Well, this won't do much to calm the critics. Here's a first look at the upcoming Family Guy special with Microsoft playing the intrusive co-star. The marketer is sponsoring the "commercial-free" episode, airing Nov. 8, and is written into the content via a deal with the show's creative team, led by Seth MacFarlane. I had been cautiously optimistic about the idea, but if this clip is any indication of what the rest of the show will look like, it doesn't bode well for fans, or anyone who curses advertiser creep into television programming. I'd envisioned a more obvious, fourth-wall-breaking pitch for Microsoft's new Windows 7, with characters staring straight at the camera and delivering the lines like infomercial pros. That could've been funny. Instead, there's Brian the martini-swilling mutt of the family spouting the operating system's attributes like he's reading a brand brief. Since that wouldn't serve either purpose—engendering goodwill toward Microsoft and not ruining the show—let's hope this is a red herring. If not, expect a boycott. Via The Live Feed.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley