Products, Not People, to Star in NBC Drama

Marketers could buy key storyline slots under 'DVR-proof' ad strategy
By John Lister,  Newser User
Posted Nov 9, 2007 9:06 PM CST
Ben Silverman, newly appointed NBC Universal co-chairman, who is behind the development of the TV version of 'E'.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – TiVo-weary advertisers might be able to buy their brands starring roles in an NBC drama, Advertising Age reports. A show based on Matt Beaumont’s novel E centers on a fictional ad firm’s work with two real-life companies. The real-life-company slots, estimated near $500,000 each, will buy some say over storylines. NBC says it’s a way to "DVR-proof" the marketers’ messages.

Unlike in the book, characters in the TV version won’t bad-mouth the products. NBC co-chair Ben Silverman says the network previously steered clear of product placement in drama, but traditional ads aren’t reaching viewers who skip over them using digital video recorders like TiVo. If the show gets green-lighted, it could premiere before the 2008 Olympics.