It’s that time of year again–time for all the zany promotional packages to pile up on the front door.
A new TV season means more promotional ballyhoo, especially from the folks at Fox. Arriving this week: packages promoting new Fox series Terra Nova and New Girl.
Terra Nova is the sci-fi dino-drama executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Brannon Bragna and others. A condensed clip was inadvertently sent to Canadian critics at upfront time which almost caused a border incident. The official, two-hour premiere screener makes for a pretty impressive movie, neatly setting up much more of a human interest story then was evident in earlier glimpses.
The screener did not come with a box full of dino poop, as one critic speculated, but a knapsack. Hey, always handy at back-to-school time.
Today’s courier delivery included a box full of stuff promoting New Girl, the sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel. Critics are already gaga over Zooey, based on an earlier screener distributed in June. The extras on the new screener does address one area of this sitcom I was a little concerned with: the character named “Coach” in the pilot. As played by Damon Wayans, Jr., he’s one of the three party dudes the “new girl” (Deschanel) moves in with as the series begins.
Trouble is, Wayans was already committed to that spring rom-com Happy Endings starring Elisha Cuthbert. When it was picked up, he had to step off this bus.
The producers, including Liz Meriwether, smartly decided to leave Wayans in the pilot (where he’s very effective) and bring a new character in to replace him in the series (Winston, played by Lamore Morris. He’ll take back his share of the apartment he was subletting to Coach.)
The New Girl package, which was clearly marked fragile and this end up, also contained a large glass “Douchebag” jar filled with tootsie-pops wrapped in American dollar bill-like wrappers. Nice touch, since the douchebag jar is a recurring gag in the series. At least one critic I’m linked in to on Facebook found his reduced to shards of glass when his box arrived. Mine somehow traveled all the way to Canada intact.
Canadian networks also get into the ballyhoo act, albeit on a smaller scale. CTV sent a little toy Mini Cooper to remind critics that the daytime series Anderson–featuring Anderson Cooper–begins next week. Vr-room, vroom.
Now, if only Fox aired The Playboy Club. In the old days, they would have sent a bunny to the door, and I don‘t mean Bugs.

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