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As Seen On TV

About the Show

CNBC takes you into the high-pressure world of infomercials where sales are skyrocketing. Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell sits down pitchmen and their products for an all-access look at a booming business and it's out-of-this-world profits.

It's a $150 Billion industry, promising people everything from perfect abs to the Perfect Pancake.

Two minutes or less of carefully-crafted commerce aimed solely at making you buy, and buy NOW! A 25-year-old industry whose sales are increasing, despite today's turbulent economy.

CNBC Emmy-nominated Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell goes inside the big business of direct-response infomercials that's made the Snuggie, ShamWow! and the Ginsu Knife household names.

Rovell sits down with the industry heavyweights like inventor Ron Popeil, the late pitch man Billy Mays and Telebrands CEO AJ Khubani, tests which products are busts or buys, and uncovers the psychology behind why some sales pitches strikeout while others are hit out of the park.

But, WAIT! There's more...

Web Extras

  • Mighty Brand     Thursday, 20 Aug 2009 | 9:31 AM ET

    The "Mighty" brand that Billy Mays made popular became a mighty seller for Media Enterprises, with sales of $80 million and counting. Bill McAlister, CEO of Media Enterprises, talks about working with his friend, Billy Mays.

  • Infomercial     Thursday, 20 Aug 2009 | 9:32 AM ET

    When times in corporate America are tough, the infomercial industry seems to flourish. And no one had more air time than the late pitchman Billy Mays.

  • Ginsu Knives     Tuesday, 22 Dec 2009 | 12:00 AM ET

    As Seen on TV takes an inside look at what made the Ginsu Knives commercial campaign a success.

  • Ed Valenti "Miracle Painter"     Monday, 20 Apr 2009 | 12:02 AM ET

    Darren Rovell sits down with Ed Valenti, whose catch-phrase creation "But wait, there's more!" has become part of the American vernacular.

  • As Seen On TV Tuesday, 14 Apr 2009 | 2:37 PM ET
    The infomercial industry made stars out of professional pitchmen like the late Billy Mays best known for OxiClean.  The bearded, blue-collar everyman commanded tens-of-thousands of dollars per product pitch, and he also took a percentage of the sales.   Billy Mays: “Life’s a pitch and then you buy.”

    It's really a combination of science and skill, and yes, the requisite amount of silliness, that goes into a creating an ad that will make you get up and buy.

  • Snuggie Pub Crawl     Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 | 12:00 AM ET

    Ever wonder what to wear for a night out on the town? How about a "Snuggie"? From the streets of San Francisco to the subways of New York, "partiers" are choosing to don their favorite fashionable blankets with sleeves.

  • Chia Obama     Monday, 20 Apr 2009 | 12:00 AM ET

    Since 1977, the Chia Pet has grown into a pop-culture phenomenon... But it made headlines in 2009 with a Chia figure that is thought to be more controversial than kitschy... The "Chia Obama"... Darren Rovell sits down with Chia creator, Joseph Pedott...

  • ShamWow! vs. Zorbeez     Monday, 20 Apr 2009 | 12:01 AM ET

    It's an "As Seen On TV" product face-off! Billy Mays' Zorbeez vs. Vince Shlomi's ShamWow! Soda cans in hand, Darren Rovell and Popular Mechanics magazine run a head-to-head comparison of seemingly super-absorbent shammies. Watch before you buy...

  • Popeil and Mays     Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 | 12:00 AM ET

    Ron Popeil and Billy Mays - the King and Heir apparent to the "As Seen On TV" throne. CNBC's Darren Rovell goes one-on-one with the top Pitchmen.

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