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Commercial detection plays an important role in various video segmentation and indexing applications. It provides high-level program segmentation so that other algorithms can be applied on the true program material in the broadcast. It is a challenge to have robust commercial detection methodology for various platforms, content formats, and broadcast styles that are used all over the world. Wide deployment of such an algorithm not only requires the development of new algorithms but also updating and tuning of parameters for existing algorithms. We present visual commercial detectors that rely on features including, luminance, letterbox, and keyframe distance. These detectors were developed after a careful study of the various features that can be extracted during MPEG-encoding process in real time. Due to the intermittent nature of the features, and platform restrictions, the commercial detection relies on a set of thresholds to keep the implementation as simple as possible. We evolved these thresholds using genetic algorithms (GAs) to optimize the performance. We show how a scalar genetic algorithm can locate sets of parameters in a multi-objective space (precision and recall) that outperform the values selected by an expert engineer. We present the results of optimizing a commercial detection algorithm for different data sets and parameter sets. In this paper we show that GAs drastically improved our approach and enabled fast prototyping and performance tuning of commercial detection algorithms.