Thursday, November 3, 2005



That's the term I use for those TV shows that also exist in some form in other creative universes. Usually it refers to those TV shows that have big-screen treatments starring the original casts, like the 'Star Trek' franchise, 'The X-Files: Fight The Future', and the new spin-off from 'Firefly', "Serenity".

But a bleeder could be in a different form. A record album by a character, for instance. Mary Kay Place released two albums back in the mid-70s, "Live At The Capri Lounge" and "Aimin' To Please" (one of the HOTTEST covers I've seen on a record!). Both are supposed to suggest that they are songs by Loretta Haggars, and the covers to the LPs do the same. But even though she played Loretta on 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman', Mary Kay Place made sure it's her name that's most prominent on the covers.

The writers for ABC's "Lost" will soon be writing a subplot about a character named Gary Troup. Troup didn't survive the crash but left behind a manuscript he was working on.

Troup is fictional, of course, and so is his supposed novel. But ABC sister company Hyperion Books will publish the "found" manuscript, in the hope of turning a fictional product-placement into a real one.

Working with writers from the show, Hyperion has commissioned a novel by a "well-known" mystery writer -- it's not saying who -- that supposedly constitutes the book.

Some of the news reports that moved on this story thought that this might be the first to use made-up TV events and characters as the basis for a real-life campaign. The book will be marketed as the work of an author who "delivered (his book) to Hyperion just days before Troup boarded Oceanic Flight 815."

But Hyperion did engage in a similar but scaled-down project for a tie-in to TV mini-series, "Rose Red."

The "Lost" novel, titled "Bad Twin," is a P.I. procedural involving a wealthy heir's search for his nefarious brother. It will be released this spring in conjunction with related episodes.

"Fans of the show are obsessive," said the Hyperion head honcho, Bob Miller. "We think a lot of them will be buying the book just to look for clues."

I don't know about the specifics they're using to make that judgement about this being the first book by a fictional character of a TV series. Maybe there will be nothing on the cover to give it away as a tie-in?

Because that's the only thing I can see which disqualifies several books that were tie-ins to 'Twin Peaks'. "The Secret Diary Of Laura Palmer" and "The Autobiography Of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes" were purportedly written by their respective characters. But both of them have "A Twin Peaks Book" clearly labeled at the top of their covers.

There is also "Letters From Cicely" which is listed as being by Ellis Weiner and beng based on the TV series 'Northern Exposure'. It could be argued that Ellis Weiner, like Conan Doyle to the Sherlockians, was serving as the editor of the volume. But that sub-heading at the bottom of the cover blows the cover story.

One book that does work as being a "bleeder" is also tied in to 'Twin Peaks' - "Welcome To Twin Peaks", which is packaged as though it really was an "Access Guide To The Town". Getting back to Mary Hartman's hometown, there is "Fernwood, USA", which is supposed to be a similar guidebook. (And it was written by Ben Stein!)

But right there on the cover is the sub-title "An Illustrated Guide From The Folks Who Brought You 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman'". And that blows the illusion right there.

If you can track the "Twin Peaks Access Guide" down on eBay or in the remainder bins at your local bookstores, pick it up. Even fifteen years after the show's gone off the air, it provides a lot of reading pleasure.

And as anyone in Toobworld could tell you, reading is FUNdamental!



WordsSayNothing said...

Now that I'm a Lost addict, now I'm going to have to buy this book. Hopefully it won't be that expensive.

davencol said...

There is also a "Lost" comic book in the works, according to Damon Lindelof, one of the show's producers. It would be welcome reading during the long "Lost"-less months between two "Lost" seasons.