Thursday, October 23, 2008

BIO Has TiVo and It Knows How to Use It

Via our colleagues at The Pink Sheet, we learn a little about the Biotech Industry Organization's television viewing habits.

Wedged in between the Seinfeld re-runs and America's Next Top Model on BIO's TiVo is the CBS drama "Eleventh Hour" (which airs, oddly, at 10p on Thursdays). Why's BIO so interested? Well apparently the show involves a government scientist who tries to protect people from deadly experiments and the sketchier elements of science. The show's web site describes it thusly:

ELEVENTH HOUR from acclaimed producer Jerry Bruckheimer follows Dr. Jacob Hood, a brilliant biophysicist and special science advisor to the government, as he investigates scientific crises and oddities. His jurisdiction is absolute and Hood is dogged in his pursuit of those who would abuse and misuse scientific discoveries and breakthroughs for their own gain. His passion and crusade is to protect the substance of science from those with nefarious motives. He is called in at the eleventh hour and he represents the last line of defense.
Nefarious motives! Absolute jurisdiction! Dogged pursuit! Brilliant biophysicists! So far, so harmless sci-fi fun, right? Well, sure, but "At first we were concerned how the show might portray the industry," BIO VP of communications (and keeper of the TiVo remote) Jeff Joseph tells Pink Sheet's Brenda Sandburg. "We wanted to use it as an opportunity to educate people."

And thus BIO's own was born. So far BIO has used the site--which is advertised via Google's AdWords program--to inform viewers about cloning technology and heart attacks. ("Eleventh Hour" premiered on October 9 with an episode about a father trying to clone his dead son and followed up last week with eleven year old heart-attack victims.)

We understand BIO's urge to educate television audiences and think the association is on the right track using what could be a popular program to inform interested viewers about its members and their science. But we would argue that BIO has bigger fish to fry than "Eleventh Hour." Come on people, have you not seen NBC's "Heroes"? There's more gene-altering pseudoscientific mumbojumbo in five minutes of that program than in entire months of programming on the SciFi Network. (Full disclosure: Heroes is, despite the unintentional hilarity, a personal favorite, though we have never seen Eleventh Hour.)

But tonight BIO is upping the ante and Live Blogging (!) the third episode of "Eleventh Hour"--which promises some delicious facts about food-related paralysis.

Enjoy your dinner!

image from flickr user LynGi used under a creative commons license

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