Sitcom Payola Doesn't Always Work Out

Surprised by the nerd shout-outs on CBS' Monday night sitcoms this week? Don't be; they're just the latest examples of corporate synergy in action... although, we have to admit, one did it with worthwhile snark.

We admit it; The Big Bang Theory - a show many of you have told us to cover more often, we have to admit - won our affection this week not because of their DC Comics references (although the Battle For The Cowl Batman geekout did make DC Comics editor Janelle Siegel very happy), but because show creator Chuck Lorre said no to the CBS "suggestion" that they incorporate references to the upcoming movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine in an episode, according to Variety:

Insiders said CBS had originally sealed an integration deal with the 20th Century Fox film studio to include "Wolverine" in an episode of "The Big Bang Theory."

"Big Bang," after all, revolves around the exact kind of characters who would be first in line to see an "X-Men" movie. But according to one source, "Big Bang" exec producer Chuck Lorre passed on incorporating "Wolverine" into the show.

But before we get too happy about Lorre's apparent standing up for artistic integrity, please remember that Theory is produced by Warner Bros., who owns Wolverine owner Marvel Comics' biggest rival, DC... thereby explaining a comic store where almost every product apparently belonged to DC. Still, at least they managed to sneak in a little bitchiness about DC's alleged insularness. And 20th Century Fox wasn't too upset about the refusal; they just pushed the Wolverine references into the show following Theory, How I Met Your Mother... which happens to be made by their sister company, 20th Century Fox Television.

Now all we need to do is work out why every comic store in Heroes only seems to sell old Marvel Comics from the '90s (I sense a Jeph Loeb connection, considering the show's former producer also happens to write for the publisher)...

'Mother' tends to Fox sibling [Variety]