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Were House Leaders Mining ‘Gold’ With Ads on Hearing Webcast? (No.)

1/31/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

It sure seemed like the House
Energy & Commerce Committee was
putting some “commerce” into a hearing
Webcast last week.

After the oversight investigations subcommittee
hearing last Wednesday (Jan.
26), the stream switched to Discovery
Communications’ Science Channel and
remained live for several minutes with
plugs for Discovery shows and an ad for
NordicTrack.

Politicians are always running, right?

There even seemed to be an NBC Universal
subtext. The NordicTrack ad featured
a free year’s worth of remote
training from The Biggest Loser icon Jillian
Michaels, followed by a PSA for teachers
from Julia Louis-Dreyfus (ex of Seinfeld
and Saturday Night Live).

When the hearing ended,
a voice was talking about doing
things wrong and a race
to fix things before the money
ran out. While that seemed
like more from House Republicans,
blaming overregulation
for running up the deficit,
it was a promo for Discovery hit
series Gold Rush Alaska.

Here’s the explanation. The
House’s internal cable network
pre-empts a channel in
order to televise a hearing internally and
stream it on the Web site.

When hearing coverage ends, the
channel reverts to its former life — in
this case, Science Channel. The stream
remained live for a few minutes after the
channel switched back.

So Investigation Discovery, cancel that
probe.

Syfy Pops Buttons
For Tiffany, Debbie
At Movie Premiere

In the ’80s, teen pop-music stars Tiffany
and Debbie Gibson competed for spots on
the Billboard charts.

Last Monday
(Jan. 24),
they vied for
the affections
of guests at
Syfy’s New
York City premiere
of Saturday-
night
thriller Mega
Python Versus
Gatoroid
,
co-starring
the two songstresses.

Syfy offered moviegoers a choice of a
button, one for either “Team Debbie” or
“Team Tiffany,” along with free popcorn
and soda at the famed Ziegfeld Theatre.

The network did not keep a running
tally of which team gave away the most
buttons. But Blake Callaway, senior VP of
brand and strategic marketing, said it became
a great promotional giveaway.

“A lot has been made of their nonexistent
rivalry, so we just leaned into
that and found a way to have more fun
with it,” Callaway said.

Tiffany also showed she still has singing
chops, taking the karaoke mike at the
after-party and belting out Journey’s hit
Don’t Stop Believin’.

Mega Python Versus Gatoroid debuted
Jan. 29 and re-airs Feb. 3 and March 15.

Michael Trucco,
In ‘Fairly Legal,’
Is Fully Human

“I liked the idea of playing a human
being, for one.”

That was actor Michael Trucco, who
played “Cylon” robot Samuel Anders
in Syfy drama Battlestar Galactica. He
was explaining why he signed on to play
Justin Patrick, the love interest for Sarah
Shah
i’s freewheeling mediator Kate Reed
in USA Network drama Fairly Legal.

The show, powered by Shahi’s charm
(tagline: “Less lawyer. More appeal.”),
debuted Jan. 20 as another USA hit: 3.9
million viewers in live plus same-day
Nielsen figures.

Trucco plays an assistant D.A. who’s in
the process of divorcing Shahi’s character.
They’re friends with benefits, though, and
are in bed as the pilot episode opens.
Trucco said he likes that the writers made
his character someone who wants more
than that, an uncommon trait in males.

Any similarities between Justin and
Anders, someone else on the Jan. 27
press call asked? “They’re both played by
the same actor,” he joked before giving a
polite answer about how satisfyingly different
the characters are.

No Cylon, he.


Fairly Legal
airs Thursdays at 10 p.m.

September