In a first for USA Network, the premiere of the much anticipated new original series, BURN NOTICE, will air commercial- free in its entirety on June 28 at 10pm/9c, it was announced today by Scott Collins, vice president, ad sales, NBC Universal. DIRECTV, the nation's leading satellite television provider, has been named the exclusive presenting sponsor of the broadcast, which includes a massive fully integrated media and marketing partnership.
"As the first series from USA Network to ever air commercial-free, we thought audiences would appreciate the opportunity to learn all about our lead character Michael Westen from beginning to end without interruption," said Collins. "And we're thrilled that DIRECTV embraced the show's unique premise to become our inaugural partner for the BURN NOTICE premiere."
"This is a terrific way to help reinforce our HD superiority message in anticipation of offering up to 100 HD channels by the end of the year," said Jon Gieselman, senior vice president of advertising for DIRECTV. "We are always looking for break-through ways to communicate why DIRECTV has a unique advantage over our competitors."
The sponsorship also includes:
As the commercial-free presenting sponsor, DIRECTV's message and brand were integrated into all on-air promotional spots, driving viewers to the premiere episode. USA also included DIRECTV in the introduction as well as the customized live-action closing "Thank You" message. USA Network took its creative cues from DIRECTV's current "4th Wall" television campaign where actors recreate a scene from one of their most iconic film or TV shows and then break the "4th Wall" to talk about DIRECTV (seen in recent DIRECTV on-air spots featuring Charlie Sheen from MAJOR LEAGUE and Pamela Anderson in BAY WATCH).
Lead actor Jeffrey Donovan taped an in-character "thanks for watching" 30-second bumper that will air following the premiere. In the spot, his character Michael Westen, a blacklisted spy, is seen disabling a bugging device in his apartment. When he finishes rendering it inoperable, he turns to the camera and says "Thank you for watching this unique commercial-free presentation of BURN NOTICE presented by DIRECTV." He then throws the device into a sizzling frying pan. Additionally the viewer will be reminded of DIRECTV's sponsorship via brand snipes during the telecast.
DIRECTV will be integrated verbally and visually into two episodes during the summer season.
DIRECTV will be included as part of the BURN NOTICE launch campaign including national out-of-home, print, newspaper, radio and digital media.
DIRECTV is one of the presenting sponsors of the official BURN NOTICE microsite. Their sponsorship includes pre-roll and display advertising as well as ownership of the specially created Burn Notice Spy Guide which includes a DIRECTV DVR interface and showcases Michael Westen giving users "CIA 101" type tutorials on everyday life situations.
DIRECTV will be the presenting sponsor of the Burn Notice WAP Site and the weekly SMS Scavenger Hunt.
About Burn Notice
When spies get fired, they don't get a letter from human resources, they get BURNED. This summer, USA Network presents BURN NOTICE, a sexy, action-packed original series starring Jeffrey Donovan ("Touching Evil," "Hitch") as Michael Westen, a blacklisted spy. Series also stars Gabrielle Anwar ("The Tudors," "Scent of A Woman") as Fiona, a beautiful ex-IRA operative who happens to be Westen's ex-girlfriend. Bruce Campbell ("Evil Dead," Army of Darkness") stars as Sam, Michael's closest buddy in town, a washed up military intelligence contact who is keeping an eye on Michael for the Feds. Also starring is Emmy® Award-winner Sharon Gless ("Queer as Folk," "Cagney & Lacey") as Madeline, Michael's hypochondriac mother, who couldn't be happier to have her boy back in town. BURN NOTICE will premiere with a one-hour episode on Thursday, June 28 at 10pm/9c and will be followed by 11 one-hour episodes.