A big part of running a network is establishing a brand identity. And a big part of establishing a brand identity involves creating ridiculous promos featuring all your stars in one goofy video. Using its broadcast of the Super Bowl as a springboard, NBC
forced several of its stars at gunpoint gathered several of its stars to perform a big song-and-dance number to the tune of "Brotherhood of Man," with hopes of reminding you that NBC is still a network with big shows... a network you should watch instead of Univision. Yes, the cast of Community joined in, and Ken Jeong stole the show:
Psst! International readers! There's an non-embeddable copy of the promo on YouTube right here.
Parks and Recreation! 30 Rock! Law & Order: SVU! Up All Night! Whitney! You gotta love The Office's Ed Helms in the video too, he's great. Despite the cheery veneer, I can't help but think of how far NBC has fallen in the rankings. But hey, if you can sing and dance like the problems don't exist, then who cares?
Watching this reminded me of how other networks have staged similar videos in the past. Of all them, 2009's "ABC House" is probably the best. The promo featured several stars from ABC shows living under the same roof and having a grand ol' time getting to know their "roommates." It also featured the cast of Lost prominently, and seeing Ben Linus with anyone else from TV is always a hoot:
Oh look! Kelsey Grammer. Well, that's awkward.
CBS has traditionally taken a tamer approach to its network-wide promos, preferring not to put out its actors by making them sing or dance or play nice with one another. Instead, past CBS promos have been built from clips, still images, and, in the case of this one from 2010, claymation:
And then there was this total head-scratcher from Fox, which took footage of its stars from episodes and somehow dropped them all into a... strip club. What?
What do you think of network promos featuring stars hamming it up? Fun times or embarrassing for everyone?
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom