FYI 01.10.08

USA Goes Into Pod-Busting Mode

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USA Network will be making a rare foray into pod-busting this weekend with a series of animated interstitials, "The Big Advertures of Little Shawn and Gus," a spinoff of the comedy "Psych," which returns for its midseason premiere Friday at 10 p.m.
'The Big Advertures of Little Shawn and Gus'
'The Big Advertures of Little Shawn and Gus'

The six spots were produced by J.J. Sedelmaier Productions (makers of "Beavis and Butthead" and "SNL"'s "Ambiguously Gay Duo") and will air during the second break of all this season's new episodes. Alltel will serve as the miniseries' exclusive sponsor and will be integrated into a customized promo for the show as well.

Chris McCumber, exec VP-marketing and digital and brand strategy at USA, said, "'The Big Adventures of Little Shawn and Gus' gives 'Psych' fans an exciting new perspective into the hit series' characters as children. With the use of animation we can push the narrative boundaries in a fun, creative way while staying true to the show's core sensibility."

The content will live online as well, with availability on usanetwork.com as well as Hulu.com and NBC Universal's mobile platforms. Fans who visit psych.usanetwork.com can view multiple cartoons as well as play two Flash-based games, Pogo Adventure and Hotshot Shootout, and access downloadable wallpapers and screensavers. -- Andrew Hampp

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Macy's is teaming up with the CW's "One Tree Hill" in an effort to connect with the ever-elusive youth demographic.

The partnership is an interesting one for the retailer, which has lent its iconic branding to more fashion-oriented shows, including "Project Runway" and "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style" in the past.
The cast of CW's 'One Tree Hill'
The cast of CW's 'One Tree Hill'
But Macy's spokeswoman Holly Thomas said that the teen drama's ratings and loyal fan base were the clincher.

Macy's will get plenty of face time with those fans during the "Ultimate Fan Weekend in Wilmington" promotion, which runs through Feb. 4. Macy's merchandise will be featured during the show's fifth season, which premiered Jan. 8. And the retailer will host casting calls at seven key stores across the country in mid-January. During those events, appearances by teen heartthrobs Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton, as well as series creator Mark Schwahn, are certain to be a draw.

And the grand prize is nothing to sniff at. Eight people, one from each store and one culled from online submissions, will snag a walk-on role, along with a star-studded weekend in the series' North Carolina hometown. --Natalie Zmuda
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