TV Article

EW Truth Police: 'Everwood'

Is ''Everwood'' selling out? -- The suspicious product placement of a Mercury Milan points to yes

Everwood is known for its stellar cast and ability to tackle hard-hitting topics, as well as its top-notch writing, like this piercing bit of dialogue between Hannah (Sarah Drew) and Amy (Emily VanCamp) in the second of two March 27 episodes. Amy: ''It's beautiful.'' Hannah: ''I can't believe my mom bought me a new Mercury Milan.... I love the headlights! Aren't they the coolest shape ever?'' Amy: ''Yes, they're very stylish.'' Obviously with this blatant plug, it appears Everwood has become pay-to-play territory. (The four-door sedan not only got a full scene's worth of camera time, but Hannah concluded the proceedings by inquiring, ''Wanna see the cup holders? They're really fancy.'') At a time when Hollywood writers are alleging that networks force them to shoehorn products into scripts (they're demanding a cut of the profits, as a result), is that what happened between The WB and Everwood? Actually, claims the drama's co-producer David Hudgins, it never got that ugly; he and the writers were already planning to give the transportation-challenged Hannah a car when The WB approached them about shilling for Mercury (who paid a fee for the privilege). ''If they came to us saying, 'We want Hannah to have a spaceship,' that would be one thing,'' says Hudgins. ''But it worked very well in this situation. Very easy to do, very seamless.'' Even so, it still drives us crazy.

Originally posted Mar 31, 2006 Published in issue #871 Apr 07, 2006 Order article reprints
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