Wait, NBC Is So Desperate They Need Wal-Mart To Produce TV Shows Now?

Here comes NBC, brought to you by Wal-Mart.

GE’s NBC is giving Wal-Mart a two-hour timeslot to air a TV movie called Secrets of The Mountain.

Secrets, which was produced by Wal-Mart and Proctor & Gamble, will focus on a single mother and public defender who takes her family to visit a mountain cabin.

Granted, Secrets is now set to air on Friday, April 16 during their 8 to 10 p.m. timeslot–a ratings deadzone. But if NBC could greenlight an entire series.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the two companies will control all the ad revenue generated by the show, essentially buying out the time from NBC.

So, essentially, NBC is going back to an old TV model of having a company sponsor and fund entire show from beginning to end.

Remember black & white TV hours sponsored by Colgate or Pepsi?

As P&G notes in the release: “For over five decades, P&G Productions has produced nearly 50 movies of the week, 35 years of ‘People’s Choice Awards,’ 20 soap operas and a number of beauty pageants and variety shows.”

But guess when most of those shows were made? Let us check Wikipedia:

Procter & Gamble also was the first company to produce and sponsor a prime-time show, a 1965 spinoff of the daytime soap opera As the World Turns called Our Private World. PGP also produced Shirley, a prime-time NBC series starring Shirley Jones, in 1979; it lasted thirteen episodes. They also produced TBS‘ first original comedy series, Down to Earth, which ran from 1984 to 1987 (110 episodes were produced). It also produced the 1991 TV movie A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story. It also produces the People’s Choice Awards.

This is the same kind of old school, brand-tastic content partnerships former NBC Entertainment head Ben Silverman was creating for the Jay Leno Show, and is taking with him to his new company under Barry Diller’s IAC.

Now, Wal-Mart and P&G are the new TV production studios. It’s back to the future!

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