Fear of TiVO has led NBC to create 1 minute short films during station breaks, in order to keep viewers on the channel and not only to keep watching NBC programming but also the advertisers who pay NBC dearly to advertise on the "Number One Channel for Viewers 18-49!" The Times' Bill Carter looks the scheme, called "1MMs", and its implications for the business.
So far, ten films have been shot (which may turn into actual series - take that pilots!) and talent involved so far include Michael Richards, Carmen Electra, Tom Arnold, Bill Bellamy and Paula Marshall. Okay, Gothamist can understand Michael Richards, even if it is only his voice, and even Carmen Electra, but Tom Arnold is only funny in that "laughing at you, not with you" way. Bill Bellamy has a tendency either be charming or grating, nothing in between. And Paula Marshall... Marshall is TV ratings poison (Hidden Hills, Cupid, Snoops...yeah, Gothamist knows what they say about George Clooney, but Paula Marshall is no George Clooney - she was on the Steven Weber Show, for chrissakes).
Gothamist has a surefire plan for the high-viewed short films: NBC pays the creators of old favorites, like Jerry Seinfeld/Larry David, Gary David Goldberg, the Charles brothers & James Burrows, David E. Kelley, through the nose to do short films about the characters we all knew and loved. Harry Hamlin isn't THAT busy.
NBC cleverly supplied the Times a photo of the Pussycat Dolls, the cabaret act choreographed by McG's squeeze Robin Antin, to run with the article - which has no mention of the Pussycat Dolls aside from the caption.