THIS IS HOW OUR PBS STATION ATTRACTS CONTRIBUTIONS FROM VIEWERS LIKE US

We haven't yet seen the new Sesame Street spokesMuppet, a colorful fairy named Abby Cadabby, but we were bemused by the lengthy feature in the Times about the nine-month corporate gestation period that led to the birth of this "suspiciously marketable" character.  And of course, if the topic should come up at your new-parent cocktail party at Big City Nursery School later this month, the appropriate response is to note, huffily, that Jim Henson never focus-grouped Kermit, Ernie, or Cookie Monster, and they all turned out just fine.

Tv_sesame_street_natalie_portman_and_big In other Sesame Street news, belated thanks to PBS schedulers for re-airing the Natalie Portman episode from Season 35 on Labor Day morning, a day before the start of the school year. For those of you who may have missed it (or neglected to DVR it), the plot involves Queen Amidala filling in for the vacationing Alan at Hooper's Store. Highlights include Portman's inappropriately breathy and flirtatious line readings completely discombobulating Baby Bear's handler, and . . . she sings!

But we've seen relatively little of the Street since PBS premiered Curious George on Sept. 5. George airs the same time as Sesame Street on a competing PBS station, and it has quickly became the early-morning ratings leader here. (Find out what your kids should be learning from the show here.) We have just two quibbles: One, we get that the kids enjoy familiarity and repetition, but did PBS need to start rerunning episodes in the first-run AM slot on Day Three? And two, in the national premiere of a major new PBS show, was it the right decision to run the story of an Italian baker right out of central casting circa 1952, whose-a storyline is-a that he's-a so upset about-a his cat scratching his restaurant's booths that he-a cannot make anymore cannolis? Come on; why not debut with the episode that aired the next day, about the woman scientist?

"PAGING DR. ADAMS, DR. PATCH ADAMS, PLEASE REPORT TO THE FERTILITY CLINIC."

Israeli researchers have discovered that when women undergoing in-vitro fertilization are entertained by a clown immediately after a treatment, they are more likely to conceive than women whose experience is clown-free.

WELCOME TO OUR NIGHTMARE

Img_emily_01 Several months back, Loving Mother made an online purchase of some American Girl accessories for a relative's daughter, and had the items delivered to our home. Which means American Girl got our address, and so last night we came home to this scene: As soon as we opened the door to our apartment, Tiny Girl rushed up to us, with a newly-delivered American Girl catalog in hand, demanding, "Daddy, will you buy me this Emily doll for my birthday?" (Emily being the doll on the first page of the catalog.) "Well, Sweetie, your birthday is a few months away, but when it comes, if that's still what you really want, we can talk about it." "I AM still going to want it when my birthday comes! Daddy? Will you get it for me when it's my birthday?"

IS THIS THE END OF THE ROCKET SHIP REVUE AS WE KNOW IT?

Charlie Dan Zanes' slinky sidewoman Barbara Brousal has delivered her baby, and taken a leave from the band. She's being replaced - as if that were even possible - by singer/guitarist Charlie Faye, at left, and that's just one of several lineup changes in the Zanes band as it prepares to go on tour this fall. Singer/accordion player Cynthia Hopkins is out as well, devoting herself full-time to her downtown music-and-performance projects. Even Yoshi the bass player is taking off. What gives, Dan? The group not happy with how you're divvying up that new Disney money?

UM, WE'RE NOT SURE, BUT WE'VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME WITH PREGNANT LADIES LATELY, AND WE THINK THESE IMAGES MIGHT BE PHOTOSHOPPED

Hot_pregnant_beer1 The Brazilian beermaker Nova Schin has unveiled the ad campaign for its new non-alcoholic brew, and it's quite a head-turner.

Gawker this week posted several of the images, which were presumably designed to attract Brazil's beer-loving-pregnant-gal niche market.

And that's not as crazy as it sounds: Loving Mother rarely drinks beer, but has regularly enjoyed non-alcoholic beer during her pregnancies. Still,not sure this is the ad approach that would sell her. Ourselves, on the other hand, we can't turn away.

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE US, BUT NOVA SCHINN ISN'T EVEN THE MOST EVIL MATERNAL MARKETER OF THE WEEK. IN FACT, IT'S NOT EVEN CLOSE.

No, that prize goes to Donna Charlton-Perrin, creative director on the Suave account at Oglivy, who was interviewed in the Times the other day for a roundup of new national ad campaigns taking new approaches to targeting moms  "who, they are certain, are dying to spend more time on themselves, but feel too guilty to do so."

We'll sign off today with her quote, italics added:

[Charlton-Perrin] said Ogilvy was looking for ways to “interrupt moms when they are not thinking about themselves’’— say, by putting Suave stickers on food shelves in supermarkets, or running pop-up ads on Internet sites that sell children’s clothes.

“There seems to be this feeling in the culture that moms must be martyrs, that their lives have to be all about their kids,’’ Ms. Charlton-Perrin said. “But the beautiful woman inside that mom is still dying to get out. So we’re saying, ‘A pretty mommy is a better mommy.’ ’’

September 20, 2006 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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