Monday , May 20 2024
from the Bee Movie to websites, last night was all about ancillary products.

NBC, the Internet, and Thursday Night Done Right

Am I the last holdout?  Am I the only one who still tunes their television on Thursday night to NBC and doesn't change the dial until the TV goes off for the night?  Okay, I'll give you that the TV now goes off at 10 not 11 (I refuse to watch ER again until it's the final episode or John Carter comes back fulltime), but the point remains the same.  For me,  Thursday night television on NBC is still "must see" even if they tag it as "comedy night done right."  I like Earl and 30 Rock, The Office and Scrubs.  I know, Scrubs hasn't started yet but they promoed it last night, so I'm excited. 

They also ran a ridiculous number of promos for Bee Movie, what did Seinfeld call it, "Bee Movie TV Juniors?"  I have no idea what that means. Is it a junior episode of something that actually is just an elongated advertisement for Bee Movie?  Is it television for the young'uns?  I am perfectly willing to admit that some of these commercials for Bee Movie were funny, but why are they being branded as anything but that?  The whole thing is so hugely confusing.  You're watching TV, an ad comes on for a new animated feature being put out by Jerry Seinfeld, the ad is really long and, as it turns out, sponsored by Ford.  Are you getting this — there's a long commercial for a movie, and the commercial is sponsored by Ford.  See, I thought that the people doing the advertising paid for the commercial, not that they commercial ended up with separate sponsorship.  What this must mean is that NBC is, somehow, defining these elongated Bee Movie commercials as content, not advertising.  Maybe for Sweeps they'll put air a two hour Lucky Charms movie sponsored by Hyundai.  It's moments like this that I miss Arsenio Hall, because this is one of those things that make you go "hmmmm…"

Enough huffing and puffing, let's talk about Dunder Mifflin Infinity for a moment.  At the end of the last two episodes of The Office, the show has asked viewers to go and register for their Dunder Mifflin Infinity website.  The whole concept is actually put forward pretty well as the last couple of episodes have focused on the paper company launching the new Dunder Mifflin Infinity project, which includes a brand new paper ordering website. I think it's quite clever, and certainly promoted in a better way than the ham-handed business card Heroes showed in a close-up last season advertising  I do think it would be better if the Dunder Mifflin Infinity page didn't say NBC all over it, but I guess they're not trying to hide who they are. 

Is this the future of television?  Does every show eventually create a website with a game on it?  Is that how more people are going to be enticed to watch and re-watch shows?  It sort of seems like a natural for 30 Rock to do something like that with TGS with Tracy Jordan, but could My Name is Earl get away with it?  Earl has to know next to nothing about computers, but there could be something on his list that would lead him to a computer geek who could get a website up and running for him, something like or  In fact, now that I think about it, the whole thing seems like a natural for My Name is Earl, doesn't it? 

From my lips to NBC's ears (as long as I get a cut).

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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