Friday, March 27, 2020

BOTNS Investigates: NBC goes low to promote The Facts of Life Down Under

The other day I was watching promos and ads on the YouTube channel of the great SeanMc when a promo for The Facts of Life Down Under popped up.  I never actually saw this movie (though I remember Mike's deep dive into The Facts of Life Goes to Paris), so I was curious to see how NBC promoted it. Let's take a look:

"Harry, this is BORING!"

Amazing, isn't it, to think that NBC wasn't confident enough in its long-running (then in its eight season) juggernaut sitcom.  Instead of just telling the nation about this Premiere Movie Event, it spent precious airtime mocking...mocking...Russia? Serious movies? Quality television? 

I was puzzled trying to think of what the ad referenced. The Day After? No, that was years earlier, unless this was a rerun, but would that warrant a blatant shot? A TV premiere of White Nights?  No, it wasn't that.  A special one-night network presentation of What a Country? No...

Well, investigation reveals what the opposition was on February 15, 1987. The TV program this ad is teasing is of course...Designing Women on CBS!

No, it's not. Yes, that sitcom was on at 9:00 P.M. on this Sunday, but the real opposition was on ABC: the first part of Amerika, a 5-night event miniseries:

Aha! how could I have forgotten the then-controversial (but now kind of a footnote?) television spectacular? More on that tomorrow, including the TV personality who linked these two competing programming choices in hilarious fashion at the time, but first, back to that NBC promo above.

Does anyone else think the dad in the living room looks kind of like Jeffrey Tambor crossed with the "I'm a BIG fan" guy?  And why are there not Tony Hoty NFL on CBS promos all over YouTube?

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