Tuned In

NBC: Green as a Peacock

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A choice, 100% postconsumer-recycled nugget from the New York Times’s NBC press tour coverage this morning:

[NBC entertainment chief Ben] Silverman also announced that all of NBC’s prime-time shows would participate in a companywide pro-environmental project called “Green Is Universal” for a week in November. Every show on NBC would have a story line with an environmental theme, Mr. Silverman said.

All of NBC Universal’s channels would be involved, said Lauren Zalaznick, president of the Bravo channel, who is leading the effort. She said the purpose was “to try to change the way we think and hopefully the way we and other people think — and act.”

OK, before I cynically mock, let me just say that I’m glad that NBC is the network that decided to take this initiative, if only so we can see what The Office and 30 Rock will do with this story “suggestion.” Because, really, this seems like exactly the kind of bandwagon-jumping idea that Michael Scott or Jack Donaghy would come up with. I look forward to the very special Deal or No Deal in which the models will carry suitcases fashioned from reclaimed radial tires. And the Battlestar Galactica that introduces Cylons with an improved Energy Star rating. And as for the Law & Order franchises–why, they’ve been recycling newspaper headlines for years! (Thank you! Be sure to tip your waitress!)

This is the part where I come around and say, well, it may be a little silly, but it’s better than nothing. And I suppose it is. But I have to wonder: does there come a point where all this Live Earthing and GreenNBCing actually becomes worse than nothing, or at least, becomes the substitution of entertainment for action? Might a network do better, say, to run a few PSAs explaining how to keep your big-ass plasma TV from sucking down enough energy to power a small city? Or should I apologize to Mother Earth for wasting the electrons it took to post this?