More and more commercials are creeping into the narrative of TV shows. Here’s an example mentioned in Wired magazine:
The use of product placements has increased 84 percent on television in the last
year, according to the WGA’s call for regulations. "There is no clear line
separating a TV show from an advertisement anymore," said Carrie McLaren, editor
of Stay Free
In a recent episode of the NBC series Medium, writers had to
work the movie Memoirs of a Geisha into the dialogue three times
because of a deal the network made with Sony earlier in the season. They even
had the characters go on a date to an early screening of the movie and bump into
friends who had just viewed Geisha to tell them how good it was.
It’s one thing to have James Bond drive a BMW (or, going back a few decades, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. drive a new Ford around D.C. landmarks each season during the end credits of THE FBI), or Monk using a particular brand of disinfectant wipe, but it’s quite another to create whole scenes purely for the purpose of pushing a particular product. The MEDIUM example strike me as particular egregious…and something a writer should be additionally compensated for.