the take

Ben Silverman, Friend to the Environment

Photo: AFP/Getty Images (deer, flowers)

It used to be that the only subliminal messages on TV were product placement — like those lowbrow despicable Transformers plugs on Fox’s playoff baseball coverage — or the never-ending sotto voce declarations of love that Katie Couric delivers to you, only you. (We’re still, sadly, a long ways away from the blipverts Max Headroom promised us.)

But now, thanks to NBC President, and tree hugger, Ben Silverman, NBC programming the week of November 4 will incorporate pro-environmental messages. “By creatively weaving stories concerning environmental awareness into our series,” Silverman says in a statement, “we see this as an opportunity to engage the audience and provide a positive social message” — in a manner that we’re sure will be completely unobtrusive and organic to the shows:

Heroes: As West (Nick D’Agosto) helps with some energy-saving fixes around the house, Claire (Hayden Panettiere) hopes he doesn’t stumble on a photo and learn that the man who kidnapped him as a child is her father (Jack Coleman).

Yes, totally unobtrusive! But how is 30 Rock handling it? With meta-fuckery worthy of the sitcom that the other week claimed its own network could be bought for $4 million:

As part of a GE-wide green initiative, Jack (Alec Baldwin) has come up with the idea of creating a green mascot for NBC — a “Phillie Phanatic”-looking character named Greenzo. When Greenzo’s eco-friendly preachiness gets obnoxiously out of hand in “The Girlie Show” offices, it’s Liz (Tina Fey) who gets fed up the most with the ridiculous character.

Also: guest star Al Gore. If they can get him into a sequel to “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah,” we’re there.

It ain’t easy being green, but NBC gives it a go [Remote Access]

Ben Silverman, Friend to the Environment