Tuesday night's episode of ``Big Brother 2'' appeared to take the concept of prime-time product placement to a new level -- at least at first glance.
A so-called ``luxury challenge'' on Tuesday's segment had the ``Big Brother'' house guests competing for a shot at a screening of Universal Picture's ``American Pie 2.'' To win the prize, the players had to break through a block of ice and grab a ticket frozen in the middle.
The word ``blockbuster'' was mentioned several times during the competition. Then, immediately following the end of the segment, CBS broadcast a 30-second commercial for Blockbuster Video -- a corporate cousin of the network. Later in the show, producers aired about 10 seconds of the film's trailer. While the segment seemed to be a well-designed plug for Blockbuster and ``Pie,'' a CBS representative and ``Big Brother'' executive producer Arnold Shapiro both said no money changed hands.
``It's coincidental synergy,'' a CBS spokesman said of the contest's ``blockbuster'' theme, noting that the word ``blockbuster'' is a fairly common adjective for a hit movie.