The Police Back Together For Grammys; Few Arrests Expected

Television can be a confusing place for brands - especially popular name brands.

Take a headline today in The Hollywood Reporter: "Webber to be judge that 'Grease' wants."

Can that be? Chris Webber, veteran power forward now with the Detroit Pistons, now wants to moonlight in analyzing the singing and dancing feet of prospective Broadway talent for NBC's reality show "Grease: You're The One That I Want."

No, not at all. That's another entertainment brand name -- Andrew Lloyd Webber of "Evita," "Cats" and "Phantom of the Opera" fame.

Then, another Hollywood Reporter headline: "Pilots: Cannon working on 'Cure'."  Can this be right? Dyan Cannon is coming back to produce and/or act in a new Fox series? No, it's Danny Cannon, who created that visual look of the "CSI" franchise, who executive produces "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: NY."



The best part of brand confusion can come with Jimmy Kimmel or David Letterman jokes -- especially when it concerns George W. Bush, Billy Bush, or Reggie Bush.  Each TV icon has his or her own branding identity and value. Similar names can help extend those monikers.

This malady even affects the near- and not-so-famous.

Some years ago I was at a National Association of Television Program Executives meeting in the Midwest and the concierge of the hotel called me up and insisted that I help him.

He said Jake Steinfeld, of Body by Jake fame, wanted to get into an "Improv" comedy event set up to promote an upcoming, possibly syndicated "Improv" TV series.

I was confused. "You don't need me," I explained to the concierge. "The event is free. He just needs to go down and walk in."

"No," said the concierge. "Mr. Steinfeld wants you -- personally -- to get him in."

"Excuse me," I said.  I thought, Steinfeld is a pretty big and muscular guy. Maybe I should do it. I could ill afford to get roughed up.

And then, it dawned on me. "You don't want Wayne Friedman. You want Bud Friedman, the owner of the Improv."

"Oh," said the concierge. "Sorry."

Now, I see that The Police are getting back together for next month's Grammy awards on CBS. Is that the same Police with that singer, Sting, I believe?

Didn't he used to wrestle?

Next story loading loading..