You Can Never Have Too Many Simpsons

Okay, remember last year when the CW was trying to promote 90210 by spending every single day leaking a new bit of casting news to the gossip columnists? Day after day, some name would pop up, and that kept 90210 in the news over and over, whereas just announcing all the casting details at once would have been only good enough for a one-day cycle. Well, they’re doing the same thing with the new Melrose Place. They started with one of the more sure-fire bits of news, that Ashlee Simpson will be a regular on the new show. But we can expect more of the same, both about regulars and guest stars, in the future: one, maybe two announcements in a day, no more.

I’m not blaming gossip columnists for running with this news — for that matter, I’m not blaming me for running with it. And when/if Heather Locklear is announced as a “special guest star” on the new show, I will be powerless to avoid linking to that. I’m just pointing out that this is the CW’s promotional technique for a franchise that is seen as its last hope for survival: instead of bulk publicity, go with the trickle-down theory of publicity, where lots of little news items add up to… well, I was going to say “viewers” but that’s not actually what they’re getting.