TV Crush

Science Channel Geek Weekend!/ Fox News Cuts/Clunky Cisco Product Placement on 24

5/18/2007 4:52 AM

Geek Weekend on Science Channel

Science Channel is one of those unexpectedly sticky cable networks. Careful if you land there. The channel is cable flypaper. Production values are relentlessly stellar. You’ll be drawn into subjects that you never expected to find interesting. Who knew the great dinosaur debate — juvenile T-rex vs. pygmy tyrant — could be so compelling? Or that the relationship between human-population bottlenecks, mitochondrial DNA and volcanic super-eruptions could keep you glued to the screen?

Tonight, Science Channel celebrates the tech nerd and kicks off its Geek Weekend with the 8 p.m. launch of It’s All Geek to Me, a new weekly series hosted by New York Times gadget king David Pogue. For a taste of Geek, Science Channel’s exclusive Webisode/previews are available now.

Also airing this weekend:

Triumph of the Nerds (Saturday, May 19, 8 p.m.-11 p.m. EST/PST): This three-part special chronicles the rise of the personal computer. Hosted by Bob Cringely.

Tetris: From Russia, With Love (Sunday, May 20, 8 p.m.): The story behind the game, a tale of high stakes, intimidation and legal feuds set against the backdrop of Cold War tensions between East and West.

The MP3 Revolution: iPod (Sunday, May 20, 10 p.m.): Go behind the scenes to uncover how Steve Jobs brought Apple back from the grave to create the iPod.

Fox News: We Cut for Cleavage

Mediachannel.org notes that Fox News prunes back the clutter when attractive, buxom women in low-cut attire appear on screen. Recently, Fox News techs were, apparently, very busy bees in the control room, lopping off graphics to make sure their viewers got unobstructed views of the cleavage of human-rights activist and former Miss Canada Nazanin Afshin-Jam. For her part, Miss Afshin-Jam assisted by wearing a revealing blouse.

Mediachannel claims that Fox News worked the cleavage angle during their Academy Award coverage, too.

Other networks perhaps play the same eye-candy game, but TV Crush wonders if there’s an internal document floating around Fox News directing staff to "maximize the power of the bosom!" It’s an SNL or Daily Show skit waiting to happen.

More Clunky Product Placement on 24

Does anyone else feel thwacked over the head by the clunky Cisco product placement on 24? Several times during May sweeps, jealous meanie Vice President Noah Daniels – Powers Boothe, rehashing his evil Deadwood character – meets up with the Russian president in the Cisco "telepresence suite." Subliminal it’s not. The Cisco logo is prominently displayed on every monitor. The camera lavishes attention on the displays at both the start and the conclusion of the scenes and, at one point, moves in for a shameless extreme close-up.

This is nothing new, as viewers here and here and writers here have been griping since May 2005, when the first awkward Cisco product placements appeared.

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