FX firefighter drama Rescue Me is under fire for its edgy content (for starters, Denis Leary’s Tommy Gavin protagonist was taken advantage of in a recent episode after being dosed with a double-barrel cocktail that contained a date-rape downer and Viagra-esque upper), with calls from watchdog groups for advertisers to pull their sponsorships.
Therein lies a perfect product placement—sorry, branded entertainment—opportunity for cell phone makers. All of Tommy’s troubles stem not from his alcoholism or his stunted emotional development, but from his cell phone. Once that thing starts ringing, it invariably means Tommy will commence sleeping with the wrong woman, squaring off with the wrong guy, or embarking on other reckless behaviors.
A close-up of the cell phone would bring wonderful exposure to the manufacturer, and some dough for the Rescue Me coffers. He could have a different one every week–boozy brawlers lose their phones all the time. Maybe a sleek RAZR emerging from Tommy’s cargo pants pocket, or even a Blackberry sitting on the dashboard of his pickup—though the boys back at Engine 62 would probably bust Tommy’s chops for having one of those.
By Michael Malone