Toyota's Highlander Steers TBS' 'There'

Toyota Highlander/2010

Toyota has inked a deal for a full-season, multifaceted sponsorship of TBS' new family comedy "Are We There Yet?" A Toyota Highlander will be integrated into the series as the family car, while the vehicle's assets will be woven into story lines in some of the episodes, which premiere June 2.

The deal involved Turner, ACE Media Corp. and Toyota's multicultural agency Burrell Communications. ACE Media has expertise in branded-entertainment initiatives; it worked with Turner on "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" and "Hawthorne."

"Are We There Yet?" is based on the 2005 eponymous film and stars Terry Crews (who plays a more upbeat character than the dour father in CW's "Everybody Hates Chris") and Essence Atkins as a newly married couple.

One episode has Crews' character, Nick, shopping for an SUV and being enthralled by a Highlander -- seven airbags, large side view mirrors, etc. Yet, a loan application is surprisingly declined. That leads to a focus on communication between the couple, but rest easy: Nick gets the SUV.

Toyota will also be included in tune-in spots for the show. Turner also has a deal in which Walt Disney World is running a sweepstakes in conjunction with the series.

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