FOX has scheduled a half-hour comedy special featuring Seth MacFarlane and Alex Bornstein for the November sweeps period.
In addition to being cumbersomely titled, “Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show” is also falsely titled. The half-hour event won’t be presented by “Family Guy” so much as Microsoft, which has reached an innovative deal to sponsor the special.
The “Almost Live Comedy Show” will be delivered without commercial ad time, without network promotion and without advertising breaks. That’s good, right? Well, it will feature unique Windows 7-branded programming that will be blended into the programming itself.
“We”re thrilled to be joining forces with Windows 7 on such an exciting, highly collaborative marketing campaign featuring the very unique talents of Seth MacFarlane as he overhauls the old Hollywood tradition of the sponsored variety show by marrying Windows 7 messaging with content,” boasts Jean Rossi, President of FOX One and Executive Vice President of Sales for FOX, in a press release. “By partnering with 20th Century Fox Television, Fox Licensing and Merchandising, FOX Sports, FX, FOXSports.com on MSN and Hulu, we have developed a complementary initiative that goes well beyond the screen with customized assets that connect consumers with Windows 7.”
[Can you hear the malevolent laughter in the background?]
The FOX release references the old Texaco Star Theater model of single-product sponsorship as precedent for the MacFarlane special, promising that it will include original animation and sketches, as well as live-action performances of familiar “Family Guy” musical numbers. Plus, there will be celebrity guests.
Surprise celebrity guests!
We’re thinking Seth Green and Bill Gates. And we’re assuming Justin Long will not make an appearance.
“We”re working with FOX on innovative brand integrations that will show how the power and simplicity of Windows 7 can enhance the content FOX viewers love” shills Gayle Troberman, general manager of consumer engagement and advertising at Microsoft. “We have simplified the PC with Windows 7, and together with FOX, we”re simplifying entertainment.”
Simplifying entertainment? Had watching “Family Guy” previously been a horribly confusing process?
Oh right. We forgot. “Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show” will air on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 8:30 p.m.