On this week's episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, NBC cross-promoted Deal or No Deal by having the real Howie Mandel host the fictional show (within the show) and then turning his fictional monologue on the fictional show into a fictional skit that was, in reality, a real promotion for Mandel's real show. Fake but real cross-promotion seamlessly integrated into the flow of the real episode (and, I thought, it was entertaining enough not to be glaring).
Last week, the staff (of the fake show) discussed a new set that would be made up of the kinds of billboards that one spys on the real Sunset Strip. They (the characters) decided they'd sell those fake billboards (on the fictional show's fictional set) to fictional sponsors to save the fictional show's (and the fictional network's) budget. So, now I'm wondering if we'll see that new set on a future episode of the real show featuring fictional sponsors for the fictional show that are, in actuality, real sponsors for the real show. In other words, real product placement within the fake show for the benefit real show and real network which has, of late, talked about its own real budget-cutting measures.
Sheesh, it's getting hard to keep track.
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