How PR Works in Today’s World of Entertainment

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UPDATE, 2:25 p.m.: Just thought I’d throw this in here that Glee (fourth season), Raising Hope (third season) and New Girl (second season), all PopRox-approved shows, have been renewed by Fox for the 2012-13 TV season. None of it is that big of a surprise, although Raising Hope’s ratigns aren’t exactly fantastic and it loses a good chunk of New Girl’s lead-in. But Fox seems like it has a pretty good thing going on Tuesday nights, so why screw with it? In today’s world of TV, you don’t.

strictly a redbox pick

Coming off the biggest March in box office history, we’re now about to get bogged down in a downright poopy April. Really, there is just nothing going on. American Reunion was promising, but only came up with $21 million over the holiday weekend. While that is bad news for everything coming out in the next three weeks before we can get to Avengers, it presents an interesting opportunity for Hunger Games, which took its third straight weekend box office win. The movie now has a chance to win six straight box office weekends, something no movie has done since Avatar had eight in a row. That could be enough to get it to a $400 million total box office, which would put it in the top 13 box office hauls of all time. If it could nudge over $415 million, it hits the top 10. No one — NO ONE — could have predicted in February there was even a chance of that happening.

star, producer, director and now, apparently, pr flack

Does AMC even have a publicity department? First Jon Hamm is the one to break it that Mad Men would premiere on March 18, and he let out other details along the way too. Now it’s Bryan Cranston saying that Breaking Bad will air its final 16-episode season in two parts, with one part coming this July (maybe) and another part coming in 2013 sometime (another maybe). Know why we’re not sure? Because AMC still hasn’t said when the show is coming back! They did the same thing with Mad Men to the point that I think this could actually be their strategy, and it’s actually not a bad one at all. Have the star/producer of the show reveal the start date or some other little detail about the show to get some play out of the story then. Wait a week or so until the media coverage dies down. Then make the official announcement and get it back in the news. That’s two weeks for the price of one! Maybe they can milk it for three weeks by getting Aaron Paul to “slip” and announce the actual start date later this week. Then they can get three weeks of publicity. It’s actually a masterful use of the Web reporting cycle, and here I am going along for the ride like a sucker. At least I’ve exposed AMC’s evil PR plot. So there.

better luck fooling me next time

As long as I mentioned Mad Men, and I’ll attach a fierce SPOILER ALERT!!! to this (OK, ready? Don’t keep reading if you haven’t seen last night’s Mad Men yet … and here we go), I knew Don was dreaming/hallucinating. You don’t watch seven years of Rescue Me without picking up a trick or two to know who is dreaming and who isn’t, right? Right. Or maybe it was because I was just as sick as Don last night and was fearing hallucinations myself while making my wife take care of the kids all day at her parents’ while I drifted in and out of sleep watching The Masters. Something like that. But I like Don’s internal struggle. It’s hard to tell if he really wants to make it work with his new wife, or if he’s just scared of her because she’s a little smarter than he’s used to in a woman. But it’s obvious he’s not comfortable in monogamy. He probably never will be. Along with Joan’s kicking her annoyingly selfish husband out, I’m sticking with my prediction that Don and Joan are hooking up by the end of the year.

And then here’s the bad side of publicity departments. Fox will be airing COPS exactly four nights through the rest of the year — but won’t admit it’s effectively canceling the show because technically, it isn’t — it’s just airing it a lot less often. A lot less often. Why they don’t just go ahead and say, “Yeah, it’s basically canceled, we’re just going to air it as specials now, whatever, just watch the reruns on G4 if you want to see the show, it’s basically the same thing the new shows do every week.” Fox won’t go with “canceled” because it just sounds bad. And because COPS has been on the air for 24 seasons. Fox is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. By a show of hands, does anyone think it would be a good idea to cancel your longest-running show while you’re celebrating a big birthday? No one? Yeah, me neither.

Just in case you didn’t think KISS had sold out officially and finally, let’s put that to bed immediately with the news they’ll be performing on Dancing with the Stars tomorrow. Somehow those jokers managed to keep their credibility when they put their names on every piece of merchandising that’s ever existed, but this should finally be the final nail in the coffin so even their biggest fans finally have to stop arguing about KISS rules. Because KISS, in fact, does not rule.

they're 2-for-2 on season finales so far.

You don’t have to be stuck with KISS tomorrow night. You could instead opt for the season finale of Justified, because, you know, it’s awesome. And yet, as good as it’s been, I feel like they’re leaving something on the table this year because it’s been just a shade too confusing. I get the gist and all, but it seems like there are so many balls up in the air that they can’t all be caught by Raylan in the finale. Maybe it’s because Quarles isn’t the villain I thought/hoped he would be, he’s been kind of a douche lately. He’s being outsmarted by just about everyone, but he keeps luckily getting away. He’s a smart guy, but when he’s smoking crack for hours on end, it’s hard to like him.

With all of the Avengers talk going around, I was starting to think Dark Knight Rises was gettign kinda left behind. We hadn’t heard any news on it at all for months, like Warner Brothers was cool just sitting back until mid-May to give Avengers its time in the sun and then pounce on the headlines. Maybe Warner Brothers is playing it just right because people are going to jump over anything it can find to break a DKR story — like randomly finding out it’s rated PG-13. That was as close to a given as there is. Christopher Nolan probably would have liked to have the freedom to put together an R-rated movie, but I’ll bet about a zillion dollars he was under strict orders to make a PG-13 movie, and I’ll bet about a billion it was in his contract to produce a PG-13 movie. So it’s not like this is any kind of surprise, but with people desperate for any kind of DKR news they can find, this becomes a big story.

Now that that’s out of the way, gotta keep the streak going of like 67 blog posts with some kind of Avengers news. It might be more than that, I’m not sure. Anyway, they decided to release the movie’s first clip last week, with Black Widow getting herself out of a little jam. Scarlett Johansson probably went home to that Nate Naylor guy after she filmed it and said something like, “You’re not going to believe the dress they put me in today and then made me beat up three guys with my boobs flying all around.”

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