There's this great Phillip Seymour-Hoffman comedy from 2000 called State and Main which is about a writer working on a movie production that is going through all sorts of problems. Midway through production, a producer is told that they can off-set some of the costs of production by incorporating product placement into the film. The catch: It is a period drama (complete with women wearing bonnets) and the product they need to incorporate is part of the then tech-boom -

Hollywood being Hollywood... they find a way.

Today Deadline has a piece reporting on research conducted by insights firm Radicale (on behalf of its client VPP firm Ryff). The research estimates that Hollywood could make $6.6 billion over the next five years by exploiting library titles for digital ad insertions. It is virtual product placement.

CBS owner Paramount is estimated to likely make the most ($412M), followed by WBD ($323M), Disney ($320M) and NBCU ($300M), with Netflix the lowest benefactor ($127M).

The reason Paramount is likely to earn more is thanks to its strong library of cop shows and sitcoms, which the firm recognises as being the most suitable for the ad insertions. NCIS was cited as being the show with the most financial potential.

It'll be great watching a 1994 episode of Friends and seeing Chandler drinking a Vanilla Coke with No Sugar, 20+ years before the product existed.

Is Virtual Product Placement Coming? ‘NCIS’, ‘Friends’ And ‘Criminal Minds’ Could Help Entertainment Firms Pocket $6.6BN Annual Revenue, Report Claims
EXCLUSIVE: Virtual product placement (VPP) could be set to become big business for entertainment companies — and it’s the golden oldies that are going to drive it. That’s according…

You know what is sexy: Maintaining third-person perspective THR

Sex sells. You may have heard this whispered about.

So, it is totally understandable that The Hollywood Reporter would use this quiet time to drop in a story about the challenges of being sexy on screen.

You can’t just be a pretty face or a hard body: You must layer emotionality and social power with the erogenous charge, all while your character dances with cultural taboos such as infidelity, incest and paid sex.

It's a fun article. Take a read. But...

The article does something which frustrates your humble ABW writer/editor/publisher: It suddenly introduces a first person perspective deep into the story. All of a sudden it becomes an opinion piece out of nowhere. We are six beefy paragraphs into the article when suddenly it shifts perspective:

Many straight men I know bristle at Smith’s “boxy” face and tall, lean frame, not understanding how a scarecrow-like man could smolder the way rageful Daemon does.

Wait, who are you?

Either publish a first-person opinion piece or commit to maintaining a third-person analytical perspective.

Many readers I know bristle at lazy writing and editing like this.

(And yes - it is a quiet day for news stories. Why do you ask...)

Playing Sexy on TV Is No Small Feat
Sensual performances captured TV audiences’ attentions this year in series such as ‘The White Lotus’ and ‘Bridgerton’ — but erotic intrigue requires more than a hot appearance.
  • Kate Winslet says no decision has been made regarding a second season of Mare of Easttown. Read: Indiewire
  • Alex Ross Perry is directing a film about 90s indie band Pavement. Yes please. Read: Deadline
  • Fortnite maker to pay $520M over child privacy violations, ‘deceptive’ in-game purchases. Read: Polygon
  • Paramount Global staff (in Australia) will be permitted to take a day off in lieu rather than celebrate Australia Day this year. Or 'Invasion Day' as it is sometimes referred to. Read: TV Tonight
  • Production on an Indian live action adaptation of Archie (forcused on the band The Archies) has wrapped. Read: Variety

Here's the Disney+ sizzle reel for 2023.

The US remake of UK anthology show Accused debuts on Fox Jan 22.

That's it for today. I'm not sure how much TV news there is left in this week. For the next few weeks this newsletter will not necessarily publish daily. It just depends on what news is around. I'll send out a tweet @ABWatching on days where there is no newsletter.