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'Medium' channels another dimension

By CHASE SQUIRES
Published November 21, 2005


Lest anyone question the enduring power of Pee-wee Herman, one need only behold NBC's airing o f Medium tonight.

For its November sweeps stunt - aimed at luring viewers during the period when ratings are compiled to determine advertising rates - Medium 's producers are revisiting the old-school 3-D effect, a move executive producer Glenn Gordon Caron said was inspired by a dinner-party conversation with Paul Reubens.

Reubens, 53, of Pee-wee Herman fame, is a collector of television memorabilia and a trove of TV trivia. The two talked during a party at Medium star Patricia Arquette's house, Caron said during a conference call with reporters last week.

"He reminded me that one of the things he owned was a Moonlighting 3-D test that never aired," Caron said, referring to an abandoned attempt at creating a special episode of his 1980s Cybill Shepherd-Bruce Willis show.

Though Caron said he resisted NBC inquiries about bringing on celebrity guests for the supernatural-themed Medium, the idea of adding 3-D effects intrigued him. The results, airing tonight, add a spooky new dimension, he said.

"What a fun toy to play with," Caron said.

At least once per act, viewers sporting 3-D glasses will experience an effect, such as a butcher knife hurled at them, or an arm flopping out from under a tarp, Caron said. The show also incorporates 3-D clips of the late Rod Serling.

As part of a cross-marketing approach, the required glasses are available in copies o f TV Guide , but Caron said any pair of the old red/blue 3-D glasses would work (not the polarized kind at theme-park 3-D exhibits).

The show's marketing tie-in with TV Guide comes on the heels of last week's cross-promotion with Sony Pictures where characters on the show see the movie Memoirs of a Geisha in a theater, with trailers for that upcoming film shown during commercial breaks.

Advance copies of tonight's 3-D episode were not available to critics, but test photos used with 3-D glasses have a feel similar to the old GAF View-Master toy.

--Chase Squires can be reached at 727 893-8739 or squires@sptimes.com His blog is www.sptimes.com/blogs/tv

[Last modified November 21, 2005, 01:06:05]


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