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October 23, 2014

Press Kits Unwrapped

Chuck season three: Press Kits Unwrapped

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 3rd 2010 10:00AM
chuck_cast_season_three_NBC
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.

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24 season eight: Press Kits Unwrapped

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 16th 2009 7:03PM

Kiefer Sutherland stars as Jack Bauer on Fox's '24.'
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.

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Talking truth with Tim Roth of Lie to Me

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Sep 28th 2009 10:02AM
Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) returns to expose the truth behind the lies in the Season Two premiere of LIE TO ME airing Monday, Sept. 28 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
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.

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What recession? Fox / FX press kits are as elaborate as ever

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 8th 2009 3:00PM
House Press kitAs most people who follow our Press Kits Unwrapped series know, one of the most interesting perks to what we do is the free stuff the networks send us, usually along with their preview screeners. However, in the last year, the number of elaborate press kits have dwindled. Networks are starting to realize that sending a DVD in a sleeve is much cheaper than sending one with a water bottle or a t-shirt, and the show will get just as much coverage. Heck, ABC doesn't even send the DVDs anymore; they ask us to view screeners on their ABC Medianet website, which sometimes work and sometimes don't.

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.

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Press Kits Unwrapped: Sons of Anarchy Season 2

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 6th 2009 2:00PM
The cover of the Sons of Anarchy press kitNormally, TV press kits come with more useless junk than an IKEA furniture kit. They usually come with T-shirts that are too small for the average TV critic's billowy build, toys that can turn the brightest human beings into easily-amused cats, and other assorted paraphernalia.

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.

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Press Kits Unwrapped: Glee

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 20th 2009 2:09PM
Front of Glee warm upIn this day and age of shrinking network budgets, the days of the elaborate, swag-filled press kit are pretty much over. As far as some of the broadcast networks are concerned (coughABCcough), even sending out DVD screeners is too much of a burden on their budget; they figure we'll be content to squint at their online screeners, praying that the player doesn't skip or buffer in the middle of a crucial scene.

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.

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Press Kits Unwrapped: Sit Down, Shut Up

by Kona Gallagher, posted Apr 16th 2009 10:04AM
sit down shut up

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.

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Press Kits Unwrapped: My Boys, season three

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 14th 2009 6:03PM
Reid Scott, Jamie Kaler, Michael Bunin, and Jordana Spiro
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.

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Press Kits Unwrapped: Dollhouse

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 26th 2009 11:05AM
DollhouseIt is going to be an uphill battle to success for Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. One defining factor in the quality of support that a network gives its programs is the impressiveness of the press kit it releases for the show. If this is the case, Dollhouse is in trouble.

For the sake of full disclosure, let me mention that our editor-in-chief Joel had the package first because he desperately needed to watch the premiere the moment he got it (as someone who is anticipating the series, I understand completely). The package was opened and re-packaged by the time it got to me. That being said, it still didn't look anywhere near as cool as the 24 press kit that Jonathan reviewed. It did have one or two saving graces, though.

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Press Kits Unwrapped: 24, season 7

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 30th 2008 11:10AM

Kiefer Sutherland as Jack BauerAs if you haven't heard it enough from all of us here at TV Squad, one of the best perks by far of the TV critic biz is getting to see episodes before they air. DVD screeners are always pouring into the TV Squad HQ for just about everything - usually all the shows nobody wants to, or ever will, watch.

But when one of the big ones comes in the mail, it's always exciting. Especially since the networks typically go all out when it comes to the press kits for those trademark shows. These are always more than just a DVD. Sometimes the extra bonuses are good and sometimes they're bad - I still have no use for my incredibly dull Prison Break pocket knife.

Even still, whether the press kits are loaded with junk or not, it's a thrill to open them up. Last week, I found an interesting package on my doorstep. Take a look after the jump for pictures of what I found inside.

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Press Kits Unwrapped: TNT's The Closer

by Joel Keller, posted May 22nd 2008 11:43AM
The closer press kit
When I got a knock on the door yesterday morning from the FedEx guy, I got all excited because I thought it was a pair of Cubs tickets that I bought for an upcoming trip I'm taking to Chicago. But when I looked down, I saw a black box. When I turned it over, the box had the label you see above. It's a press kit for TNT's returning hit The Closer, and it shows star Kyra Segdgwick guiltily nibbling on a bunch of cookies. The tag line on the label is "Everyone has something to confess..." Hmm. Interesting. Obviously this label held some strong clues as to what I would find in the box. So I cut the sealing tape, opened it up, and found what I suspected would be in the package...

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Press Kits Unwrapped: How I Met Your Mother - AUDIO

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 25th 2007 12:05PM
Barney BobbleheadHere at TV Squad HQ we get all sorts of fun stuff. Networks seem to think that TV critics and journalists need to be swayed by toys and other assorted tschotkes that mostly just end up in a drawer or the nearest circular file. I swear, only pharmaceutical reps and computer shows generate less needless knicknacks than TV networks.

Sometimes the Squadders have enjoyed the press kits that have come to us; our dearly departed colleague Adam Finley always had a grand time finding interesting uses for the "swag" (I hate that term) that he has gotten from the networks. But sometimes, things come in that just stand on their own and end up in a proud place on a Squadder's desk.

Case in point is a promotional item CBS sent to us to promote How I Met Your Mother: a talking Barney bobblehead. Audio is after the jump.

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Press Kits Unwrapped: FOX's Nashville - VIDEO

by Keith McDuffee, posted Sep 11th 2007 2:01PM
nashville press kitThe press kits have just begun rolling in, and for the most part the networks haven't gotten nearly as fancy with the packaging as they did last season. FOX had a reputation for going way out of their way to make their packaging stand out, but the first couple of screeners sent (Prison Break, for example) didn't have much more than the DVD. With the first new-show screener, Nashville, they're back to their old ways.

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Press Kits Unwrapped: TBS's My Boys

by Richard Keller, posted Nov 21st 2006 12:33PM

myboys press kit

You thought we were done with press kit reviews, didn't you? No sir, not in the new television world of hundreds of channels and year-round original programming. As winter approaches you may see more reviews as the fall season makes way for the mid-season premieres. Just fair warning to you all.

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