Press Kits Unwrapped
FOX's top crime drama, 'Bones,' has grown a lot over the years, gathering more and more fans along the way as well as treating us with great episodes and compelling characters each week. Now that I've watched episodes 99 and 100 of the series -- both will air in early April -- I can't imagine why I actually didn't enjoy the pilot at all when I previewed it the summer before the series aired. I'm extremely happy in retrospect that I gave the pilot a second chance and tuned in when the series premiered back on September 13, 2005, as it is one of my favorite TV series nowadays.
In order to advertise the milestone episodes that are episodes 99 and 100, FOX sent out a press kit to media types like us. Let's open the box (see picture above) shall we?
One of the pleasures of blogging here at TV Squad is getting a press kit from a network to promote a new or returning show. Sometimes it's just a folder with a screener. Sometimes it's a cornucopia of doo-dads and tchotchkas that might be cool. I've seen some reviewers build an entire wardrobe from press kit tee-shirts, hoodies and caps. So, it was with real excitement -- like the anticipation of a birthday gift -- when Fedex turned up with NBC Entertainment Publicity's big box of promotion for Chuck.
With just a little over a month before the season eight premiere of 24 (it returns for a two night/four hour event on Janurary 17th and 18th), Christmas came early here at TV Squad this week when we received the new 24 press kit.
The above promotional image for the new season is enough to get us excited -- Jack Bauer jumping on top of an NYC cab and aiming a gun at the passenger seat is pretty damn exciting -- but just like the cast photo for the new season, it could contain some secrets as well. Thinks there's any weight to the word "PLOT" on the folded New York Post? I'm guessing there is, but the press kit didn't offer any answers.
AMC is certainly pulling out all the stops to promote their re-imagining of The Prisoner. The new mini-series airs for three nights straight, starting Sunday November 15 at 8/7 Central. The network was kind enough to send out a press kit in anticipation of the new series, and right off I have to give them credit for sticking to their theme.
Some press kits seem to have random objects thrown in that have little or nothing to do with the show they're promoting. Everything that I found within this little box worked toward establishing the feeling of paranoia that pervades the world of The Prisoner. Even better, aside from the DVDs themselves, I could imagine this being the propaganda kit I would receive were I to ever wake up in the village.
Lie to Me is not a show that grew on me last season. When it first premiered earlier this year, I didn't even bother watching it. I tend to shy away from mid-season replacements to begin with and something about seeing Tim Roth speaking in his normal British accent in promos for the show seemed weird to me.
Then summer arrived, TV viewing options started to dwindle, and suddenly Lie to Me became a viable option. I watched the pilot, was mildly amused, and then dropped it for over a month before I looked at another episode. At first, it wasn't that great, and now that I've had the opportunity to speak to Roth about it, it's good to know that I wasn't alone in thinking that.
This particular press kit contained a body brush (for scrubbing those hard to reach places while in the bath or shower) as well as a plastic bag that contained a towel and some bubble bath . The only thing I can conclude from this particular batch of items is that watching The Cleveland Show will somehow make one feel unclean. This is a nice continuation from the same feeling one would get from watching any given episode of Family Guy.
Actually, the kit is a bit contradictory. The bag is obviously to keep a wet towel from dripping on anything, but who brings such a thing to the bath? That sort of item is usually reserved for the beach. I guess they were afraid the towel would get wet in transit or something.
I feel sorry for the poor intern who had to put this thing together. I understand that Lifetime is a cable network and all, but they've become pretty high-profile lately. I would think that if they were going to send out press kits, then maybe they could spring for more than some confetti and crappy stickers printed out on the office ink jet.
Even Sit Down, Shut Up, which is last press kit I did, at least had a t-shirt. It was actually a super-comfy American Apparel shirt, and I still wear it around the house. The Rita Rocks/Sherri press kit, on the other hand, is a do-it-yourself lunchbox-type thing, filled with confetti, containing the DVDs, a bunch of crappy candy, and some un-inflated balloons. It's kind of the saddest thing I've ever seen.
It is nice, however, to see the multi-camera, live audience sitcom making a comeback to the big three networks (four if you count the CW). They almost feel like a warm hug from the past, reminding me that they haven't forgotten me or the shows I remembering watching instead of getting regular exercise or dating.
The same things can be said for the show's official press kit.
But FOX and its cable sibling FX are still plugging away, sending expensive-looking press kits to promote their shows. While FX is content with sending elaborately-packaged folders with DVDs and a glossy press guide, their broadcast cousins are still sending tchotchke-laden packages, like the one I got for the new season of House. An explanation, and more pics, after the jump.
FX's press kit for the forthcoming second season of Sons of Anarchy has none of these things. There are no bloody brass knuckle sets, fake handlebar mustaches or even a lousy T-shirt that reads "The bitch fell off" on the back, perfect for that upcoming christening or bar-mitzvah.
That doesn't mean it's bad. In fact, it's one of the most bitching press kits to ever grace my cold, ink-stained hands.
But FOX, bless its heart, still sees fit to blanket critics with goodies. Take the press kit I just got that contained episodes two and three of Glee, which restarts on September 9. With the DVD came this warm-up jacket, with the FOX logo and "National Cheerleading Champs 2009" on the front, and "Sylvester" on the back ("Sylvester" is the last name of Jane Lynch's character on the show).
I was told by those in the know (namely, my fiancee), that the warmup was "very soft." So, I guess she'll be wearing this around the house if she gets cold. More pics are after the jump.
When you write about the television business, one of the little perks is receiving the press kit for a new or returning program. Occasionally, some little trinket will be included -- Kona got a whistle for Sit Down, Shut Up, there was a tee-shirt with My Boys -- but for the most part, the thing you remember about a press kit ultimately is the show.
When the press kit for Glee arrived, it made me laugh. The package was like a long, CD box (remember those?), all in red and looking like a typical high school locker. It even had a combination lock, which gave me the willies as I recalled the apprehension I had that first day in school when I wasn't sure I'd remember the combination in time to make it to home room! There was also a small mirror on the left side -- which I guess qualifies as a trinket -- and it caught my smile in its reflection.
I don't know about you guys, but I've been super-excited about the premiere of Mitch Hurwitz's new animated show, Sit Down, Shut Up. It seems like I've been hearing about it forever, but it finally premieres this Sunday night on Fox. Recently, the screener came up for grabs, so naturally I jumped at it. What I didn't realize is that I would be getting the whole press kit with it.
All press kits are not created equal: I'd definitely enjoy a talking Barney bobblehead from How I Met Your Mother, but a busted picture of Eliza Dushku's face from Dollhouse really wouldn't do a whole lot for me. The press kit for Sit Down, Shut Up is kind of low-rent, but it is for a Mitch Hurwitz show on FOX. The low-rated Arrested Development didn't exactly make FOX a boatload of cash while it aired, so they're probably waiting to see how the ratings go for this one before they shell out any more dough on fancy tschotkes for the press.
Let's just get this out of the way: My Boys isn't a very good show. Calling it mediocre is even going too far. However, I can't be the only one that's watching it, because the TBS sitcom is already a few episodes into its third season. That's right - My Boys has actually been somewhat of a minor success for TBS, partially due to some wise scheduling. Save for the first half of season one, My Boys is always on during the spring and summer months when - surprise - there isn't much else to compete with. The show might not be great, but hey, new TV is better than no TV.
Ok, that's not exactly fair. I thought it was a box of Styrofoam pellets until I dug a little deeper and pulled out a DVD of the 100th episode of House and two wonderful little surprises.
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