcom was 25 minutes. That was just how things were done: five minutes for commercials, 25 minutes for actual show. Now, things are different; shows run at around 21 or 22 minutes, with roughly eight minutes for ads. When it came time to run old Seinfeld episodes, TBS was faced with a conundrum: how do you get extra ad time out of a show that aired 15 years ago?

TBS' apparent answer was, in this case, to speed the entire episode up. That way, none of the show's content would be cut, and the network would still get its ad time.

Seinfeld isn't the only show that's been edited to accommodate more commercial time: older episodes of The Simpsons have been cut down to 21 minutes, simply so that more ads could take its place.

So, if Kramer's entrance is looking particularly spastic one day, you know why: commercials.

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