Real life converges with TV, and vice versa.
In 1982, Burger King created a TV first—it became the first fast food chain to directly attack the competition, by name, in a commercial. The ad featured a cute, four-year-old actress, addressing the camera and stating that McDonald’s burgers were “20 percent smaller” than Burger King’s. McDonald’s sued Burger King for defamation and the case was settled out of court. The four-year-old actress—actually made to testify in the suit—went on to a successful career, first on the soap All My Children, and then as the star of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her name: Sarah Michelle Gellar. Last fall, Gellar returned to TV with the hit CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones. Gellar plays a director of an advertising agency. Like the ad agency-set Mad Men, the series incorporates real brands into the storylines for the sake of realism, but also blurring the lines between entertainment and marketing. The first episode’s plot involved Gellar trying to convince pop star Kelly Clarkson to record a high-profile jingle for the agency’s most lucrative client—McDonald’s. (Perhaps The Crazy Ones is a 30-years late penance for slamming McDonald’s.)
Terriers was a critically acclaimed but low-rated (and subsequently short-lived) drama about a pair of unlicensed, down-on-their-luck private investigators that aired on FX for three months in 2010. The series was executive produced by The Shield creator Shawn Ryan. The show’s title was ambiguous, as Terriers didn’t have anything to do with small dogs. In 2014, the Westminster Dog Show awarded its top, “Best in Show” honors to Sky, a five-year-old Wire Fox Terrier. The owner and breeder of Sky: Diane Ryan, who has been breeding terriers for more than 40 years. She’s also the mother of Terriers producer Shawn Ryan.