Question: Numerous times on the former series “Bones,” the camera would zoom in on the Toyota insignia on the steering wheel, or on the back a car and include comments about the car’s fuel efficiency or other safety features.
This surprised me as the commercials during the episode included other car companies. Was this a subtle attempt for advertising by one of the writers who maybe was a Toyota owner?
Answer: No, that was a straight-up plug for Toyota in the episode. Such product placement has become commonplace in TV and movies.
Nielsen not long ago counted more than 600 brands integrating their products into prime-time broadcast shows alone. They reach folks recording shows who will likely skip through the ads. (One of my viewing frustrations is trying to watch a show on-demand and finding the fast-forward disabled to I have to sit through commercials.)
And they provide financial support for a program, and cross-promotional possibilities between the shows and the brand. My local gym carried signs for a show it was tied to; the signs were up after the show failed.
Question: On a commercial for the Chevy Blazer, a screen notes “real people, not actors” are commenting on the vehicle.
One woman who appears for a second looks very much like Paget Brewster of “Criminal Minds.” Could this be?
Answer: No. But we all can get sucked into guessing games about celebrities and others in commercials.
I am sure people spent time sorting out the individuals in IBM’s “Dear tech” ad, with famous folks such as actress/scientist Mayim Bialik, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and singer/actress Janelle Monae.
But did you also notice #MeToo movement activist Tarana Burke, entrepreneur/commentator Arianna Huffington, Open Source advocate Bruce Perens, inventor Lisa Deluca and spelling whiz Akash Vukoti, who has proudly said he’s “the only kid in the commercial”? Now, if they’d only gotten Paget Brewster in there.
Question: I seem to recall a kids’ show with a huge village. Kids would roll dice, walk through a town and answer questions. I think Monty Hall was host. What was it?
Answer: You are remembering the young people’s version of a show called “Video Village.” It originally aired on CBS in 1960-62. Jack Narz was the first host, followed briefly by Red Rowe then by a pre-“Let’s Make a Deal” Monty Hall. The kiddie version, “Video Village Junior,” was hosted by Hall and ran Saturday mornings in 1961-62.
A somewhat similar show was “Shenanigans,” which aired on ABC on Saturday mornings in 1964-65. Stubby Kaye hosted that one, where kids moved around a full-sized game board.
Question: Is “Homeland” ever coming back?
Answer: The Showtime drama will return for an eighth and final season sometime later this year. The season was originally announced for June but pushed back because of production challenges.
As TVLine reported, the final season is heavily set in Afghanistan, with Morocco being used for the location. According to Showtime, this last go-round has Carrie (Claire Danes) recovering from her confinement in a Russian gulag “but her memory remains fractured.” Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) is a national security adviser charged with ending the war in Afghanistan, but he needs Carrie’s help.
And, he has a new foe in foreign-policy adviser John Zabel, played by Hugh Dancy (who also happens to be Danes’ real-life husband).
Question: Sometime between 1996 and 2001 I saw a British version of “A Christmas Carol” where Scrooge was a loan shark. I’ve wanted to see it again but have not been able to hunt it down. I would very much appreciate knowing how to acquire a copy of it.
Answer: The 2000 made-for-Brit-TV version of “A Christmas Carol” starred Ross Kemp as loan shark Eddie Scrooge. I have found it as a digital offering on Amazon, available for viewing or downloading, but not as an authorized release on disc.