Bon Jovi Doesn't Need A Prayer To Make It On NBC

Jon Bon Jovi and Matt Lauer i i

Jon Bon Jovi's interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today is the first of a series of appearances on NBC programs. Peter Kramer/NBC NewsWire/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Peter Kramer/NBC NewsWire/AP
Jon Bon Jovi and Matt Lauer

Jon Bon Jovi's interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today is the first of a series of appearances on NBC programs.

Peter Kramer/NBC NewsWire/AP

It all started with an announcement on the Today show, where host Matt Lauer welcomed the group's leader, Jon Bon Jovi.

That was just the beginning. Over the course of this month and next, Bon Jovi will have spent more time on NBC than the peacock logo, with appearances on The Jay Leno Show, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and Saturday Night Live, to name a few. That doesn't include the band's time on cable networks owned by NBC Universal, like USA Network and Bravo.

Bon Jovi was even featured on Inside the Actors Studio, which is kind of weird considering he isn't exactly Meryl Streep. A rock star on a series for master thespians — that's right, folks, Bon Jovi can be shoehorned into any show. NBC calls him an "artist in residence." "Shills on the shelf" is more like it. I know: It's just TV. But the problem is that it doesn't stop at entertainment.

Andrew Wallenstein

Andrew Wallenstein is an editor at The Hollywood Reporter. hide caption

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NBC has even booked Bon Jovi on the evening news for a segment about the band's charity project. I'm sure it's a swell cause, but it makes me want to take up a collection for the preservation of traditional news values. A slot on the evening news should not be for sale. But if this marketing arrangement tells us anything, it's that the rules of old no longer hold.

The days when a band looked to TV as a place to buy a 30-second ad have been replaced, where the content and the commercial are one in the same. The least NBC Universal could have done was try some interesting integrations. I'd like to see Bon Jovi flip any one of his luxury homes on Bravo's Million Dollar Listing, or at the very least stand trial for crimes against decent music on Law & Order.

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