RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – I tried to watch Wolf Blitzer’s program Monday evening, but it was practically impossible to focus on him, guests or stories.

Why? Because CNN posted a “Planet in Peril” promo on the left side of the screen in addition to all the space devoted to a scrolling news ticker across the bottom and the way overused “Breaking News” banner.

Remember the Saturday night skit spoofing the TV news anchor who slowly disappears from view as the screen becomes filled with more and more promos?

As annoying as locking in the “Planet in Peril” logo was, I must give CNN a tip of the hat for the way it is marketing the series that airs Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Regardless of your opinion on global warming and environmental threats and CNN’s politics, the network’s promotion of the series is top drawer.

Not relying on just cable and its worldwide reach, CNN is also making the series available immediately for sales, download and rent at the iTunes Store, Netflix, Amazon, Sprint mobile TV and more. Cable systems will also offer the series on demand.

As for future projects, look for CNN and others to expand beyond content delivery to audience interaction such as G4 in modeling. (See today’s Local Tech Wire feature about G4 from Billy Warden, a marketing and media whiz based in Raleigh.)

The Planet in Peril barrage is designed to help viewers watch the show almost immediately in whatever form they prefer.

In these days of me this and me that, my content and my device, CNN is providing soup to nuts delivery. You can rent the series from Netflix, order DVDs that are made on demand by an Amazon subsidiary, and download to your iPod or other smart device.

This CNN program serves as a lesson for other media companies to follow as the world moves away from standard primetime production to on-demand. And it takes advantage of our rapidly evolving technology from the one-off delivery of DVDs at Amazon to high-speed wireless and Internet for online access.

Amazing, isn’t it, how paradigms are not just changing but being destroyed. Not too long ago networks held onto programs for occasion repeat and then syndication. After making shows available in season DVD packages, now they sell single episodes online within minutes of the original airing.

Now we have CNN and its massive effort.

CNN apparently doesn’t care that much about ratings because viewers don’t have to be in front of the tube tonight or tomorrow to tune in. It is aiming for a larger audience by providing an ala carte menu.

Impressive effort, CNN.

If they will just dump the on-screen promos during newscasts, I’ll be even more impressed.